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Menomonie Applebee's breakfast to benefit rescued horse

An all-you-can-eat breakfast at Applebee's in Menomonie Dec. 8 will raise money to give a rescued horse needed eye surgery. The breakfast, which includes sausage, pancakes, coffee or milk and juice, will be served from 8-10 a.m. at the restaurant, located just off I-94 at Exit 41 in Menomonie. The price per person is $7.

The breakfast will be cooked by Applebee's staff and served by volunteers of Refuge Farms Horse Rescue and Sanctuary in Spring Valley, which is caring for the horse. RockMan, whose owner could not find a stable to board him since he became blind, is expected to be at the event, weather permitting. Refuge Farms receives $5 from every breakfast served. There will also be a bake sale, raffle, and the sale of heavyweight hoodies and 2013 calendars.

Sandra Gilbert, executive director of Refuge Farms, notes that this opportunity to raise the $1,500 needed for eye surgery at the University of Minnesota Equine Center will remove the ongoing irritation created as his eyes have changed shape, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eyeballs. "You know what it feels like to have an eyelash in your eye -- we would rub until it came out," she says. "He has that all the time, in both eyes, and can't remove the lashes!"

RockMan, a 28-year-old foundation quarter horse gelding, loves to be ridden, she notes, citing his appearance in the horse rescue's November Gala, where he, along with four other blind horses, were ridden or driven in the arena by volunteers, during an evening reception and program, in the presence of over 100 guests. "With a rider serving as his eyes, he really moves out." A supporter provides funds for his care, but to release him from the constant irritation he is experiencing, eye surgery is needed.

Tickets are available at the door or from any Refuge Farms volunteer prior to the event.