Horizon Honors 'horse lover' gives back

Haley Zipay, Shea Bontrager and Kathy Libonati.

Submitted photo

Shea Bontrager is known in 4-H for her sense of humor. So when the nine-year member proposed collecting toilet paper, her fellow Buena Vista Mavericks didn’t know what to think. As chairperson of the 4-H horse project club’s Community Service Committee, however, Bontrager soon made it known she was serious.

During a conversation at a 4-H event at Horse Lovers Park, she discovered an unnoted, yet crucial, need — the facility struggled to keep stocked with toilet paper. Bontrager, a senior at Horizon Honors High School in Ahwatukee, thought this would be a great way to give back.

Horse Lovers Park, 19924 N. Tatum Blvd. in Phoenix, is run by the nonprofit Horse Lovers Management Corporation, which took over the park from the city of Phoenix in 2011. It provides a quality, affordable facility for clubs and groups to learn and compete in equine and non-equine alike, especially youth groups. The facility has hosted over 54 events this past quarter alone, including shows for various equine and youth organizations such as 4-H, barrel and pole practices, Special Olympic events, Buckle Series and more.

Bontrager created, organized and administered the “TP for HLP” challenge, during which fellow 4-H clubs were invited to bring rolls of toilet paper and paper towels to the Maricopa County 4-H Finals Show, which took place at the end of April. Bontrager and fellow Maverick and Horizon student, Haley Zipay, delivered more than 440 rolls of toilet paper and paper towels to Kathy Libonati, HLMC coordinator, on May 13. Donations came from 4-H clubs including the Mavericks, of Tempe, Spirit of Queen Creek, Wittman Barn Buddies, Laveen Elite, and Waddell Hoofprints, as well as show spectators and contestants. The Mavericks also donated a check for $100 to help with park expenses.

For more information on 4-H, visit extension.arizona.edu/4h or bvmavericks.org. For information on Horse Lovers Park, visit azhorseloverspark.org.

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