Opinion: Good Things

by | Sep 6, 2022

Above: Aly Kazmier, Dennis Smith, Salley Gibney, Bob Houghtaling and Bree Knight. The students are members of the EGHS “Be Smart” program. Submitted photo

It’s said good things come in 3s and that’s been true here in East Greenwich 

By Salley Gibney

As a relative newcomer to East Greenwich, I feel very grateful to have landed here. Having arrived during COVID, it was difficult at first to get to know people. But, three special things helped me feel at home.

First was East Greenwich News, which has been most helpful for me to get to know what is going on in our community.

Pony-person connection. Submitted photo

Second was Faith Hill Farm. I somehow found my way to Pamela Steere Maloof and Faith Hill Farm, a place for all people to connect, belong and grow. Not only was I able to get back on a horse after 50 years, I also learned about the Equine Therapy Program that gives children, teenagers and adults tools they need to overcome their struggles by working with horses large and small. Children and youths from our community, from St. Mary’s Home, hospice participants, and first responders benefit from this program.  

You can get a sense of what goes on at Faith Hill Farm when Pam Maloof and her staff host the Making Hay 111 Working Together Event on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. with Bob Houghtaling and his crew of experts, who will be discussing mental health and substance abuse concerns. Check it out and see how you can get involved.

Which brings me to the third good thing, and that was meeting Bob Houghtaling, drug and substance abuse coordinator for East Greenwich. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Bob and East Greenwich High School students Bree Knight, Aly Kazmier and Dennis Smith on my PEG-RI TV Show, Caring Connections. Bree, Aly and Dennis are facilitating the “Be Smart” program for third, fourth and fifth graders in the East Greenwich elementary schools. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. As a “Grammy,” I was humbled by these three young adults. We have so much to learn from them. Their understanding, caring, openness and honesty blew me away. Bob Houghtaling is doing an outstanding job with our youth especially during these very challenging times following COVID. I strongly recommend that our parents, educators, school board members, town officials and everyone watch a video of this show.            

Caring Connections at PEG-RI Public Access TV is aired in Kent County on Cox Channel 18 and Verizon Channel 31 on Mondays at 8 p.m., Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. The episode about equine therapy is being aired in September; “Youth Connecting with Each Other” will air in October. They will soon be available on YouTube. 

Participants in the Caring Connections Equine Therapy Show: Marsha Ireland, grief counselor for Hope Health Hospice; Tracine Boisvert, outpatient clinical support at St. Mary’s Home for Children; Dawn Giroux, program coordinator, Equine Therapy program; PEG-RI host Salley Gibney; Pam Steere Maloof, owner of Faith Hill Farm; and PEG-RI editor Christine Franceschini. Submitted photo

Ponies Cookie and Teddy at home at Faith Hill Farm.

Salley Gibney is a mother, “Grammy,” retired RN, community volunteer and host of a cable TV Show in Manchester, Vt., and here in Providence, R.I. Check out www.thecaringcoins.com.

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