Three Chimneys presents Good News Friday: Walking on the ‘Edge’ for Charity
Jeremy Edge likes a good walk. Not a down-to-the-corner-store-for-a-quart-of-milk kind of walk, but a serious five- or six-hour hike in the country that encompasses 20 miles or more.
So it’s not that much of a stretch for Edge, a native of England whose adopted nickname is “The Walking Brit,” to hoof it from Belmont Park on Long Island all the way up to Saratoga racetrack in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It’s only 190 miles.
Easy for me to say.
He heads out of Belmont Park on Sunday, through Queens, into Manhattan, and then eventually up Route 9 to Saratoga. Edge will have a friend driving an RV for him to take shelter in and rest up along the way, but there won’t be that much resting: he’s scheduled to arrive either on June 24 or 25. That’s more than 13 miles per day on average.
Edge doesn’t come from a horse racing family. He was a fan in England, owned a few horses in partnerships, and had a second home in Newmarket, where many stud farms, along with a racetrack and Thoroughbred auction company, are located.
When he came to the U.S. in 2001 Edge visited several tracks, including Del Mar, Arlington, and Monmouth Park, but then wound up in Saratoga during the week of the Travers Stakes. He loved the area, and wound up selling his Newmarket home and buying a condo in Saratoga.
He also was introduced by a friend to the Belmont Child Care Association and was signed up to volunteer for the organization’s annual gala to raise money for Anna House, the day-care center built at Belmont Park. “For the next five years I carried on volunteering for the gala and eventually joined the organizing committee,” Edge said. “I’ve become very close to a lot of the people who do such great work there. I just can’t believe, eight years after it was opened that units like Anna House haven’t spread out at backsides all over the country. It is such a worthwhile organization.”
Anna House, named after the daughter of horse owners Laura and Eugene Melnyk, was built with the support of many individuals, including the Melnyks, who donated $1 million; Jeanne Vance and Laddie Dance, the deceased owners whose 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid is the namesake for the Anna House playground; Roy and Gretchen Jackson, whose Lael Scholarship Fund provides ongoing financial aid; and the late Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, whose Curlin for Kids Charity has provided significant funding.
Two new classrooms at Anna House are being dedicated on the eve of this year’s Belmont Stakes.
Edge, who followed the fundraising efforts in 2009 of former jockey Richard Dunwoody in England (he walked the same mile in Newmarket, over and over, for 1,000 consecutive hours for charity), was familiar with England’s Injured Jockeys Fund and surprised to learn that the PDJF lacks institutional funding. “That organization (Injured Jockeys Fund) has been going much longer, and they’ve done things like buy a residential home for injured jockeys,” Edge said.
So it’s off to Saratoga Sunday morning for what Edge hopes will be spring-like weather without any summer storms. He’s got a couple of pair of comfortable walking shoes, some hiking boots, and a very big heart to carry him those 190 miles.
You can follow Jeremy Edge on Twitter (he says he’ll be Tweeting along the way) @TheWalkingBrit or on Facebook.
More importantly, you can encourage and support Jeremy along the way by making a pledge to support his efforts, for the PDJF or Belmont Child Care Association.
Thanks to the generosity of Three Chimneys Farm, the sponsor of Good News Friday, a donation of $50 each will be sent to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and Belmont Child Care Association. Three Chimneys will be donating that amount each and every week we bring you a story of people or organizations making a positive difference in our world.
Another $100 is being donated to these organizations each week by a Paulick Report reader who wishes to remain anonymous but who encourages all of our readers to open their hearts and pocketbooks for this good cause.