Christmas Arrives Early For Several Central Kentucky Thoroughbred Worker Families

Blue Grass Farms Charities (BGFC) hosted its most successful ever two-night Christmas Celebration at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington for thoroughbred worker families on December 11 and 12. Everyone with a family member working in Central Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry was invited to a seated holiday dinner, lively entertainment, and Santa visits and gifts for the children. More than one thousand workers signed up for the event.

Merriment marked both evenings. Upon entering, children selected their favorite silly Santa or elf hat, jingle bells, snowman headband or Christmas tree eyewear. Families were ushered into the dining area and seated at festively decorated tables surrounded by twinkling lights, where they were served a turkey dinner restaurant-style by a cadre of BGFC volunteers.

Each night after dinner Santa marched down the auditorium aisle to lead a parade of entertainment– Lexington’s own March Madness Marching Band on Monday and the McTaggart Irish Dancers on Tuesday. Children lined up to get their photos taken with Santa and receive age-appropriate Christmas gifts, along with hats and gloves. More than half of the gifts were funded by a GoFundMe campaign, which is still actively soliciting donations to defray the remaining cost of the gifts at https://www.gofundme.com/jkhp4c-christmas-toy-drive .

Thanks to Race for Education (which also served as a sponsor of the dinner) and the Kentucky Racing Commission, as well as BGFC Board members, drawings to give away twelve brand new bicycles were held during entertainment breaks. And while families waited in the auditorium to see Santa, Executive Director Sally Walker told stories of how Blue Grass Farms Charities has provided a helping hand to thoroughbred workers with housing, utilities, health, food, bereavement and other emergency needs. She recounted how an experienced thoroughbred worker had to leave everything behind and flee Hurricane Irma in Florida. The worker came to Lexington looking for employment and needed help with temporary housing. Blue Grass Farms Charities stepped up and took care of a short-term motel expense until the worker had found a job on a thoroughbred farm.

Another example shared by Walker was immediately relevant to those sitting in the auditorium. A couple with three children had attended the Christmas Celebration on Monday and heard Walker state that Blue Grass Farms Charities exists to help workers in crises or need. The couple explained that they had no heat in the 20-degree weather. The heater/air conditioner in the trailer they had recently purchased was not working and was beyond repair. They had no recourse, and Blue Grass Farms Charities stepped in to provide a safe radiant heater for the family.

“We have many more stories like this in which we have helped our racing industry workers,” added Walker. “That’s what we are here for.”

For more information about Blue Grass Farms Charities and its human services and programs, go to www.bgfcky.org or call 859.219.0910.

The post Christmas Arrives Early For Several Central Kentucky Thoroughbred Worker Families appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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