Area folks will get the opportunity to rescue horses by dancing.
Copper Gables Barn & Venue is hosting a “Barn Bash” from 6 p.m. to midnight on May 18 at the barn, which is Roy’s old rodeo hall. All proceeds of the bash, after overhead is paid, will benefit Spotlite Foundation.
“That’s a foundation that rescues horses from kill pens,” said Michael Yegge, owner of Copper Gables with his wife, Jennifer Coate. “It takes them and rehabilitates them. It then matches them with children in need — for example kids on the Autism spectrum or kids whose parents are incarcerated.”
Yegge said the Spotlite Foundation gives free horseback-riding lessons to the kids and has even given away the horses themselves to children in some instances.
Some of the horses are actually outstanding, so outstanding that the Spotlite Foundation has made some of them into polo ponies, Yegge said.
The foundation is named after the first horse of Misti Chastain, the founder of the organization.
“I think this dance will bring community awareness to the organization and hopefully bring donations and revenue that will strengthen our program,” Chastain said.
She said that 180,000 horses are shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter every year that the Spotlite Foundation is just one drop in the bucket for what the organization is able to do.
“Essentially we are partnering with (Chastain) so we can raise some money for that foundation,” Yegge said.
Spotlite Foundation saves about 30 horses on a yearly basis.
The Copper Gables Barn & Venue has a 5,000 square-foot downstairs, where there will be a full bar, beers on tap and keg beer. The Cattleman will have a food truck available. There is also a 5,000 square-foot upper level, which boasts a dance floor that covers most of that space.
As for music, a band from northern Oregon called Cheap Whiskey, a man and wife, will play from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and then a band called the Roostertails will take over, with possible collaboration between the bands.
“So we’ll go from six to midnight and raise Hell,” Yegge said, adding that tickets are $10 and do not include food or drink. Also, the event is a 21+ activity.
He and Coate want to do a dozen similar fundraising dances each year, Yegge said, but this one is sort of a dry run for them all, not to mention a dance to go along with Pioneer Rodeo in August.
“We are practicing for the big rodeo dance…” he said. “So we need to work the kinks out, figure out what we are doing.”
When they bought the venue Yegge and Coate mainly intended to run weddings out of it, which they will still do, but while they were working on the barn, residents of Roy began turning up.
“I can’t tell you how many people drove by and stopped and said, ‘hey, we used to have dances here,’” Yegge said. “And some of these people were 90 years old and are telling me about things that they did, I believe, in the 50s or 60s. We didn’t really anticipate having dances. We had enough locals come by and ask us that we decided to try it. So this is new to us.”
Yegge said that if anyone wants to donate to the Spotlite Foundation, they can contact Chastain through Facebook — just search “Spotlite Foundation” — or visit www.TheSpotliteFoundation.org for more information.