...to enrich the lives of families with special needs children
through customized therapeutic experiences

Louie’s Story

Courage To Dream

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

In February of 1997, Louie Castriota and his wife, Laurie, had a vision that merged their love of children and animals with their desire to give back to their community through the creation of a therapeutic riding center for children with special needs. Ironically, six months after their vision was born, their daughter Brooke was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. The disease is a metabolic disorder that causes both cognitive and motor function delays.

On a mission to find the best treatment for Brooke, Louie and Laurie found the state of Pennsylvania offered an excellent early intervention program, but it only served children up to three years of age. After age three, children are then dependent on school systems or private providers for therapeutic programs. Their research identified huge gaps in availability and affordability of services for children with special needs. Brooke's diagnosis moved Louie and Laurie to significantly widen the scope of their vision for Leg Up Farm to a facility that would be unique across the country in its comprehensive service offerings, customization, and coordination of therapy for children with a wide variety of needs.

In pursuit of this dream over years, and with the help of many like the Lehr and Potter families, Louie has raised millions of dollars in funding through a combination of private contributions, public fundraising events, and state, federal, and foundation grants. Capital funding was critical to Leg Up Farm's success, and in 2006 Louie turned his attention to securing a loan in advance of conducting a Capital Campaign. In November 2008, Leg Up Farm finally received a $5.6 million loan from USDA Rural Development and York Traditions Bank.

However, the need for funding continues and donations of all sizes are generously welcomed to continue realizing the dream of Leg Up Farm's full potential. No donation is too small-the collective efforts of the combined community make a huge impact and will be needed to complete the dream of Leg Up Farm.