Belmont week charity check-in

It’s Belmont week! As usual, Belmont is dark today and tomorrow, but the mornings on the backstretch will be busy, as shippers arrive and those horses on the ground continue to work towards this weekend’s races.

In addition to the racing action, several racing organizations are taking advantage of the focus on Belmont to raise money for the people of the backstretch.

On Thursday, the Jockey Club is holding its annual Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration, benefiting the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and Backstretch Employees Service Team.

This year’s event will be held in the New York Public Library, at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan and will be catered by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events. Meyer is the man behind the Shake Shack and big racing fan who grew up spending summers at Saratoga.

Attendees will be able to view the  Library’s new exhibition “Celebrating 100 Years,” which features 250 artifacts spanning thousands of years and representing the worlds of literature, dance, social activism, invention, exploration, religion, history and other intellectual disciplines and creative pursuits.

You can purchase tickets for the event online.

On Friday, the Belmont Child Care Association is throwing open its door for the grand opening of its two new classrooms; the expansion will permit Anna House to increase its enrollment from 50 students to 70. Materials and labor for the expansion were donated by Michael Dubb, a residential real estate developer, chairman of BCCA’s board, and top NYRA owner in 2010.

A ribbon cutting and cocktail reception will be held on Friday from 6-8 pm at Anna House, on the Belmont backstretch. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

And finally, the day after the Belmont,, Jeremy Edge, a long-time BCCA supporter, will begin a 190-mile walk from Belmont Park to Saratoga Racecourse. Jeremy, a native of London, England, is currently a regular contributor for HRTV and has been a part of the Anna House family for a decade.

His walk will raise both awareness and funding for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and for Anna House. He expects to take two weeks to complete the walk.

Donations can be made at the websites of the Belmont Child Care Association and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

You can follow Jeremy’s plans and travels by following on Twitter and by liking the Facebook page TheWalkingBrit.

I stopped by Anna House this weekend to check out the new rooms; it was a beautiful, summery day, and one class was outside, making the most of the good weather and a big lawn just outside the center.

Inside and out, the good work of the folks at Anna House was on display. Outside,  teachers ran around playing soccer with toddlers. Inside, in one room teachers sat next to sleeping infants, while in another, a representative from a local public school worked with a child who might require some extra help when he graduates from Anna House and goes to school.

The new rooms are beautiful, light and colorful, and on Friday we’ll celebrate their opening; shortly thereafter, they’ll be filled with children and toys and tools for learning, as Anna House continues to find ways to serve the children of the backstretch.

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