First of all, I have to note a couple of egregious oversights in my “giving thanks” post from last week. The Rail at the New York Times should have been there, for providing racing coverage during the Triple Crown season and the Breeders’ Cup and for offering me the opportunity to post there.
Also inadvertently left off was Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, whose tireless work largely goes unheralded (and whose new website looks GREAT!).
And finally, really, perhaps most unforgivably, I left off all those Kittens, who provided me with dozens of wagering opportunities in 2010, at least some of them winning.
…to some charity check-ins on this first day of December.
My mother and I spent many happy hours last weekend purchasing items for the Belmont Child Care Association holiday party. On December 11th, the BCCA will host its annual party, at which children of the backstretch can select gifts to give their families for Christmas. It’s not too late to donate; on the list of items needed are teenage, toddler, and infant gifts: iTunes and restaurant gift cards; Wii games; jewelry for girls; hoodies for boys; fleece pajama pants for girls; tee shirts and sweatshirts for boys. Cash donations are also accepted; contact me or the BCCA for more information, and profuse, abundant thanks to those of you who have already donated. We appreciate your generosity more than we can say.
The Belmont Child Care Association has launched a blog! Please check it out.
The New York Racing Association is also offering ways to contribute during this holiday season. Heading to Aqueduct this weekend? Considering bringing a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots campaign. You can contribute both Saturday and Sunday; the Marines will also accept donations of cash and checks. Collections boxes will be located at the main Clubhouse entrance and the Turf and Field Entrance.
If you choose to help, you’ll be joining New York’s four-time leading trainer, Gary Contessa, owner Harold Lerner, and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. Contessa will donate 10 percent of whatever purse money his horses earn on December 4 and 5; Lerner will contribute $7,500; and NYTHA will donate $5,000.
NYRA has pledged to match financial donations made by individual horsemen during the Spirit of Giving weekend.
Behind on your holiday shopping? This weekend at the Big A you’ll find the annual Stocking Stuffer promotion. You can buy various giveaway items for $1 each, with all proceeds to be donated to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Among the items for sale will be Saratoga umbrellas, seat cushions, cooler bags, baseball caps, mugs, t-shirts, and Belmont Stakes commemorative glasses. You’ll find the sale on the first floor of the Aqueduct Clubhouse and items will be sold up to 10 minutes before post time of the day’s final race on both Saturday and Sunday.
If your holiday budget is a little higher than that, consider a Moneigh for the loved ones in your life. A Moneigh is an original, abstract painting created by a horse, using the horse’s muzzle, whiskers, hoof, and tail, and ReRun Thoroughbred adoption program is auctioning them off to raise money through this Sunday. The paintings come matted and include a hoof print, lock of mane or tail, and brass name plate. ReRun’s eBay auction of Moneighs raises funds to support the retired Thoroughbreds awaiting adoption in its program
At the ReRun Shop on eBay you’ll find original art by Funny Cide, Einstein, Big Brown, Zippy Chippy, Evening Attire, Smarty Jones, Cigar, and Curlin, among many others.
Happy shopping, happy donating, and happy Hannukah!