27th Annual Ride-A-Thon

Date: Saturday, August 26, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Where: The Free SPIRIT Barn |  W3950 WI-23 Trunk, Fond du Lac, WI 54937

Details: Every August we hold our annual fundraising event, the Free S.PI.R.I.T. Riders (FSR) Ride-A-Thon. This event is a celebration of our riders demonstrating the skills they have learned throughout their time at FSR. We host numerous activities throughout the day including riding demonstrations, a silent auction, raffles, baked bean competition, bake sale, and an annual awards ceremony. This is our largest fundraising event and we are hoping you will make it even bigger this year. Your donations will go directly towards enriching the lives of children and adults with disabilities from Fond du Lac and the surrounding area through safe, therapeutic interaction with horses.

Donate today by going to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/team/27th-annual-ride-a-thon

Join us in welcoming our new Executive Director

Click here to see formal PRESS RELEASE

Fond du Lac, WI | July 5, 2017:   Over the last two months, the Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders (FSR) Board of Directors has been taking a rigorous approach to filling the vacant Executive Director position. We received numerous qualified applicants and were very satisfied with the strong interest in the opening. Our Hiring Subcommittee narrowed the candidates down to the top applicants based on qualifications that met the organization’s current needs. This was proceeded by a series of panel and cultural interviews, before making a final decision. The FSR Board of Directors is pleased to announce the offer and acceptance of Executive Director to Mr. Paul Wm Osterholm.

Paul has been affiliated with the greater Fond du Lac community through his previous roles at Marian University and Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County. He has been involved with the Fond du Lac community over the last 17 years and brings a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Marian University. Paul has previously served on the Fond du Lac City Council, the City of Fond du Lac Alcohol Licensing Committee, and, is a graduate of Leadership Fond du Lac. 

Through his career, Paul has aided in generating over $200,000 in grants and fundraising efforts and we are excited to tap into his knowledge. We are looking forward to continuing to cultivate relationships and growing FSR’s support network, fundraising efforts, and program offerings and strongly believe Paul will take Free SPIRIT Riders to the next level.

Joining Paul to the Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders family is his wife Janet, daughter Maggie, son Paul Jr. and daughter-in-law Katie. Please join us in a warm welcome as we start this next chapter.

Kind regards from the Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders Board of Directors,

Lauren Price, Steven Hansen, Christine Zimmerman, Ellen Bestor, Linda Dulmes, and Mercedes Hemmer


Now Hiring: Executive Director

Free SPIRIT Riders is actively seeking a motivated individual to take on the role of Executive Director. To learn more, click here for Free SPIRIT Riders Executive Director job description, role expectations, and required qualifications.

If you are up for a challenge, enjoy working with people, and have a desire to enrich the lives of children and adults with disabilities from Fond du Lac and the surrounding area through safe, therapeutic interaction with horses, please submit a resume and cover letter to info@FreeSPIRITRiders.org for consideration. 


Spring Update

Many of you may know that on Friday, March 3, 2017, we suddenly lost our Executive Director, Mary Narges, a true champion to Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders, Inc. (FSR).

Mary devoted 28 years to enriching the lives of children and adults with disabilities through safe, therapeutic interaction with horses. She was an inspiration to the riders, families, and volunteers of the organization.

Mary was the voice of FSR, advocating to area businesses and community partners for their involvement in making FSR possible. Without the support of the community, the countless hours donated by volunteers and generous contributions made by businesses, service organizations and individual donors, FSR would cease to exist.

It will be difficult to fill Mary’s shoes, but we have a strong and positive outlook for the future of FSR and intend to continue Mary’s legacy for years to come.

As we pick up the pieces from our loss, we look for the support of Fond du Lac and surrounding communities that FSR impacts. We will need many volunteers for the upcoming riding season.If you have talents beyond the areas listed below, we would love to find ways to utilize your skills.

A Strong Riding Season Ahead

FSR is proudly riding forward in 2017 and the years to come. Our first focus over the next few months will be to hire a new Executive Director. We will go through a rigorous process to ensure we find a candidate who will carry on the core values of FSR while bringing new experience and ideas to the table.

As we continue to move forward, we also have plans for carrying on the barn insulation project, which was a dream of Mary’s. We are still seeking donations for this project, as we have 75% of the needed funds to complete the project. The total cost of the arena insulation with new LED energy efficient lights will cost $48,500.

With the successful insulation of the riding arena, this will give FSR the ability to extend our riding season year-round, increase our ridership, provide a more comfortable riding arena for our students, and provide an energy cost savings to the organization.

Ways to Get Involved

There are many ways you, your family and friends can get involved with Free SPIRIT Riders. From volunteering as a side walker during classes to participating in events, fundraising, or donating your time and talent, you will find joy and inspiration in your contributions to FSR. Here are a few activities we are seeking volunteers for:

  • Side walking
  • Horse handling
  • Grant writing
  • Fundraising
  • Assist with mailings
  • Event coordinating
  • Personal Donations
  • Facility maintenance

For more information, contact:
info@FreeSpiritRiders.org | (920) 924-9920


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mark your calendars for the 27th Annual Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders Ride-A-Thon. This is our largest fundraising event and we are looking to continue the tradition. We are currently seeking donations for silent auction and raffle items, event sponsors, and fundraising teams.

For more information and to get involved,
Please contact:

(920) 924-9920

Gathering of the Clan to be held at Marian University Hornung Center on March 11, 2017

Join Free SPIRIT Riders and Sheamus Fitzpatrick & the McNally Boys for entertainment, a silent auction, and raffle on March 11, 2017 at Marian University Hornung Center in Fond du Lac, WI.  All proceeds will go to benefit Free SPIRIT Riders, Inc.

Tickets are $25 in advance or 2 for $45, so plan accordingly because the price will go up to $28 at the door or 2 for $55 and can be purchased at: Mike’s Music (N. Main St.), Wegner Office Supply (Court St.), Scott’s Discount Printing (FDL Ave.), or Free SPIRIT Riders.

Free SPIRIT Riders Gathering of the Clans Flyer

Download this flyer as PDF –> Click Here

More information available at info@FreeSPIRITRiders.org or 920-924-9920

2016 Annual Appeal Letter


What can your contribution do for Free SPIRIT Riders?

2016 annual appeal letter

–> Please consider remembering Free SPIRIT Riders with a donation. <–


If you would like to download the letter here are the links:

PDF: 2016 Annual Appeal Letter

Word: 2016 Annual Appeal Letter



Save The Date! 2016 FDL Humane Society Wag & Walk Fundraiser

Save The Date!


The 2016 FDL Humane Society Wag & Walk Fundraiser

In Partnership With Free SPIRIT Riders

Saturday October 15, 2016 at Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders

Rain or Shine

EVERYONE is invited (with OR without dogs)

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Enjoy food, a walk, family entertainment & much more!

save the date

Download the PDF Flyer here –> Save The Date!