Little Bit riding center in Redmond counting on upcoming virtual fundraiser

The 35th annual Reins of Life Gala Auction is going virtual this year, including an online auction, raise the paddle and online event.

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center’s annual Reins of Life Gala Auction is going virtual this year.

Typically held as an in-person event, challenges related to COVID-19 have required the Redmond-based organization to restructure this fundraiser and celebration to include three segments held from April 24 through May 2: an online auction, a virtual “raise the paddle” and an online event. For more information about the event, visit

At 6 p.m. on April 24, the Little Bit online auction will open, featuring hundreds of items up for bid ranging in value from $50 to more than $9,000. According to a press release, big ticket items include a Breeders’ Cup World Championships trip for two and a Black Butte, Oregon one-week getaway for eight. Moderately priced items include jewelry selections and a custom-designed glass cutting board. The auction closes at 7 p.m. on May 2.

Now through the evening of May 2, Little Bit is seeking donations toward its $250,000 Fund a Session goal. According to the release, Fund a Session is typically an in-person “raise the paddle” effort during the annual auction. Little Bit equine-assisted therapy (hippotherapy) patients pay 36 percent of the actual cost of service and adaptive riding participants pay 25 percent. Families caring for a loved one with a disability must meet many financial challenges, often for a lifetime of care, the release states. Little Bit can keep participant fees low thanks to contributions, such as those that will be given during this year’s Fund a Session appeal.

At 6 p.m. on May 2, the community is invited to watch the Little Bit online event from home. This first-time event features auctioneer and KCPQ 13 news anchor and reporter Matt Lorch; the premier of the 2020 Little Bit mission video, “Bronson’s Story;” Little Bit staff members and program parents speaking from the heart; and a musical performance, the release states.

In a typical year, as with most nonprofits, the Little Bit operating budget is tight. Little Bit temporarily closed on March 17 and anticipates program revenue losses of up to $60,000 through May 4, according to the release. The longer it must remain closed or limit its services, the greater the losses. Most difficult of all is not being able to serve patients and riders with disabilities, the release states.