Generosity personified best describes the drivers and trainers on Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG
) horse racing circuit as they unite again this year in support of the Halton
Police's Toys for Tots campaign to benefit the Salvation Army. The horsemen have contributed $6,087 to help bring the joy of Christmas to children in need.
"Even as the industry faces unprecedented challenges and adversity, the local horse racing community has come forward again this year to help children who are less fortunate,” said Bruce Murray,WEG's
Vice-President of Standardbred
Racing. "As a result, hopefully it will put a smile on many young faces.”
Mario Baillargeon, Jack Belliveau, Jason Brewer, Chris Christoforou, Billy Davis Jr., Robert Fellows, Sylvain Filion, Jeff Gillis, Joe Hudon, Jody Jamieson, Stephane Larocque, Anthony and James MacDonald, Roger Mayotte, Doug McNair, Richard Moreau, Tony O'Sullivan, Luc Ouellette, Mike Saftic, Ben Wallace, Randy Waples, along with Scott and Rick Zeron, have helped fill Santa's sleigh one win at a time by donating to the annual campaign.
Gillis generously donated $1,120 of his earnings from training the talented pacing star Mystician
during the month of December. "I think that the racing community has always been more than generous when it comes to charities and this one in particular,” said Canada's reigning Trainer of the Year. "Every kid should enjoy a gift at Christmas, so this is an easy one.”
For the second year in a row, Doug McNair stepped up for Toys for Tots and donated $994.50. "To know the money is going to such a worthy cause means a lot to me,” said the 22-year-old, who donated his entire purse earnings from Thursday, Dec. 6. "I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year.”
COSA(Central Ontario Standardbred Association) also contributed to the cause.
The goal of the 2012 Toys for Tots campaignwas to exceed last year's results which experienced a record-breaking year, raising an unprecedented $330,000 in toys and cash and helping over 3,500 families living in the Halton area.
"Woodbine Entertainment Group, its family of Standardbred
drivers and trainers, COSA
and the staff, family and friends of Mohawk Racetrack contributed greatly to last year's success,” said Maureen Andrew, Police ConstableHalton
Police & Milton & District Campaign Co-ordinator for the Toys for Tots campaign. "We are honored to once again be partnering with our friends in the horse racing community.
Regional Police Service is humbled by your ongoing generosity particularly during a time when the future of your industry is being jeopardized by the cancellation of slots at racetracks,”Andrew continued. "To see you put aside your own concerns and fear is humanitarianism at its finest. It is truly inspirational. Our thoughts go to you and your families with our very best wishes for a positive solution. On behalf of the Halton
Police and the children who will benefit from your support, please accept our deepest appreciation.”
The goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver a message of hope that builds self-esteem and motivates children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. (WEG)