Early Saturday afternoon near the backstretch recreation center, just across Union Avenue from the clubhouse turn, hotwalker Eduardo Alarcon slipped his feet into a new pair of shoes. A grin broke over his face, and he jogged energetically in place.
“They feel great!” he exulted.
Alarcon was one of several dozen backstretch workers who received a new pair of shoes last weekend; designed specifically for diabetics, of which there are many on the backstretch, they are a result of campaign initiated by Lew Mongelluzzo, the president and CEO of Team Power Play Racing, and a scout for the Ottawa Senators hockey team.
Involved in hockey and horse racing pretty much his whole life, Mongelluzzo was staying last summer at the newly opened Pavilion Grand hotel on Lake Avenue, as was Team Power Play partner Anne Yannarella, when they met Susanne Simpson, the hotel’s general manager.
“With all of our guests,” said Simpson, “we try to make it personal and get to know them. And as we got to know Lew and Anne, we could see there was a real passion about horse racing and the backstretch workers.”
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