Lisa Berlin-World Games Gold Medalist to be Guest Speaker at LifePath/PICPA Benefit Luncheon

She took LA by “Storm!”

Lisa Berlin, riding a horse named “Stormy,” won a gold medal and two silver medals in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles and will be a guest speaker at LifePath’s 2016 Thanksgiving Benefit and Awards Luncheon. Held at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center on Nov. 23, Lisa will take the stage alongside US Olympic Ice Hockey Gold Medalist, Jim Craig.

Lisa is very proud of her accomplishments and had “the best time ever” at the World games in LA last year. After the Olympics she was greeted at the Philadelphia International Airport by Jon Golden, Associate Director at LifePath, and local Special Olympics staff members.

“I could hear her medals clanging together before I could see her,” Golden said. “The rest of the families met us at the bottom of the escalator by the baggage claim. Then there was a lot of cheering!”

“I feel very happy. I got to meet so many people and trade pins,” Lisa said.

And there were a lot of pins to be traded. Televised on the ESPN networks, the Los Angeles Special Olympics was the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015. With 6,500 athletes, 2,000 coaches, 30,000 volunteers and approximately 500,000 spectators, this was the biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games (

Lisa Berlin was just 4 years old when she climbed aboard a horse for the first time. Despite being so little, she showed no fear of the large animal. Instead, her mother said, a look of pure joy and amazement came over her face.

“She always loved being around animals,” Sandy Berlin-Wessel said. “Just being near a horse was a dream come true for her.”

Her mother credits LifePath with helping Lisa embrace her first love – horses – through its programs.

“LifePath wanted to give her a suitable social outlet, and so they took her horseback riding,” her mother said.

Lisa began to hone her riding skills six years ago at the Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Perkasie. Her showmanship in equestrian events improved remarkably to the point where she won first place in the Pennsylvania state games, which qualified her for this summer’s World Games.   

Her mother said that when LifePath put Lisa under Ivy Hill’s equestrian tutelage, it fueled her dream of becoming more accomplished – and suddenly going to the Special Olympics seemed more attainable.

And attainable it was. Lisa won a gold medal in Team Relays with partner Allison Douglas of North Carolina and two silver medals in English Equitation and Working Trails.  

Simply put, when asked about the horse she met only two days prior to the competition, Lisa said, “He was nice. He listened to me. He was white.”