Thanks so much to Pastor Tom and the His Place Ministries Team for organizing the Backstretch BBQs at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows. We are so happy to sponsor these events with our partners at 1S/T Racing. It's just a small token of our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the people of the backstretch!
Led by donations from the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation and 1S/T Racing, more than $10,000 was raised for the Backstretch Appreciation BBQs at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows during Florida Derby week. Also contributing were Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, Big Lick Farm and the U.S. Trotting Association, as well as owners and trainers including Larry Bates, KD Racing, Loretta Lusteg, Eddie Plesa, ProRacing Stable, Kathy O'Connell, Sanatara, Ron Spatz, Barclay Tagg, Donna Ward and Bonner Young. The funds were used to provide BBQ lunch to more than 600 backstretch workers. In addition, Father Tom LaPointe and his team purchased 75 bicycles and microwaves that were given away to the workers and their families in attendance.
Thank you to Father Tom, the His Place Ministries Team and our own Herb Oster for making our annual Backstretch Christmas parties at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows such a success! All told, more than 500 workers and their families enjoyed a Christmas dinner, and there were pony rides and toys galore for the kids. Happy, happy holidays to our entire South Florida racing family!
The Florida HBPA as well as Gulfstream Park and His Place Ministries provided nearly 650 backside workers and their children a Christmas meal as well as toys for the children at Gulfstream Park on Monday December 16, 2019 and Tuesday December 17, 2019 at Palm Meadows. The children danced and got to meet Santa Claus. The Florida HBPA would also like to thank all the volunteers that also helped to make this such a wonderful event.
The Florida HBPA along with His Place Ministries and Gulfstream Park provided 540 meals to our backside crews and their families at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows. It was a very blessed day for all involved.