Volunteer Spotlight- Dawn Ellis

June 14, 2019

Like many people, Dawn found herself with too much free time on her hands after raising her two sons.  She had owned horses in the past and decided to check out the Sunshine Horses Open House when she read about it in The Pennysaver.   Dawn liked the idea of giving back and having horses in her life again.  After learning about Sunshine and meeting the horses and volunteers, Dawn was hooked.  She started volunteering 3 nights a week and before long was asked to join the Board of Directors and become a Sunshine trainer.   Over the years you have likely seen Dawn at volunteer fairs, riding Sunshine Horses ambassador Huck at the State Fair or working with special groups when they come to the barn.  


After seeing so many wonderful horses come through Sunshine it was inevitable that Dawn would eventually find her match.  Retired racehorse The Boy N was known around the barn for his big personality and his powerful trot.  He liked to kick up his heels and take the lead during turnout and wasn't afraid to turn on his motor and show off his racing chops when given the chance.  Dawn formed a bond with Boy and welcomed him to her family in 2016.  


As Dawn neared retirement from her day job she realized that she had been going nonstop for too long.  She had replaced going to after school sports and extracurricular activities with her sons to volunteering with Sunshine.  Sunshine had become part of Dawn's family.  She threw herself into volunteering with as much dedication as she had put into sports and family events.  As her husband neared retirement, Dawn realized that she needed to scale back her time at Sunshine so she could spend more time with Boy and travel with her family.  


At the beginning of the year, Dawn retired from the Board of Directors and scaled down her hours at the barn.  Dawn still volunteers at the barn 1-2 days a week when she isn't traveling and spends more time at her barn with Boy.  It is only fitting that Dawn will hold our first non-Sunshine event at the barn.  This weekend, Dawn's son Josh is getting married at the farm.  We can't thank Dawn enough for her continuing commitment to our mission.  Dawn treasures the friendships that she has formed through Sunshine and looks forward to many more years of service.  Congratulations to Dawn and thank you for letting us share in this special day with you and your family. 



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