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The Luci Center's indoor and outdoor riding rings are great places for the center to focus its therapeutic riding and hippotherapy services, but the center is looking for more.
But this year the Luci Center is planning to add a sensory integration trail.
The center, which opened in 1988, works with children and adults with disabilities through horse riding and related activities.
As a member of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, the Luci Center uses several different techniques to help riders.
"We're extremely fortunate to have the facilities we have here," said Paula Nieto, the center's founder and executive director. "But a sensory integration trail can incorporate the back of our property and along the barns."
The trail, Nieto said, will have different surfaces for the horses to walk on "which create auditory and sensory differences from the horse to the rider, and it will focus on primary colors throughout the ride."
Nieto said different textures laid out in different colors throughout the trail will give provide a "wonderful activity for the riders that will also function as therapy.
"They will be able to learn things that can they can incorporate into daily activities with their family members, friends and in school," she said.
The half-to three-quarter-mile course will provide texture changes with tree skirts made from tennis balls or golf balls, a water activity, bird houses and feeders in the primary colors and pots of herbs and flowers, covering the full range of senses.
"It will help with several different expressions of sensation," Nieto said.
Some of the work has already started, including collecting birdhouses and feeders, but there is still much to be done.
"Kosair Charities has been wonderful to help us sponsor part of the trail," Nieto said. "We've had a lot of students that were at Kosair at one time or another."
But there's still much to be done, and that's where the center's big fundraiser comes in this year.
On May 14, the Luci Center will have its second annual Luci Ball at Undulata Horse Farm on Zaring Mill Road.
The event features cocktails, including the specialized Luci Goosie drink from 6 to 7 p.m. and dinner and auction from 7 to 11 p.m.
The event is a little different than most fundraisers.
The signature drink changes each year, and Nieto said this year's idea came from a late night cookbook reading.
"I couldn't sleep one night and just found this recipe," she said. "I can't give away what's in there, but it's like a martini with pomegranate liqueur and Grand Marnier."
Instead of cocktail attire, Nieto and the center ask that folks put on their best blue jeans and come comfortable.
"It's in a barn, there's no reason for ties and high heels," she said. "We're asking people to put on jeans and break out their jewels for a really fun evening. Last year, the best outfit was a woman that came in jeans and little diamond tiara."
The event features a silent and live auction with a variety of items, including a package of a Keeneland box with six seats and a tour of Three Chimneys Farm, a chance to shadow a thoroughbred or Saddlebred trainer, one week condo in Florida with airfare and a nine-week old female black lab from Crouse Kennel.
But the big prize of the night will be a 1.02-carat diamond from Prospect Jewelers.
"That will be given away in a reverse raffle where the final two or maybe more tickets will get to bid in an auction for the diamond," Nieto said. "That's the plan right now, but that could change a little."
The Luci Center has already sold about 140 tickets, but Nieto said they're hoping for much more.
"We'd like to sell about 300 tickets," she said.
Tickets are $75 a piece and can be purchased up until May 13 by calling the center, 220-4308, or by visiting www.thelucicenter.org.
"We just want a chance to tell you what we do and how we do it," Nieto said. "