2021 Great Charity Challenge Presented by Fidelity Investments® Set to Empower Local Communities through COVID-19 Relief and Recovery in Palm Beach County

Dec 6, 2020 - 12:37 PM


For Immediate Release


Wellington, FL – December 4, 2020 – Leading up to its twelfth annual event, the Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC) is calling out to individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to unite and support those that work tirelessly to serve our most vulnerable neighbors in Palm Beach County.


Founded during the financial crisis in 2008 by father/daughter team, Mark and Paige Bellissimo, the GCC was created to support unique communities and increase funding to local non-profit organizations.


To date, the exciting show jumping competition that blends equestrian sport and philanthropy has raised and distributed $14.8 million to 256 charities.



For many non-profits, the effects of COVID-19 are similar to that of the economic situation 12 years ago. Beyond their usual duties and responsibilities, staff and volunteers are stepping up to meet our neighbor’s emerging needs ranging from food insecurity, loss of housing, lack of access to basic needs and healthcare, the rising need for educational support, and more.


Based on a community needs assessment with the county, in partnership with local agencies and in direct response to the unique setting surrounding the pandemic, the event’s 12th edition committed to shifting a majority of its funding priorities towards local non-profits who are directly supporting and assisting the most vulnerable and affected populations in Palm Beach County.


“Experts in all fields agree that the lasting effects of COVID-19 will be felt for months and years to come,” commented GCC co-founder Mark Bellissimo. “We are in a unique and privileged position to be able to host the Winter Equestrian Festival safely here in Wellington, Florida, this winter. On behalf of our entire team, we want to thank our returning donors and sponsors for pledging their support to the event and responding to the GCC’s approach of focusing on COVID-19 relief and recovery.”




With over 300 applications received for the chance to participate in the 2021 GCC, all organizations were subject to a thorough vetting process, in partnership with Bank of America, and an additional review by the GCC vetting committee. With qualifying organizations identified, charity drawings are scheduled to take place between Wednesday, December 9, 2020, and Monday, January 14, 2021.


“To guarantee impartiality and transparency, we will once again rely on key partnerships with our elected officials and event donors to randomly draw out charities from our ‘traveling lottery drum,’” said GCC co-founder Paige Bellissimo. “While our focus has always been about impact, we are confident that with this COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Edition, donations will directly support the most vulnerable populations here in Palm Beach County.”


All drawings will be shared live and posted on the GCC’s social media outlets: Facebook and Instagram.
Are you impact-driven and community-focused?


“Joining the GCC team means that you believe in #StrongerTogether,” said GCC Executive Director Anne Caroline Valtin. “With so many worthwhile organizations in our community and so many ‘asks for support,’ the idea of selecting one cause can feel overwhelming. From our vetting process in partnership with Bank of America, to our unique model of redistributing 100% of donations received – thanks to Equestrian Sport Productions’ generosity of covering all costs associated with this community effort, coupled with a year-long reporting process – joining us as a donor or sponsor means that your donation will create the most influential impact in the community.”


Donations and sponsorships from local families, foundations, businesses, vendors, exhibitors, and spectators, ranging from $50 to $50,000, are what make the event reach its fundraising goal of more than $1 million every year.


Customized sponsorship opportunities start at $500 while donations of all levels are welcomed; please visit: https://gcc.coth.com/page/join-us for additional information on how to become part of this movement and community effort.


Carly Dvorkin and Carlotta 168. Photo © Sportfot
Blending philanthropy with equestrian sport, the exciting show jumping event brings hope to more than 30 Palm Beach County charities every year at the PBIEC. With a goal of distributing more than $1 million in one evening, prize money for participating charities ranges from $100,000 to $1,000, ensuring that every charity is a winner.


Organizations benefiting from the GCC serve and support the local community’s growth and well-being. For a full list of recipients and benefiting charities to date, including their most recent fund use reports, please visit: www.greatcharitychallenge.com.


The GCC competition during the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center will be held Saturday evening, February 6, 2021, at 7:00 PM. To follow CDC guidelines and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, event updates will be shared via the event website: www.greatcharitychallenge.com as well as our social media pages: Facebook and Instagram. The event will be live streamed at www.PBIEC.com.


About Fidelity Investments 
Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $8.7 trillion, including discretionary assets of $3.4 trillion as of October 31, 2020, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 32 million people invest their own life savings, 22,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 13,500 institutions with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for more than 70 years, Fidelity employs more than 47,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/our-company.


About the Winter Equestrian Festival
The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), known as the “Winter Equestrian Capital of the World,” is the world’s largest and longest running equestrian festival in the world, located in Wellington, Florida. The equestrian industry adds more than $100 million to Palm Beach County’s economy each year and provides more 900 jobs for the area. WEF is the proving ground for the Olympic Equestrian sport of show jumping, as well as for the sport of dressage at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, which also operates the International Polo Club Palm Beach. For more information on WEF, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

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