Tag Archives: Great Charity Challenge

Donald Trump and Mark Bellissimo Announce Second Annual Trump Invitational

A scenic setting for show jumping on the Intracoastal Waterway. Photo © Sportfot.

The $125,000 FEI Grand Prix Show Jumping Event will raise money toward the 2014 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments fundraising goal of $1.75 million

Wellington, FL – December 4, 2013 – Donald Trump and Mark Bellissimo announced today that they will host the second annual Trump Invitational on Sunday, January 5, 2014, at the beautiful Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, FL. The $125,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix presented by Rolex will showcase 35 of the world’s top riders in an FEI world ranking competition. Once again, the Trump Invitational will benefit the 2014 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC), which has raised more than $4.2 million dollars over the last four years for over 90 Palm Beach County charities. It will also serve as the kick-off party for the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, the 12-week circuit that runs at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on January 8 – March 30, 2014.

The Trump Invitational is the only equestrian event ever to be held on Palm Beach Island and is hosted at The Mar-a-Lago Club, the former Marjorie Merriweather Post Estate built in 1924 and purchased and restored by Donald Trump in 1985. It is one of the most magnificent mansions in the world, is in the national register of historic places, and is a designated U.S. National Landmark.

“Last year’s Trump Invitational was a spectacular, one-of-a-kind event. In addition to showcasing equestrian sport’s top athletes in a FEI world ranking class, the event was instrumental in achieving our record-breaking fundraising for the FTI GCC,” said ESP CEO Mark Bellissimo.

This year, the event will set a new standard with one-of-a-kind auction items, exciting musical guests, and improved footing. Bellissimo noted, “Donald was extremely generous in providing both a $100,000 FTI GCC donation as well as donating his time in two golf outing auction items that raised an additional $68,000 towards last year’s record FTI GCC fundraising of $1.5 million.”

Mr. Trump added, “It is vital during these difficult financial times to support the efforts of the unsung heroes that operate these great charitable organizations within Palm Beach County. I am honored to be a part of this effort.”

Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka will join Paige Bellissimo and Georgina Bloomberg as event chairs.

Spectacular New Footing to Provide Unparalleled Show Jumping Competition

Last spring, based on feedback from the riders, Trump spared no expense by engaging the team from Equestrian Services International (ESI) led by Brett Raflowitz to replace the footing on the lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club utilizing ESI’s “Turf Blend Footing,” a top soil mix with fiber and three different blends of sand that now provides the base for approximately 98,000 square feet of new Celebration turf. Mr. Trump commented, “A world-class event requires world-class footing.”

In addition to show jumping alongside the Intracoastal Waterway, there will be cocktails and a red carpet welcome at the pool and a VIP experience bordering the ring. Equestrian Sport Productions expects that many of the top riders in the world, including Olympians, international competitors, and up-and-coming stars, will return to the Trump Invitational to compete.

If you would like to attend this historic show jumping event, or are interested in competing, please call Anne Caroline Valtin at 561.784.1133 or send an email to annecaroline@equestriansport.com.

About Rolex

Oyster watches are symbols of excellence, performance, and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch since 1905, the brand is at the origin of several landmark innovations in watchmaking, including the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, and the perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, exploration, sports, and the environment through sponsoring and philanthropic programs. Rolex has been present in equestrian sports since 1957. For more information, visit www.rolex.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) has 12 weeks of world class competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. All 12 weeks are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, with more close to $8 million in prize money awarded. Please visit www.equestriansport.com for more information.

About the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC)

Founded in 2010 by Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige, the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments raises and distributes money to Palm Beach County based charities. This unique show jumping event aligns 34 show jumping teams with 34 randomly selected charities that serve the county. Please visit www.ftigreatcharitychallenge.com for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

2014 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge Draws 24 Charities at Wellington Chamber’s WinterFest

Wellington, Florida – December 3, 2013 – This holiday season, 400 Palm Beach County charities were hoping for a miracle. Under the “Saturday Night Lights” at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the charitable community came out to Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s WinterFest and Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) Holiday & Horses Show on November 30 for the chance to be picked as one of the 34 charities that will benefit from the 2014 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge Presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC).

The exciting pro-am show jumping event which will be held on February 1, 2014, at the PBIEC has raised $4.2 million for over 90 Palm Beach County charities over the past four years, becoming the largest single-day net charitable event in the state of Florida. Every dollar raised is distributed to the charities. This year’s fundraising target is $1.75 million, and with prizes ranging from $150,000 to $10,000, it ensures every charity is a winner.

This unparalleled event brings together over 34 equestrian families that each sponsors a team for $25,000. Each team is randomly assigned to compete for one of the 34 randomly selected charities. With additional donations from local families, businesses, sponsors, vendors, exhibitors and spectators (through ticket sales for the evening), the FTI GCC is on track to exceed last year’s $1.5 million fundraising.

PBIEC, home of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), one of the largest and longest running horse shows in the world, donates the venue, its staff and infrastructure for this charitable event.

Each team also offers amateur riders the chance to compete side by side with their Olympic and world-class professional idols.

Cheers of excitement could be heard on Saturday night as ESP CEO Mark Bellissimo and his wife Katherine, along with community leaders, drew 24 charity names out of a hopper in front of a crowd of 4,000 spectators.

Mark Bellissimo, who started the FTI GCC with his daughter Paige, commented, “The FTI GCC is the signature event of our 12-week season. We measure the success not in dollars raised, but in the number of lives touched.”

Dennis Shaughnessy, Chairman of the Board of FTI Consulting, commented, “This is the best thing FTI does anywhere in the world. It not only sponsors a great horse event, but it helps thousands of people locally. We are delighted to be able to do it and delighted to see a turnout like this.”

“It is wonderful that a variety of charities which serve so many different groups can make a difference right here in our backyard. The event truly exemplifies the impact a group of dedicated philanthropic individuals can have in a community,” said FTI GCC Executive Director Anne Caroline Valtin.

Many sponsor representatives were on hand to help randomly draw this year's charities.
Many sponsor representatives were on hand to help randomly draw this year’s charities.

Jodi Goldberg, President and Founder of Autism Blooms, was overjoyed when chosen. “I am beside myself right now,” she said, “We raise money for families to purchase private therapy. It means so much because families are desperately trying to save their child and bring them out of the dark. We believe every child can bloom with the proper therapies.” Candi Spitz, Vice President of Autism Blooms, noted, “We’re based in Wellington, so this money goes directly into the community.”

Danny Robertshaw of Danny and Ron’s Rescue commented, “This is such a wonderful event. To us it’s so meaningful because we’re approaching our 7,000th adoption. This helps us to be able to save more dogs. Last year we adopted 530 dogs here during the horse show circuit. We save dogs from animal shelters and save them from euthanasia. It’s a good paws up. We’re very honored.”

Team Sponsor Robert and Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm were on hand for the festivities. Lisa Lourie commented, “We have the added benefit of our professional rider [Shane Sweetnam] being a member of the community so it’s extra special for us.” Robert Lourie stated of their support, “It connects to the community in a good way. They see that it’s not just about us and the horses, but it’s about us and the community we are a part of.”

Dr. Sandy Munoz, CEO of Children’s Healing Institute, stated, “We are over the moon. We serve 4,000 families each year and this is huge for us. To raise money in this economy has been difficult. When the economy suffers, we suffer. This is a blessing.”

Jim Brown of Wounded Warriors of South Florida said, “This is a thrill! We don’t need the lotto — we just hit it. We are humbled at the opportunity. We provide immediate financial support for disabled veterans. We provide support whether it is putting food on the table, furniture in the house or auto repair. In the last couple years it’s grown so fast we can’t keep up with it. Without us, these veterans would be in a sinking ship. Because of all the trauma, we have 15 to 20 service members every day commit suicide. Our efforts here when they come home are helping them out a lot.”

Wellington Chamber of Commerce President Victor Connor was touched by the spirit of the evening. “For me, I’m speechless and I’m never speechless,” he said. “Mark Bellissimo has done an unbelievable job of reaching out to the community. It’s a pleasure to have him here. He goes out to the schools, and he’s brought in the community like no one else. What was an exclusive club is now open to the public to enjoy.”

Future charity drawings will be held at the $125,000 Trump Invitational show jumping event at The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach on January 5, 2014, and two wild card teams will be drawn the night of the FTI GCC on February 1, 2014. With the outpouring of support from the equestrian community, additional grants will also be made.

All the charity representatives and community families were treated to an evening of exciting show jumping as well as entertainment from The Voice‘s Michaela Paige and Vanilla Ice. There was even a little magical snow, renewing hope in the Village of Wellington that miracles do happen.

For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com and www.ftigreatcharitychallenge.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $8 million in prize money will be awarded.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.5 trillion, including managed assets of $1.9 trillion, as of October 31, 2013. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Mark Bellissimo Is Calling All Palm Beach County Charities to Participate in 2014 Great Charity Challenge

Sets Fundraising Goal in Excess of $1.75 Million to Benefit over 30 Randomly Selected Palm Beach County Charities

In its first 4 years, the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC) founded by Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige has raised and distributed over $4.2 million dollars, benefitting over 93 Palm Beach County Charities.  This exciting Pro-Amateur show jumping event will be held on Saturday evening February 1st at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, in Wellington, Florida. The family oriented event is targeted to distribute over $1.75 million dollars to 34 lucky Palm Beach County Charities. Any qualified Palm Beach County charity who signs up on the ESP website (www.equestriansport.com) by November 20th has an equal chance to be selected. The FTI GCC has become a signature event of the twelve week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, showcasing top International and Olympic riders of the sport.

The main drawing to select this year’s participating charities will take place on Saturday November 30, 2013 during the Holiday and Horses CSI 2* horse show. Partnering with Wellington Chamber’s Winterfest event, thousands of members of the community are expected to attend the event again this year, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Palm Beach County charities who register will be randomly selected from the Lottery Drum to participate in the event. The number of applying charities has grown from 60 in the first year to over 250 last year, the fourth year of the event. Over 300 charities are expected to apply this year.

Following such a unique multi-charity approach with random drawings of qualified charities has allowed us to assemble a diverse portfolio of charities covering animal rescue, children’s causes, family care, public health, senior care, medical support, equestrian, education, the arts, and the environment among others.

ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE PROCEEDS ARE DISTRIBUTED TO THE CHARITIES. The pool of funds translates into $150,000 for the winning charity with a sliding scale to 34th place which takes home $10,000. EVERY PARTICIPATING CHARITY is a winner!

This unparalleled event brings together over 34 equestrian families that each sponsors a team for $25,000. Each team is randomly assigned to compete for one of the 34 randomly selected charities. With additional donations from local families, businesses, sponsors, vendors, exhibitors and spectators (through ticket sales for the evening), we are on track to exceed last years $1.5 fundraising.

Equestrian Sport Productions, home of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), one of the largest and longest running horse show in the world, donates the venue, its staff and infrastructure for this charitable event.

If you would like to participate in this event, please contact Anne Caroline Valtin via email: annecaroline@equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Team Tops 4th Annual Great Charity Challenge

Peter Wylde and Wannahave Win $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Way Cool and Victoria Colvin Continue Reign over Antares Large Junior Hunters 15 and Under

Darragh Kenny and Vanotrouska. Photos © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – January 26, 2013 – Riders Darragh Kenny, Catherine Pasmore, and Meg O’Mara were the winning team of the fourth annual FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC) on behalf of their charity JDRF (the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) on Saturday evening at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Sponsored by Jessie Pasmore and Martha Jolicoeur and corporate sponsor Stone Hill Farm, the three riders made up the top team of the night over 33 other pro-am teams representing Palm Beach County charities.

A signature event of the twelve-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, this year’s FTI GCC will distribute approximately $1.5 million to the 34 lucky Palm Beach County charities that were chosen at random to be represented in the pro-am team relay competition. Each team was made up of junior and amateur riders competing side by side with top professionals.

Continue reading Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Team Tops 4th Annual Great Charity Challenge

Special Chance to Ride with Nick Skelton at the Great Charity Challenge!

Two Open Spots for Amateur or Junior Riders

Nick Skelton and Big Star. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – January 23, 2013 – Be a part of Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Skelton’s newly added team for the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC) on Saturday, January 26, 2013. This is a chance to ride in an historic event with the highest purse in show jumping. Two amateurs or juniors have the opportunity to join in the spirit of giving and compete on behalf of one of 34 Palm Beach County charities to win part of $1.5 million dollars. Two spots are open on Nick Skelton’s team – one rider to compete at the 1.10m level and a second rider to compete at the 1.20m level in a relay race on Saturday evening.

For a tax deductible donation of $10,000 to the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, the new team member will have the thrilling opportunity to ride side by side with one of show jumping’s greatest riders while contributing to a worthy cause in one of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s proudest moments.

Riders will have this chance on a first come, first served basis at each level of 1.10m and 1.20m. Please contact Anne Caroline Valtin at 561-784-1133 to sign up for this team!

Continue reading Special Chance to Ride with Nick Skelton at the Great Charity Challenge!

Horses Healing Hearts Receives Grant from FTI Great Charity Challenge

Volunteer Kathleen Hayden and participant of HHH Julie Vanhille celebrate Todd Minikus' generosity during the Great Charity Challenge drawing

Wellington, FL – January, 15, 2013 – Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is proud to announce that the non-profit organization recently received a $25,000 grant from the FTI Great Charity Challenge. In previous years, the Great Charity Challenge has only consisted of those charities drawn for the competition – an opportunity that has always escaped HHH. It was one phone call that changed their luck that Sunday, January 6, 2013.

The Great Charity Challenge distributes over $1 million in prizes to competing charity teams. Thirty-one charities have been selected to participate in the 2013 Challenge. The night of the Trump Invitational Grand Prix, Horses Healing Hearts was called and told that they were drawn as the winner of the ‘surprise grant.’

Even though Horses Healing Hearts was not selected to participate in the competition, “We ended up getting the grant,” Liz Olszewski, Founder and Executive Director of Horses Healing Hearts, smiled. “This was the first time anything like this has happened for the Great Charity Challenge.”

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Kent Farrington and Dynamo Win $100,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix CSI 2*

The Voice Winner Cassadee Pope Rocked Opening Ceremonies; Money Raised to Benefit the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge

Kent Farrington and Dynamo jump over the Veuve Clicquot fence. Photo © Sportfot

Palm Beach, FL – January 7, 2013 – The first ever $100,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix CSI 2* debuted to rave reviews on Sunday, January 6, at the beautiful Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, FL. With some of the world’s top show jumpers competing on the lawn of Donald Trump’s scenic estate overlooking South Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, U.S. rider Kent Farrington jumped to victory in the inaugural class aboard Amalaya Investments’ Dynamo.

The Trump Invitational benefits the 2013 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge (FTI GCC), present by Fidelity Investments, one of the hallmarks of Equestrian Sport Productions’ FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. The event has raised and distributed over $2.7 million to local Palm Beach charities over the last three years. In addition to the grand prix competition on Sunday, a wild card charity was drawn for the 2013 FTI GCC, The Voice winner Cassadee Pope performed some of her top songs as well as the national anthem, and Olympic Dressage duo Tina Konyot and Calecto V performed their winning freestyle exhibition.

Continue reading Kent Farrington and Dynamo Win $100,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix CSI 2*

Show Jumping Riders Announced for $100,000 Trump Invitational

Initial Tables Sold Out, New Tables Added with Limited Availability; Tina Konyot and Calecto V to Perform Dressage Exhibition

Wellington, FL – December 26, 2012 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) announces that the riders for the $100,000 Trump Invitational, held at The Mar-a-Lago Club on Palm Beach Island on Sunday, January 6, at 12 p.m., have been announced.

The riders that will be invited to compete in the inaugural $100,000 Trump Invitational are:

From the United States:

  • Kent Farrington
  • Laura Kraut
  • Reed Kessler
  • Mclain Ward
  • Lauren Hough
  • Katie Dinan
  • Brianne Goutal
  • Christine McCrea
  • Saer Coulter
  • Charlie Jayne
  • Candice King
  • Margie Engle
  • Jessica Springsteen
  • Leslie Howard
  • Kirsten Coe
  • Schuyler Riley
  • Catherine Pasmore
  • Lauren Tisbo
  • Quentin Judge
  • Paige Johnson
  • Nicole Bellissimo
  • Gabrielle Mershad
  • Nick Dello Joio

Continue reading Show Jumping Riders Announced for $100,000 Trump Invitational

Mark Bellissimo and Donald Trump Announce First Annual $100,000 Trump Invitational to Benefit Great Charity Challenge

Wellington, FL – November 30, 2012 – Mark Bellissimo and Donald Trump are pleased to announce that they will host the first annual $100,000 Trump Invitational to benefit the 2013 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments (FTI GCC). A FEI-rated show jumping event, it will be held on the grounds of the stunning Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, FL, on Sunday, January 6, 2013, at 12 p.m.

Mar-a-Lago, the former Marjorie Merriweather Post Estate purchased and restored by Trump in 1985, is one of the most spectacular mansions in the world and in the national register of historic places and a designated U.S National Landmark. It will be the first ever equestrian event held on Palm Beach Island and will serve as an exciting kick-off to the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, the 12-week circuit that runs at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on January 9 – March 31, 2013.

Continue reading Mark Bellissimo and Donald Trump Announce First Annual $100,000 Trump Invitational to Benefit Great Charity Challenge

Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center Picked for the Great Charity Challenge Drawing

Loxahatchee, FL – December 14, 2011 – The 2011 Holiday HorseFest held in Downtown West Palm Beach, FL, on Sunday, December 11, 2011, at the Meyer Amphitheatre was a huge success. Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) emerged victorious as a nominated charity to be represented at the 2012 FTI Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments on the evening of Friday, February 17, 2012.

As one of the 32 selected charities, VTRC will be randomly assigned to one of the sponsored teams competing for the top prize money at the Great Charity Challenge. The Challenge is a competition consisting of two junior/amateur-owner riders combined with one Olympic or world-class rider. This year, $1.5 million is the goal, and all proceeds will directly go to the participating charities, with the least amount received being $10,000.

VTRC also had the honor of participating in the opening ceremonies of Holiday HorseFest. Juan Burbano, A. J. Zembrzuski, Carrie MacMillian, and Jason Legato performed a color guard routine to represent the VTRC and the Special Olympics.

Continue reading Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center Picked for the Great Charity Challenge Drawing