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LexLin Increases Donation to $987,000, including 29 Gypsy Vanner Horses, to Aid Mane Support

Makes expansion dreams a reality for equine-assisted grief counseling center in Maryville, Tennessee

Dr. Eric W. Barton, president and CEO of LexLin Gypsy Ranch, recently increased his donation to Blount County, TN-based Mane Support to a total donation value of $987,000, which included 29 Gypsy Vanner horses, bolstering the nonprofit organization’s equine-assisted grief counseling services.

The 29 LexLin Gypsy Vanner horses are appraised at $257,000.

“In the nonprofit world, continued financial support is imperative to the sustainability of an organization. For Mane Support, providing services for children, families, military and first responders has become the heart of what we do,” Mane Support CEO and Founder Kimberly Henry said. “Through Eric’s additional donation of Gypsy Vanners, Mane Support was able to provide services for families and groups that could not afford otherwise and to continue the mission of hope and healing.”

Mane Support, the only freestanding grief-counseling center in the state of Tennessee, offers equine-assisted programs to youth, teens and adults. Programs include individual counseling for grief, loss and trauma for children and adults; a group for widows; an in-school grief program; a group designed to address the self-esteem, communication and coping skills of youth and teens who have experienced loss-associated trauma; and a program designed to address individual, team and family needs for military and first responders.

The horses have already started their new jobs, as they are being used with children and families who have experienced a death in addition to Mane Support’s Horses Helping Heroes program for military and first responders.

Earlier this summer, Mane Support began using the horses in Leading by the Reins, a leadership development program Barton donated to the organization in December. The leadership program focuses on allowing others to see the qualities they have as leaders and Growing Teams with Perseverance, Faith and a Strong Foundation of Leadership.

Barton’s first donation to Mane Support in December, valued at $850,000, included 14 Gypsy Vanner horses from LexLin, the Leading By The Reins program and fencing. Eric also graciously donated saddles, helmets, saddle pads and headsets for the Leading By The Reins and other programs.

While Mane Support kept three horses for their facility in Blount County and one to Ridin’ High, a therapeutic riding facility in Morristown, the remaining 10 horses were sold to sustain and expand Mane Support’s equine-assisted programs. Mane Support’s first three Gypsy Vanners are being used in individual and group sessions, especially in our Horses Helping Heroes program and Leading by the Reins.

LexLin donated 15 additional horses – valued at $137,000 – in 2018, making total donations to Mane Support equal $987,000.

With the support of Eric’s generosity, Mane Support hopes to continue to expand and help provide a place of healing for those in the Blount County and surrounding community.

“It is our hope to continue that mission as the Lord opens doors for places for us to be,” Henry said. “Thank you again to Eric for his heart to give, so that many can benefit. The doors that he has and will continue to open for others is tremendous.”