A letter from SAFE Alumni Program Manager Shar Conner:

I wanted to let everyone know that I am going to be stepping down from my role as SAFE’s Alumni Program Manager. I’ve been in this role for 8 years now (hard to believe); it’s been a fun ride but I think now is the right time for me to hand the reins over, so to speak, to somebody else.

I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you over the years and to be a part of your journey with your horse (or horses, for those of you that have brought more than one SAFE horse into your life). I wanted to thank you for being willing to share a small piece of your and your horse’s life with me and the rest of the SAFE family. It’s been a real blessing.

My SAFE horse, Kat, and I will “see” you on the Alumni Facebook page!

All my best,

SAFE is forever grateful for countless hours and care that Shar Conner gave to our community. When we sat down to talk about who we could ask to fill her shoes, we immediately realized that task would be impossible. Since 2005, SAFE has successfully adopted 363 horses and currently has 152 active members in our Alumni Community. As the group has grown, so has the responsibility. Shar was a warrior who managed a mammoth-sized department on her own. Looking at ways to develop sustainability for our volunteers and success for our program, it was clear that the Alumni Manager position needed to be broken down into different roles.

An amazing group of volunteers stepped forward, wanting to help develop and manage this new Alumni program. We are so excited for their fresh ideas and energy while helping the SAFE stay in communication with our adopters. The rescently formed Alumni Committee is divided into roles of Alumni Relations, Alumni Records, and Annual Alumni Checks.

Please join us in welcoming Amy Quackenbush, Connie Brenden, Lise Anderheggen-Leif, and Christine Dehner.

Special thanks to Lexee Navarre for her crucial role filling in as Alumni Manager and helping develop the new program and training our new alumni team volunteers.

Lise Anderheggen-Leif

Lise grew up in New England and got some time with horses when she was young. She had a long hiatus until finding SAFE in September of 2020. After spending more time at SAFE, Lise realized that being a bigger part of the SAFE puzzle was important to her. “Seeing horses leave SAFE has always been a bit bitter sweet for me, Lise says. “As I see horses get adopted, I am always curious about who fell in love with a SAFE horse that I also love and where did they go.” So becoming a part of SAFE Alumni Program seemed a perfect fit. Lise says she is happy to be able to help in this capacity and looks forward to getting to know the families the horses are going live with.

Christine Dehner

Christine has a deep passion for animals, the outdoors, and community service. She was introduced to horses at a young age, thanks to her family’s 120-acre horse property in Calgary. Even though financial constraints kept her from her dream of becoming a world class show jumper, she maintained her passion for horses through determination and self-teaching. Christine came to Seattle to further her work developing and overseeing clinical studies, specifically using immunotherapy to treat cancer. Despite such a demanding and rewarding career, she felt a void in her life without horses. Fortunately, a friend introduced her to SAFE, she discovered that being with the people and horses at the rescue brought her immense joy. Her involvement with SAFE quickly became a top priority in her life, allowing her to reconnect with horses, contribute to a meaningful cause, and learn more about horsemanship from SAFE staff and volunteers.

Amy Quackenbush

Amy has been around horses all her life. Without the time or space to own a horse of her own, she sought out the opportunity to help rescue horses, and began volunteering at SAFE. Amy has volunteered through the years with Junior League of Seattle, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. As a volunteer at SAFE, Amy is a shift lead on the Thursday morning chore shift, and a very active fundraiser for the cause she holds so dear. She looks forward to lending her people skills to promote better engagement between SAFE and its wonderful adopters.

Connie Brenden

Connie is a technical writer and proud owner of a Chihuahua. She started volunteering on a chore shift at SAFE back in 2014 when we were located in Woodinville. She has also served SAFE by calling references provided by perspective adopters for several years. Now, she looks forward to serving on the SAFE Alumni team.