Community Resilience to Shine at the 2021 Great Charity Challenge, Presented by Fidelity Investments®

Oct 25, 2020 - 7:56 PM

For Immediate Release – October 26, 2020

Through the support of the equestrian industry and the local community, the Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC) has acted as a catalyst for charitable giving over the last 11 years, distributing $14.8 million to 256 Palm Beach County non-profit organizations.

Founded by father/daughter team, Mark and Paige Bellissimo in 2009, the initiative came forward as a way to increase funding to local non-profits, following the 2008 economic crisis, at a time when donations were scarce. COVID-19 is once again challenging community resilience, replicating the challenging situation of 12 years ago.


Ziegler Family Foundation


“Experts in all fields agree that the lasting effects of COVID-19 will be felt for months and years to come,” comments event co-founder Mark Bellissimo. “Not holding this event in 2021 simply isn’t an option for our team at Equestrian Sport Productions and Wellington Equestrian Partners; we are going to make this happen!” 


The application process to participate in the 2021 GCC will be open starting at noon on Monday, October 26, 2020, and will remain active through 5:00 PM on Sunday, November 15, 2020. 

At stake? A chance to win up to $100,000 on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

“Thanks to Equestrian Sport Productions generously covering all costs associated with the GCC, the event has been able to fundraise and re-distribute 100% of the funds back to local organizations,” mentions event co-founder Paige Bellissimo. “In addition to providing much needed funding, our strategy for 2020-2030 also involves capacity building, enabling and building invaluable partnerships, as well as concentrating on amplifying the event’s impact.”

Based on a community needs assessment with the county, in partnership with local agencies and in direct response to the unique setting surrounding COVID-19, the event’s 12th edition is 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.

The following non-profit categories will be eligible to be selected for funding in the main event, with a chance of receiving between $15,000 and up to $100,000: emergency health services; emergency children, family and senior services; emergency youth development and education support; emergency shelter and homeless services; emergency food support and emergency veteran services. The GCC board and vetting committee will also review non-profit organizations experiencing a critical expansion (50%+) of service delivery in response to increased demand following COVID-19.




Following the format of previous years and to guarantee transparency, up to twenty pre-vetted organizations will be randomly selected via the event’s famous lottery style drawings. Additional smaller grants will also be awarded, via a random selection process, to non-profits who do not meet the above criteria but pass the GCC’s vetting process. These grants will range between $1,000 and $10,000.

If you know of a deserving Palm Beach County-based charity, please have them visit for additional information regarding application requirements and the event’s unique selection process.  

Please note that the application process for the 2021 GCC is exclusively open from Monday, October 26, 2020, and will remain active through 5:00 PM on Sunday, November 15, 2020.  To view how funding from the 2020 event impacted the community, we invite you to visit:  

For additional event information, including information about the application process and sponsorship opportunities, please visit We also invite you to join us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with our latest news and happenings via Facebook and Instagram


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 $8.8 trillion, including discretionary assets of $3.5 trillion as of September 30, 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 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit


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 sports of show jumping and dressage. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, that also operates the International Polo Club. For more information on WEF, please visit


Social Bar

Shopping Cart

Like Box

Most Popular

Like Box

Rider Spotlight

Charity Spotlight

Horse Spotlight

Like Box

Like Box