[Matthew Apgar – firstname.lastname@example.org]
[Maria Zupec leans in to kiss Hawk, a 10-year-old American Miniature stallion, during his March 8 visit to Valley Hi Nursing Home.]
For the past 20 years, Swinford, along with her husband, Gary, has brought the horses to visit with seniors, people with disabilities, youth groups, basically anyone in need of a smile. The couple travels up to three times a week throughout McHenry County and the Chicago area, even into Wisconsin – all on a volunteer basis.
“People always say, ‘Who funds you?’ Nobody, we do this on our own,” she said. Occasionally, people will offer donations and she’ll use the funds for gas money.
She and Gary, both retired and taking care of 31 horses at their Shades of Blue ranch in Hebron, can’t imagine doing anything else with their time.