Big Hearts: Big Country woman spends retirement helping Camp Able

BUFFALO GAP, Texas (KTAB) - There are about 500 people who call the town of Buffalo Gap home. 

"A lot of people still don't know that it's out here in Buffalo Gap. what we want to do is raise awareness about what's going on, " says Lota Zoth, the Volunteer Executive Director at Camp Able.

There are 35 horses currently at the ranch. They are cared for while providing equine therapy to children and others with special needs.

Zoth adds, "It's not about what the children can't do but what they are able to do. It's meant a tremendous amount to me."

Zoth is a Jim Ned graduate who saddled up during retirement to help her friend, Camp Able Founder, Renee Hicks.

"It really made me realize how powerful therapeutic riding can be. I basically said, I'll do whatever I can do to help you out. she took me up on that," says Zoth. 

"When she came on, this place just took over. It just soared into a new world for us. We have new things that we would never have," says Founder, Renee Hicks.

Camp Able has crossed many hurdles to get to where it is today, but Zoth and Hicks continue to gallop towards new goals.

"Our vision for the future is to hopefully someday have a covered outdoor riding arena and then it won't matter if it's raining outside because we'll be in the covered riding arena," Zoth says.

A fundraiser planned this weekend will help these two retirees rope in a successful future for many youngsters in need.

Zoth says, "Usually every time that they get ready to leave, they come and give you a great bear hug for as tall as they can get. it's a wonderful thing to happen."

Hicks adds, "I was thinking when I started this I was 60. I was thinking I wouldn't live to see where it is today. T have closed that gap and narrowed it so that I am seeing it, that I am a member of it.  Still active in it thrills me in it beyond all comparisons of anything I could be doing in my old retirement years."

An Evening Under the Stars is Saturday, October 14th. From 5 to 10 pm, you're invited to Buffalo Gap's Red Dirt Pavilion where there will be live bands and food trucks. General admission costs $9. It cost $9 per day to care for one horse. The money raised will go towards supporting Camp Abel so that it can continue serving families in need. 

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