Our Story

Founded by a Love for Animals and Each Other

It is a classic story: In the 1930s, Al Vidbel, son of Polish immigrants, ran away from his home in Trenton, NJ to join the circus. Not just any circus, he joined The Greatest Show on Earth! His love for animals, particularly elephants, landed him a job, first shoveling, then showing and training the animals that he so admired and loved.

Around the same time, Joyce Lane asked her mother if she could leave her home in upstate NY to travel across the country to Nebraska so she could fulfill her dream of working with horses and learning to trick and Roman ride. Soon she was given the opportunity to join The Greatest Show on Earth to show off her skills as an accomplished equestrian. It was surely their sense of adventure and love for animals that destined these two amazing people to create a moving and beautiful love story!

Throughout their life, Al and Joyce traveled the country performing with their animals, while at the same time, creating a horse camp, right on their farm in the Catskill Mountains that would be a summer home to dozens of kids from NYC.

Today, as campers from the 1950s still call to express their thanks and gratitude for an experience that changed their lives, this 5th generation farm is alive with a heart and soul. Through work of the Al & Joyce Vidbel Foundation, and your financial generosity, their legacy is continuing to fulfill its destiny to be a refuge and inspiration for future generations.