Painted carousel horses ... and you, to the rescue

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 8:45am

Story Location:
196 Townsend Avenue
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
United States

    Have you noticed the brightly painted carousel horses stabled around town the past few weeks? Wonder why? Charlie and Friends Second Stride Rescue at Burke’s Island Farm is holding an online auction and dinner Aug. 18 at the Carousel Music Theater - naturally! The non-profit rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes slaughter-bound horses, donkeys, and mules. 

    A few of the carousel horses - made of molds used for actual carousel horses at amusement parks - are about 3 feet long while most are around 5 feet tall, or about 15 hands! Check them out at Harbor Nutrition and Linekin Bay Resort/artist Suzie Speed; Coastal Maine Popcorn/artist Lucy-Ann Spaulding; two at Janson’s/artists Bailey Bartlett & Cathie Peters; Grover’s/artist Erika Jo Hincks; Nathan’s Pharmacy/artist Freeman Geyer; Devine Health & Beauty/artist Olivia May Partner; Bath Savings/artist Mari McGuire; and BBH Apparel/artist Brandy Silvers; Heads of the Harbor/Sierra Firth; until the morning of the Aug. 18 when they will be moved to the Carousel. Read about the artists at

    Tickets for the Aug. 18 event at Carousel Music Theater are $150. They can be purchased online through Charlie & Friends Facebook page or go to, and at Burke’s Island Farm, 20 Lindsay Road, Boothbay – just off Route 27.  

    If you are purchasing tickets online, check out the online auction of colorfully painted carousel horses. And bid! Otherwise, it becomes the silent auction happening during dinner, so be sure to get to the Carousel early to look at the horses up close, as well as the other items up for bid. Other generously donated items include A gift bag from The First: blanket, water bottle, metal straw, Sea Dogs tickets, ball cap; equine drawing by Sarah Richards from the Lyn Snow Gallery of Damariscotta; 10 lobsters, an antique collar harness with a mirror; 100 gallons of oil; a nutrients treatment from Devine Health & Beauty; hand knitted alpaca wool shawl, antique child’s rocking horse and more … At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to win a ¾ carat diamond (sans setting) by buying a flute of champagne for $50! This has been organized by Juliette and Ronnie Cohen and Rick at The Ritz. It’s the fundraiser within a fundraiser, so to speak!

    The evening preview begins at 5 p.m. Dinner, by Black Label Catering, begins at 6 p.m. There will be a cash bar open throughout the evening. The starters: charcuterie board, fresh garden salad, caprese salad, clam chowder, butternut squash soup; main course: bourbon brown sugar steak, oven-roasted chicken; sides: fire-roasted vegetables, croquettes, mashed potatoes, steamed rice, sautéed broccolini; Dessert: coconut macaroons, mini cheesecake, chocolate truffles.

    Becky Abbott, co-owner of the Farm and Rescue got the idea for this fundraiser many years ago when the Boothbay Region YMCA held one using Adirondack chairs painted by local artists.

    Abbott said the monies raised will help bring two necessary projects to fruition, particularly the construction of a two-stall quarantine barn and storage area for hay. It’s also key for the ongoing care of four recently rescued donkeys.

    “The quarantine center will be about 120 feet with 2-3 stalls. And, we need heat in the arena when we are here at 3 a.m. in February caring for sick animals,” said Abbott. “Funding will also help with the medical care given by a vet.”

    Abbott noted most of the animals have never known a kind human. “All new animals must be quarantined. They come here riddled with mites, fleas, lice, and could be sick - or pregnant They arrive scared, some have never been touched. And some are so sick they must be euthanized. When we brought six donkeys here six months ago, two had to euthanized right away they were in such intense pain.

    “After one week, the donkeys were used to being brushed and cared for, and literally in a matter of weeks they were understanding people weren’t all bad,” said Abbott. “These kids, our junior board, we call them, dote on these animals. They love them, groom them, bathe them … it’s not “just a rescue.’”

    Carousel horse sponsors are:  Above and Beyond Scheduling, Janson’s Clothing Store, Bath Savings, BBH Apparel,  Devine Health and Beauty, Merrill Family Chiropractic, Nathan's Wellness Pharmacy and Apothocary,  Tom & Patty Minerich, Patty Zinkowski and Jane McBride; Grover’s Hardware;  Burke’s Island Farm.

    Can’t attend but want to make a donation? You can! Go to

    For more information on this vital fundraiser, visit Burke’s Island Farm and Charlie and Friends Second Stride Rescue, visit And, check out this video: