The night before Christmas, 10-year-old Ellah Dubeau-Kielty wasn’t thinking of gifts from Santa.
Not this year.
Instead she was consumed with thoughts for the sweet T’breds residing at Mindy Lovell’s Ontario rescue, and she worried about whether they’d have enough hay and grain to make it through the darkest months of winter.
Ellah had learned from her equestrian mentor Marilyn Lee, a well-known Thoroughbred trainer and advocate, that Lovell was fundraising for hay and feed, and the child leapt to help out, eschewing all thoughts of gifts as she set about fundraising for the horses.
Lee had announced to all her students, including Ellah, that Lovell’s Thoroughbred charity needed help this winter, and was preparing a fundraiser the equestrians could participate in, and the young girl instantly answered the call.
“I was thinking it would be great if the kids had an opportunity to work and earn money for Mindy, and so I offered to pay them to do work around my farm during the holiday break, and the dollars they earned here would be given to Transitions Thoroughbreds,” Lee says. “But, Ellah took it upon herself to start fundraising immediately, and she showed up at my door with $140 for Mindy.”
She raised the funds by calling family members and imploring them to help.
“I asked all my family to pitch in and help, and I had $40 of my own money,” Ellah says, adding, “And then my grandfather gave me $250 for Christmas.”
And there was never a question what she would do with the money. No need for riding boots or cute riding jacket this year. All of it, totaling $390 is being donated to the Transitions Thoroughbreds fundraiser.
“I did it because these horses needed help, and I wanted to help,” Ellah says.
Her mother Rachelle Dubeau was so touched by her daughter’s outward focus that she told Lee how wonderful it was to witness. “I’m pleased to see that she’s thinking about the horses today instead of the gifts coming her way,” she wrote to Lee in an email. “It’s a nice start to the holidays!”
And best of all, the funds helped Mindy Lovell come to within $100 of her $10,000 fundraising goal. The funds will be used to buy hay and grain for her herd of 43 ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds.
“I just did a tally and with the latest donations, plus what Ellah raised through her fundraising, her donation has just pushed us slightly over the goal number!!” Lovell exclaims. “It is truly remarkable that a child that age has such compassion for these horses. It is a very, very special gift to these horses when a child is willing to take a stand like this. She is a very special little girl.”