Our Purpose

Each LeMons race is for cars purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for a total of 500 dollars or less. But before reaching the grid, you'll have to survive trials like the Personal-Injury-Lawyer Anti-Slalom, the Marxist-Valet Parking Challenge, and the Wide Open Throttle Rodthrowapalooza. Twelve hours into the race, the car voted People's Choice is called in and awarded a cash prize; simultaneously, the car voted People's Curse is called in and summarily destroyed. At the end of 24 hours, a gala awards ceremony plies the survivors with trophies, plaques, and four-figure purses in canvas bags full of nickels. What's not to like?*

Make a little LemonAid

A casual discussion about entering a race designed for $500 cars turned into something with more at stake than a trophy. Over the course of six weeks, drivers, donors and sponsors have contributed to build a team focused on turning racing laps into money to support the kids at Wildwood Hills Ranch. An old rusty car sitting in a barn waiting patiently for years will now be put to good use rather than the pasture. Behind a motor as small as a 1 liter soda bottle lies the heart of a V8. This little "Lemon" will be put to the test against a hundred other cars over twice its size on the track. For the past month the team has been preparing the Metro for a June team entry deadline. To date the drivers have contributed to buy and build the car. Sponsors have come together to provide the safety equipment and logistics for the team. Now its time to make some LemonAid…

*Information courtesy of 24hoursoflemons.com

From the Quad City Times, August 8, 2010 - Quad-Citians trick out Geo Metro to raise money during 24-hour road race [keep reading...]

Wildwood Hills Ranch Wild About the Child!

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About the Ranch:

Who we are - Wildwood Hills Ranchwas founded in 2001 with the mission of providing life-changing opportunities and leadership programs for at-risk and disadvantaged youth ages 8-18. Kids from across the state are offered hope and love while being challenged to grow into leaders and people of integrity who contribute to the communities in which they live.

Who we serve

Currently, Wildwood Hills Ranch is working to serve 900 youth from all over Iowa. We collaborate with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs and Hope Ministries, as well as the Department of Human Services and local schools, to identify and assist the hundreds of at-risk children we serve. Financial supporters include individuals, businesses, and foundations such as Variety the Children's Charity, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, Roy J. Carver Foundation, and others. Our goal is to implant and nurture Iowa identity, Iowa dreams and Iowa opportunities for thousands of Iowa youth.

How we serve

Wildwood programs are focused on leadership and character development. Week long Summer programs for 8-12 year olds focus on the pillars of character and help plant seeds in the lives of the children at the Ranch. The Leader in Training program for 13-15 year olds emphasizes general leadership skills while our Team Leader in Training program for 16-18 year olds focuses specifically on the skills needed to lead children. Devoted and trained leaders help teach youth the meaning of honesty, integrity and respect - the core values that many of these youngsters are unaware of simply because of the situations life has dealt them. All spiritual aspects of Wildwood Hills' summer programs are non-threatening, respectful and based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Why it matters

Last year, Iowa's Department of Human Services reported more than 23,000 cases of child abuse. With increasing trends in childhood poverty, abuse and neglect, it is imperative that we continue to reach out and touch the lives of these children. We recognize the need to offer them hope and we can make a difference. Wildwood Hills Ranch is focused on building strong and principled young people who, in the future, will have a positive impact on Iowa's communities.

What is Wildwood Hills Ranch?

What Wildwood Hills Ranch is not…

What age children does the ranch serve?
Character and Leadership programs serve youth ages 8 - 18.

What is a Bounce Back?

What is the Horsemanship Program?

What is Horse Therapy?


Do You Believe a Horse Can Change the Life of a Child? We Do!

Wildwood Hills Ranch Equine Programs

Cowboy Up - Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP):

Cowboy Up serves children, ages 3 to 18, who struggle with the wide variety of abuse. Research shows that children, who experience abuse, often suffer from stress disorders.

Cowboy Up (EAP) is a powerful and effective therapeutic tool promoting change from dysfunctional patterns to successful ones. It is a collaborative effort between a therapist, horse professional, client and the horse. It is not just riding. Much therapy takes place on the ground. It is person-centered, requiring the client to develop the skills of recovery, assertiveness, taking responsibility, problem solving, teamwork and confidence building, which all have incredible impact on at-risk children.

Cowboy Up (EAP) participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world. But Cowboy Up has the added advantage of utilizing horses - dynamic and powerful living beings. Horses are honest, which makes them especially powerful messengers. (As a result of the exercises and relationship with the horse, the children understand how to transfer those same skills to human relationships, thus helping them to communicate more effectively and build and maintain healthier relationships.) Cowboy Up works. The outside of a horse is truly good for the inside of a person.

Therapeutic Horse Riding:

Therapeutic riding is most widely known for the benefits it provides to people with physical and cognitive challenges, but there are also benefits for those who struggle with emotional challenges and trauma.
Therapeutic Riding activities offer a motivating combination of sensory, cognitive, and emotional stimulation that facilitates mobility, socialization, and independence. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.
For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem.

Equine Assisted Learning:

Wildwood's equine assisted youth programs for ages 7 - 18 target character development, civic participation and service learning. Collaborating with local schools all programs are presented in an educational format, facilitated by certified horse professionals using experiential skill building exercises. They are masterful activities designed to generate positive engagement and offer analogies to life issues. All sessions use activities to mirror situations the client may face in their day-to-day life. Equine Assisted Learning promotes an understanding of how the clients relate to the world and how their behaviors affect those around them.
We address leadership, teamwork, responsibility, work ethic, independence, communication, relationship, healthy choice making, motivation, self-esteem, peer pressure, anger management and more. Programs are 6 weeks to several years in length.