Gulfstream Gives Back During 2011 Meet
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino’s storied history of “giving back” to communities, principally through philanthropic partnerships, grants, donations and outreach programs, continued throughout its 2011 racing season.
During the record-breaking 2011 meet, Gulfstream’s charitable donations touched local and national charities, caregivers responding to emergencies of the moment, and many charitable organizations in the equine community. Gulfstream also created the Florida Derby Golf Tournament and Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Program.
“Gulfstream management and staff continue each day to support and improve our communities and meet the needs of the thoroughbred community at large,” said Gulfstream President and GM Steve Calabro. “It has always been an organization-wide commitment by MI Developments Inc., to reach out to all communities and support them as they support us.”
Gulfstream’s diverse initiatives included a memorable trip to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in March where Calabro - accompanied by jockeys John Velazquez, Javier Castellano, Alex Solis, Joe Bravo and Elvis Trujillo - presented a check for $50,000. Calabro and the jockeys spent an hour meeting with children, parents and staff while signing autographs and giving out gifts.
Gulfstream started a new tradition April 2 when playing host to Ladies Day, a day of activities surrounding the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). During Ladies Day, Gulfstream presented checks totaling $60,000 to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure, Florida Breast Cancer Foundation and Memorial Foundation.
Ladies Day was just one event during a week’s worth of activities and fund-raising initiatives leading up to the $1 million Florida Derby. More than $50,000 was raised for injured jockey Eibar Coa and the Florida Thoroughbred Retirement & Adoptive Care Program (TRAC) at the first annual Florida Derby Golf Tournament and during a live auction at Gulfstream’s first annual ‘Pink Party.’
“The golf tournament, Pink Party and live auction was a huge success thanks to our many sponsors as well as the entire thoroughbred community both locally and nationally,” said Timothy Ritvo, Gulfstream’s Vice President of Racing. “The racing world seemed to unite Florida Derby week. It was a true team effort.”
Gulfstream continued supporting backstretch workers at Gulfstream and Palm Meadows by donating to His Place Ministries and funding The Elite Program, an education program for grooms. Gulfstream also continued its partnerships with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Police Athletic League of Hallandale Beach.
Meanwhile, Frank Stronach, Chairman and CEO of MI Developments Inc, parent company of Gulfstream Park, created the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Program. Stronach, an advocate and supporter of several retirement programs, seeded the program by matching money taken from purses (one-third on one percent) at Gulfstream currently distributed to retirement programs by the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (FHBPA).