By Megan Kennedy

WALL TOWNSHIP — Allaire Community Farm, an outdoor sanctuary from the strip malls that surround it, held its first fundraising event last Sunday.

Owners Joanne and Sean Burney said the event, with with food provided by Mossuto’s Market, was aimed at funding improvements and much needed items at the farm, which is now a 501C3 non-profit organization.

The Burneys have a compassionate vision for their farm that transcends the principle of making money.

“We want to be a place that provides for children in need,” said Joanne Burney.

Their promise is to rescue animals in order to rescue kids.

The farm creates a safe and caring environment for children with special needs and teens struggling with depression. It gives them the opportunity to interact with the animals and participate in parties, improving their self esteem and creating a sense of purpose.

The animals, rescued by the Burneys, offer therapeutic benefits to the children and teens. As a result, the Allaire Community Farm creates an amazing cycle of giving back.

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Allaire Community Farm provides animals for the petting zoo at the Wall Fair. Photo courtesy ALLAIRE COMMUNITY FARM

The Burneys and their team of volunteers work hard to sustain the farm and provide care for their rescued animals. Their first rescue was a horse named Queen Ester who has gained 500 pounds since arriving at the farm.

“It’s not about making money; it’s about following a path,” said Mr. Burney.
The farm’s 22.5 acres also provide a tranquil refuge from the commotion of daily life. “People just relax when they come here,” said Sean Burney.

The Burneys and their volunteers have served special needs children exceptionally well and been rewarded with the results, such as seeing a non-verbal autistic child begin to talk, for example. However, donations are essential for their vision to be fully achieved.

The Burney’s also give back to the community in several ways. With their co-op organic produce they are able to provide fresh, healthy food to help cancer patients in three families rebuild their immune systems.

“You shouldn’t have to be rich to eat organic food,” said Mrs. Burney.

Community members are welcome to join the farm’s organic co-op and receive fresh produce at discounts of up to 25 percent.

In the future, Sean Burney would also like to sponsor seminars on healthy eating and integrated medicines.

The Allaire Community Farm also offers events such as pony parties for children, school class trips, scouting events, and riding lessons. One young girl asked her party guests to donate to the farm instead of bringing her birthday gifts. The generosity of the Burneys is clearly infectious.

“We are a work in progress,” said Mrs. Burney.