The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America honored two supporters and heard a promising update on a major project from a third at its annual fund-raising brunch on Wednesday at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Terry and Debbie Finley, the co-founders of West Point Thoroughbreds, were honored for their longtime support of the backstretch community and the New York chaplaincy in particular.
More than 250 people, a record number, attended the event.
“Like many others, we believe it's important to share whatever time, talent and treasures you have,” Terry Finley said. “We take great joy in helping out the backstretch community and we are immensely grateful for this wonderful honor.”
Michael Dubb, the prominent Long Island builder and thoroughbred owner, provided an update on the construction of a Chaplaincy Center at Belmont Park. He talked about the great need for the building and about regulatory requirements and said he was hopeful that the groundbreaking would take place this fall.
Dubb, who donated the two trailers where the Chaplaincy is currently housed, has pledged his donation to the Chaplaincy Center in building materials for the 5,000-square foot facility. The new facility will include office space for the Chaplain and his staff, areas for recreation, non-denominational worship and pastoral counseling.
“I am always amazed at the great work that Chaplain Humberto Chavez and program director Nick Caras do all year,” Dubb said. “I look forward to this event every year as a chance to highlight, celebrate and bring together so many great supporters of the Chaplaincy.”
David O'Rourke, New York Racing Association's President and CEO, also addressed the crowd.
“In partnership with the NY Chaplaincy and with the leadership of supporters such as the Finleys and their West Point Thoroughbred partners, we are confident we will set an example in the thoroughbred racing industry by making the tracks of the New York Racing Association the best in the country to live and work.”
A video of the entire event is available on Facebook.
West Point Thoroughbreds has registered 850 wins, 100 plus stakes wins and 48 graded stakes wins in its history.
The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America ministers to the backstretch community with children's enrichment, social services, recreational programs, educational opportunities and non-denominational religious services.
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