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Rupert Isaacson, Author/Star of Sundance Film Official Selection 'The Horse Boy' to Speak at 20th Annual Fundraiser

SAN DIEGO, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating "The Autism Connection: Horses & Humans," the Training, Education & Research Institute (TERI) is pleased to announce that Rupert Isaacson, author, producer and star of The Horse Boy, will be guest speaker at their 20th Annual Cocktail Reception & Golf Tournament Fundraiser.  The two-day event kicks-off with the Cocktail Reception, where Isaacson will share the story of his family's epic journey of personal and spiritual discovery, and how a horse helped heal his autistic son.  

"For 20 years, we have witnessed the miracles that can take place when an individual with autism is introduced to horses through our therapeutic equestrian program," says Cheryl Kilmer, founder and CEO of TERI.  "It is an honor and pleasure to welcome Mr. Isaacson, and to hear first-hand the story of the lengths his family went through to find a cure for his son."

Isaacson, a writer and former horse trainer is the author of The Horse Boy, as well as star and producer of The Horse Boy movie.  The Horse Boy follows Isaacson, his wife Kristin Neff (a psychology professor) and their autistic son, as they travel on horseback through Outer Mongolia in an attempt to find healing for their son. Their journey began after their two-year-old son, Rowan, was diagnosed with autism.  After seeking the best medical treatment available, but discovering traditional therapies had little effect, Isaacson discovered Rowan has a profound affinity for animals— particularly horses—and the family set off on a quest that would change their lives forever.  

Fitting with the Horses & Humans theme, both the Cocktail Reception and Golf Tournament will be held in Rancho Santa Fe, home to a large community of horse enthusiasts, at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, located at 5827 Via De La Cumbre, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091.  The Cocktail Reception will take place on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 5 p.m.  The Golf Tournament will follow on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. with a One Better Ball format.  

All funds raised at the 20th Annual Cocktail Reception & Golf Tournament will go toward the completion of the Harriet E. Pfleger Therapeutic Equestrian Center.  The Equestrian Center, which will include six stalls, a pony parlor washroom, veterinary center, riding arena and walking trails, and a picnic patio, is the first of six phases that will complete the Center for Research & Life Planning.  The $50 million campus will directly address the crisis of a growing and aging population with autism and other developmental disabilities, by providing a comprehensive array of services and support programs covering an entire lifespan in this one dynamic location. 

This year's event was made possible through the hard work of a dedicated committee of volunteers, including: Dawn Hummel and Judy Roberts (co-chairs), Connie Pittard, Ann Boon, Susan Loban, Donna Pineda, Jennifer Dunn, Carol Linovitz, Carolyn Singer, Mickey Burgess, Kris Charton, Joanie O'Leary, Kathy Yash, Paige Vanosky, Shari Sapp, Julie Klaus, and Julie Dillon.

To register for TERI's 20th Annual Cocktail Reception and/or Golf Tournament, contact Laura White at 760-721-1706.  For more information on The Horse Boy, visit  And for more information on TERI, the therapeutic equestrian program or the Center for Research & Life Planning, visit  

According to the CDC, in 2010, one in every 110 children will be diagnosed with autism.  Since 1980, TERI has pioneered programs to improve the quality of life and independence of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, and their families.  For more than 20 years, TERI's therapeutic equestrian program has helped children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities enhance their self-esteem, confidence and courage, along with developing their motor skills, balance and coordination.  


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