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Healing Arenas Inc. Honored For Service
Providing some information at a booth during the recent dedication and re-naming of Escalons community ambulance station, Julie Baker, left, of Healing Arenas, Inc. said the organization has now opened a second location and is moving ahead with plans for a program for first responders. Marg Jackson/The Times

While quietly going about their work in Escalon, the Healing Arenas, Inc. picked up some recognition.

The organization, which offers a variety of programs and services, particularly assisting veterans and working with retired racehorses, was nominated for and received a Community Service Award recently from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

Julie Baker of Healing Arenas noted that some of their retired racehorses have gone on to become members of the sheriff’s department equestrian unit. Baker said the recognition was unexpected but appreciated; the award presented to program officials by Lt. Erin Kiely, who serves as chief of the Riverbank Police Services, part of the sheriff’s department.

Meanwhile, the arena is gearing up for its ‘Shooting for the Stable’ fundraiser, being hosted later this month at the Escalon Sportsman’s Club.

“Fall has been full of activity for Healing Arenas,” Baker explained, with the organization also expanding to a second location.

“We’ve formed a community partnership with Hannink Equine Center at 5437 McHenry Avenue in Modesto,” said Baker. “We were asked to partially utilize the facility for horses in training, and have been facilitating Group 3 of the Stable Survivors Veterans Project there as well.”

Stable Survivors is a program that pairs veterans with horses, helping them work through a variety of issues in a group setting.

The organization’s Second Annual ‘Shooting for the Stable’ Benefit is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Escalon Sportsman’s Club on River Road.

Included in the day’s events will be a Trapshoot Competition in memory of HM3 Justin Williams starting at 3 p.m. for teams, with Youth, Men’s and Women’s divisions.

The Championship Team Round and Social Hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner at 7 p.m., with prize drawings and a live auction as well.

Dinner of tri-tip and chicken is being prepared by House of Beef. For more information or tickets, contact Baker at 209-900-7917 or visit the website,

Baker said the organization is also moving forward with plans for programs for first responders, and hope to get that started within the next few months as well.