Grand Opening and HOP Benefit


I was going to wait until Monday, but I’ve got everything ironed out, so I’m posting today! (See, sometimes I reveal a surprise late, but sometimes I’m early!) The studio project is winding down, and everything should be completely finished in the next few weeks. By or before the day I receive my health department permit, I promise to have every last Kickstarter photo reward out, so if you haven’t received yours yet, hang tight, we’re near the end! Meanwhile, I’m already planning my first event–a grand opening party with a benefit for the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue.

When: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Sassafras Farm, Roane County, West Virginia.

How: This is a free event, but you must register to attend and receive all the info for attendees, including directions to Sassafras Farm. Please do not attend without registering–I need to know how many people to expect. Find the grand opening party registration form here.

You’re invited! I will be hosting a cook-out with hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the fixings, plus chips, cookies, ice cream, and beverages. This is not a potluck–you don’t have to bring a thing. This is a thank-you party for all of you who have helped make the studio happen, whether it was by being a Kickstarter backer or by your support and encouragement along the way. The party will also be a fundraiser for the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, as my way of starting to pay back by giving on.

Along with the free food, during the party there will be art demonstrations by Kelly Walker, who will be at Sassafras Farm that weekend painting in the studio. (Remember Kelly’s amazing murals at Stringtown Rising? She’s coming to bring her gorgeous touch to the studio now.) Watch Kelly transform the studio walls right in front of your eyes and find out more about her process in creating her incredible art.

Tinia Creamer from the Heart of Phoenix will also be here giving a basic horsemanship clinic. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a horse of your own, or just love to be around horses, come learn more about what it’s like to bring one of these magical creatures into your life and all about their basic care, tack, etc. Tinia will also be here to talk about horse rescue. Don’t miss the chance to meet this amazing and big-hearted horse expert.

THE PARTY IS A FREE EVENT. Donations to the Heart of Phoenix are suggested, but not required, for attendance. Along with the art and horsemanship demonstrations, enjoy the Sassafras Farm petting zoo, tour the farm, hike a nature trail, or just kick back with a plate of food.

But! I think you’ll want to donate! Every person who makes a $25 donation to the Heart of Phoenix for this event will be entered in a drawing for a custom pet portrait by Kelly Walker. You can enter more than once to the drawing–for example, a $50 donation will give you two chances in the drawing, a $100 donation will be four chances, and so on. The drawing will be held live during the party. Donor names will be on slips of paper and Tinia will draw from the bucket for the winner. (Note: The custom painting is for a pet portrait only, not a people or landscape portrait. The winner will send photographs of their pet or farm animal and work directly with Kelly as she creates their one-of-a-kind work of art. If you have no pets or farm animals, I’m sure Kelly would be happy to paint one of the Sassafras Farm critters for you from a selected photograph!) The painting will be a 6″x8″ framed canvas, or a 12″x12″ unframed canvas–ready for you to frame, your choice, and is valued at $150.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! You can enter the drawing for the pet portrait even if you can’t attend the party. If you plan to attend the party, feel free to bring your donation directly to the party–we’ll fill out your slip and get your name in the drawing bucket. If you can’t attend the party, mail a check addressed to the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, in an envelope addressed to Chickens in the Road, at P.O. Box 858, Clendenin, WV 25045. Checks must arrive no later than Friday, June 15, 2012 in order to get your name in the bucket. (I’m not responsible for entries that arrive too late for the drawing! I can’t control the mail. Put your envelope in the mail early!)



Checks should be addressed to: Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue.

Envelopes should be addressed to: Chickens in the Road, P.O. Box 858, Clendenin, WV 25045.

Coming to the party? Register here.

The checks will be collected by me to tally the total raised by this event and will be presented to Tinia Creamer at the party. One hundred percent of the donations from this fundraiser will go to HOP. All expenses for the party are being carried by Chickens in the Road. After the event, I will post how much we raised to help save neglected, abused, and starved horses. Let’s do it!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S STILL MORE! Every individual or family who donates at least $25 or more to the Heart of Phoenix for this event will receive one print, suitable for framing, of a painting that Kelly is working on now of this photograph of Patriot and Zip, my two rescue horses saved from starvation by the good work of Tinia and HOP.

Even if you don’t win the pet portrait, you will still receive the print. Prints for every donor are being provided by Kelly Walker. Attendees at the party can take their print home that day. If you can’t attend the party, your print will be shipped to you.

Please note that to receive the print and to be entered for the custom pet portrait, you must donate at least $25 to HOP for this event, in person on June 16, 2012, or arriving via mail by June 15, 2012. Again, donation to HOP is not required to attend the grand opening party, but you’ll miss out on receiving the print of Patriot and Zip as well as the chance to win the pet portrait. You can still enjoy the free food, petting zoo, nature trails, farm tour, and art and horsemanship demonstrations.

Check out the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue here. HOP is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and your donations are tax-deductible.

Visit Kelly Walker here and see some examples of her beautiful work.

Please come out and celebrate the studio’s grand opening with me! Don’t forget to register if you plan to attend. Find the grand opening party registration form here.


  1. doodlebugroad says:

    You’re awesome!

  2. lavenderblue says:

    Suzanne, what a great idea! You are a sweet lady. It is wonderful that you managed to get Zip and Patriot back together and now a Z&P benefit. Alas, I will not be able to get there. But am pinching pennies to enter the drawing. A portrait of our new dog would make a great gift for DH, if I should win.

    Luigi (that’s the dog, not the husband) was from a canine version of HOP. Ours is a local group called Diamonds in the Ruff, isn’t that cute? I think our family is committed to animal adoption, our last two dogs before Luigi were also rescue dogs and they were wonderful. Okay, Kodi was a bit much but he was part Lab, part Malamute and out weighed me by about twelve pounds at the time. Bruce, on the other hand, was a gentle living doll. Part German Shepard, part terrier, we were told. He had the best disposition for our, then, young children. Luigi is part german, part blood hound (great howl, especially in the dark, in the middle of the night :bugeyed: ) and just a rollicking good time.

    Adopting animals is a wonderful thing. There are so many that need the love and care of a family. I truly encourage everyone to think adoption before spending tons of money on a pure bred (with an attitude and usually health problems) if you are only looking for a family pet. Yes, I know, Coco and Chloe, but again I stress family pet, not a particular breed for a particular job.

  3. amateisgal says:

    Oh, how AWESOME! I wish I could go – it sounds like so much fun!!! Have a wonderful time!

  4. KellyWalkerStudios says:

    I am so excited to be a part of this grand event! Thanks for letting me help.

  5. yvonnem says:

    WOW! :happyflower: This is great – Im definitely going to try to be there! Thank you!!! :shimmy:

  6. JerseyMom says:

    Can’t come to this…saving my mileage for the retreat…but would like to donate. Can we paypal or does it need to be a check? Paypal is sooooo easy.

  7. JerseyMom says:

    K…will find my stamps then…LOL. BTW…just mentioned you on FB again in regards to cheese. Heads up that this particular bunch are looking for veggie rennet…they are not meat eaters……

  8. Debbie in PA says:

    Hey Suzanne! This sounds like a fun adventure! Are there hotels within reasonable driving distance of your place? I think my daughter and I may come, but it’s a little much for a day trip! She’s vegan, so that always presents a little bit of a challenge when traveling too!

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