Wellington, FL – November 29, 2018 – With over 360 applications received for the chance to participate in the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), this year’s annual charity selection will take place throughout Palm Beach County between Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 8, 2018. A total of 24 charities will be randomly drawn and earn a spot in the highly anticipated 10th annual GCC to be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, for a chance to win up to $150,000!
In years past, the drawing of the charities took place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). This new selection format will bring the community closer and highlight some of the individuals who make the GCC a reality. Joining Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the GCC, will be Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig and Vice Mayor Michael Drahos, as well as Village Council members Michael Napoleone, Tanya Siskind, and John McGovern; Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay; several team and corporate sponsors of the event; local news anchor Roxanne Stein; a live appearance on WPTV; and a visit to Wellington’s Winterfest on Friday, December 7, 2018. To guarantee full transparency in the selection process, all drawings will be posted via Facebook: www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.
The GCC is an exciting pro-am show jumping event that brings together over 30 equestrian families and companies as they sponsor a competing team for $25,000 and $10,000, respectively. Each team is assigned to compete for one of the randomly selected charities, offering amateur riders the chance to compete side-by-side with their Olympic and world-class professional equestrian heroes and role models. With additional donations from local families, businesses, sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, and spectators, the 2019 GCC is on track to fundraise and distribute over $1 million in Palm Beach County. Prize money for participating charities will range from $150,000 to $15,000, ensuring that every charity is a winner.
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and co-founder of the Great Charity Challenge with his daughter Paige, commented, “We look forward to kick-starting our 2019 season with this initiative. We hope that the GCC will become the legacy of our partnership and this facility. This year’s list of applicants is truly inspiring. They work tirelessly to make Palm Beach County a better place – we are very grateful for them!”
Paige Bellissimo added, “The GCC is a unique event that allows us to raise awareness of the diverse charitable organizations throughout the community. We hope that this year’s edition will unite all involved, from the sponsors and riders, to the nonprofits involved and the community at large! We are very grateful for those who support the effort.”
PBIEC is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the largest and longest running horse show in the world. WEF will run January 9 through March 31, 2019. Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), the PBIEC operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, donates the facility, staff, and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event.
Mark your calendars for the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® to be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the PBIEC during the Winter Equestrian Festival’s popular “Saturday Night Lights” series. This family-friendly event offers free general admission and parking. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, this year’s theme of “We Are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate the cultural differences in our community.
Future charity drawings will be held at random during the first weeks of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival and the final two wild card teams will be drawn the night of the GCC on Saturday, February 2, 2019.