It’s a beautiful love story of Hollywood movie and television star William Shatner meeting a beautiful woman named Elizabeth. Quickly the two realized they had a lot in common with their mutual admiration for horses and helping those in need. They married in 2001 and got to work helping others.
Every year the Shatners host the Hollywood Charity Horse Show in Burbank, raising money for children’s and veterans’ charities. Priceline.com (Will’s been a spokesperson for the Priceline.com since 1997) and the generous people at Wells Fargo help host this fundraising party by bringing together horses, riders, food, auction items and superstar entertainment, which has included in past years Brad Paisley, Ben Folds, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh and Vince Gill.
Meeting up with William and Elizabeth at this year’s check presentation breakfast at the Shadow Hills Riding Club, I learned they raised $500,000 to give to their multiple charities.
In attendance were William and Elizabeth, Wells Fargo Greater Los Angeles Lead Region President, David DiCristofaro and Wells Fargo Senior Vice President, Jonathan Weedman. This year Wells Fargo generously gave a $30,000 grant to Elizabeth’s All Glory Project, an organization that promotes, fosters and supports animal-assisted and adjunct therapies programs that aid military veterans and their families.
In handing Elizabeth Shatner the check, DiCristofaro and Weedman told those in attendance that in the past two years, Wells Fargo has awarded $70,000 to All Glory Project.
Elizabeth in turn awarded Wells Fargo with three of her art pieces as a thank you gift to them for their support.
After the presentation, Elizabeth thanked Wells Fargo and shared her story of how she developed this vital program. “As a little girl, I felt helpless watching the Vietnam Veterans come back to the U.S. and not being able to help them.” When she learned that those serving and defending our country in Iraq were coming back wounded to the Walter Reed hospital where there were no clean sheets on the beds, she knew she had to get involved in helping the men and women who bravely defend our country.
Elizabeth shared how she has had a blessed life with William Shatner, yet her life wasn’t always blessed.
In her 20s a “bad man” attacked and left her injured and fearful. Even though she never served in the military, she could relate with the returning vets. “I saw and experienced something brutal and ugly. My life changed. Instead of continuing with pre-vet school, I dropped out, because I was so afraid,” Elizabeth said.
She fortunately got involved with art and horses. She started her path of working, showing and training horses. “Horses, dogs and art are the modality to reach souls in need,” she said. “They help when drugs and doctors can’t. Both dogs and horses have high cortisone levels that can elevate people’s own cortisone levels. They help those grieving feel good.”
The Shatners started The All Glory Project in 2010. It’s named after their Standardbred horse, All Glory. Elizabeth created this philanthropy after learning about the Central Kentucky Riding For Hope. This program offered injured vets improvements in balance, strength, flexibility and posture, while working and riding horses. She also noticed that emotionally, the interaction with horses helped these souls communicate more, improved their self-confidence and helped with team building.
The All Glory Project’s mission is to educate the public about opportunities to support equine-assisted therapy. Elizabeth continues to network with different organizations to extend support and gratitude to veterans all over the United States.
The Hollywood Charity Horse Show began supporting The All Glory Project in 2010. Now there is a special educational section of the horse show about equine services for military veterans.
In 2016, The Hollywood Charity Horse Show will be on June 4 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. William and Elizabeth Shatner will be there raising money for the causes they passionately believe in to help those in need get stronger again.