Camp County Hooves and Halos ranch hosts event for kids with special needs

Camp County Hooves and Halos ranch hosts event for kids with special needs
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 1:52 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2023 at 10:01 PM CDT
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CAMP COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A beautiful Spring day brings hundreds of people with special needs out for an annual play day.

From horseback riding to games to hayrides, a 5-acre farm is designed to give people with special needs a chance to enjoy the outdoors and develop friendships.

“It just brings joy to our hearts. To see the kids face light up and to see the happiness they have,” says event organizer Tom Friday.

It was held at Hooves and Halos Ranch in Camp County, where adults and children with physical and mental disabilities are treated to fun outdoor activities.

“We started the first play day in 2014. Halos are the angels. The angels can be the volunteers or the kiddos. Special needs kids. Troubled kids. Veterans’ kids. Anybody going through a hard time is welcome,” says organizer Johnette Pool.

“They have great time get out of the building, and mingle and see the sunshine and feel the sunshine,” said participant Carmen Harris.

Hundreds were bussed in from as far away as Tyler and Paris, all people who need the kind of acceptance that the event offers.

“We’ve seen autistic kids come out here and take their earmuffs off, and start talking,” Johnette says.

The non-profit facility is devoted to giving everyone an equal footing to have fun.

“Kind of a carefree environment where they can just relax and be themselves. And they have plenty of people here to support them,” Friday says.

“So much in our world that you see how bad it is, but then you see today how good our world is,” Pool says.

The event also featured a fly-in by an emergency services helicopter.

Hooves and Halos was also the recipient of a donation from the Knights of Pythias Longview chapter.

A beautiful spring day brings hundreds of special needs individuals out to a rural location for an annual “play day.”