Vigil held for horse therapy center facing foreclosure - New York News

Vigil held for horse therapy center facing foreclosure

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SNELLVILLE, Ga. -

A candlelight vigil is being held on Tuesday at an equestrian therapy center facing foreclosure. Supporters of Parkwood Farms in Snellville say the center can't be easily replaced.

Ever since 9-year-old Lilli Waldrop was diagnosed with autism at age 3, she's sought therapies to help her grow and develop. Four years ago Lilli took her first therapeutic ride at Parkwood Farms.

"Lilli has a life there, people accept her for who she is," said Theresa Waldrop, Lilli's mother. "I believe it's given her more confidence "

Lilli recently won two bronze medals in the Georgia Special Olympics. But now that's now threatened because the bank has foreclosed on Parkwood Farms Therapy Center in Snellville.

Director Marilyn Peterson says she's filed a federal lawsuit to negotiate new terms with the bank. But until something is resolved, there will be no children or the horses they ride. The only animal left is Gizmo the cat.

On average, Parkwood Farms was helping 35 to 40 children with special needs every week.

"This is the first time we've really had to close down in 11 years, so that's also sad, but if you come here and see the smiles on these children's faces," said Peterson.
 
Children like Lilli may not have many other options.

"There are a couple of other facilities around the metro area but they're so far, it's not practical for us. I don't know what we'll do. It would be just such a loss," said Theresa Waldrop.

To learn more about Parkwood Farms, visit: http://www.parkwoodfarms.org/

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