Fun on the farm: Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm announces 2018 schedule

FREE SOIL — For more than 20 years, the Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm of Free Soil has provided touch therapy free of charge to people with disabilities.

The nonprofit organization also hosts a plethora of popular annual events and programs, creating a safe haven for more than 3,000 people from all walks of life each year.

With winter winding to a close, and spring and summer on the horizon, the farm — located at 5487 Tuttle Road in Free Soil — is prepped for another season of activity and fellowship.Lifestyles5JPG

From annual staples — such as the Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt, Barn Dance, Blessing of the Animals and more — to weekly programs, like music therapy Mondays and Tuesdays on the farm, Circle Rocking S has proven its staying power for nearly a quarter century now.

“I told God, if you want me to do this, I know you’ll get me the help,” said the farm’s founder Nancy Supran. “And here we are, almost 25 years later.”

The organization began when Supran turned tragedy into purpose.

“In 1993, I was in a very bad car accident in which my parents died,” she said. “I was the only survivor in the car and was left the family farm. I considered God spared my life because he has plans for me.”

Her plan began with the inaugural Blessing of the Animals event, which is held annually at the farm to this day.

“I was banged up pretty bad, but in 1995 I started the Blessing of the Animals here at the farm,” she said. “I remember when I lived in Illinois the church did this service, but up here in Michigan no church really wanted to get involved because of ‘mess’ and insurance.

“So, the beginning of the children’s farm began with giving thanks to God for all his creatures,” she added. “It then began to build into a nonprofit when my cousin offered to pay the attorney fees for our non profit status, etc., and others joined our board of directors. We are now a 501c3 tax exempt non profit organization.”

As momentum grew, so did the number of opportunities the farm was able to provide.Lifestyles1jpg

“Soon after (achieving nonprofit status), the children’s farm choir started and weekly farm groups started to come out to care for the animals,” Supran explained. “More programs were started once donations came in and we had enough help to support the physical chores of the farm and programs.

“We may do the programs for free but we have to pay for lots of up keep and insurance, so fundraising is ongoing and actually our hardest task,” she added. “For over 20 years now we’ve grown to have weekly farm, garden and music/choir program, 4-H Club, over five special events open to the public, the most popular being the Blessing of the Animals held every year on the third Sunday of September.

“This is something I always wanted to do,” Supran said. “I consider all of these people my family.”

Those interested in donating or volunteering can contact Supran through email, circlerockingsfarm@att.net, or by calling (231) 462-3732. For general information on the farm, visit www.circlerockingsfarm.org.

UPCOMING CIRCLE ROCKING S CHILDREN’S FARM EVENTS

Mondays: Special needs music therapy/choir program from 10-11 a.m. (every Monday until Christmas) at the United Methodist Church, located at 387 First St. in Manistee. All ages and walks of life welcome.

March 27: Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt and Bonnet Contest at 1 p.m. Must RSVP by March 25. Will be held inside the barns rain, shine or snow. Wheel chairs welcome.

May: School tours by reservation. Available through out the year. Call (231) 462-3732 for details.

May: Sheep Shearing. Exact date to be announced.

June 28: Barn Dance and pot luck from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Must RSVP by June 25.

August: Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm 4-H Club at West Michigan Fair. Exact date to be announced.

Sept. 16: Blessing of the Animals, Farm Olympics and Silent Auction starting at 1 p.m.. General public is invited to bring pets of all sizes.

Oct. 2: Special Needs Halloween Hayride, pot luck and costume contest. Must RSVP. Wheel chairs welcome.

November to December: Free Stuffed Animal program for low income and special needs.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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