Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

Karen Dalton overcame obstacles to help military Veterans at her facility.

The pandemic has brought on many challenges on professional and personal levels. Business is conducted much differently than it was at this time last year. Not being able to see loved ones or attend large social gatherings such as either sporting events or concerts has made fundraising for non-profits more of a challenge.

Now, what if on top of that, you served your country and have little or no support system in place to control those demons? There are active and retired military personnel who fall under those sad categories that don’t know where to turn or who to ask for help. However, there is a place these heroes can go to get back on their feet and have a new lease on life.

The Dare To Dream Ranch, located on 12 Snagwood Road in Foster, is a 501 © (3) nonprofit organization on a 11-acre facility that offers alternative therapy programs to service members, Veterans and their families. Founder and Executive Vice President Karen Dalton said the purpose of the Ranch is providing outlets to build up their ability to become productive. The end game is empowering their clients to live productive, meaningful lives.

“These Veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and other challenges from their time serving,” she said. “They had mission, purpose, structure, and comradery in their lives in what they were doing. Now that they are back to civilian life, many can’t make the smooth transition from one life to another. Being on the Ranch gives them a sense of purpose while giving them a second chance to make a difference.

“I know what it’s like to be in this situation, so I understand what these Veterans are going through.

She grew up as the daughter to a Marine dad who suffered from anger management issues. Her first husband also dealt with anger management issues that affected Dalton’s emotional and physical health. Her goal is to break the cycle by utilizing alternative therapy programs that helped her, and programs that have helped others.

Now, Dalton has the Ranch to help others going through tough times. The facility has many programs to help with mission, purpose, structure and comradery. For those who may not have a place to stay, the Ranch will start to offer an opportunity to work there in exchange for a place a stay as availability allows. This enables them to save money to purchase their own home, she said.

Among the activities provided at The Ranch include equine-facilitated coaching, woodworking, fly fishing, beekeeping and gardening, among others. Dalton herself utilized gardening, working with horses, time in nature and surrounding herself with positive like minded individuals to help overcome her emotional and physical health challenges and now wants to use these to help others.

“Nobody has to go through this ordeal alone. That is a major reason why this Ranch is critical to the health and wellbeing of those who kept the rest of us safe. They don’t want a hand out; just some way of contributing and feeling better about themselves and being a part of something more,” she said.

One of the best things coming out of the last 12 months is the incoming contributions to support the Ranch. Dalton said did not have as many volunteers but were able to raise their largest amount ever. However, they want to raise $5 million to purchase more land, build a gift store, and make other renovations to help more people.

One of the ways they hope to reach their goal is the 401Gives Challenge. Happening on April 1st and sponsored by The United Way of Rhode Island, the organization that raises $50,000 first will receive a matching $50K from the Rhode Island Foundation. It’s a one-day, 24 hour event to raise money for various organizations and charities. Dalton said that money would do a lot of good.

Starting at 6:00 AM on April 1, anyone may donate at:

“Without question, we are all facing a different kind of world,” she said. “What these Veterans have seen and done should never be forgotten. We should make a concerted effort to ensure that every Veteran and their family receives the care and help they need. Our Ranch works to accomplish those goals.”

For anyone interested in helping out in terms of contributing or volunteering, please call Karen at (401) 919-2059 or email her at

More details about the Ranch may be found by visiting their website at

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