Monday, July 23, 2012

Please Help Save ARCH Therapeutic Riding Center, Founded 1988

Dear Friends and Family,

I am contacting you with an urgent matter that is very near and dear to my heart.  The therapeutic riding center, ARCH, located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, has been posted for sale.  The Board of Directors seeks to close the facility and terminate the existence of ARCH.  This is unbelievable to many of us who have spent countless hours at this beautiful horse farm as volunteers, instructors, riders, and family.  I, personally, volunteered at ARCH beginning in 2005 and became a certified therapeutic riding instructor by May 2007, continuing to work on staff until March 2011.  I am very distraught and upset by the changes that have occurred at ARCH, most recently the proposal to close its doors to the public and a community that is in great need of the therapeutic services and programs offered right here in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

This does not have to be the end of ARCH.  The Board of Directors has been appealed to by capable people who are willing and able to keep ARCH running and alive.  For reasons unknown, the Board continues to ignore this request and will not communicate with the community or the media (see links at the end of this post) regarding the sudden closing of the facility.  The only way that the pending sale and end of ARCH may be stopped is with your help.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ARCH belongs to the public and the community.  Please help me to save ARCH by taking a few minutes to contact your local and state representatives.  I have included information to help you, help ARCH. 

Time is of the essence!

Here is a link to find your legislators by district:
You can select Electronic Correspondence and get a form to submit your correspondence directly to the representatives simultaneously.

I submitted the letter included below using this link and it was very easy (fill out personal info and copy and paste letter) and it took less than five minutes of my time.  

For your convenience and fast transmission, a letter voicing the concerns of the community is also included below.  You may copy and paste this letter into an email or submission form, print and fax a copy, or print and mail a copy to your representatives regarding this urgent matter.  Of course, you may also write your own letter requesting that our representatives help us save ARCH.  Please help us in whatever way that you can. 

And remember, time is critical for this matter!

Dear Representative:

We, as concerned citizens, wish to bring to your attention, an urgent and pressing matter regarding the proposed closing of the Atlantic Riding Center for Health, formerly known as the Atlantic Riding Center for the Handicapped (ARCH) in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.  ARCH is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1988 to serve the physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged community via therapeutic horseback riding and activities, and successfully adhering to its mission for over twenty years, with upwards of 100 clients per week.  Despite two decades of success, the current Board of Directors proposes to terminate the existence of ARCH and has posted the facility and property for sale without full disclosure, of financial, practical, or philosophical nature, to the public.

The ARCH Board of Directors has been appealed to in writing by capable citizens requesting that the Board members resign and surrender the organization to those who have the means, desire, and will to keep ARCH open and offering therapeutic services.  The current ARCH board has ignored this request.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ARCH may be operated by a Board of Directors, but belongs to the public and the challenged community which it was founded to benefit.  There is a continued community need for the services and programs offered by ARCH.  All we ask is for the chance to repair a highly valued organization before it is dissolved forever. 

Please help us save ARCH.


Concerned Citizens

Name: ______________________________________

Address: ____________________________________

Phone: ______________________________________

Email: ______________________________________

Thank you for your time and your help. 

Please relay this message to other members of our community.  Together we can make a difference!


Valerie K. Flesch
PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Egg Harbor Township Teacher and Resident

Related links: 
 ARCH in the media, The Press of Atlantic City:

Contact information for our political representatives:
NJ Senator Jim Whelan
511 Tilton Road
Northfield, NJ 08225
609-383-1497 FAX

Atlantic County Freeholder Frank Formica
201 South Shore Road
Northfield, NJ 08225
609-645-5922 FAX

Egg Harbor Township Mayor James J. “Sonny” McCullough
3515 Bargaintown Road
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
609-926-4002 FAX

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson
1333 Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
609-343-2194 FAX

US Congressman Frank LoBiondo
5914 Main Street, Suite 103
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
609-625-5071 FAX


  1. Hi Everyone,

    I know that this post is directed at a local audience, but I still feel that the situation has significance beyond Egg Harbor Township and New Jersey. Social media is the fastest way to disperse information, so I decided to post this message to my blog. Even if it only reaches one person who can help us in some way, it is worth the effort.


  2. Can't help but to think they have some sort of hidden agenda that they aren't sharing. Really sad! I sure hope you find the support to get things turned around.

  3. Sorry I'm not from N.J. and can't help but I hope you can help save this facility. My guess is they are going to sell it for a big profit, I hope that's not so.

  4. How awful, I hope you can muster up support. Sorry I'm not much help to you :-(

  5. Have you contacted riding related groups as well - dressage associations etc.? Good luck on this important project!

    1. Every therapeutic riding center in the state!
      We try to support each other.


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