Lacamas Valley Ranch to host two-day fundraiser for nonprofit

Summer market set for July 13-14


Lacamas Valley Ranch in Roy is hosting a two-day summer market filled with vendors, rummage tables, horse tack, a food truck and farm animals, July 13 and July 14, to raise money to start a nonprofit organization.

The organization, Hope for Wild Hearts, is a small nonprofit starting on the ranch that is committed to helping elderly horses and farm animals by providing sanctuary, rehabilitation and education to the community. It supports families, first responders and healthcare workers by providing educational opportunities as well as stress relief on the farm.

The event is free to attend, but the ranch will accept cash donations, as well as vendor fees, to help start Hope for Wild Hearts, which will be directed and operated by volunteers.

Tessa Feller, co-owner of Lacamas Valley Ranch, was inspired to start the nonprofit after offering educational programs for children to interact with animals at the ranch. She noticed that the animals, including 18- to 30-year-old horses, responded positively to their interactions with children and visitors.

“When we started doing little events and educational activities to help some of our elderly horses, I found that I had a big passion for doing that,” Feller said. “People loved the opportunity to come to a historic landmark that had never been open to the public. I saw how it could help all the people around me, and I saw how it helped the animals by teaching people how to care for them.”

Feller and her husband have owned and operated Lacamas Valley Ranch for three years. She grew up on a farm close to the ranch, and as a child, she thought the large red barns were royal in their appearance. After multiple attempts to purchase the property, the couple put in an offer and eventually was successful.

“It’s unbelievable. It just makes people happy. It was so special, and I just wanted to share it,” Feller said. “It’s a very historic property that’s been around for a very long time, just pretty darn neat.”

Lacamas Valley Ranch has 30 goats, 12 horses, six miniature cows and four miniature horses, as well as pigs, chickens, Guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs and cats. Feller teaches children ages 5 and up to ride and care for horses on the ranch.

With Hope for Wild Hearts, she, along with volunteers Ali Ellsworth and Candie Bailey, want to improve the lives of both the animals she cares for and the people who enjoy interacting with them on the ranch.

“I want to see [the nonprofit] survive and thrive. In the future, I see retreats and volunteer days where people can come work with animals, learn about animals, hold a baby goat and work with some elderly horses,” Feller said. “I really do not want to get so large to the point where we cannot care for the animals. That’s very important to me. I would hope to have enough donations and volunteers and keep it small enough that, no matter what, they are cared for.”

The two-day fundraising event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. The ranch encourages bringing cash due to the poor service area.

After the fundraiser, Hope for Wild Hearts’ grand-opening benefit event will be the Rockin’ Country Music Gala at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 16, at the ranch, located at 3902 288th St. S. in Roy. The Olson Bros Band will perform a three-hour concert, and a barbecue food truck will cater the event. Tickets, which are limited, cost $100 per ticket, covering the concert, dinner, drinks and dessert.

Feller said she is also planning days for senior citizens residing in independent and assisted living facilities to come to the ranch for an educational day where a group of youth will teach visitors about the animals.

“Our senior visitors, even if they have memory loss, often remember growing up with horses and enjoy seeing them and learning about them,” she said.

To learn more about Lacamas Valley Ranch, Hope for Wild Hearts and their upcoming events, visit the Lacamas Valley Ranch Facebook page at