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ST AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA – (MARCH, 7, 2024) – Horseplay Therapry Center is proud to announce that it has been awarded $18,646 as part of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) 2023 Direct Effect 2nd Cycle Quality of Life grants. Fifty-nine grants totaling $1,271,125 were awarded. The Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis. Since the Quality of Life Grants Program’s inception, more than 3,770 grants totaling $43 million have been awarded. Funding for this program was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL grant #90PRRC0006-03-01).

The Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center has several grants under the Quality of Life program awarding grants in different category areas, varying in different amounts. 

The Direct Effect grants program funds organizations to support a wide range of projects and activities that will impact individuals living with paralysis and their families. 

“These awards are about restoring independence to our constituents,” said Dan McNeal, Director of, the Quality of Life Grants Program, Reeve Foundation. “Our work and number one goal are to enhance the quality of life of people living with paralysis. It is our honor to continue to collaborate with so many dedicated organizations, which have selflessly given their time and efforts to ensure that accessibility and inclusivity remain embedded in the fabric of their programs.” 

HorsePlay Therapy Center will be using this funding to help make their RiseUp for Veterans facility and barn accessible to veterans living with paralysis. RiseUp for Veterans is a program that was developed by the HorsePlay Therapy Center in 2021 in efforts to serve a deeply underserved population in Northeast Florida: our veterans and wounded warriors. Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) and Equine Assisted Activities utilizes horses to promote psychological, familial, physical, and spiritual healing in individuals suffering from a variety of emotional and physical ailments. The mission of RiseUp for Veterans is to enhance the quality of life for our service men and women and their families by bringing horses and people together through a comprehensive equine-assisted therapy program, staffed by certified instructors, licensed mental health counselors, and trained volunteers. RiseUp for Veterans is the only program in Northeast Florida that provides these services to veterans, as well as marriage and family support for veteran families as well. No veteran is denied services based on ability to pay at our centers. 

“It is such an honor to be able to better serve our local veterans,” said Katie Cammack Eller,  Director of Development at HorsePlay Therapy. Cammack Eller reported that many of their current veteran participants live with paralysis or other mobility differences, and the additions made for accessibility will serve our current veterans and veterans to come. Construction was completed last week and veterans have already started utilizing the new accessibility features.

About the Reeve Foundation:

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. By uniting the brightest minds in the field, we are working tirelessly to accelerate scientific discoveries across the field of spinal cord research by investing in labs across the globe. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 100,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal.  For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-225-0292. 

About HorsePlay Therapy Center

HorsePlay Therapy Center is a 501(c)3  non-profit organization, established in 2015 to provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy using hippotherapy to children with special needs. As of 2023, HorsePlay Therapy Center provides over 830 therapy sessions a month to children with special needs with diagnoses that include Down Syndrome,Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other developmental disorders. In late 2020, the Board of Directors of HorsePlay Therapy Center elected to expand the organization’s services and team of horses to meet the growing need of another underserved population in our community: wounded warriors and veterans diagnosed with PTSD. Quickly following, RiseUp for Veterans was launched quickly after the Board’s decision, on November 11th, 2021.HorsePlay Therapy is committed to providing children with special needs and veterans a foundation for developing skills that improve their overall quality of life through hippotherapy (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy on horseback for children with special needs) and other equine assisted therapies (RiseUp for Veterans) provided in a safe and caring environment.


HorsePlay Therapy Center

Katie Cammack Eller


[email protected]

Reeve Foundation

Julia Leonard 


[email protected]

Some pictures of the project: