Since 2019, Al Sines has been a weekly volunteer at the Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding facility (CATR), helping empower children and adults to enjoy more active and fulfilling lives through therapeutic horsemanship.
Al was born in Washington, DC, and lived in that area until moving to Kiawah in 2009. Al was a firefighter and emergency medical technician before joining the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police. After his retirement from the police department he embarked on a second career as an engineering consultant for public safety radio systems.
Al works as a sidewalker at CATR, supporting students while they ride and build experience with their equine partners. In addition to helping the rider with their horse, Al makes connections with the students, getting to know them and providing support and encouragement until the student is an independent rider.
Beyond helping students, Al’s home repair skills have helped CATR maintain their infrastructure. He willingly repairs gates and fences, light fixtures, and anything else that needs to be fixed. As if that weren’t enough, Al has been involved in fundraising for CATR, and was recognized as CATR’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
Each year CATR provides therapeutic riding and other equine activities to over 140 children and adults with disabilities and 30 wounded military veterans at their facility in Johns Island, SC. By moving the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, therapeutic riding helps individuals with a wide range of disabilities gain strength, balance and confidence. Riding and interacting with horses is also fun, motivating, and empowering.
The Angel Oak Award was established by the Exchange Club of Kiawah-Seabrook Foundation in 2012 to recognize a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the people or the quality of life on Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island. As a part of the award, the Club makes a $5,000 donation to a local charitable organization or organizations of the recipient’s choice.
The Angel Oak Award Banquet will be held at Wingate Place, 3850 River Road, Johns Island on May 17, 2023. Ticket prices are $100 and attendance will be limited to 150 persons. It is anticipated that the event will sell out. To attend, please register by clicking here.
-Submitted by Thad Peterson