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Special-needs people get taste of country life

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POSTED: October 7, 2009 9:35 a.m.
Photo by Michelle Ciccone/

A guest at the Gateway Behavioral Health Services first annual Fall Fest gets some horse-riding tips last weekend at the NC Ranch in Long County.

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Last week, Gateway Behavioral Health Services had its first annual Fall Fest at the NC Ranch in Long County.
The special-needs guests enjoyed a day of activities, including a horseshoe toss, feed bag toss, soda ring toss, face painting, steer roping and a rodeo cake walk. Participants also rode horses, listened to music and received door prizes.
For lunch, guests were servied hamburgers, hotdogs, French fries, desserts and drinks.
NC Ranch owner Nino Ciccone said 346 special-needs people came out to join in the festivities.
“People can’t even imagine what this meant to these guys. Their faces lit up like someone gave them the world,” he said.
He added, “I wouldn’t have traded this for the world. Seeing them out here is priceless, just priceless.”
According to Michelle Ciccone, co-owner of the ranch, Gateway Behavioral Health Services is a nonprofit community-based organization that has been serving Georgia’s coastal counties in since 1972.
Gateway works with individuals, families, public and private agencies, faith-based groups and other community organizations to promote self-sufficiency, optimal quality of life and wellness among special-needs people.
 

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