Snellville horse therapy center to stay open - KMSP-TV

Snellville horse therapy center to stay open after foreclosure scare

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SNELLVILLE, Ga. -

A center that offers horse therapy for special needs children is going to stay open.  A few months ago, it appeared that money woes would shut down the Parkwood Farms Therapy Center in Snellville, but thanks in part to a huge donation from an anonymous angel, kids are back in the saddle.

Last November, Parkwood Farms went into foreclosure. Its owner, Marilyn Peterson, had gotten divorced, was recovering from a broken back and couldn't afford payments on what she described as a predatory loan.

The therapy center briefly closed last year after deputies arrived with eviction papers. A few weeks later, in a defiant act, Peterson continued therapy while in foreclosure.

But now, thanks to an inheritance Peterson received, community support and a large donation from a benefactor who wants to remain anonymous, the center will continue to help kids.

"After all this time since November, we can declare that I own this property outright," Peterson said.

That's good news to people like Theresa Waldrop, whose 9-year-old daughter, Lili Kabel, is autistic. Waldrop says something magical happens when Lili is on Sparky the horse at Parkwood Farms.

"It's helping her focus. She has a hard time keeping on track," said Waldrop. "It's some kind of magic."

Peterson says the center is currently open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as well as Sunday mornings. She hopes to expand several more days a week, but that will take more volunteers and more donations.

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