Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams has had a love of horses dating back to his childhood growing up in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. In fact, at one Christmas he and his brother Dave got a pony as a gift.
“I grew up with horses. My grandfather ran a farm back home with Selkie race horses and bordered horses,” he said. “My grandfather bought us our first pony who was named Wink and we got him for Christmas. Our summer lives were on a farm bailing hail and straw and cleaning the stalls.”
It was that love of horses and animals that drew Williams to Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue, an organization that helps abandoned, mistreated and neglected horses in the Texas Panhandle.
“Kenny Sheets invited me to attend a bowling event for this organization and I got to meet Terri Gammage, and find out more about them,” Williams said. “It was a neat story so I called our GM Rick Matchett and told him that we needed to do something.”
The Bulls organized a draw with help of Amarillo Community Federal Credit Union and Seven Grill and Bar. The players sold tickets with fans having an opportunity to win dinner with the coaching staff, as well as a beautiful handmade quilt from season ticketholder Ann Taylor.
The Amarillo Bulls paid a visit to the Equine Rescue late Monday afternoon where Williams, along with Assistant Coaches Harry Mahood and Austin Sutter, as well as several players presented the organization a check for $1,000. Panhandle Safe Hayven President and founder Terri Gammage had no idea the Bulls were going to present her with a check and was thrilled to receive the money.
“It was pretty awesome to see the Bulls here today,” Gammage said. “I was told I had some visitors looking for a horse but I wasn’t expecting this. The Bulls gave me this check for a $1,000 to help us out.”
Gammage said the money raised will help in a variety of different ways.
“Some of this money will go to buy hay, while the rest of it will go buy fencing so we can have another five acres to take care of the horses,” she said.
Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue currently has 18 horses with four in foster homes. Many of the horses are nearly ready to be put back to good farms and families, while others are still being rehabilitated.
Fund raising efforts are part of the work the Amarillo Bulls have done to give back to the community they live in. From the donation of tickets, merchandise to jersey auctions, and player appearance requests, the Bulls constantly give of their time to make sure they make a difference in the Texas Panhandle.
The North American Hockey League Playoffs resume this Friday with game three of the South Division Semi-Final Series between the Amarillo Bulls and the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Game time is 7 pm at Kay Yeager Coliseum with the Bulls leading the best of five series 2-0. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey, beginning with Prelude To The Playoffs Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 6:45 pm. The puck drop follows at 7 pm. If a fourth game is necessary it will be played on Saturday in Wichita Falls also at 7 pm. Should a fifth and deciding game be needed it will be back in Amarillo on Monday night at 7 pm.