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Debbie Shirey

Debbie Shirey, President


Debbie also was born into a military family who moved quite a bit. She completed high school in San Diego and then 2 years of college. She married Ken Shirey in 1984 and they moved to the Seattle area in the late 1980s and Whidbey Island in 1993. Their four children were born between 1991 and 1996.

Deb opened her pet grooming business in Clinton in 1994 and she is still going strong, taking great care of the dogs and cats of South Whidbey. She also owns horses herself and tries to ride at least once a week (except on the rainiest Pacific Northwest days). Wisely, she never attempts to ride the two family llamas! Deb has been on the HOPE Board for many years and, in addition, has found time for Boy Scouts and the South Whidbey Lions Club.

As Deb says, “Kids are my heart and HOPE is my heart. I work on the Board because my work there is needed to keep HOPE going, but my real love is being around the students and seeing how much fun they have in HOPE sessions and how much those sessions help them in their daily lives. HOPE rocks!”

Marta Berry Marta Berry, Vice-President


Because her father was in the Air Force, Marta travelled all over the world when she was younger. When her father retired to Whidbey Island, she got her first horse at age 14, a beautiful Arabian named Pepper. Marta graduated from South Whidbey High school and went to college then worked at Whidbey Island Bank for 15 years.

When her daughter Amanda was born, Marta was able to retire to raise her. Their family has always loved animals and it was Marta’s dream to have another horse some day. When they bought their house and acreage, they first acquired 2 alpacas. Then Marta learned about HOPE and she and Amanda became the proud sponsors of two HOPE horses: Bandit, a Rocky Mountain gaited horse, and Ike, an Arabian.

Marta was a volunteer at HOPE at first and then joined the HOPE Board in 2006, working with what she calls “amazing people.” Marta believes that she and Amanda have been truly blessed to participate in helping HOPE’s wonderful riders succeed and watching their progress from knowing nothing about horses to grooming, walking, then trotting and even more on their special HOPE horses.

Marta’s husband Roy is also a terrific supporter of HOPE, keeping our HOPE horses safe and happy by fixing fences, trucks and horse trailers and baling hay! The family has attended the CMA church in Langley for 32 years where Marta has taught Sunday School and Roy has played on the Worship Team. Marta also loves to bake, so she spoils the other Board members at monthly meetings and also contributes to occasional bake sale fundraisers.

Marta comments: “It has been an amazing experience to watch the HOPE program grow and give even more riders the opportunity to share in the special equine bond and therapy. Volunteering along with other Board members, staff and volunteers has been terrific. They are a hard-working, awesome bunch of people!”

Marta Berry

Tricia Webb, Secretary


Tricia, of Webb’s Department Store in Freeland, grew up knowing about HOPE because her mom Pat was one of the original founders of HOPE back in 1986. Her older sister Tina also spent some time at HOPE as its Head Instructor.

Pat and Tina have since retired from HOPE but when HOPE was looking for new Board members in 2009, Tricia was the perfect choice! Not only does she have lifelong horse experience, she knows just about everything there is to know about HOPE.

With her business experience at Webb’s on top of this background, Tricia is a very hardworking and valuable member of the HOPE team. In addition, her horse Baby is one of our most valuable HOPE lesson horses!

Marta Berry Kim Berto, Treasurer


Kim is involved with HOPE as a lesson volunteer, horse sponsor and board member and enjoys the opportunity to help people who face a variety of challenges in their lives, and at the same time work with horses ~ a definite win-win! Kim brings 40+ years of experience with horses ~ riding, training, and showing ~ to assist HOPE.

As a lesson volunteer she is familiar with those who face extreme challenges: her brother struggled with cerebral palsy and had both developmental and intellectual disabilities. In addition, her years in the accounting field enable her to fill the role of Treasurer, to further assist the organization.

“Whidbey is my home, my family roots are here. Horses are my first love, and being able to give back, in some way, to help repay what others did for my brother, all keep me striving to do more and more for HOPE. I encourage everyone to become involved and experience the joy of helping students as they face their challenges head on, and work to overcome their disabilities. It is a very powerful, rich and rewarding experience.”


Hope Therapeutic Riding Center

Established in 1986, HOPE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is:

to empower children and adults facing special challenges – whether physical, cognitive or emotional – to discover their abilities, independent skills and explore their potential through use of our nationally accredited safe and effective equine-assisted activities and therapy.”

HOPE provides a positive, safe environment allowing students to enjoy their experiences while learning a sense of self-confidence that will help shape the rest of their lives. 

“Discover Your Abilities . . . Grab the Reins of Life!”

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If you wish to help empower children and adults facing special challenges, please click the donate button below. Support HOPE in providing a positive environment for students to gain a sense of self-confidence that will shape the rest of their lives - your donation is greatly appreciated.











































































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