March 31, 2020 The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

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GM Makes a Surprise Donation to Equestrian Group

Submitted by: General Motors

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Aug 05, 2000 – 12:00 AM EST


Organization Promotes Well Being Through Horseback Riding

Aug. 05 /CSRwire/ - Rarely does the world's largest corporation get to make a surprise move. However, that's just what happened today, when the GM Foundation donated $36,000 to Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles, Inc. (O.A.T.S.). Located in Clarkston, Mich., O.A.T.S. is a non-profit organization that promotes the health and well being of individuals with disabilities through horseback riding and related activities.

Nancy Heussner, executive director of O.A.T.S., thought GM executives were coming to her 50-acre facility to bring a much-needed 2000 GMC truck, donated by GM through its Lake Orion dealer, Golling Pontiac-GMC. Little did she know that O.A.T.S. would also be receiving a monetary donation.

"I was thrilled that the folks at GM decided to donate a truck. But the check took me by surprise. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of General Motors and its dealers," said Heussner.

Pat Kemp, brand manager of Cadillac Motor Division, was one GM executive on hand for the presentation. Kemp's son, 17 year old Ryan, is enrolled in the O.A.T.S. program.

"I'm here, first and foremost, as a GM employee who really believes in the value of this organization. O.A.T.S. not only benefits the participants physically, it promotes self-esteem," said Kemp.

It is this kind of testament that convinced the GM Foundation, the focal point for GM's philanthropic programs, that O.A.T.S. is an organization worth supporting. "The GM Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs and organizations that make a meaningful contribution to the quality of life in society. O.A.T.S. is a shining example of such an organization," said Lorna Utley, GM Foundation vice-chairman.

O.A.T.S. welcomes all volunteers. No previous experience with horses is necessary. "Our only requirement is a smile," Heussner said.

O.A.T.S. is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, contact Heussner at 248-620-0505 or

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