Giving Back To The Community
In 2017-2018, Gulfstream Park made significant strides in improving community outreach. Jockey Appearances spanned across youth development programs, direct-service programs to under-served communities, visits to local schools and hospitals, giving back to our non-profit organizations, and working alongside our sponsors to put a stamp on the community.
We look forward to 2019 and providing more opportunities to engage with the community.
Gulfstream Park’s 80 –year commitment to “giving back’ to communities, through philanthropic partnerships, donations and outreach programs, endures today at the local and national levels through many diverse community initiatives.
The latest initiatives include the Gulfstream Park American Dream Scholarship at Broward College, providing the opportunity for several students to complete their degree program throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, and reading programs at several local schools in the area.
In the past year Gulfstream has held several events to raise awareness and funds for, among others, the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund, Thoroughbred Aftercare Program, Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (TRAC), Becca’s Closet, Feeding South Florida, Best Buddies, Overtown Youth Center, The Pantry of Broward and Live, Love and Help Stephanie Schriefer. Gulfstream also continued its support of His Place Ministries, dedicated to the spiritual, emotional and life needs of all backstretch personnel at Gulfstream and Palm Meadows Training Center.
Gulfstream’s annual giving program focuses on the needs of local charities as well as aiding caregivers responding to emergencies of the moment. At the same time, Gulfstream Park has been a major contributor to the many charitable organizations in the larger equine community. The caring needs of the people who live and work in the world of Thoroughbred racing will not fade away. Nor will Gulfstream Park’s charitable efforts diminish.
Over the past five years Gulfstream has raised and distributed approximately $1 Million to local and national charitable organizations. Gulfstream has also started the Gulfsteam Cares Outreach Booth to help local and national charities raise funds and awareness for their organizations during the Championship Meet.
Championship Academy of Distinction
2017-2018 We have started a Reading initiative this year, where all students are expected to bring a book of their choice with them daily to read in the mornings and throughout the day. Literacy is an area we are working diligently on, so bringing the jockeys in to read in classrooms is excellent. Each month we have an assembly to learn about a new Character Trait. We brought in Acacia Courtney to speak about her career and what character traits she feels is important in order to be successful.
2018-2019 This year we brought jockeys Edgard Zayas, Nik Juarez and Romero Ramsay Maragh to read to second, first and kindergarten classrooms. They brought their racing saddles, helmets, vests and boots to show the children their equipment, answered questions prepared on the white board by students before the visit, and read stories. Reading plays a major role in the curriculum at Championship Academy, “so having jockeys from Gulfstream visit and share the importance of reading was important,” said Nikki Bernstein, Gulfstream’s Director of Community Relations.
“It’s always a pleasure partnering with Gulfstream Park,” said assistant principal Christina Rivera. “Our students were elated to receive a visit from some of the jockeys, even more excited to hear them read and share about their careers. The experience was memorable and exceptional as always. We look forward to more moments such as these. Thank you Gulfstream for providing the opportunity.”
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Thank You Note from Principal Sharon Miller:
On behalf of the staff and the students at Ben Gamla Charter School in Hollywood, please allow me to thank you and all of the representatives you so graciously brought along with you.
Our students and staff marveled at the work the jockeys are responsible to complete each day. All of us learned about their schedules, their responsibilities, the reading and studying they must do each day, and the joy they bring along with the dedication each day to make Gulfstream Park the enticing and enjoyable recreational adventure so many of our families enjoy.
You cannot imagine the excitement they shared with their parents. Their exposure will surely elicit further attendance come season at the track. Today, some of our teachers borrowed the non-fiction books about horses to read to their students while implementing the reading strategies we practice each day.
Jockey Visit to Joe DiMaggio Hospital
“Shannon Bajwa, a Child Life Specialist at Joe DiMaggio, said: “It means a lot to the patients. Sometimes they’re here for a long time and they don’t have much to look forward to, so when we have visitors like this it really gets them out of their rooms and gets them motivated and helps brighten the day. Not only do the patients enjoy seeing the jockeys, but the parents as well. They really appreciate the joy it brings to the kids.”
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West Broward High Vet Assisting Program
“This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to see many of the topics we study being used in real-world applications,” said Tara Terribile of West Broward’s Vet Assisting Program. “It has also given them the chance to see the many different jobs that are part of the equine industry and the important role of horses in the veterinary world.”
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Broward College Day at Gulfstream Park
Hosting the men and women of Broward College. For more information click here
American Dream Scholarship
Gulfstream Park has partnered with Broward College to award two South Florida students with the Gulfstream Park American Dream Scholarship.
“The Gulfstream Park American Dream Scholarship ensures one more student graduates with the qualifications necessary to be an important part of our community’s workforce,” said Nancy Botero, Broward College’s Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the Broward College Foundation. “I’m so happy Gulfstream Park has joined the many local businesses who support American Dream scholarships at Broward College and help our students soar."
For more information click here.