AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines challenges Association members to reflect on how the American Quarter Horse enriches their lives.
After lunch, I called for the check and the young man serving me asked if I would be interested in purchasing a gift certificate that would be given to an armed service man or woman returning home from duty. He explained that the USO greets these service men and women at their gate with a homecoming welcome, and with the gift certificates they can purchase a meal when they enter the concourse. The young waiter said these folks typically buy a big American cheeseburger, load it down with bacon and wash it down with a cold, adult beverage. I bought two gift certificates in the blink of an eye and, with great pride, thought of those young people coming home on those planes after the sacrifices they have made for our country. What a great idea TGI Fridays had. What a worthy, small gesture of thanks.
The American Quarter Horse Foundation Council met on December 14 in Dallas-Fort Worth to make plans for the coming year to support our philanthropic arm. A wonderful group of warm-hearted, smart and passionate folks serve on the council with the goal of raising funds to support the four core missions of the Foundation: equine research; educational scholarships for our next generation; educational outreach and legacy preservation through our American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum; and equine-assisted activities and therapy, where new science is demonstrating the impact that our horse can have on the physically and mentally challenged.
For each of us, any one of these worthy causes could interest us at some point in our lives. We live in a blessed nation, where young men and women provide the security blanket required for free enterprise, capitalism and our unique horse industry to thrive. Honoring our industry is one way we can honor them and the freedoms they protect.
This holiday season, I challenge you to think about what the American Quarter Horse means to you, how it and the industry that has evolved because of our horse have enriched your life. Think about the many relationships you have that have been brought together by your interest in our wonderful industry. Just giving a little back every month can go a long way toward supporting these wonderful missions and blessing our industry. I can tell you how much your paid AQHA staff believes in these missions. This year, your staff will have contributed more than $50,000 toward the Foundation through our monthly direct withdrawal from our payroll program. We believe!
The Foundation Council is making big plans for a luncheon during the 2017 AQHA Convention that you will not want to miss. I’m giving you a heads up now, because it is likely going to sell out before convention. San Antonio is this year’s annual convention location, and we are planning an amazing party. You all are invited to attend what might become the social event of the year, so register soon. And be prepared to fill your heart with the wonderful reward that comes with giving.
As 2016 comes to a close, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I pray for your families’ health and safety as we enter the new year.