Want to Make a Difference?
Become a SMART Volunteer!

Volunteers are the heart and soul of SMART. Everyone works together at SMART to form a vital team that is essential to the success of our program. SMART is a mostly volunteer powered organization and our need for volunteers is always great!

Whether your experience with horses is lifelong or nonexistent, your willingness to give of yourself and your time is what we need! There are many areas of volunteer opportunities here at SMART; our volunteers help with leading horses and assisting students in classes, as well as with horse care, facility and grounds maintenance, fundraising and administrative work. We will be happy to work with you to find the area where you will feel most comfortable and that will be the most rewarding to you.

At SMART, we want everyone involved in the program to feel comfortable and safe. The safety of our Riders, Volunteers, Horses and Staff is of the utmost importance to us. To that end, all Volunteers are required to attend our Volunteer Orientation. We offer these orientations several time each month. Please call the SMART line for more information.

We invite you to come out to be a part of our SMART Volunteer Team. Not only will you get to spend time with some great people and wonderful horses---you will get to witness the joyous smiles and hear the peals of laughter that come from our SMART Riders as they ride toward a life of inclusion and respect!

Click here to download a Volunteer Application.

Click here to review the SMART Volunteer Manual.

2016 Volunteer of the Year - Bren Wilkinson

Diana and Bob Staab - 2015 Volunteers of the Year No matter who you ask around the farm about our 2016 Volunteer of the Year, Bren, the first response is a smile. Bren Wilkinson has been a member of the SMART volunteer team for a very long time. She may only come down to South Florida for the winter but she puts in enough time out at SMART while she IS here to last all year round! This lady is FULL of energy, committed to several days a week, fantastic with our horses and participants and a true pleasure to be around. WE LOVE YOU BREN!!!






2015 Volunteers of the Year - Diana and Bob Staab

Diana and Bob Staab - 2015 Volunteers of the Year This year we wanted to honor our dear volunteers, Diana and Bob Staab. They have both been amazing supporters over the years, serving in many capacities. Diana started off as a regular lesson volunteer and then took on the volunteer Volunteer Coordinator's position. She has done an incredible job of keeping our volunteers trained and on track and supporting the program. Bob has served as a board member and all around tractor guy---helping to keep our organization in the green and keeping our paddocks green, too! Both Diana and Bob have both been major supporters of SMART financially as well. We just couldn't have asked for more generous hearted (and fun) people to be part of our SMART family---and there was no one more deserving of our 2015 Volunteers or the Year Award, for sure! We are grateful for our time together---and wish them both well as they start their new journey in Naples, Florida!

2014 Volunteers of the Year



Bren Wilkinson
Barn Crew
Michele Kailor
Barn Crew
Bob Staab



Deb Hornbeck, Jacquie Denman,
Susan Hartman
Ellen Jones
Special Mention
Phyllis Siskel
Honorary Mention

This year was another year full of hard work by many volunteers, but as usual, there are several volunteers who always go above and beyond the call of duty. Our Barn & Program Volunteers of the Year, Bren Wilkinson & Michele Kailor are at SMART three to four times a week and work tirelessly to ensure the horses are cared for as well as helping with leading horses and assisting students. Bob Staab, Facility Volunteer of the Year, is Mr. Dependable when it comes to dragging our paddocks and keeping them in great shape for our horses. We have an awesome team of admin helpers who all share the Admin Volunteer of the Year award---helping with EquiForce entries, writing thank you notes, preparing spread sheets, clocking and tracking volunteer hours and researching projects. Special mention goes to Ellen Jones who is our Treasurer/CPA and spends countless hours keeping our books in order--as well as helping with lessons. Honorary Mention goes to Phyllis Siskel for volunteering her time and resources, being our "book benefactor" for our literacy program and being a true friend to SMART in so many ways.

2013 Volunteers of the Year


Nicole Russ
Judy Cole
Nicole Holt
Russ Fisk

You might notice that our Volunteer of the Year title has now become plural...as in VOLUNTEERS of the Year. It has just gotten too hard to find just that one person who stands out above all the rest! So this year, we decided to have three categories: Program Volunteer of the Year; Admin Volunteer of the Year; and Facilities Volunteer of the Year. Determining the awards was still challenging, at that....because we have SO MANY awesome volunteers who work at SMART day in and day out. However, in each of the categories, there was an individual that did bubble to the top in all of our minds--and did, in fact, deserve special recognition. Each of these volunteers has provided SMART with countless hours of support, work, sweat and love---whether it was helping out with lessons, helping out with administrative work, or helping out with maintaining our facility. All three of these individuals spend at least 3 days a week at SMART...and sometimes many, many more. It would NOT have been possible to keep SMART as "smart" as it was over the past year without these extraordinary individuals---and we are forever indebted to them!!

2012 Volunteer of the Year - Lupe Sosa

Lupe Sosa - 2012 Volunteer of the YearChoosing the volunteer of the year was very difficult this year. We had SO many volunteers who worked many, many hours helping to get our new home cleaned and organized, along with keeping our lesson program going. But Lupe stood out with her widely diversified volunteer efforts. She is a parent of a SMART rider and heads up the Parent Fundraising committee, she is a board member who has personally brought in thousands of dollars in donations by personally asking for the donation, she works tirelessly on a variety of fundraising events and coordinated an amazing new home celebration for us in March! Lupe also helps out with lessons and camps---along with anything else that is asked of her. Lupe is truly the ultimate, mighty SMART volunteer---and we love her for all she has done for SMART!





2011 Volunteer of the Year - Alissa Fabian

Alissa & Gabe

Alissa & Lucien Alissa

Alissa Fabian is SMART's awesome Volunteer of the Year! Alissa has been volunteering with us for a few years and has always been one of those dependable, responsible, easy to be with, go with the flow kinda volunteers. So, of course, she was ripe for being asked to do more! She was always so good with the kids and horses, it just seemed natural that she should be recruited to become an instructor. Over the past year, Alissa has accepted every challenge we have offered her---and has succeeded at becoming a vital member of the SMART Team. She became an Instructor in February and has jumped into the lesson program with both feet, taking on many of our private lessons and agency lessons as well. Alissa is an outstanding instructor and is always willing to help out with anything that needs doing around the place. She is also always recruiting her friends to come out and join in the fun. Thank you, Alissa, for caring out SMART so much---and for making such a difference in all of our lives!