EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 8, 2013

Spirit of Giving Gala to benefit programs at Ironstone Farm

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — The public is invited to enjoy a party fit for the Roaring ‘20s while helping an important program at the Spirit of Giving event to benefit programs at Ironstone Farm in Andover.

Known for its dare-to-surprise thematic events, the Spirit of Giving Gala will transform the Andover Country Club into a swank 1920s underground nightclub, or “speakeasy.” Those who RSVP for tickets will be given the special password to enter the club. Those who attend are encouraged to “doll up” in era-appropriate clothing.

There will be games of chance and live music. Journalist Susan Wornick will lead the live auction. And Andover Country Club Chef Elaine Chirichiello will create the type of decadent culinary spread that might have graced the Gatsby table.

Proceeds from the Spirit of Giving Gala will support the nonprofit Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm, which has provided therapy for individuals with disabilities for more than 30 years using horses.

The 2013 event honors three local people known for their giving spirit. They are:

• Dave McGillivray: Founder, president of DMSE Sports; race director of Boston Marathon and Feaster Five in Andover.

• Jack and Thérèse O’Connor: Jack O’Connor founded O’Connor School Portraits, a school photography company that grew to cover most of New England. He sold the business in 1996. He co-founded Commencement Photos Inc. in 1974, which covers about 200 ceremonies a year.

Ironstone Farm is home to the nonprofit organizations Challenge Unlimited and Ironstone Therapy. The Ironstone Therapy program at Ironstone Farm combines several traditional therapies into one effective program. Clients are referred to Ironstone by top doctors and institutions.

Ironstone uses the dynamic motion of a horse, which mimics the walking motion of a person and works multiple muscle groups at once. The inviting atmosphere of a farm improves social interactions and makes therapy a “want to” event rather than a “have to” session. Newer programs at Ironstone Farm include retreats for people with cancer and veterans returning with post-traumatic stress disorder, and events for children in foster care.


If You Go

What: Spirit of Giving Speakeasy Gala, a fundraiser for the nonprofit Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm

When: Saturday, Nov. 16, 6:15 p.m.

Where: Andover Country Club, 60 Canterbury St., Andover

How: Wearing 1920s attire encouraged; games of chance and live music. Tickets are $125. Call 978-475-4056, or email meganloughney@challengeunlimited.org. RSVP for the entrance password.