Equine Ministry Constructs Welcome Center to Honor Longtime Volunteer

Press Release

By Kate Klemp September 14, 2023

BYRON CENTER, MI – H.U.G.S. Ranch has more good news to share with parents of children served by the non-profit focused on providing equine-assisted learning opportunities. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is announcing the construction of a “Welcome Center” to be built in honor of long-time volunteer Scott Taylor, who passed away in 2022.

Lumbermen’s, Inc., Scott’s employer, has made the lead gift to construct the Welcome Center to honor Scott’s dedication to the mission of H.U.G.S. Ranch.

“Scott’s commitment to H.U.G.S. mission was more than a hobby. He knew that this work uplifts families and strengthens community bonds. We wanted to create the kind of welcome and comfort he offered every day to his co-workers, friends, and family,” said Steve Petersen, president of Lumbermen’s, Inc.. “This building will offer quiet respite to families in rain, cold and heat while their kids work in the barns with the horses and mentors.”

H.U.G.S. Ranch is dedicated to offering Hope, Understanding, Guidance and Support (H.U.G.S.) to children with an array of differences and challenges. Participants in the programs develop life skills through guided interaction with horses. The work done as kids build relationships with the horses and their adult mentors increases confidence, emotional stability, self-worth, and character.

“The Welcome Center is an extension of our mission to families,” offered Lisa Carter, president of H.U.G.S. Ranch. “Having Lumbermen’s and their partners come alongside us in this effort is an answer to prayer. We’re grateful for the support we received from our donors, volunteers, and local businesses to make this project happen.”

The 1,000 square foot building was designed by Wolverine Building Group, who is acting as general contractor for the project, as well as donating some of the labor costs. Lumbermen’s, Inc. is donating materials for the interior finishes in the structure, creating a rustic, clean, cozy atmosphere to enhance the program experience for families.

A ribbon-cutting is planned for Friday, October 20, 2023, to celebrate the completion of the project.

About H.U.G.S Ranch

H.U.G.S. Ranch is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides equine-assisted learning opportunities that promote the development of life skills through guided interaction with horses. H.U.G.S. Ranch promotes these skills by helping participants develop a relationship and a partnership with the horse and an adult mentor. They learn about horse behavior, leadership and non-verbal communication as they halter, groom, lead, longe, and participate in structured challenges. Discover stories of lives transformed at hugsranch.org.

About Lumbermen’s, inc.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1955, Lumbermen’s operates in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. A leading distributor and manufacturer of building materials, they are driven by the goal to be first choice for our employee owners, customers, and suppliers. Lumbermen’s is 100% employee-owned and committed to investing in rewarding relationships and doing the right thing in every interaction. Lumbermen’s products are available through local lumberyards and dealers. More can be found at lumbermens-inc.com.

About Wolverine Building Group

Founded in 1939, Wolverine Building Group is one of Michigan’s most trusted and experienced construction companies. With 180+ employees, Wolverine specializes in industrial, multi-unit residential, health care, office, restaurant, and retail construction. Wolverine is nationally recognized as one of the top leaders in the construction industry. For more information, visit wolvgroup.com.