Ponies, kittens a big hit with visiting city kids

The ponies and the kitties were a big hit among the more than two dozen kids, mothers and chaperones at Mark and Julie Bergquist’s Enumclaw ranch.

The group, who made the trek from Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission women and children’s shelter, thought lunch wasn’t bad either. And the warm coats and hot cocoa were definitely welcome as the temperatures dropped into the 30s and the wind kicked up a bit.

The forecasted snow that Saturday in early January held off until Sunday, but would have been the perfect touch for the late Christmas gift.

“This was a lot of fun,” said Jessica Joyce, who brought her four children between the ages of 1 and 5. “The kids had fun on the farm. They got to ride horses, which they’ve never done.”

The kids, ages 3 to 12, also got up close with a few goats and rabbits. There were crafts to participate in inside the barn and, of course, there were cats to chase, pick up and pet. Everyone went home with a rosette or ribbon.

It was the first time the Bergquists opened their Enumclaw ranch to such an event, but something they did often while living in Spokane.

“It was a great experience for my children, family and friends,” Julie Bergquist said.

Unlike years past, this time Bergquist went looking for help and found it in King County’s many 4-H clubs.

More than 50 4-H members, parents and alumni – most of them from the Plateau area – volunteered for at the event. Representatives from Classic Riders, Enumclaw Trailblazers, Evergreen Equestrians, Golden Horseshoes, Happy Hayburners, Mounted Mischief, Royal Riders and Wranglers and Riders were all there.

Teen Leaders of Tomorrow provided lunch.

The 4-H clubs also gave away more than 100 coats collected as part of a coat and sock drive.

“The kids left happy, full and bearing gifts from the 4-H program,” said Kim Giglio, a leader with Mounted Mischief.

“We want to do outreach,” said Enumclaw High graduate Noelle Borland, who was there helping out. “We want to help people.”

As a former Pierce County 4-H member, Teylar Greer, who came out with the visitors from Hope Place, was happy to see familiar faces at the farm.

“It was cool that it became a 4-H event,” she said.

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