Spotlight on the First 25 Palm Beach County Charities Selected to Participate in 2018 Great Charity Challenge Presented by Fidelity Investments®

Dec 3, 2017 - 2:36 PM

Wellington, FL – December 3, 2017 – What if stardom wasn’t about Hollywood movies, holding a gold record or having a million followers on Instagram? Determined to redefine what trues stars look like, the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) had local nonprofit organizations center stage during the $216,000 Palm Beach County Sports Commission Grand Prix CSI 4*, on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

With over 330 applications received for the chance to participate in the 2018 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), the excitement level was high to see whose names would get drawn out of the lottery drum. At stake: a chance to share the $1.5 million purse. To date, the event has distributed $10.8 million to over 220 Palm Beach County Charities.

The 1st group of drawn nonprofits that will participate in the 2018 GCC

A total of 24 charities were randomly drawn throughout the evening’s festivities, additional to the Wellington Public Schools PTA/PTO/PTSA who are the only automatic in every year.

Event Founders, Mark, Katherine and Paige Bellissimo were assisted by Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig, Vice Mayor John McGovern, Council Members Michael J. Napoleone and Tanya Siskind, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission Scott Glinski, Chelsea Lasater on behalf of Fidelity Investments®, Wellington student and National Anthem singer Noah Zaidspiner as well as GCC sponsors Carlene Ziegler, Caroline Moran and the Carolex Stables family.

From left to right: Noah Zaidspiner, Paige Bellissimo, Chelsea Lasater (Fidelity Investments®), Scott Glinski (Palm Beach County Sports Commission) Katherine and Mark Bellissimo, Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig, and with their children: Vice Mayor John McGovern, Council Members Tanya Siskind and Michael J. Napoleone. Photo Credit: Lois Spatz


Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the GCC, commented, “we are very excited to see such a diverse group of nonprofit organizations join us for this 9th edition. It reflects exactly why we do these drawings randomly: so that everyone has a chance to participate. We hope to inspire the community at large to get involved with some of these local nonprofits by promoting volunteerism throughout the season.”

Blending philanthropy and equestrian sports, the GCC is an exciting show jumping event that brings hope to Palm Beach County charities every year.

“We had been selected before and came knowing that we may just not be as lucky again this year” commented Karis Engle, Executive Director of the Glades Initiative, Inc. “Our fundraising efforts are extremely restricted in the Glades area due to the limited available resources, this event has truly given us a leg up to continue to offer our services.”

Future charity drawings will be held at random during the first weeks of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival and the final two wild card teams will be drawn the night of the GCC.


“If you need your ‘faith in humanity restored’, this is the place to be!” mentioned Anne Caroline Valtin, Executive Director of the GCC. “Being surrounded by so many passionate and dedicated individuals is extremely inspiring. We are truly grateful to them for their work in the community and to the amazing sponsors for making this event possible.”

Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), the PBIEC operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, donates the facility, staff and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event and guarantee that 100% of the funds raised are redistributed in the community.

Mark your calendars for the 2018 GCC to be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the PBIEC during WEF’s “Saturday Night Lights” series. This family-friendly event offers free general admission and will feature this year’s event theme: “A Night When Everyone’s a Star”, celebrating Hollywood feature films. Spectators will enjoy the rider’s intricate costumes and Hollywood feel, while supporting their favorite charity in a race for a share of $1.5 million dollar purse.


For more information on the Great Charity Challenge (GCC) please visit and to learn more about Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) please visit


Charities Drawn to Date (listed alphabetically):

Alzheimer’s Community Care –
Back to Basics, Inc. –
Big Dog Ranch –
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County –
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary –
Christopher Aguirre Memorial Foundation –
Education Foundation of Palm Beach County –
Elder Affairs Program – Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach Inc. –
Families First of Palm Beach County –
Florence Fuller Child Development Centers, Inc. –
Gulfstream Goodwill –
Hope 4 Mobility –
Kids Cancer Foundation –
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League –
Quantum House –
Special Olympics of Palm Beach County –
Spirit of Giving –
Stem HQ dba TechGarage –
Step by Step Foundation –
Susan G. Komen South Florida –
The Glades Initiative, Inc. –
The Rotary Club of Wellington –
True Fast Outreach Ministries –
Wellington Public School PTA/PTO/PTSA
West Palm Beach Library Foundation –


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 $6.6 trillion, including managed assets of $2.4 trillion as of October 31, 2017, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 26 million people invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 12,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs more than 40,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit


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