Featured image: Courtesy of the Shea Center
Susan Chaney-Purel, chairperson of the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center’s board, will be honored by the equestrian therapy center during their annual gala on Saturday, June 25.
Chaney-Purel will receive the 2022 Michael Lewis Friends of Disabled Award, which the Shea Center said is their highest award.
“The award, named after the Shea Center’s first rider, celebrates the contributions of individuals, organizations, families, and companies that significantly impact the lives of people with disabilities at the Shea Center and in the greater community,” a news release said.
Chaney-Purel is a lifelong equestrian who has lived in San Juan Capistrano for more than 35 years. She first came to the Shea Center in 2009 as a lesson volunteer.
“Her horsemanship and passion for Shea’s clients quickly led to her certification as a therapeutic riding instructor,” the news release said. “Susan went on to chair the Drive to Ride campaign and has been part of the Gala, BBQ, endowment, and executive committees. This has led to her third term as the Shea Center’s board chair.”
Shea Center CEO Dana Butler-Moburg said Chaney-Purel has guided the Shea Center through “unprecedented times” with “characteristic modesty and graciousness.”
“Her example of servant leadership inspires optimism throughout the organization,” Butler-Moburg said. “Susan keeps her eyes on our mission and encourages staff and volunteers to chart new paths that positively transform the future of the Shea Center for our clients.”
The gala will be held at the Pacific Lawn of Montage Laguna Beach.