A love for animals and riding horses at a young age may have eventually triggered Lori Peterson Farace to start a pet boarding and grooming business, Clermont Country Kennels, in New Jersey.
"I currently own Clermont Country Kennels a pet boarding and grooming business which I started in 1998," Lori said. "I believe the reason why it is so successful is because of the hard working values I grew up with and the fact that I applied them to my passion for animals.
"I provide a clean and happy environment for the pets that board with me."
In running the day-to-day operations of the kennel, Lori said she hopes her clients have peace of mind that their beloved pets have the best of care while they are on their trips.
"It's because we are so blessed, I try to give back to the community by providing a free grooming to all pets adopted from any of the local shelters," Lori said. "I also provide foster care when needed so the shelters will have more room to take in homeless pets."
She currently has three dogs that she is fostering and trying to find homes for; two dogs were placed into permanent homes just last month.
Born to Don and Betty Peterson, who still reside along Boot Jack Road in the same house their daughter grew up in, Lori is a 1978 graduate of Ridgway Area High School.
Upon completion of her high school studies, the area native served in the United States Coast Guard from 1978 to 1982; she met and married Philip Farace, her husband of 32 years while in the service.
The couple has a son, Tim, who works at the kennel, and a daughter, Kelly, who is a nurse for the county of Cape May.
Growing up in Ridgway, Lori recalls a fondness for the town and remembers growing up in a large, hard-working, close-knit family.
"We learned to share and look out for each other," Lori said. "We all worked at a young age and learned responsibility and independence.
"Ridgway was a clean, safe town with a lot of integrity and these values are what I took away from growing up there."
Along with her sister and cousins, Lori grew up riding horses, participated in 4-H and took to the trails riding through the woods in the Bingham Road/Bear Creek area. Lori is still an avid rider to this day.
"I show dressage at training level and last year took reserve champion at starter level in the English Circuit of South Jersey and East Coast Regional Dressage Association," Lori said. "This was something that was inspired by home and it proves that it's never too late to follow a dream."
From an equestrian standpoint, Lori said she misses the vast miles of acreage and countless hours spent riding in the woods in Ridgway.
"Just enjoying the quiet beauty of nature all around me-- today when I trail-ride, I do not have the luxury of miles and miles of the private natural beauty I took for granted as a kid," Lori said. "Living in a resort area, there are always people everywhere."
Lori still kept several close friendships along with family in Ridgway and she and her husband actually purchased a small farm along Grant Road with the intention of eventually moving back to the area.
"I'm not sure if that will ever happen," Lori said. "Two years ago we became grandparents but we do enjoy visiting as often as possible."