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.
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.
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 www.greatcharitychallenge.com and to learn more about Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) please visit www.pbiec.com.
Charities Drawn to Date (listed alphabetically):
Alzheimer’s Community Care – http://www.alzcare.org
Back to Basics, Inc. – http://www.backtobasicsinc.org
Big Dog Ranch – http://www.bdrr.org
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County – http://www.bgcpbc.org
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary – http://buschwildlife.org
Christopher Aguirre Memorial Foundation – http://www.christophermemorial.org
Education Foundation of Palm Beach County – http://educationfoundationpbc.org
Elder Affairs Program – Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach Inc. – http://www.catholiccharitiesdpb.org/
Families First of Palm Beach County – http://www.familiesfirstpbc.org
Florence Fuller Child Development Centers, Inc. – http://www.ffcdc.org
Gulfstream Goodwill – http://www.gulfstreamgoodwill.org
Hope 4 Mobility – http://www.Hope4Mobility.org
Kids Cancer Foundation – http://www.kidscancersf.org
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League – http://www.PeggyAdams.org
Quantum House – http://www.quantumhouse.org
Special Olympics of Palm Beach County – http://www.specialolympicspalmbeach.org
Spirit of Giving – https://www.spiritofgivingnetwork.com/
Stem HQ dba TechGarage – http://www.tech-garage.org
Step by Step Foundation – http://www.stepbystepfoundation.com
Susan G. Komen South Florida – http://www.komensouthflorida.org
The Glades Initiative, Inc. – http://www.gladesinitiative.org
The Rotary Club of Wellington – http://www.welllingtonrotary.org
True Fast Outreach Ministries – http://www.TFOM1.org
Wellington Public School PTA/PTO/PTSA
West Palm Beach Library Foundation – http://www.wpblf.org
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