On Monday, Anna House held its 2010 graduation; its seventh graduating class celebrated and looked with anticipation at heading to kindergarten in the fall. Because of the Belmont Child Care Association, the ten graduates are beginning readers and writers, and they are fluent in English, ready to take on the challenges of their kindergarten classrooms in the fall.
On a recent visit to Anna House, I watched as students from ages three to five built with blocks; made art projects; talked with visitors; and practiced writing. One boy proudly showed off what he’d learned from a visiting dancer; several students played with dolls, caring for and washing them, always mindful of how a real baby should be treated.
The children of Anna House are fortunate that so many good people and organizations contribute to their support and make it possible for them to be taken care of in a safe, educational space while their parents are taking care of the horses. Open every day of the year, from 5 am to 1 pm, Anna House relies on contributions to keep its doors open, and we are thrilled that Fasig-Tipton is once again sponsoring a run in Saratoga to help benefit the children.
This year’s event takes place on Saturday, August 7th, and will offer a one mile “fun run” and a 5K race, with proceeds divided among the New York Racing Association’s four charities: the Belmont Child Care Association, Backstretch Employee Service Team, New York Racetrack Chaplaincy and The Backstretch Education Fund. The race will begin in front of Fasig-Tipton’s sales pavilion on Union Avenue and follow the same route as last year, down Union Avenue, along Henning Road, and back up Fifth Avenue.
Last year’s event raised about $10,000, and according to Stuart Chenkin, manager of Anna House, the contribution meant that pre-schoolers traveled to the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo, the Coney Island Aquarium and the SOHO Children’s Theater.
You can get more information and register for the race by visiting the Fasig-Tipton website, or by contacting Anna Seitz at 859 255 1555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Belmont Child Care Association’s annual benefit—its major fundraiser of the year—will take place in Saratoga on August 25th at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. For their commitment to Anna House, D. Wayne Lukas and John and Leona Velazquez will be honored. Tickets will be available shortly, and there are multiple ways that you can support the good work of Anna House: by volunteering at the event; by donating an item or service to the live or silent auction; by attending and buying an item or service; or by purchasing an ad in the benefit program.
Ads begin at $75 for a name listing and go up to $2,000 for the outside back cover. A business card-sized ad is $100; a quarter page is $250. You can advertise your website or your company, while sending good wishes to Lukas and the Velazquezes.
Perhaps you’ve got an item or a service that you could donate for our live or silent auction? The BCCA is seeking donations of wine; jewelry; racing memorabilia; tickets for shows and sporting events; gift certificates for retail stores or restaurants; electronics; or experiences, like a walk-on part in a movie or a meal with a celebrity.
You could also volunteer at or attend the event. If you’re interested in contributing in any way, please contact me or the BCCA directly. As Todd Pletcher said when he was honored in 2008, the backstretch workers are able to care for the horses when they know that their children are being taken care of, and for many backstretch families, the Belmont Child Care Association is their only option. If you can, please help take care of the children of the people who take care of the horses.