Reins of Life honors miracles at annual auction

SOUTH BEND, IN. (WNDU) - “Every single day you witness some kind of miracle,” executive director Dorota Janik said.

A celebration of miracles was held Saturday night, the 21st Annual Kelsey Marie Meekhof Memorial Dinner and Auction benefiting Reins of Life.

The Rowe family has been part of the Reins family since 2013.

“We just you know found out the benefits of Reins of Life, wat a horse can do for her,” mother Vicky Rowe. “It's just been a rewarding experience.”

A common theme throughout the night was in fact family.

“It’s overwhelming...it's very overwhelming that our daughter is loved as much as she is,” Rowe said.

Reins of Life is therapeutic horseback riding that benefits those with special needs in St. Joseph, LaPorte and Porter counties.

“It's physical therapy,” chairman Dr. Mark Meekhof said. “Some of them even learn how to speak and have never spoken before.”

The executive director said volunteers are able to get just as much out of it as the riders.

“It’s just so inspiring,” Janik said. “I’m just a lucky girl having this in my life you know Reins of Life.”

This year's theme was “The Greatest Evening,” inspired by The Greatest Showman,
turned The Armory into a big top circus.

“It just helps all sorts of people regardless of whether or not they have the means to be able to afford to do it,” Meekhof said.

The Rowe family was one of the families honored Saturday night with their daughter as the star of the show.

“You know Jeanie, she's a 17-year-old and you know that just wants to do things like another 17-year-old,” Rowe said.

All with the help of loving volunteers.

“The best thing I can say about Reins of Life is its special place with special people,” Rowe said.”

Another miracle courtesy of Reins of Life.

“I'm proud to say that last year she was able to ride independently,” Rowe said.

Reins of Life serves over 500 riders every year.

If you would like to become a volunteer, you can go to their website.