Meet Ally Marrinan, a high school junior who gracefully handles the challenges of a demanding independent school and a rigorous riding program, all while fulfilling a promise she made to UP last year. A few months ago, Ally met with us to present her "Riding for UP" initiative. Her proposal was to donate her upcoming horse show winnings to UP, which, by the way, represented her second philanthropic act directed our way. While in middle school, Ally helped raise several hundred dollars by co-running a roadside lemonade stand and craft market. Of course we were heartened by her “Ride for UP” enterprise, not only for her desire to help others, but also for her ability to reject the material temptations her winnings could have supplied.
While we did not have any precise conception of the ultimate donation total, we did not expect what happened last week: the arrival of an $830 (over 10,000 Rand) check, which represented Ally’s winnings from the Vermont Summer Festival, Winter Equestrian Festival, and Silver Oak Jumper Tournament competitions. In a mark of true graciousness, Ally gave credit to the horses she rode to success: Ruby, Chronos, and Forester.
In our steadfast effort to highlight what lifts us UP in the world, we are thrilled to recognize Ally, who, at a relatively young age, has already brought (and exhibited) much-needed change. Thank you, Ally, for choosing UP to be the recipient of your generosity and talent. We think you’re amazing.