Fundraiser focuses on animals and autism

RANCHO SANTA FE — Celebrating “The Autism Connection: Horses & Humans,” the Training, Education & Research Institute, or TERI, welcomed Rupert Isaacson, author, producer and star of “The Horse Boy,” as guest speaker at its 20th annual cocktail reception and golf tournament fundraiser April 11 at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.
This year’s event was made possible through the work of a dedicated committee of volunteers, including Co-Chairwomen Dawn Hummel and Judy Roberts, plus Connie Pittard, Ann Boon, Susan Loban, Donna Pineda, Jennifer Dunn, Carol Linovitz, Carolyn Singer, Mickey Burgess, Kris Charton, Joanie O’Leary, Kathy Yash, Paige Vanosky, Shari Sapp, Julie Klaus and Julie Dillon.
Isaacson shared the story of his family’s epic journey of personal and spiritual discovery, and how a horse helped heal his autistic son. Isaacson, a writer and former horse trainer is the author of “The Horse Boy,” as well as star and producer of “The Horse Boy” movie.
“The Horse Boy” follows Isaacson, his wife Kristin Neff (a psychology professor) and their autistic son, as they travel on horseback through Outer Mongolia in an attempt to find healing for their son. Their journey began after their 2-year-old son, Rowan, was diagnosed. After seeking the best medical treatment available, but discovering traditional therapies had little effect, Isaacson discovered Rowan has a profound affinity for animals, particularly horses, and the family set off on a quest that would change their lives forever.
The golf tournament was rescheduled, due to rain, to May 3 with a One Better Ball format. All funds raised at event will go toward the completion of the Harriet E. Pfleger Therapeutic Equestrian Center. The Equestrian Center, which will include six stalls, a pony parlor washroom, veterinary center, riding arena and walking trails, and a picnic patio, is the first of six phases that will complete the Center for Research & Life Planning. The $50 million campus will directly address the crisis of a growing and aging population with autism and other developmental disabilities, by providing a comprehensive array of services and support programs covering an entire lifespan in this one dynamic location.
For more information on TERI, visit