The Children’s TherAplay Foundation held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony May 12 to celebrate the Dobbs & Aletto Family Children’s Clinic.
The clinic at 9919 Towne Rd. recently underwent a $3.4 million renovation and expansion to better serve children with special needs. It features a waiting area, a parent viewing area, seven private treatment rooms, a gymnasium, a sensory gymnasium, a life-skills room outfitted with common household appliances and a room for speech therapy, which will be added to the Children’s TherAplay programming later this year.
“(The children’s clinic) is the product of our Giddy Up & Grow Capital Campaign that began several years ago, and it’s a testament to what a determined community can accomplish when they set their minds on change,” Children’s TherAplay Executive Director Kathy Pelletier said. “The Dobbs & Aletto Family Children’s Clinic is an extraordinary facility, and it will change the lives of children and their families for years to come.”
Pelletier said the building took years of planning.
“There were starts and stops and there were more starts and more stops,” Pelletier said.
Pelletier identified three core qualities that drove the success of the expansion project.
“Faith, hope and love,” Pelletier said. “The faith of a core group of exceptional volunteers, our board of directors, who have been led for the last 20 years by our incredible founder, Craig Dobbs. There was hope deeply embedded in countless families. And most importantly, there’s love. The love of our incredibly gifted and talented staff who work so hard to help our kiddos dream big.”
The renovation makes Children’s TherAplay home to the largest pediatric hippotherapy facility in the nation. Hippotherapy provides physical, occupational and speech therapy that utilizes the natural gait and movement of a horse to provide motor and sensory input.
Children’s TherAplay was founded in 2001 by Dobbs, who converted his old horse barn into a facility for children with special needs to receive physical and occupational therapies using the dynamic movement of a horse as a treatment tool.
The grand opening took place in conjunction with Children’s TherAplay’s annual fundraising event, Horsepower500 Carnival & Parade. Indy500 Festival Princesses and IndyCar drivers Conor Daly, Charlie Kimball and Graham Rahal attended the event.
For more, visit childrenstheraplay.org.