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Funds, fundraisers announced for Lebanon fire victims

December 07, 2009

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Both the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association (OHHA) and Lebanon Raceway, the scene of the tragic barn fire in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 5, that killed two horsemen and 45 horses, have announced the establishment of funds for persons wishing to make financial contributions to the families of the persons and owners of the horses that lost their lives. Also, fundraisers are being scheduled at several racetracks, including one at Yonkers Raceway being spearheaded by former Ohio-based driver Greg Grismore on Tuesday night, Dec. 8.

The OHHA’s fund is the “Lebanon Horsemen’s Disaster Relief Fund.” Anyone wishing to make a contribution may make a check payable to the Lebanon Horsemen’s Relief Fun--Acct. #987395070, Attn: Larry Elovitz, branch manager, National City Bank, 763 Neil Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Lebanon Raceway’s fund is the “Barn 16 Donation Account.” Anyone wishing to make a contribution should send a check to the LCNB National Bank, 2 N. Broadway, Lebanon, Ohio 45036. Direct bank transfers can also be made to the fund by using the bank routing number 042205708.

For further information regarding the funds, persons may contact the OHHA general manager Jerry Knappenberger at (614) 221-3650.

In a posting Monday on inthesulky.com, Grismore wrote, “I would like to send my condolences to all that have been affected by this tragedy. I will be donating 100 percent of my earnings on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and would like to encourage other drivers to do the same. We as horsemen need to stick together and show our support to our fellow horsemen and friends in this time of need. My thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of you.”

Grismore told harnessracing.com Monday afternoon that other drivers have already pledged to join him in making a similar contribution. Included among that list of horsemen is trainer Ron Burke, who plans on donating all of his fees on Tuesday. Also, the partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables and M1 Stables will donate an amount equal to any driver-trainer fees on horses they own that races on Tuesday.

Other tracks who reportedly will have fundraisers are Northfield Park (on Monday night) and The Meadows.

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