Cross-posted from the The Day (Connecticut)
Written by JEFFREY A. JOHNSON
Salem, CT – For five hours on a sun-splashed Columbus Day afternoon Monday, a small stretch of Darling Road and the parking lot at Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream Co. transformed into paradise for packs of children and many of their parents.
Youngsters formed long lines and waited to choose their favorite ice cream flavor – perhaps birthday cake or black raspberry chip or cookies and cream.
Afterward, with a special ticket in hand, children piled into a horse-drawn carriage, pulled by Percheron horses Sam and Cody, and then took off for a ride down the road.
This has become an annual routine on Columbus Day at Salem Valley Farms. The popular ice cream stand donated all of its proceeds from noon to 5 p.m. Monday to Ray of Light Farm, a nonprofit East Haddam farm that offers refuge, therapy and training to horses and other animals in need.
“I’m an animal lover so we dedicate this day and we just give them everything,” said Scacciaferro, who has her own 3 1/2-year-old horse, Olivia, at Ray of Light Farm. “Each of the previous years we’ve done it, it’s been about 63 degrees. So (this year) is going to be awesome.”
Ray of Light Farm was started in 2004 and recently has helped about 70 foals who have been used to produce Premarin (a drug derived from the urine of pregnant mares that is commonly given to women in menopause). In many cases, the foals arrive at Ray of Light having had no human contact, said Ray of Light Farm founder Bonnie Buongiorne. Continue reading >>