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WVU equine studies program presents check to WVU Rosenbaum Family House

$1000 check being presented to the Rosenbaum house

The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design equine studies program presented a $1,000 check to the Rosenbaum Family House after raising funds at its Ugly Christmas Sweater Horse Show. 

“It’s such a unique donation,” Elizabeth Kanosky, public relations specialist for the Rosenbaum Family House, said. “Adopt-A-Day and Adopt-A-Week donations are usually in honor or memory of someone. The equine studies program gave through such a different and fun event.”

The Rosenbaum Family House supports WVU Medicine patients and their families by providing a place to stay during medical treatment. The organization can house 40 patients and their families who live more than 50 miles away from the hospital, providing housing and meals. 

“Competitors came from across the area dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters to compete with their horses dressed in Christmas costumes,” Crystal Smith, equine studies program coordinator, said. “We were able to not only raise enough money to adopt a day but an entire week at the Rosenbaum Family House.”

Smith and her students chose to adopt the week leading up to The Kentucky Derby. 

The Adopt-A-Day program pays for patients’ and families’ stays who are unable to pay the $30 a day fee. 

The fundraising effort was entirely student directed, explained Smith. After a former student of hers and volunteer at the Rosenbaum House spoke very highly of the organization, it was chosen as the beneficiary of the fundraising event. Smith said graduate students Adrianna Dunbar and Kilee Davis began working on the Ugly Christmas Sweater Horse Show as the show managers. The show collected entry fees from contestants, which went toward the Rosenbaum Family House donation. 

“It was so fun getting to design awards and manage the show,” Davis said. “On top of the experience of putting the show on ourselves, having the proceeds go to such a good cause was really rewarding.” 

Brandon Cook, associate director of development the Rosenbaum Family House, and Smith are discussing their continued partnership with plans to bring Rosenbaum Family House guests to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Horse Show scheduled for December this year. They plan to add a new component to the next show: a service project by the WVU Collegiate Horseman’s Association to benefit young patients at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital during the week of The Kentucky Derby.

“Some of our guests are long-term guests who are there for months at a time. We’re talking with Crystal about getting them out to the J.W. Ruby Research Center for shows or tours and to meet the horses,” Cook said. “This donation has sparked a partnership between us, and it’s one that will benefit our guests tremendously.”

To give to the Rosenbaum Family House, contact Cook at

To get involved with upcoming horse shows hosted by the equine studies program, contact Smith at The program hosts horse shows twice a month from April to December in addition to teaching hands-on classes during the semester. 

The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design envisions a world sustainably fed, clothed and sheltered. To learn more about the Davis College, visit Keep up with the latest updates and news on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube by following @WVUDavis.   



MEDIA CONTACT: Leah Smith   

Communications Specialist 

WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design  


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