Equest Blue Ribbon Gala Patrons Treated to a Chic Soirée Hosted by Kristy and Patrick Sands

Calvert Collins-Bratton and Melissa Oates, Gala Co-Chairs
Kristy and Patrick Sands, Honorary Chairs of April 27, 2024 fundraiser

Pamela Dealey Petty, Founder’s Award recipient | Carolyn Anderson, Citation Award Honoree

(Featured photo: Patrick and Kristy Sands, hosts and Honorary Chairs; Calvert Collins-Bratton and Melissa Oates, Gala Chairs.)

Equest’s 43rd Annual Blue Ribbon Gala patrons were celebrated at a chic soirée graciously hosted by honorary chairs Kristy and Patrick Sands in their lovely home.
The delightful spring weather offered a light cool breeze as guests arrived and were greeted by two miniature horses as this evening’s Equest mascots. Upon entering, friends and guests chatted as champagne, wines and hors d’oeuvres were served. Outside on the patio and surrounding grounds, everyone enjoyed the al fresco setting, which set the scene for upcoming remarks.

Kristy and Patrick began remarks by thanking everyone for their support. Kristy said that growing up on a Quarter Horse farm and competing, that horses were her first friends. Patrick has been riding horses from a young age, while also owning several horses over the years.
Lisa Loy Laughlin, interim CEO of Equest, thanked the crowd for their partnership, saying their contributions make the services Equest offers possible for  those who maybe otherwise wouldn’t have access to this inspirational equine therapy. “We are also honored to recognize Carolyn Anderson as the Citation Award Honoree and Pamela Dealey Petty, Founder’s Award recipient. These ladies have given their unwavering support to Equest, and we look forward to shining a light on their longstanding dedication to our organization.”

She then introduced gala co-chairs Calvert Collins-Bratton and Melissa Oates who shared their excitement about the event and thanked the honorary chairs for their generous hospitality and encouraged those who have not been out to experience Equest for themselves, to come on out and tour the grounds. They introduced Fousie family, Larry and Matilda, whose daughter Chloe, is an Equest participant.
Larry said that Chloe’s horse at Equest, William, is so very special to her. That when she first started seven years ago, she was a little hesitant, but now can’t wait to visit and that the programs at Equest have certainly made a positive impact in Chloe’s life.

David Valentine, Sarah Buchannan, Mackenzie Sork, Warren Preston 

In closing, Lisa also encouraged everyone to come out to Equest, saying that magic is happening there every day such as clients who take their first steps, speak their first words, or feel freedom for the first time.
Equest serves many children and adults with diverse needs through therapeutic riding, carriage driving, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and equine assisted learning programs. Clients served represented over 115 different diagnoses with the largest client group represented has autism, and mental health issues. The first thing parents and caregivers notice is an increase in confidence the minute a client is mounted on the horse. This translates into all other areas of their development and a huge improvement with their attention span or focus.  

For more information, visit www.equest.org

About Equest
Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine assisted learning, therapies and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities, as well as veterans who receive all of Equest’s services at no charge.  The services provided include physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling and equine assisted learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 30 therapy horses, eight instructors, four therapists, three counselors, and 700 volunteers, lives are changed for more than 2,000 served annually. Equest was the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center in Texas and remains one of the largest in the country. Equest offers an engaging volunteer program that provides 30,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year.

Photos by Celeste Cass.

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent Equest’s 43rd Annual Blue Ribbon Gala and Patron Party and post this Philanthropy Lifestyles Scene.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.