HAHIRA – Twenty years ago, Jacobs’ Ladder Therapeutic Riding Center opened to serve four special-needs children per week. 

The nonprofit was established Dec. 5, 1999, and was organized to offer a service that assisted special-needs children with having a more “physically happy life,” said Leslie Jacobs, founder.

The riding center now serves 70-80 residents including adults, veterans and active-duty military personnel and military families.

“We try to help them develop an awareness of what’s going on around them,” Jacobs said. “They’re learning about being a good partner with their horse. They’re learning about social skills as they interact with the people who assist them.”

Jacobs’ Ladder provides inclusivity and helps to broaden the horizons of its clients, she said.

As for its future, she hopes to have full-time instructors as the agency solely runs off of a part-time instructor and volunteers.

To fulfill this vision, Jacobs’ Ladder hosts a 20th anniversary observation 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at its center, 5866 Bradford Road N.

“I think there’s potential in having an event like this because it does kind of make the community aware of what we’re doing and that we plan to continue our services,” Jacobs said.

The celebration offers food, raffles, a silent auction, a live performance by the Creeksiders Band and entry into the best boots contest.

Guests are encouraged to wear their “best Western wear,” Jacobs said.

Items are being accepted for the silent auction until Sept. 6.

Jacobs requests baskets such as a spa basket with manicure, pedicure or facial favors; a kid’s basket with passes to the local theme park and bowling alley; or a pet’s basket with a dog collar, leash and treats.

Tickets are $25 and table sponsorships are $200; both available until Aug. 30. Cash or check is preferred, according to organizers.

Event sponsors are $1,000 and are available until Aug. 16.

Call (229) 794-1188, visit’s Jacobs’ Ladder Facebook page, for more information. 

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