annual report 2018
Office Program Locations
BINA Farm Center BINA Farm Center Dana Hall School
207 Union Street 55 Allen Street Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center
Natick, MA 01760 Lexington, MA 02421 160 Grove Street Rear
Phone: 508-651-2462 (BINA) Wellesley, MA 02482
BINA Farm Center (BINA) brings together individuals with and without special needs by offering a variety of inclusive enrichment programs that help them to both thrive personally and make their best contribution towards the communities in which they live. BINA provides a comprehensive therapeutic and recreational environment utilizing Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies, Vocational Training Programs, and Creative and Complementary Therapies for children and adults with physical, developmental and emotional challenges.
MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
"I am hopeful for a world with more love, acceptance, and compassion for others."
"Have you ever thought about how important it is to have a place where you feel accepted and believed in? A place that always makes you think, “I can do that,” and “somebody cares about me.” For a decade, BINA staff and volunteers have instilled that feeling in the people we serve. We imagine a world where people of all abilities come together. We nurture each person’s strengths. We help them each achieve new goals. Every single day, we work to change lives. This only happens because of your support.
BINA is a truly distinctive organization. We provide Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies to those with and without special needs, bringing these populations together. We work towards a culture of understanding and respect for people of all abilities. On any given day, you can come to the barn and see and hear the impact of our work and your support. The skills participants learn at BINA are generalized throughout their life and as a result, our services positively impact our participants in their home, school, employment, and community.
Coming up to our 10th Anniversary, our Board of Directors, staff, and families extend our gratitude to each of you who has made this possible. ~Dale McCarthy
BELIEVE ● IMAGINE ● NURTURE ● ACHIEVE
Top: Founders, Babak Bina, Terry Snow
Bottom: Lillian Ellmore, Coryn Bina, Kamran Bina
A message from Co-Founder,
Nearing the 10th Anniversary of the founding of BINA Farm Center, Babak (my husband) and I have reflected on its message “to bring together those with and without special needs to help them thrive…” Believe - Imagine - Nurture - Achieve. Here is how it began...
At 5 years of age our son Kamran wanted to learn the basics of horseback riding. We had the great fortune of connecting with Terry Snow, one of the few instructors who would teach our son at such a young age, and Terry was also teaching therapeutic riding lessons on a small scale. We hadn't foreseen it, but when we observed Kamran playing interactively and innocently with one of Terry’s students with autism, the vision of BINA was born. We saw a world which would bring together those with and without special needs acting as one community, where views on a person's “ability” are not tainted by any preconceived notion. Kamran "got it" and we believed others would too.
Babak and I believed that inclusive programming for the entire family (and community) was needed in our area. Vision and strategic planning was a family strength; however we knew how much of an undertaking this was. Nevertheless, when we saw the way lives were changed through our inclusive and caring programs we had no doubt that BINA would be successful. In fact my belief in the mission has grown stronger!
Approaching 10 years at BINA it is impossible to say there has been one singular, major achievement. At BINA, it's personal. Every child that is nurtured in our care, every achievement by a participant, be it a veteran or vocational student, is a victory. As parents watch their children achieve milestones that otherwise would have been missed, I believe everyone at BINA Farm Center is living a quote that I cherish. "Be the change you want to see in this world".
Top: Founders, Babak Bina, Terry Snow
Bottom: Lillian Ellmore, Coryn Bina, Kamran Bina
"Be the change you want to see in this world."
"Everything you can imagine is real."
~ Pablo Picasso
Physical therapist Laura Dennis, PT, DPT, HPCS who uses hippotherapy as a treatment strategy, shares "“The movement of the horse is the absolute most important part of a session. I modify the horse’s movements to achieve a response from a child.” Laura keenly observes the participant's body and makes adjustments to the horse's movement. Through the tempo, rhythm, repetition, and cadence of the horse, the movements influence the neuromuscular development in humans by triggering physical and mental reactions. With each step of the horse, the rider has to stabilize their trunk. For every 35 minutes on the horse, the participant experiences about 3,000 trunk movements as they work to stay upright. Physical therapy participants achieve functional improvement in ways that are meaningful to them, such as improved postural symmetry, enhanced balance and strength, and improved gross motor skills.
Creating a program where instructors, participants, and equine partners work together using verbal, visual, and tactile cues takes a combination of clinical expertise, communication and imagination. The creativity and warmth of our program helps our participants forget they are working on therapeutic goals. They can enjoy their time being on top of a horse while interacting with the friends whom they have come to know and trust at BINA.
"BINA made Sajni feel safe and special."
Sajni was 7 1/2 years old when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. She loved animals, and though she never expressed a desire to ride, was so excited to start therapeutic horseback riding at BINA. According to her mom, Vanessa, riding at BINA quickly became "the highlight of her week, every week."
When Sajni arrived at BINA, her speech and movement were declining. "Everything else took away her abilities and BINA was about giving them back," her mom recalls.
Terry Snow, BINA founder and Therapeutic Riding Instructor, worked on maintaining Sajni's strength to delay the progress of the disease. BINA volunteer and pediatrician Lisa Dobberteen was delighted to see Sajni and her family "have a place of normalcy, where nothing else mattered in the midst of a life taken over by cancer." As Sajni's condition worsened, Terry and Lisa worked to keep Sajni in the saddle as long as possible. As Sajni's health declined, she did not want to go anyplace except BINA. Sajni continued to come ride, to decorate a pony with paint and butterfly clips, and to feel the love and joy only BINA's staff, volunteers, and horses could give.
As her illness took away her mobility, Sajni told her classmates "not to patronize those who were different, but treat them the same as everyone else," according to her father, Prabal. Sajni lived the BINA mission: To break down the barriers between people of different abilities.
Sajni is survived by her parents and her sister, Anandi, an even bigger horse lover with a wide smile who came to BINA's Summer Program just days after her sister passed away. Program Director Jenna Kaplan, who led the Summer Program, believed Anandi "found comfort in the horses and it allowed her to stay connected to her sister." Anandi continues to ride weekly at BINA.
"Horseback riding made such a difference to her all throughout this horrible illness."
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
Terry Snow's vision when BINA Farm Center was founded was to create a place where people felt welcomed in a safe and loving environment. A place with no failures - where challenges were just stepping stones to achievements.
Terry was always confident that the program would succeed. It made sense to Terry that people who had different abilities would want to help each other. When you add in the spirituality of the horse, success was inevitable. Terry saw the benefits to both humans and horses when they were joined together during therapeutic riding lessons. She has seen how bringing people together for a common good can have long lasting effects on their lives. Volunteers, staff, and participants will forever remember the people and horses that they met along the way.
BINA has grown from one child, one instructor, and one horse to a facility with more than two hundred and twenty-five participants, twelve instructors, and eleven horses.
The vision is to continually enhance our facility and provide programming to more people of all ages and abilities. Everyone at BINA respects and understands the value of an inclusive setting, and each person comes away with an understanding that the smallest kindness can change a life.
Therapeutic riding at the BINA Farm Center is an equine-assisted activity in which the primary goal is to teach riding skills, while also contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. While accomplishing the goal of learning to ride a horse, our students experience improved strength, coordination, balance, focus and self-esteem. Horses act as a powerful motivational tool for learning. In addition to the benefits gained by being on the horse, un-mounted horse related activities such as grooming and tacking can improve and reinforce motor planning, eye-hand coordination, visual recognition and social skills. There is less resistance to learning when animals are involved. Observing, interacting and working with horses not only engages individuals it can help them learn about themselves and their environment. Improvements can be seen in impulse control, self-confidence, communication skills, trusting others and problem-solving skills.
The Recreational Riding program at BINA Farm Center is built on the fundamentals of excellent horsemanship, effective and correct equitation and the principles of dressage. BINA offers lessons in flatwork and jumping for horse enthusiasts of all abilities. Children and adult riders are encouraged to develop a working relationship with the horse on the ground, as well as in the saddle. Offering recreational riding alongside therapeutic programs in a single barn setting, offers us the opportunity for bringing together people of all ages and abilities.
This is a wonderful program that offers older children, teenagers and young adults who are interested in the field of caring for horses the opportunity to gain hands-on horsemanship experience. They can learn skills such as feeding and watering of the horses, daily maintenance of a barn, cleaning, bedding and care of saddlery. Often our riders want to have more "horse" time and horsemanship lessons are a wonderful way to fulfill that. Children from all backgrounds can benefit from being part of this program. Families, friends and others in the community can participate in this program as well - thereby sharing in the experience. Individual or semi-private classes are available at a variety of times.
Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL)
Equine-assisted learning is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills applicable to educational, professional or personal goals through equine-assisted activities. Life skills education is aimed at facilitating the development of psychosocial skills that are required to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Following the study of many different life skills programs, the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health identified five basic areas of life skills that are relevant across cultures: Decision-making and problem-solving; Creative thinking and critical thinking; Communication and interpersonal skills; Self-awareness and empathy; and Coping with emotions and coping with stress.
Healing With Horses - Veterans Group
The Healing with Horses program is an eight-week program which uses both mounted and unmounted equine-assisted activities in a safe and peaceful environment. Participants will learn to become competent horsemen and women who are able to safely handle, care for and ride horses. In the process, they will regain confidence, build relationships with animals and humans, and experience the joy and pleasure in an activity that offers so many therapeutic benefits while also improving quality of life. Special event and one day programming for Veterans and their families are also available at BINA.
Veterans Family Day with Home Base
BINA Farm Center hosted a family day of equine activities in partnership with Home Base. "Home Base is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Veterans, Service Members, and their Family Members through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research."-Home Base
BINA offers physical therapy using hippotherapy as a treatment strategy. Hippotherapy utilizes specific equine movement to address functional therapy goals as part of a patient’s integrated rehabilitation plan of care. Equine movement is continually modified during a treatment session based on the client’s response as well as the patient’s needs and rehabilitation progress. The horse’s gait provides rhythmic, symmetric, multi-dimensional and directional movement that can be repeated consistently during a treatment session. Hippotherapy offers the patient organized motor and sensory input that can be modified by the therapist to help patients achieve functional goals. Our physical therapists treat individuals as young as two years old, as well as adults, who have a diagnosis of a neuromuscular disorder, cognitive impairment or sensory processing dysfunction which may be compounded by social and emotional changes.
Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (“EFP”)
EFP is a form of experiential psychotherapy that involves horses. It has the same goals and characteristics as traditional psychotherapy but utilizes the connection with an equine “co-therapist” to facilitate the progress and healing of the client. EFP harnesses the unique ability of horses to both nurture and provide strength to the people who interact with them. EFP may include a wide variety of equine activities such as handling, grooming, lunging, riding and driving. In the form that most resembles traditional psychotherapy, EFP is facilitated by a licensed, credentialed mental health professional that is also credentialed as an equine professional. Alternatively, a licensed, credentialed mental health professional works along with a credentialed equine professional.
Healing With Horses- Women's Group
In 2018, BINA Farm was pleased to have been selected to partner with McLean Psychiatric Hospital for a qualitative study that begins in the spring of 2019. This study will follow a group of women who have suffered a traumatic incident in their life. The women will self evaluate after a series of unmounted Equine-Assisted Activities. Goals of this eight week group include increased trust, confidence, social interaction and decreased sense of isolation.
Other Inclusive Programs
Each summer BINA offers a fully inclusive Summer Program which welcomes children of all abilities for group horseback riding, horsemanship, arts and crafts, games and other activities.
The Teen Ambassador Program (TAP) brings together BINA participants, participants' siblings and volunteers ranging in age from 14-18 years old to encourage and nurture future leaders in non-profit and philanthropic endeavors. TAP teens gain valuable knowledge in the areas of leadership, teamwork, education, character building and philanthropy. Teen Ambassadors contribute significantly to our mission of inclusivity.
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES 2018
Gifts and Contributions 112,671
Proceeds from Fundraising Event 323,560
Donated Goods, Services and Facilities 125,699
Interest and Other Income 12,335
Total Revenue 913,626
Total Expenses 819,725
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Global Development Delay--25%
* includes both primary and secondary diagnoses
Ages of Participants Served
Autism Spectrum Disorder--25%
Individuals Served: 226
Number of Lessons Delivered: 3,317
Number of Volunteers: 513
Number of Volunteer Hours: 10,177
Number of Horses: 11
Number of Instructors: 12
Sensory Processing Disorder--16%
Most Common Diagnoses Served*
Thank you to the Dana Hall School for their donation of The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center and their wonderful equine partners.
Thank you to North Bridge Equine Associates for providing outstanding veterinary care at a discounted rate.
Thank you to Devon Grace for photographing our annual Rider Showcase free of charge.
Thank you to Daria Pedersen for her help completing this Annual Report.
Thank you to Cathleen Peabody, E.L. Harvey, Krefta Landscaping, Linda Crabtree, Mitrano Removal Service, Northeast Equine Dental, Reed Bodkin and Sweet Meadow Feed and Grain for their support of our herd and facility.
Thank you to our 513 hard-working and dedicated volunteers who support our lesson program and upkeep of our facility.
Thank you to the many individual and corporate donors who, through their generous financial support, show that they continue to believe in the power of our mission.
for OUR FRIENDS whose generosity of TIME, EFFORT and expertise
make our work possible
We are grateful
BINA farm center
Jenna Cosby, Barn staff
Faye Deligiannides, Volunteer Coordinator, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Laura Dennis, PT, DPT, HPCS, Physical Therapist, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Katy Duffey, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Lauren Daugherty, Equine Manager, PATH Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Kate Ford, LICSW, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, PATH Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, EAGALA Certified Professional
Felicia Gormley, Barn staff
Jennifer Harter Alves, Bookkeeper
Jenna Kaplan, Program Director, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Dana Hall School Site Coordinator
Ava Kreig, Barn staff
Jinny Leighton, Barn staff
Jen Luethy, Recreational Riding Instructor
Stephanie Maddox, Barn staff
Missy Matthews, Therapeutic Riding Instructor, barn staff
Dale McCarthy, Executive Director
Eileen Polasky, LICSW, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, PATH Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, EAGALA Certified Professional
Emily Rivers, Assistant Equine Manager, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Cas Thomas, Barn staff
Cara Tsombakos, Recreational Riding Instructor
Board of Directors
Babak Bina, Co-Chair and Co-Founder
Coryn Bina, Co-Chair and Co-Founder
Cyrus Daftary, Treasurer
Elizabeth Calmar, MD, Vice Chair, Chief Strategic Officer
Lynn Pedersen, Clerk
Terry Snow, Co-Founder
Robert L. Beal
Robert J. Vinci
Harold W. Schwartz
Shasta, BINA's beloved original therapy horse, passed away peacefully in November of 2018. BINA Farm Center was built, quite literally, on his back. Over his 27 years, Shasta touched the lives of hundreds of children and adults. His gentle and patient nature made him a barn favorite. After giving so much to so many, Shasta enjoyed 18 months of well-deserved retirement, simply being a horse. During his long and luxurious retirement at BINA's Lexington barn, Shasta enjoyed grazing with his best buddy, Sammy. Our sweetest old man will be greatly missed, and we know that his memory lives on in the hearts of all those whose lives he has touched over the years.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF Shasta