Diane Lindsay Tower has followed in the footsteps of her parents, Dr. Richard and Betty Lindsay, to offer tremendous support to Merrimack Valley and Ironstone Farm specifically. For two generations, members of the Lindsay and Tower families have offered lifetimes of service to local families and their beloved pets through the caring operation of Andover Animal Hospital. With Diane joining Challenge Unlimited's nonprofit board, she continues a tradition of supporting both equines and humans at Ironstone.
During these past 20 months of Covid alone, Diane provided the most significant contribution toward completely redoing Ironstone's main horse paddock for the first time in decades. This has created a drier, safer and more modern space for volunteers, staff and the majority of the nonprofit's horses. Diane also paid for other vital needs during the height of the pandemic, including months of hay to feed the horses that help improve lives every day.
This continued the tradition of care for Ironstone started by her father, who introduced Diane to Ironstone when she was a little girl. Dr. Lindsay was the veterinarian for Ironstone for many years and contributed substantially to pay off its debt and make it sustainable. When government and insurance programs stopped paying for children 3 and older to receive therapy, he suggested the "Sponsor a Child" idea that has helped hundreds of children continue their life-changing rides, regardless of their families' ability to pay. Diane, her brother David, and the Lindsay and Tower families have generously started an endowment to support Sponsor a Child for the long-term.
Our gala will pay tribute to the many contributions of these families who have been a substantial part of creating Ironstone's past and its bright future.
For the past several years, members of the Raytheon Employee Veterans Network have come on Fridays to Ironstone Farm and donated their time and talent. The group has used its knowledge and passion to turn Ironstone's original 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom farmhouse into a 13-bedroom, 6 bath retreat house that will improve veterans' and others' lives for decades to come. Veterans who fly in from around the country for weekend retreats soon will be able to stay at Ironstone Farm during their visits, making these experiences even more immersive and life-changing.
This fits into the goal of the RayVets organization, which is made up of Raytheon employees who are veterans and supporters interested in giving back and helping veterans successfully transition to civilian life. Led by Charlie Orosz, Sam Sullivan and Brendan Hamm, the local RayVets group has saved Ironstone's nonprofit significant amounts of money and kept this life-saving retreat-farmhouse project moving forward even during Covid. In addition to their work at the farmhouse, some committed RayVets have helped elsewhere on the farm, building and repairing structures needed by Ironstone's horses and staff to continue to serve veterans, children with special needs and others.
Donate to support our programs, and help sponsor a child in need. During this time it will support our nonprofit programs, with our pledge that we will sponsor families as more programs reopen and we are able.