Thoroughbred Community Supports St. Mary’s Spring Fundraising Events to Help Raise Funds for Special Needs Families

The New York Racing Association, (NYRA) and members of the thoroughbred community all came out to support St. Mary’s spring fundraising events including the 7th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and the 1st Annual Jockey and Horseman’s Ball, both held at NYRA’s Belmont Park, to help raise funds & awareness for children with special needs.

The unique partnership between St. Mary’s and NYRA has been bringing the region’s leading provider of post-acute care for children together with the region’s most famous racetracks to support vital programs and services for some of New York’s most seriously ill and injured children.

Top jockey, Ramon Dominguez was named the honoree at the Jockey & Horseman’s Ball on May 1st, 2011 for his outstanding dedication to St. Mary’s Kids. As the recipient of the 2010 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey awarded annually to North America’s top rider, Ramon first met St. Mary’s kids in 2009 when he paraded his horse onto the track at Aqueduct for the start of a race and saw four remarkable St. Mary’s children in the Winner’s Circle. After the race, he rushed over to meet them and has been St. Mary’s champion ever since. 

“We’re proud to be a community partner of St. Mary’s and help shine a spotlight on the importance of their work in helping children with serious illness and injury, and their families, lead healthier and happier lives,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA President and CEO.  “Our relationship, which began with a single Walk event at Belmont Park in 2008, has expanded into a growing and dynamic partnership for the children.”

St. Mary’s Annual Walk gathering the support of staff, patient families, community members and business owners was held at Belmont Park on May 22nd, 2011 for the third year in a row.

“St. Mary’s is grateful for the ongoing support from our friends at NYRA and the thoroughbred racing community at large,” remarked Jeffrey Frerichs, St. Mary’s President and CEO.  “Working together, we are improving the health and quality of life for children with special needs.

The Jockey & Horseman’s Ball garnered the support of local philanthropists, community leaders and members of the horse community, including Honorary Committee Chair, Charles E. Hayward, NYRA President and CEO.  Committee members include Joanne K. Adams, Director of Community Relations for NYRA; Alice and Anthony Calabrese, Simplex of Middle Village, Inc.; Jennifer and Gary Contessa; Sharon Dominguez; Anthony J. Ficara, Ficara & Associates, PC; Jeffrey K. Frerichs, St. Mary’s President and CEO; Michael Genovese, Holy Cross High School; Carol Hunt; Letty McLaughlin; Elise Merhige, Constellation NY; Tracy Pletcher; Linda Rice, Linda Rice Racing; Rudy Rodriguez, Thoroughbred Trainer; Terry Whalen, Sterling Sign Company; and Richard A. Violette, Jr., President, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Event sponsors include Michael and Maria Repole; The New York Racing Association, Inc.; Mike Sapraicone and Squad Security; New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc.; Elise and Jeff DeJoseph; Tony and Alice Calabrese, Simplex of Middle Village, Inc.; Jennifer and Gary Contenssa; Kiaran and Letty McLaughlin, Kiaran McLaughlin Racing Stables; and Todd and Tracy Pletcher, Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stable.

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