DeWitt Law Firm December 2019

As we approach the holiday season, we look for ways to help our community. One of our traditions of giving back is donating bikes to “The News Junkie’s” annual holiday bike drive. For years, we have worked with “The News Junkie,” a local radio show on Real Radio 104.1, by donating bikes for their annual bike drive. However, this year, we wanted to go one step further. During 2016, we donated 122 bikes, and in 2017, we were able to provide 116 bikes. This year, we decided to match every bike donated. The program focuses on providing bikes for children in need. The drive unites the entire community, and the radio station partners with a different entity every year. Last year, we worked with the Latino Peace Officers Association and attended the event when each child received their bike. In addition to giving a bike and holiday toys to the children, the Latino Peace Officers Association put on a great event for the kids and even brought in the sheriff’s helicopter, firetrucks, the SWAT team, the canine unit, and tons of games. A bike is a kid’s first sense of freedom. They learn from scraped knees and cut elbows. As a child, I cherished all those moments, and I hope to be able to help other children have similar fond memories. We also want to ensure that every child is safe when out having fun, which is why Helmet Heads of Florida is donating a helmet for every bike. While it’s a fun event for everyone involved, it’s more important to the area than most people realize. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, deaths among Florida bicyclists under the age of 20 has tripled since 1975. In 2017 alone, 783 fatal bicycle accidents happened in the U.S., and 125 of those occurred in the Sunshine State. A recent study conducted by AAA found that among Florida bicyclists, 36% don’t wear a helmet when riding. Helmets save lives, and we want to make sure every child has access to one. If you want to help lower these statistics by getting involved with Helmet Heads of Florida, visit for more information. We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday! ONE HELMET AT A TIME HELPING OUR COMMUNITY


Horses have been loyal and useful companions to humans for centuries. But unbeknownst to many who fear these long-legged, 1,000-plus-pound mammals, horses are also naturally intuitive and extremely sensitive to the moods of people around them. These traits make them excellent therapy animals for those with autism, cerebral palsy, chronic illnesses, and PTSD, among many more. In fact, there are dedicated horse-riding camps geared toward chronically ill children and adults all over the world. However, riding horses isn’t the only way to benefit from equine therapy; horses are also fantastic comfort animals that can relieve anxiety and promote a positive environment for bedridden patients — as long as the doorway is big enough. Meet Peyo, the 14-year-old “love stallion” from Dijon, France, who is cheering up chronically ill patients one nuzzle at a time. This accomplished artistic dressage competitor accompanies his owner, Hassen Bouchakour, on visits to hospitals and nursing homes, bringing joy with every clop of his hooves. Patients suffering from all manner of ailments blossom when Peyo comes to visit, laughing and smiling while being nudged by his soft nose. He seems to have a keen sense for patients who are truly suffering, and though his handler is always nearby, Peyo often chooses which rooms to enter of his own volition. Having a horse in a hospital room may not sound very sanitary, but Peyo goes through a strict grooming regimen to be deemed hygienic enough to be around patients. His hooves are greased, his mane and tail are braided, and his entire body is rubbed down with antibacterial lotion before being covered by a blanket. Before Peyo became a therapy horse, he was almost put up for sale by Bouchakour, who had a hard time wrangling Peyo’s fiery personality. But, over time, when they traveled to shows and competitions together, Bouchakour noticed the horse was drawn to the injured and disabled and would instantly calm at their touch. “It is one of the most pure, honest, and sweet things,” Bouchakour says. “They like each other very much without asking for anything else.”

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