Author Archives: Jean Johnstone

The Family that Judy Built

Our Founder, Judy Lazarus 1942 – 2021

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say good bye to Judy but the family that she built at Xen will last forever. Her warm and giving personality enveloped everyone involved, and her passion was endless. Judy was a horsewoman who understood the healing power of horses and saw a need for an underserved community. She started with a borrowed horse, and two students and with her extraordinary leadership, grew Xenophon to over 60 participants a week. Her story of Xenophon started years before she broke ground in Orinda, digging post holes with a couple hearty friends, and continued as she embraced new friends with her vision of a joyful, fun, safe place for all of us…kids, volunteers, adults, and families…to reap the physical & mental benefits of sharing time with horses. We thank her for the foresight to set up Xen for success, to ensure its sustainability through the people involved, but her legacy is our caring culture where Joy and Family are always the words used to describe how someone feels about Xenophon. She touched so many lives, every one forever changed, forever better.

In Judy’s honor, the family has set up a memorial fund and if anyone is so inclined, you can make a donation to support Xenophon and continue Judy’s passion to provide life-changing experiences for our vulnerable community.

Support Xenophon through the Judy Lazarus Memorial Fund
You can also mail a check to Xenophon TRC at PO Box 16, Orinda, CA 94563

Our Alumni Make Perfect Horse Sense!

Camp Alumni, started in 2020, provides a weekly opportunity for our alumni to enjoy Xenophon while working on their horse skills, teamwork, peer interaction, ranch skills, badges, and more! Their latest badge – Horse Sense, is all about how horses communicate, their body language, and herd dynamics. Hillary & Rebecca came up with fun exercises to experience what our horses are feeling or saying. They put on horse ears and tails and mimicked their favorite horse being angry, bored, curious, and even relaxed & fearful. Eight body parts to read! Then layer on the fact that horses like to be part of a herd, which has one leader and the rest fall into a pecking order below. That can shift on any given day as they test each other, or become buddies. Thankfully horses never hold a grudge!
Our alumni also started a beautification project on the sensory trail… planting succulents in the spiffed up gold bathtub! And on the last day, in front of their parents, they rode their new pattern together and practiced their communication skills using the microphone to share what they learned and enjoyed during this session

Last Day to buy Diamond Raffle tickets is 5/31! WE HAVE A WINNER!

How did you spend your Spring Break?!

We spent our break diving into a few COVID postponed maintenance work around the center. Of course it was like tackling your own home to-do list, it grew five minutes after starting and as soon as you open the wall you realize that the job is going to be bigger than expected!

Drive-thru Crab Feed! SOLD OUT! Thank you to everyone who ordered – we will see you at pick-up on Friday, Feb 26th!

Just because we can’t gather, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a crab feast! Order now by Monday, Feb 22nd and pickup your fresh Feed Bag at our center in Orinda on Friday, February 26th.

Our students, Veterans, and adults with disabilities, plus our volunteers, our herd, and staff, all thank you for your support. Enjoy the Moment!

More Details and ordering info

We are Thankful for our Amazing Volunteers!

We have very special Volunteers who demonstrate care, passion, love, humor, energy, and strength every day! And this year they enthusiastically joined us on our winding journey through a challenging year with many new protocols, restrictions, requirements, and changes…stay in your bubble! But they knew we could not stay open for our students, alumni, and Veterans unless they followed protocols at the center and at home. They did this with a smile and thanked us for the opportunity! WOW!

We are humbly thankful for all our amazing volunteers who made an otherwise crazy year, a year full of silver linings, helping hands, and lots of love & laughter. We could not do this without each and every one of them.

And Congratulations to Barbara Donovan, our 2020 Jean Schaffner Volunteer of the Year! Since 2007 she has tirelessly helped in so many ways – Weekday lessons, Summer Camp art maven, Camp Alumni, BPS, and Gala Committee & Silent Auction Co-chair – whew! And a lot of tasks in between!

Click on the photos for full size

Gianni’s Dinner Fundraiser is Monday, Dec 7th! 

 Had enough Turkey and all the fixings?! Don’t wait…place your order by Saturday 12/5

Choose from curbside pick up, limited outdoor seating, or local delivery ($15) by our staff  To arrange delivery call the restaurant at  925-820-6969. 
You will have an easy memorable dinner and help us finish out 2020 on a high note…10% of sales and all tips go to Xenophon!  Don’t miss out on a winning combo…supporting Xenophon and EnJoying a fabulous stress-free dinner! Make your selections now!

Thank You to our Supporters! Bidders, Donors, Fund-a-Need all combined for a Successful Online Fundraiser! Our Community Responds!

And then we flowed right into Halloween Week! We’re sharing the FUN! Thank you Diane & Rebecca for your amazing designs and creativity for our herd!

A little Wizard of OZ, add in Wonder Woman, and finish up with our Angel Ozzie and Handsome Devil Ruthven! More photos on our FB page!

Online Fundraising Event Will Close Soon-Donate Now!

At Xenophon we celebrate the Moments of Joy together! Listen to Julian’s Story!

We are extremely grateful that we could operate in 2020, providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone…participants, volunteers, families, and staff. Together we followed protocols and kept each other in mind, both on and off Xenophon property – a team effort!

Our student Julian shares his fundraising story!

Julian was chosen to speak at our 2020 Gala. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our annual gala fundraiser in March and lost many hours of lessons this year with limited programs, reducing our revenue over 63%. Our therapy horses still need our high level care and feeding, our facilities still need upkeep to remain safe for all, and we need your help to survive the rest of a challenging 2020 with the ability to welcome back our students, Veterans, alumni, and passionate volunteers in 2021.

Support our efforts to continue the Magic!

Our online Auction and fundraiser will be LIVE Friday, October 9th to Saturday, October 24th on Bidding For Good.

Follow Rudney Associates to our DONATE NOW section and double our  support…Rudney Associates will match donations up to $5,000!!

Register to Bid for an array of fun and useful auction lots – we all need a change of scenery or at least a change for our tastebuds – including wine, restaurant certificates (To Go or not To Go!), a Cabin in Tahoe, a Chateau in France, and non-athletic wear for the holidays!

Thank You for Your Support!

Up Close & Personal With Our Herd!

Our therapy horses are the backbone of our programs and bring such JOY to everyone they meet! So, during this time of uncertainty, we want to give everyone a smile, a positive story, a little insight into the personalities of our herd. We’re putting together videos about each horse, adding them as we complete, just click on their name below and Enjoy the Moment!