The Spirit Endures: The Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano Scholarship Fund

Photo of Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano provided by Nancy Engelhardt

Photo of Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano provided by Nancy Engelhardt

I recently shared how lovely the Pal-O-Mine Winter Wonderland was. It was one of those days that most would call miserable, but there, it was just fine. Warm and cozy if not outright sunny. 

I was glad to run into dear Nancy Engelhardt. She’s the reason I know what Pal-O-Mine is. We were all connected through Leadership Huntington and she introduced me. She’s been a board member herself there for 12 years now. 

I wrote a long, beautiful story about Nancy, herself, years ago for The Corridor: Long Island’s Journal for Strategic Alliances. It seemed like a full and accomplished life then. What she’s done since is remarkable. That’s for another day, tho. In this moment, I hugged and told her I loved her.

Her son, Jarrett, recently passed. As her eyes held volumes more, Nancy smiled, speaking of the faith that is never far from her lips and how she is grateful to feel him still, especially here. She asked if I’d seen the video of Pal-O-Mine Founder Lisa Gatti at his services. 

There, Lisa shared her story of the handsome, charming young man who came to volunteer at 17 and became a fundamental part of this healing place. She smiled, recounting his passion for the horses and the day a boy with autism whom he worked with spoke for the first time.

I told her I had.

The Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano Scholarship Fund

Lisa had emphasized the indelible mark Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano had left on the farm and how his spirit would live on through all he’d touched there. Nancy was grateful to say that friends had come together to establish a Pal-o-Mine scholarship fund in his honor as a way he might keep serving all he loved there.

If you’d like to join them in keeping his spirit alive and give the gift of equine healing, you may do so here.

It’s a deeply meaningful, uplifting way to give.

Photo of Jarrett and a young Pal-O-Mine student many years ago. Image provided by Pal-O-Mine Equestrian
Photo of Jarrett and a young Pal-O-Mine student many years ago. Image provided by Pal-O-Mine Equestrian

Pal-O-Mine’s “Winter Wonderland”: A Thoughtful Program, a Holiday Wish List, Deep Appreciation

Pal-O-Mine crafts these unique, family-oriented events in deep gratitude for its community. The precious time and money folks give enables the farm and its life-changing programming to be. They are honored to get to know other folks who care, and appreciate all they bring.

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Pal-O-Mine Equestrian: Celebrating a Season of Miracles in a Place They Happen Every Day

Photo of stable wall with uplifting messages posted

I was so happy to be invited along with my family to Pal-O-Mine Equestrian’s  “Winter Wonderland” on the last day of the J-STEP Holiday Market (they’ve since added a few more days…see below!) The childlike delight on my teenagers’ faces made it even better.

This is a deep, yet quiet celebration. It is not a day for the horses to strut their stuff. In fact, they seem to be on holiday themselves, enjoying the beautiful weather and occasionally approaching visitors to say “Hello.”  

PalOMine Horses at Rest
Pal-O-Mine horses at rest

It is the smaller animals — fancy chickens, sheep and ponies — that have center stage. Children of all ages pet and walk the gentle creatures as they learn about the farm and its residents.

“If you really need some TLC, though,” says an instructor named Danielle, indicating an enormous Belgian Draft Horse standing by one of the fences, “Go see Boomer. He’s the best. He’ll fix you right up.”

Photo of Boomer & Friend
Photo of Boomer and Friend by Ellen Lear

“This is the day we give back to our volunteers and funders,” she continues, “Today, they get to come and enjoy, and we get to work.”

The way she phrases this is intriguing, “Ummm….Aren’t you usually working when you’re here?”

“Yeah,” she smiles, “But our volunteers donate so much of their time, and our donors make it all possible. Usually, I’m working with clients. Today, I get to give back to our supporters, hang out with my coworkers, relax and enjoy.”

“Isn’t that right, Lovie?” She nods to the sheep whose line she has just handed off to an older girl. That girl is now guiding other children in petting him and feeling for the lanolin deep in his wool. Danielle offers Co-Worker Lovie a snack and strokes his head.

Photo of Lovie the Sheep
Lovie the Sheep photo by Katheryn Laible

I have yet to meet a staff member here who does not exude love and deep appreciation for their job.

“I met my best friend here,” says another instructor named Eve. She’s talking about Deb who is standing next to her. With them are two miniature horses whom we’ve been strolling with. They go on about funny coincidences and sweet simple fun. We marvel at the healthy 40-year old little horse named Honey and her dear friend, Darla. We breathe in the whole atmosphere and smile.

“We’re not snorting fairy dust here,” says Deb. Quite the opposite, actually. We laugh, thinking about the stuff inevitably in the air of a farm, even one as remarkably clean and well-kept as Pal-O-Mine. There is hard work being done here every day with a broad range of clients who are generally dealing with serious issues. The energy is overwhelmingly positive, though. Those involved speak of earthly miracles.

Photo of Deb and Eve with miniature horses Honey and Darla

Miracles and peace. “Among so many blessings, this place offers the beautiful gift of being present,” Deb reflects, “Whether you work here, or are served here, or are just visiting there is nothing you can do but slow down. The animals require it. The clients with the deepest connection to them need it, too.

“We’re all about the ‘Power of the Pause’ here,” she says. “It’s magical.”

Peace, positivity, and appreciation of what’s possible. “There are so many good people and great stories here…and everywhere, really,” Deb says. “I see it every day. I think more people need to be shown.

“Yeah,” she continues, “we have to face and deal with the tough things, but people need to see the good stuff that is happening, too. Then, they know what can be done.”

I know I’m sure grateful for everyone showing me.

Thank you!!!

J-STEP Holiday Shop invitation and images of crafts

Pal-O-Mine’s added more days to their 2021 J-Step Holiday Shop!

Stop in at the front office if you would like to go to the shop

December 16-18

Thursday and Friday from 10am-4pm

and

Saturday from 10am-2pm

at

The Classroom at Pal-O-Mine

829 Old Nichols Road, Islandia, NY 11749

Cash, Card and Check Accepted!

 

Face Masks Are Required While Shopping Indoors

Last chance for the J-Step Holiday Shop! 

J-Step Holiday Shop at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian

Pal-O-Mine Logo
Flyer for JSTEP Holiday Shop
You can read all about Pal-O-Mine Equestrian in this article we wrote. Basically, it’s a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities, the abused or neglected, the impoverished and the military.
 
Its J-STEP (Job Security Through Equine Partnership) program, is a paid internship vocational program that runs 5 days per week for people with disabilities who are 18 years or older.
 
They are currently hosting a Holiday Shop of items hand crafted by these interns.
 
Where: The Classroom at Pal-O-Mine, 829 Old Nichols Road in Islandia
 
When: Thursday December 9th, 10am-2pm, Friday December 10th, 12pm-6pm, Saturday, December 11th, 9am-4pm, Sunday, December 12th, 10am-4pm
 
Please Note: Face masks are required while shopping indoors.
You can find items crafted by these folks at other locations, too, including The Firefly Artists in Northport, where we have beautiful key chains that help raise awareness and show support for folks living with a variety of different conditions.
Pal-O-Mine has also put together a Herd Wish List for those who would like to support the horses!
For More Information: Visit www.pal-o-mine.org or call 631-348-1389

Pal-O-Mine Equestrian: Save the Dates

Pal O Mine Events Flyer

You can read all about Pal-O-Mine Equestrian in this article we wrote. Basically, it’s a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities, the abused or neglected, the impoverished and the military.


June 4 — The Pal-O-Mine Stakes
at Pal-O-Mine

June 28 — Par Fore the Horse at Southward Ho Country Club, Bay Shore

July 11-17 — Ride for Pal-O-Mine at Pal-O-Mine

September 12 — Fall Festival and Concert at Pal-O-Mine

For More Information: Visit www.pal-o-mine.org or call 631-348-1389