Cheff Center: Augusta MI



Potential Students and Parents

Cheff Center News

  • Testimonial Tuesday: Meet Natalie : March 14, 2017

    Everyone who comes to Cheff has a unique experience that oftentimes has far reaching effects.  Today, we'd like to highlight Natalie. 

    Natalie is currently our youngest client at the Cheff Center- begining her journey at only 14 months.  Click the link below to read her mom's thoughts on the experience. 

  • Birthday Blessings : November 30, 2016

    Since 2005, volunteer extraordinaire Kathy Keelan Pew, has donated her birthday to the Cheff (Ride-a-Thon) - to the tune of nearly $15,000 ($2,475 in 2016 alone!)
    Each year, Kathy requests that if her friends and family wish to do something for her in honor of her birthday, that they support her in our Ride-A-Thon.

  • Client Spotlight on Barbro Jung : November 30, 2016

    Tuesday is hands-down the best day of the week... at least according to Cheff Center's superstar client, Barbro. Every Tuesday, Barbro arrives at Cheff with husband, Norman and finds her way back to the barn. She was a member of our original silver saddles program which started in 2008 and at the spry age of 82, she's still going strong.

  • Flying Higher and Shining Brighter in 2016 : November 30, 2016

    With the help of community foundations as well as individual contributions and fundraising efforts, we were able to finish our "Light Us Up!" project as well as install a SureHands lift system in our mounting area.

    New LED lighting and updated electrical systems in our stable and arena have brightened the space and saved us over $4000 on electricity to date! The SureHands lift system is getting integrated into programing and is already making a big difference to some of our clients with limited mobility.

  • Therapeutic Riding and PTSD : November 30, 2016

    We're excited to report that in March of 2016, the University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Veterinary Medicine released the findings of their research related to military veterans with symptoms of PTSD. The results validated what we've been seeing in our programing – "There is clear evidence that the Therapeutic Horseback Riding (THR) contributed to a decrease in PTSD symptoms." The summary goes on to elaborate that "Veterans participating in THR had statistically significant decreases in their PTSD symptoms throughout the study period; and the benefit increased the longer an individual was in the riding program."

  • Volunteer Spotlight on Mitch and Rene : November 30, 2016

    Equally deserving of the spotlight (and equally resistant to accept it) are this season's featured volunteers- Mitch Joffe and Rene Saar. With a combined total of volunteer hours well into the 300's for 2016 – odds are that if you've been to the Cheff during workday hours, you've encountered one or both of them!

  • Congratulations, BEAR! : August 18, 2016

    We are thrilled to announce that our beloved "Bear" has been selected as PATH International's Region 4 Horse of the Year!  Bear beat out all other nominated therapy horses in Michigan, Indiana,  Ohio, Kentucky, and Ontario for this special honor.  He is now qualified and in the running for International Therapy Horse of the Year which will be announced in November.  Congratulations, Bear!  We love you!

  • YOU made it happen! : July 28, 2016

    We are OVER THE MOON to report that because of the generosity of YOU, our supporters, we were able to meet our goal of over $12,000 to purchase and install a Sure Hands Lift in our mounting area.  We've put things in motion and we're hoping to have things installed the last week of August... THANK YOU! 

  • Proudly Offering ADVANCED Level PATH Intl. Certification! : January 27, 2016

    For the first time in ages, Cheff will be offering an ADVANCED level PATH International Instructor prep workshop and certification in 2016!  We are super excited to be able to provide these opportunities to our Therapeutic Riding industry and look forward to hosting these events.  For more information, please check out the PATH International tab on our website menu!

  • Excited to Meet BUSTER the "Bronco"! : April 21, 2015

    Cheff is THRILLED to announce that we have received a grant from ‪#‎WMU‬ 's School of Public Affairs and Administration Nonprofit Program that will fully fund the purchase of an Equicizer!!! A group of 28 students enrolled in a nonprofit leadership course solicited proposals within our community, completed site visits, and deliberated as a team to choose recipients. We are incredibly honored to have been a part of their learning process and thankful that we were chosen as a 2015 recipient! We can't wait to meet "Buster"!!!  Check out this video to learn more about the equicizer!

  • Camp Registration Open! : April 6, 2015

    Cheff is excited to announce that camps are now open for registration!  We are even introducing new summer opportunities including speech and sensory focused weeks!  Check out our "summer camps" under the Programs tab for more information.

  • Visitors from Korea! : January 13, 2015

    Cheff is thrilled to learn that we will again be hosting visitors from South Korea's Kijeon University!  5 Students will arrive at the end of January and stay with us for 30 days on an educational visit.  These students will work in Cheff programing, observe lessons, treatments, and in general soak in as much as they can about our industry.  We're very excited to continue this relationship with the university and look forward to their arrival!

  • Another S.T.A.R. Among Us! : April 23, 2014

    Cheff is THRILLED to congratulate volunteer Theresa Grossi on her new title of 2014 S.T.A.R. Award Winner in the Young Adult category.  Theresa does wonderful things for our program and we couldn't be more thankful to have her as a member of our team.  Check out Theresa's full mlive article HERE. 

  • Sensory Processing Disorder Clinic : January 14, 2014

    A huge "THANK YOU" going out to those who presented, attended, and worked our Sensory Processing Disorder clinic on February 22nd.  Survey results came back with praise and great suggestions for new conference topics.  We can't wait to hold another educational update, and look forward to seeing you all back at Cheff again!

  • PATH Region 4 Winners! : July 16, 2013

    Cheff is THRILLED to announce that out of all the individuals nominated in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Ontario- volunteer, Ashley Davis, and Equine, Harvey, have WON in their respective categories!  Ashley and Harvey will go on to compete against other region winners for national titles of "Volunteer of the Year" and "Horse of the Year."  These announcements will be made at the PATH Intl. National Conference in November.  Congratulations to both- we're so happy you're a part of our Cheff family!

  • Congratulations Dr. Heidi Stucki! : April 26, 2013

    Long time Cheff Center board member, Dr. Heidi Stucki has recently been announced as one of this year's YWCA Women of the Year! You can read all about her and the other award recipients by clicking here. Congratulations Heidi!! We're so blessed to have you on our team!

  • A STAR is Among Us! : April 25, 2013

    Cheff would like to issue a wholehearted congratulations and thank you to volunteer Ashleigh Holden. Ashleigh was just chosen to receive the STAR (Sharing Time And Resources) award for greater Kalamazoo. Over the past year, she has dedicated hundreds of hours to our programing and become and invaluable member of our team. You can check out the Kalamazoo Gazette's article on Ashleigh here.

  • 2012 In Review : December 20, 2012
    Thank you! Thank you for being on our team. Thank you for believing in the Cheff Center and continuing to invest your time, money, efforts, and belief in this organization that means so much to so many people.
    Through our combined efforts, 2012 has been a good year. Read on for some of our highlights!

  • WANTED: SECRET SPONSORS : December 13, 2012
    Two long time Cheff students are in need of funding for 2013! These individuals LOVE coming out to Cheff
    and have found that this type of therapy makes a noticeable difference in their everyday lives. If you are interested in helping to make continued treatment at Cheff a possibility for these clients, please contact:
    Sandi: 269-731-4471 Extension 114 or gro.retnecffehc@idnas

  • Welcome Dr. Beth Macauley! : November 2, 2012
    We are very excited to introduce to you a new member of our team! Beth L. Macauley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, H.P.C.S., and associate professor at Grand Valley State University is now conducting speech/language pathology-based hippotherapy treatment sessions at Cheff!

  • Volunteer Clinic : October 16, 2012
    Calling all Volunteers! Would you like to learn the finer points of horse handling? Perhaps you enjoy volunteering but would like a little more confidence in the leading department or would like to learn how to deal with horses in class when they aren't on their best behavior... Come to our LEADING CLINIC November 10th from 9:00a.m. - 11:00 a.m.! This clinic is open to all Cheff Center volunteers and will address these issues and teach handling techniques with hands on activities.

  • SuperSTAR! : April 25, 2012
    Out of over 1700 nominees, Jake O'Brien was chosen as this year's STAR (Sharing Time And Resources) award winner in the Young Adult category. Kudos to Jake for receiving this prestigious award and thank you for all that you do! Also, a big congratulations go out to Sheridan Perkins, Betty Smith, and Kellogg employee groups for being nominated for STAR awards for their service at the Cheff Center. We LOVE all of our volunteers at Cheff!!!

  • Meet Cocoa! : March 28, 2012
    Cheff is proud to announce a new addition to our herd! Miss Cocoa is a 15 year old Quarter Horse/Hafflinger cross mare who was donated to our program by Jenna Mahoney. Her sturdy size is an asset to our program and we're having a great time figuring out her buttons! Check her out on "Our Horses" page or stop by for a real visit!

  • PASTA!!! : January 16, 2012
    Cheff is doing a new fundraiser in hopes of raising enough money to send Kim and Tam to present at the international Therapeutic Riding Conference in Athens, Greece! This pasta is affordable and super cute!

  • Shindig 2011 : September 12, 2011
    A huge thank you to all those who planned, attended, and volunteered at this year’s “Off to the Races” Shindig. I think it’s safe to say that a great time was had by all. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event! Mark your calendars for September 7th, 2012!

  • Regional Awards : July 27, 2011
    Breaking news! Jake O'Brien and Dan (the horse) have won regional awards for Volunteer of the year and Horse of the Year (respectively) They were up against other nominees from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. They will represent our region at the PATH International conference in Kentucky this fall and are in the running for national awards in their categories. Congratulations!

  • A Dog-Gone Good Time : June 6, 2011
    Thank you to everyone who came out for Cheff's first annual Woofs for Hoofs Dog Walk! We are already busy thinking of ways to make next year's event bigger and better. If you attended the walk and would like to make some suggestions, please contact us via e-mail, facebook, phone, or stop by!

  • Spring Frolic : May 17, 2011
    What a great horsey weekend! Weather could have been better but the rain didn't dampen the fun! Cheff is incredibly proud of our students who competed in the show, especially Matt who took 2nd in an independent walk trot class (with 7 participants!) and truly thankful to those who participated or sponsored the event. We'll try for a trail ride again next year!

  • Snoball Softball : February 14, 2011
    The 2011 SW Michigan Snoball Softball Tournament held on February 12th was a great success. This event is organized annually by Cat Sullivan of Kalamazoo and involves over a hundred softball loving individuals. In the dead of winter, these folks suit up and take to the field for a softball tournament to have fun and raise money for a great cause- the Cheff Center! In return, Cheff shows its appreciation by putting together a team (of whoever we can find to have fun with-regardless of skill level) and participating in the tournament. Every year, we have a fantastic time trudging through the snow and every year we deeply appreciate the support this event shows Cheff. If you would like to get involved in next year's tournament, let us know and we can get you the appropriate information!

  • Amy Newman is Instructor Of The Year for NARAH Region 4! : August 6, 2010
    Amy Newman is Instructor Of The Year for NARAH Region 4! Congratulations Amy!!!

  • Birthday Gifts : April 19, 2010
    This spring, Cheff was treated to an amazing birthday surprise! We were the recipient of someone else's birthday gifts! On purpose even! While planning a joint mother-daughter birthday party for Kim Johnson and Mary Javor, the family got together and decided that these two lovely ladies had reached a point in their lives where they didn't really need any more material items. Instead, inspired by their family's lifelong passion for horses, it was determined that the best gift would be the knowledge that they had a part in making horseback riding a possibility for others. By requesting on the invitations that in lu of gifts, donations be made to the Cheff Center, this amazing group was able to spread awareness, raise over $1,000, and collect several horsey items for Cheff. Thank you Kristina Minch, Kim Johnson, Mary Javor, and all their party guests for such an unexpected surprise!

  • Thank You Secret Sponsor! : January 5, 2010
    In response to our plea, a very generous donor stepped up to help make riding in 2010 a possibility for one of our long time students. That student would like to issue a wholehearted thank you:

    Dear Program Supporter,

    As the holidays arrived, the great news and best news is that I get to ride in the New Year. Thank you so much for making it possible for me.

    I am gradually learning the skills of grooming the horse I ride and I appreciate the efforts of the helpful volunteers. My balance improves when I get the riding therapy and riding at the Cheff Center is my favorite activity.

    As I get ready to ride, I thank you again very much.


    a very thankful Cheff student

  • WANTED: Secret Sponsor : November 4, 2009
    A former student is in desperate need of a sponsor – financial circumstances have changed and his family can no longer afford to send him to Cheff. He has CP and has been coming here for over 8 years. Riding truly makes a difference in his life. If you or anyone you know would be willing to pitch in so that he can come back to Cheff, please contact Sandi in the office!

  • Ride-a-Thon 2009 : October 7, 2009
    Thank you to all the 2009 Ride-a-Thon supporters and participants! Over 120 riders turned out to brave the weather last Saturday, October 3rd. Despite the Michigan weather, a good time was had by all and the fundraiser has been declared a success. Thanks again! Hope to see you (and better weather) next year!

  • Shindig 2009 : September 14, 2009
    Shindig 2009 was a great success! Thank you to all our volunteers, committee members, sponsors, and guests who made the event possible. You make what we do here at Cheff possible!

  • Cheff is turning 40! : July 30, 2009
    Though it's hard to believe, Cheff is approaching its 40th year of service! To celebrate this great milestone, we are collecting old photographs, newer photographs, newspaper clippings, and written Cheff memories or testimonials from students, volunteers, caretakers, family and anyone else who has had contact with the center.

    If the Cheff has made a difference in your life and you would like to share your story, please submit your written thoughts or photos to any member of our staff.

Cheff News

Testimonial Tuesday: Meet Natalie

Everyone who comes to Cheff has a unique experience that oftentimes has far reaching effects.  Today, we'd like to highlight Natalie. 

Natalie is currently our youngest client at the Cheff Center- begining her journey at only 14 months.  Click the link below to read her mom's thoughts on the experience. 

Read more

Birthday Blessings

Since 2005, volunteer extraordinaire Kathy Keelan Pew, has donated her birthday to the Cheff (Ride-a-Thon) - to the tune of nearly $15,000 ($2,475 in 2016 alone!)
Each year, Kathy requests that if her friends and family wish to do something for her in honor of her birthday, that they support her in our Ride-A-Thon.

Read more


What People Are Saying

The Cheff Center means a great deal to our Danny and to us, his parents. It's not only therapy for Danny, it's a place we can come where we're treated with respect and dignity -- like you're one of the family so to speak. There is no place else on earth that we have found outside of our own home we feel more comfortable and welcomed. The Cheff Center staff, and I mean ALL the staff, take the time and effort to understand what it takes to give each student and family the best service they can provide.
- Cheff Parent

Add your own Testimonial!


If you have any questions, if you want to get on the mailing list, or if you'd like to get involved, call 269-731-4471 or email us!


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8450 N. 43rd Street | Augusta, MI 49012 : View Map
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