Locals rally to 'Save Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club'

STRAWBERRY MANSION (WPVI) -- A trash-strewn vacant lot, nestled in one of Philadelphia's roughest neighborhoods, may not seem like a dream gift to many.

But to the president of a local equestrian center, it's a godsend.

For decades, 76-year-old Ellis Ferrell Jr. has been keeping inner-city kids out of trouble by teaching them to ride horses.

During the years, the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club has rented space in Strawberry Mansion.

But, thanks to a donated piece of land, the club now has a permanent home.

On Saturday, the owner of a local concrete business rallied other contractors to help clear years of debris from the lot - an act of kindness that touched Ferrell.

"Man, it's a great feeling. ... Usually every time I start talking about it I tear up because I'm so happy," said Ferrell.

The focus now turns to new stables and an office.

A group of horse enthusiasts has set up a fundraising page to help the club continue its mission.

You can donate by clicking here.
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