Betty White, Pat Quinn Headline BraveHearts Fundraiser in Hinsdale

It was the third straight year that White, the star of "Golden Girls" and "Hot in Cleveland," spoke at BraveHearts' annual gala, but it was the first time the event was held in Hinsdale.

TV star Betty White joined Gov. Pat Quinn and WGN TV's Dean Richards at Saturday night's "Hot in Hinsdale" fundraiser at to benefit BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, an organization that according to its website provides "equine-assisted activities and therapies" to children and adults.

For the third year in a row, White spent the day Saturday at the organization's two facilities in Harvey and Poplar Grove, BraveHearts President Meggan Hill-McQueeney said, before headlining its annual fundraising gala.

Hill-McQueeney said a BraveHearts board member who serves alongside White on the Morris Animal Foundation board introduced her to the therapeutic riding organization.

"She invited Betty out to visit BraveHearts three years ago and she fell in love with the programs," Hill-McQueeney said.

The president said White comes each year before the gala to talk and take pictures with BraveHearts riders, staff, and volunteers. She even sponsors a BraveHearts horse named Baby.

"She’s really gotten to be quite generous in donating to our cause," Hill-McQueeney said.

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Quinn also attended the BraveHearts gala and officially declared Saturday to be Illinois Betty White Day.

Richards emceed the event.

If you want more information on what BraveHearts does, visit its website.

"Therapeutic riding has provided social, educational, and recreational opportunities to individuals with disabilities for more than a century," the website reads. "By utilizing the special bond between humans and horses, Equine Assisted Activities benefit students of all ability levels both inside and out."

The organization also provides riding programs for disabled military veterans.

"BraveHearts began offering therapeutic riding and carriage driving programs for wounded military and veterans in 2007," the website reads. "Under the auspices of PATH International, BraveHearts is currently the largest veterans’ therapeutic riding program in the United States."

It was the first time BraveHearts held its event in Hinsdale. The previous two years its been held in Chicago.


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