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New York Race Track Chaplaincy to host annual turkey giveaway for needy families

By Nailah Ellis Timberlake | 11/24/2013 11:19 AM ET

The Race Track Chaplaincy of America, New York Division (RTCANY) will again give away hundreds of turkeys this week at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course to needy families within the New York thoroughbred industry. 
As part of the intiative, now in its 13th year, the RTCANY identifies families in need or those struggling financially at the three New York Racing Association (NYRA) tracks and also at various area breeding farms. 
In addition, turkey dinners will be served to backstretch workers at Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park this Tuesday, November 26.
"The food donation that we provide is so important during the holidays for the workers who take care of the industry's horses all year long," says Humberto Chavez, RTCANY Chaplain.
The program is funded largely through donations. This year's sponsors include The New York Racing Association, Inc., The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation, The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, and Island Harvest, along with many individual donors.  If you would like to donate, please call (516) 835-0275 or visit www.rtcany.org.  
Donations will be distributed to recipients at Aqueduct on Monday, November 25, between 10:00 a.m. and noon at Backstretch Gate 6. At Belmont Park, donations will be distributed on Tuesday, November 26, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at Belmont's Backstretch Gate 6. Turkeys at Saratoga Race Course will be delivered directly to families. 
About The New York Racing Association, Inc.
NYRA's mission is "Meeting the highest standards in thoroughbred racing and equine safety." Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at New York's three major tracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course) through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state's thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State's urban, suburban and rural economy. 
About The Race Track Chaplaincy of America 
The primary focus of the Chaplaincy is to address the spiritual needs of the personnel at NYRA tracks. The Chaplain serves as the official minister to all of this unique population without regard to race, creed, religion, background or social status. The following services are provided, with the intent of satisfying not only the spiritual needs but also the human necessities. It is the understanding of the Race Track Chaplaincy NY Division that one cannot minister to the spiritual needs of any individual without ministering to the whole person. For that reason, programs have been implemented for the past 20 years to address the various needs of the backside village personnel.