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NONPROFIT WISH LIST: Candlelight Ranch

Candlelight Ranch, located between Marble Falls and Lago Vista, provides outdoor learning programs for at-risk youths, children with disabilities, and their families. The ranch could use a number of items, including fishing poles and a pole saw. Go to candlelightranch.org for more information on the facility. Courtesy photo

For many of the youths who venture out to Candlelight Ranch, it’s the first time they’ve truly experienced nature and outdoors activities. Many of the children who attend the camp come from at-risk backgrounds or have disabilities.

They just never had the means to go camping, fly across a canyon on a zip line, go nose to muzzle with a horse, or look up at the skies at night and see millions and millions of stars. For these kids, Candlelight Ranch is life-changing.

The facility, located at 6408 Muleshoe Bend Trail between Marble Falls and Lago Vista, has become a national leader in providing therapeutic and educational nature-based experiences. It utilizes a number of programs, including a challenge course and equine-assisted learning.

Though created for kids, Candlelight Ranch has expanded over the past couple of years to offer retreats for veterans and service members with their families.

Candlelight Ranch holds many fundraisers throughout the year, but with all of the programs and interest in the facility growing, staff could always use more support.

Here’s a list of things Candlelight Ranch needs:

• fishing poles

• art supplies

• modeling clay

• soccer balls

• rain ponchos

• children’s books about nature

• granola bars

• H-E-B gas cards for families and interns

• binoculars

• horse brushes

• a pole saw

• life jackets

• towels

The facility also need automatic shut-off faucets for sinks in the restrooms.

Candlelight Ranch started in 1999. The Barr family wanted to create a place for at-risk kids to discover nature and see how it could serve as a respite from the problems they faced. Don Barr, wife Jeri, and Don’s brother Randy Barr did just that with the creation of Candlelight Ranch. The facility has definitely expanded its services since its inception. Jeri passed away in 2008, but her love for children lives on through Candlelight Ranch.

The ranch as touched thousands of lives, introducing young people to the wonders of nature and its ability to sooth and mend. Science and research continues to validate what the Barrs knew when they started the ranch: Nature is one of the best healers.

Go to candlelightranch.org to learn more about it or to contact the facility regarding a donation. You can also call (512) 323-5300.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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