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Dear Members and Friends,
Spring (and warm riding weather!) is fast approaching and with it the annual membership drive. Your membership donations help us to care for our school horses and aid in the maintenance and improvement of Southlands’ riding rings, barns, miles of fencing and many structures.
2016 was a great year at Southlands and with the help of your generous support, many projects and improvements were completed. We now have a new maintenance building, a freshly paved driveway entrance, our main barn dormers and pony barn cupola repaired, deteriorated paddock fencing replaced, and parts of our trail system have been mended and cleared. We were able to purchase needed equipment for facilities and maintenance. A successful year end fundraiser for new show jumps will also fund replacement of the main ring boards this spring. Our annual gala was the most successful to date, raising $36,000.
We will continue to fundraise for and diligently implement a phase-by-phase restoration of our South Barn. This iconic landmark and gateway to Rhinebeck has seen many structure-saving renovations over the last few years. Most recently, we began installing the large sliding barn doors at either end.
As always, Southlands prides itself on an excellent equine staff. Along with our revered favorites, we have some wonderful new acquisitions! We welcomed Ellis, Owen, Kobi, and Profit to our school-horse family and they have already found their unique niche within our lesson program. Your membership dollars help to directly support these wonderful individuals. Our staff and board continue to look at ways to reduce these horse-care expenses but not the quality of care as we watch the cost of grain, supplemental hay (in addition to what Southlands is able to grow), and many other overhead costs increase.
Deborah Dows created the Foundation in 1983 to preserve her lands, care for the animals, and continue the development of individuals. Through prudent management of the endowment and your support, we continue to fulfill her intentions. We never lose sight of our mission, nor our responsibilities as a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 entity. Your support is fundamental to our success. Your membership contributions are an acknowledgement of your belief in and support for our Mission: to provide a historical and agrarian connection to the community, and to cultivate a respect and love for the land and its animals through education, conservation, and outdoor recreation. Remember, your membership contribution is tax deductible, and that we qualify for many corporate matching gift programs.
President, The Southlands Foundation