The children’s association needs a new home
By Brittni Johnson
SHELLEY, Idaho (eastidahonews.com) – A local non-profit organization in need of a new home turns to the community for help.
Larry Cudmore, retired pastor and cancer survivor, directs Champ’s Heart. The nonprofit is a ministry that shares experiences of meeting horses with children and their family members facing challenges such as cancer and other disabilities. The organization also helps veterans, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The organization was based in the North Bingham County Historical Park in Shelley. Cudmore said Champ’s Heart came to the park at the invitation of Bingham County Commissioners, who in April 2021 offered Cudmore a 99-year lease. But recently, he was told that the commissioners did not have the power to make such a long lease because of the Idaho code.
“When they found out they couldn’t do the 99-year lease, then they offered me a five-year lease that would have to be renewed every five years,” Cudmore explained.
When Cudmore was deciding whether or not to make Shelley the permanent home of Champ’s Heart, he was also exploring another field option that would have cost $ 300,000.
“I told them (to the commissioners) I should know you were serious about this (99 year lease) and they said, ‘Oh yeah, we are,'” Cudmore recalls. “So I dropped this land deal.”
Cudmore wanted to build a million dollar indoor arena on the Shelley property, but said the commissioners “won’t be commissioners forever” and he “can’t spend a million dollars on a five-year lease. years”.
“The idea for this indoor arena that we’re hoping to build will be temperature controlled, so it doesn’t make a difference if it’s raining or if it’s really hot, cold or windy the program can happen,” Cudmore said. “It is important that children have a routine that is not broken. “
Champ’s Heart – which serves around 75 children, 10 veterans and has wait lists for both programs – was given until September 30 before it had to be moved out of the park. Cudmore decided to leave two months earlier because, in addition to the rental issues, people filed complaints with Bingham County Animal Control about his horses.
Some of the complaints were that some of his horses were too thin, the cubs were too big, and grain buckets were on the ground instead of hanging from the fence, according to Cudmore.
“It was frustrating because imagine somebody come to your house and the police come in and question you and accuse you of something you never did, and then they find out it’s not true,” Cudmore said. “It was humiliating for me.”
Cudmore added that animal control was released twice, but was told the complaints were “false.”
“The last drop was when I got there one day, and someone had cut off half of my horse’s tail,” he said. “I decided I had to leave at the end of September anyway. I’m not going to build the arena here and why put up with this hassle for another two months when who knows what’s going to happen?
Champ’s Heart has gone out of business while they search for a new home. Cudmore said ideally he would like the organization to be somewhere between Shelley and Rigby on 10 acres, but five is doable.
If you know of anyone who has land for sale or would be willing to donate, contact Cudmore at (208) 589-4082.
Monetary donations to purchase land can be made at Venmo @ Larry-Cudmore.
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