Wittstruck invests in HHYF's future
November 30, 2015
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It was no surprise that harness racing booster and attorney Chris Wittstruck recently won the Team Valor International's Stan Bergstein Writing Award. He has long been a featured, cutting-edge columnist at ustrotting.com, but his actions following the announcement were even more cutting edge. Wittstruck immediately announced he was donating the accompanying stipend to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF).
"It's an investment in the future,” Wittstruck explained. "An absolute no-brainer. My daughter Angelica attended one of the first HHYF camps at Harrington Raceway in 2003 and I have seen the great work they do. Stan Bergstein, who this award is named for, was the first HHYF Service to Youth Award winner (in 1979) so this donation honors him as much as it does HHYF.”
Wittstruck has done his part to promote the sport, teaching a weekend course in horse ownership and also helping promote the New York legislator races in addition to his writing. He strongly believes that exposing children to harness racing is key to the sport's success. He also understands how important HHYF's past is to the future.
"Some of these kids will come to camp and never drive a horse again," said Wittstruck. "And that's fine. Maybe they are riders. But they will have the exposure. For a week, they put down their devices and learn. And down the road, they go to the races and recall the camp and bring their friends. The immersion in the sport – the farriers, the vets, not just the work with the horses – is fantastic because it was done right by HHYF.”
HHYF executive director Ellen Taylor will meet with the organization's trustees to determine how to best put Wittstruck's largesse to its best use. She explains, "Obviously, we are beyond appreciative of Chris's generosity and kindness. With that appreciation comes a responsibility to honor the gesture in the most appropriate and worthwhile way possible. What a wonderful opportunities lie ahead to further our mission.” (HHYF)