Lori Sarner, president of the Pegasus Riding Academy for the Handicapped, today was presented with special woman of the year honors by the Riverside County Commission for Women and the Board of Supervisors.
"The Women of the Year awards recognize some truly special women whose community service and leadership on women's issues make Riverside County a better place," said Supervisor John J. Benoit. "Lori Sarner is known throughout the Coachella Valley for her support of many local, humanitarian causes in addition to her excellent work at Pegasus."
When Sarner moved to the Coachella Valley in 1986, she extended her love of horses and concern for the handicapped by volunteering at Pegasus.
As program director, head instructor and president, she has grown the organization to provide therapeutic horse riding programs to more than 175 active riders each week. The dozen horses in the academy are available to take part in programs serving autistic children, the blind, severely handicapped adults and children and stroke victims. The internationally recognized riding facility is located north of the Cook Street freeway exit.
Sarner is a supporter of the Jewish Federation, Brandeis University, Friends of Hebrew University, ARMDI, the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Memorial in Palm Desert. She and her late husband Harvey were honored by the state of Israel for their support of the Jewish people.
A dedicated volunteer and philanthropist, Sarner is also involved with many local organizations, including the Institute of Critical Care Medicine, the Palm Springs Opera Guild, the American Cancer Society, Animal Samaritans and many others.
Thirty-one women were nominated for the five awards. Sarner was joined by honorees Ofelia Valdez-Yeager (First District), Jennifer O'Farrell (Second District), Trish Shea (Third District) and Shor Denny (Fifth District).