The Jean Schaffner Spirit Award is a long-time tradition at Xenophon and one of the highlights of our annual gala. It was established years ago, by our dedicated builder, volunteer, and donor, Kate Schaffner, in memory of her beloved mother, Jean Schaffner. The purpose of the award is to honor a volunteer who goes above and beyond in their service to the center. Choosing this recipient is an extremely difficult task, as we are fortunate to have so many individuals who give their time tirelessly to Xenophon. Most volunteers come to Xenophon to interact with the horses and children, but there are many volunteers behind the scenes, be it mucking stalls, grading our arena, or being the go to “fix it man”, that have done so much for the organization for a longtime. Often times those volunteers are not seen or recognized.
This year, the award went to a husband and wife team, Jim and Kelly Pire. Jim Pire created our amazing website. He continues to keep us up to date with the technological side of things, answering questions, fixing problems, and providing translations in the foreign language of computer jargon. He has served a bigger, priceless role at the center, by capturing the essence of Xenophon in still shots. The smiles that move us to tears, the view to the very souls of our horses through eyes captured on film are all the work of his creative hands. He has created a beautiful historical chronicle of the center while somehow even making mucking a stall look glamorous! Kelly started out as a sidewalker. She helps out on extra days when needed, mucks stalls, and exercises the horses. In the years she has been at the center she has matured as a horsewoman and has become one of our top horse handlers. But just like her husband, she has contributed hours of work behind the scenes. As a team, each and every year they create the amazing programs for this gala, a job deserving recognition in and of itself, requiring long hours and down to the wire deadlines. Congratulations Jim and Kelly and thank you for all you do for