The JAYC Foundation and The Red Barn have teamed up again, this time to raise funds for their work.


Will Rogers once said, “The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse.” That old adage holds true for all humanity. It’s the key to success at The Red Barn, a fast- growing non-profit organization in Leeds, Ala., that brings together horses and people for synchronicity that surpasses traditional dialogue and connections.

The Red Barn will host a fundraising luncheon, “What horses can teach us,” on March 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Club in Birmingham, Ala., to benefit The Red Barn and The JAYC Foundation. The event will feature guest speakers Jaycee Dugard, Dr. Rebecca Bailey, and Beth Holloway, who will share the impact horses have had on their own lives and what horses have taught them as they struggled for healing in times of heartache and grief.

Dugard, who was abducted at 11 years old, was returned to her family 18 years later and fought to reconnect to her old life and to heal from the trauma she experienced. She established The JAYC Foundation, utilizing treatment programs that focus on healing through traditional therapy along with animal therapy, equine therapy, and other experiential therapies.

Holloway, whose daughter, Natalee, was tragically kidnapped and vanished in Aruba in 2005, has delivered her message of hope, faith and personal safety to young adults and people of all ages all across the United States.

Bailey is a leading family psychologist and therapist who works with a variety of state and national organizations such as The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
These well-known thought leaders have rarely spoken on the topic of the influence of horses in their lives, making the event a special salute to the healing power of horses.

“We are honored to have these special speakers supporting The Red Barn and The JAYC Foundation,” said Joy O’Neal, executive director of The Red Barn. “Horses are powerful animals, but their gentleness breaks down barriers. Time and time again, we see children and adults make strides through their contact with horses, whether riding or simply brushing them. It’s a blessing to be part of this non-verbal exchange that transcends traditional communication. This fundraiser is a rare opportunity to hear personal accounts of how horses have helped these incredible women in their journeys.”

Date: March 8
Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT
Location: The Club, Birmingham, Ala.
Ticket cost: $125 per person or $900 for a table of 8

The Red Barn was founded by Joy O’Neal in 2012 and has grown to serve children and adults with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities or special circumstances. Programs were inspired by the vision of Anita Cowart to create a place where those with burdened hearts could come to find faith, hope, and love while they worked with horses. Each week over 100 children and adults visit the barn to work with horses in order to strengthen their minds, bodies, and souls. Whether they are attending a riding lesson, camp, or educational activity, everyone entering the barn is welcomed, encouraged, and loved.

The JAYC Foundation provides services by utilizing treatment programs that focus on healing through traditional therapy along with animal therapy, equine therapy, and other experiential therapies. This comprehensive approach brings families together with treatment programs designed specifically for them and their unique circumstances.