Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Get up and donate, then get out and donate

One of racing's many worthy charities, the Belmont Child Care Association, has an upcoming event and an ongoing auction that require your participation.

On Aug. 25, the association -- which provides child care and a valuable socializing and education experience to kids of Belmont's backstretch employees -- is hosting a "Down Home Rodeo Party" at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs. The shindig starts at 6:30, costs $250 per person (ahem ... I won't be making it) and the dress code for the evening is "western casual." Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will serve as guest auctioneer, and we can be pretty sure he owns a selection of cowboy hats.

The auction, however, has already begun. You can shop online at, though right now, the only item up for bids appears to be a "night with the Wildcats" of coach John Calipari, at the University of Kentucky; minimum opening bid $5,000. The winning bidder gets: two seats behind the players' bench; a chance for two children to take part in the team shoot-around before a UK ball game Nov. 30 (I can't seem to find out the opponent; even UK's Web site has last year's schedule) and then serve as ball-boys or ball-girls; and, an autographed basketball.

Other live-auction items include dinner for eight at the New York City home of Mexican Ambassador Ruben Beltran, and a one-week rental of a Tuscan villa for a party of four.

There's still time to donate auction goods, and an apparent need for more items on the block, the way I see it. So if you're one of the connected few who read my blog and can provide some really serious swag to this shindig, please do, through this link or by contacting the association. A bridle from a top-notch horse, autographed win photos, jackets, hats or other memorabilia would be ideal, and I know some of you out there have 'em or have access to 'em. ... So, do a good thing and fork 'em over.

For tickets to the "rodeo" party, call (516) 527-4746.

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