NYRA announces Community Outreach Booth lineup for 2018 season at Saratoga Race Course
by Pat McKenna/Mark Bardack
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host 40 local and regional non-profit organizations at Saratoga Race Course during the upcoming season, which begins on Friday, July 20 and runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 3.
The non-profit organizations will be welcomed to the Community Outreach Booth, which is located next to the Jockey Silks Room and across from the Saratoga Walk of Fame. The Community Outreach Booth provides one non-profit organization per day with an exclusive opportunity to interact with the thousands of guests who visit Saratoga Race Course, share information about its work and host fundraising initiatives.
“NYRA is pleased to welcome 40 local, non-profit organizations to Saratoga Race Course where we are able to provide a special platform for each to engage daily with thousands of fans. This year’s Community Booth will shine the spotlight on a different non-profit each day, allowing each the opportunity to showcase its services and share its message with our guests,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “We are pleased to assist these non-profits in their fundraising efforts and in building greater awareness for the noble and important work that they do to strengthen our community.”
A staple of the 2018 schedule will occur on the eve of the Travers, Friday, August 24, when the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council holds its annual canned food drive at the Community Outreach Booth.
“Saratoga County EOC is grateful for the generosity of racing fans and the New York Racing Association for their support of families in need in Saratoga County,” said EOC Executive Director Jo Anne Hume. “Each year we look forward to the opportunity to share our mission and programs with the fans at the Spa on Travers Eve. The outpouring of support for our efforts and generosity from the Saratoga fans is what makes this community so special.”
A total of five organizations dedicated to the care of retired thoroughbreds will appear at the Community Outreach Booth during the 2018 season, including Classic Legacy Thoroughbred Aftercare; ReRun; TAKE THE LEAD; Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance; and Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
"The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) is pleased to be able to showcase our two Thoroughbred aftercare programs, TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD, at the NYRA Community Booth on August 11. NYRA's community outreach initiative, in conjunction with the best racing in America at Saratoga, is a wonderful way to give back to the many organizations that serve the racing industry, as well as local, state and national non-profits,” said NYTHA Executive Director Andy Belfiore. “It is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for our efforts to ensure healthy and happy retirement for our racehorses, which is of utmost importance to New York's horsemen."
Other industry partners at the Community Outreach Booth this season will include the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund in conjunction with the eponymous day held in the organization’s honor on Saturday, July 28; the Backstretch Employee Service Team on Travers Day, Saturday, August 25; and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame on Whitney Day, Saturday, August 4.
“The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is looking to reach out to a new audience and expose them to everything we have to offer at the Museum - beautiful galleries, interactive exhibits, special events and, of course, our Hall of Fame which honors the sport’s most accomplished participants,” said National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Director Cathleen T. Marino. “The Community Booth at Saratoga Race Course is a great way to accomplish this and we thank NYRA for coming up with a way for charitable organizations in Saratoga to gain exposure.”
The thriving arts community in Saratoga Springs will be represented on Monday, August 6 by the locally-based organization The Orchard Project, a theatre laboratory designed to fuel innovation in performance and support professional artists.
On Sunday, August 19, the Community Outreach Booth will welcome After the Fire, a volunteer non-profit organization which helps people in Saratoga County who have been victims of fire in their home.
Saratoga WarHorse, which helps change the lives of veterans by creating an interactive experience with retired thoroughbreds, will appear on track on Friday, August 31.
The meet will conclude on Labor Day with an opportunity for fans to donate to Capital Region Toys for Tots as the United States Marines launches its annual holiday toy collection drive at Saratoga Race Course.
The following non-profit organizations are scheduled to appear at the Community Outreach Booth at Saratoga Race Course during the 2018 season:
• Friday, July 20: ReRun
• Saturday, July 21: The Wesley Community
• Sunday, July 22: Saratoga Springs Figure Skating Club
• Monday, July 23: Christie’s Heartoberfest
• Wednesday, July 25: Man O’War Project
• Thursday, July 26: Saratoga High School Fiddle Club
• Friday, July 27: North Country Wild Care
• Saturday, July 28: Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund
• Sunday, July 29: Jewish War Veterans Post 36
• Monday, July 30: Ronald McDonald House Charities Capital Region
• Wednesday, August 1: Gallop NYC
• Thursday, August 2: Yaddo Gardens
• Friday, August 3: Classic Legacy Thoroughbred Aftercare
• Saturday, August 4: National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame
• Sunday, August 5: Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance
• Monday, August 6: The Orchard Project
• Wednesday, August 8: Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
• Thursday, August 9: Floyd Warriors
• Friday, August 10: Dyer Phelps
• Saturday, August 11: TAKE THE LEAD
• Sunday, August 12: The Joseph Ahmed Foundation
• Monday, August 13: Friends of Moreau Lake State Park
• Wednesday, August 15: The Center for Disability Services
• Thursday, August 16: K9s for Warriors
• Friday, August 17: Warren Washington Association for Mental Health
• Saturday, August 18: The Lustgarten Foundation
• Sunday, August 19: After The Fire
• Monday, August 20: Diamond Dogs Baseball
• Wednesday, August 22: Saratoga Bridges
• Thursday, August 23: Saratoga Automobile Museum
• Friday, August 24: Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council
• Saturday, August 25: Backstretch Employee Service Team
• Sunday, August 26: CDNY Regional Synchro
• Monday, August 27: Living Resources
• Wednesday, August 29: Catholic Charities of Albany
• Thursday, August 30: Saratoga Regional YMCA
• Friday, August 31: Saratoga WarHorse Foundation
• Saturday, September 1: Gurtler Brothers VFW Post 420
• Sunday, September 2: Hope Soars
• Monday, September 3: Capital Region Toys for Tots
The 2018 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which includes 69 stakes worth $18.8 million in purses, will run from Friday, July 20, through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.