This year the Great Charity Challenge took place on February 4. The Challenge raised $1.7 million to be distrubuted to more than 50 Palm Beach Charities. This year the hashtag “BeTheChange” was to inspire people to volunteer to assist these organizations that help many people in need in the local community. 2023 is the14th year for this challenge and over the years $19.4 million dollars have been raised and distributed to 300+ non profit organizations. So that is the amazing financial side of the GCC.
The event is exciting and a real hoot. There were 34 teams of three riders each who range from youngsters right up to Olympians. Each rider will jump seven obstacles. Rider one at 1.10 m, Rider 2 at 1.2m and Rider 3 at 1.3m. The course is judged as 21 fences and each rail down adds two seconds to the time . The team with the fastest time over the 21 fences is the winner! Each team is paired with a charity and a sponsor as well as a supporting sponsor. The winning team will win $100,000 for their charity!This year the theme was Candy. And horses and riders were decorated with Candy themes.Below is Christmas Candy canes.
Right from the start I could see that the imporant part of the team jumping was for each rider to be ready to gallop to their first fence.There was no time to dillydally or be afraid to boot it to the fences. The 3rd rider was usually a professional and they had to gallop to the last fence with the filled stadium cheering. Some times that went well and other time the difficulty of getting the horse back after the gallop would be too much and a rail would go down. This always produced an audible groan from the crowd.
Each new team that came in was greeted with enthusiasm especially if they had interesting decorations on the horses.Take a look at the art work on these Jolly Ranchers.
There were gumballs too.
And the Flaming Hots!
And I think we had one unicorn candy.
Others had plenty of color in their “candy”
Team 14 was the Dylan’s Candy Bar team. They had a dazzling round all going clear and with a FAST time of 91.622 seconds. Other teams that had rails down or perhaps a refusal were in 100 + range.When Team 14 finished a big cheer went up from the crowd. Would they be the winners? The photo below is the second rider for Team 14.That is Dylan’s candy bar on the horses hind quarters I think. The rider is 15 year old Campbell Brown. Yes, she is only 15 and this is her first time in the GCC.”It could not have gone better” she said. “We started on a high note” And a high note indeed!No other teams got a better time !
At the end of the evening the Dylan’s Candy Bar Team of Emma Hechtman(17 years old) ,Campbell Brown(15)and Abby Funk(22) received the cheque for $100,000 for their charity the Caridad center.This organization is the largest free healthcare clinic in Florida that offers comprehensive medical, vision, and dental care for the uninsured and underserved children and families of Palm Beach County. They earned the top prize of $100,000. And on a sliding scale down to the 34th place teams won a minimum of $15,000. So there were no loosers on this night.
If you would like to know more about the non profits and the donations made visit this site. http://www.GreatCharityChallenge.com
The GCC is a fun evening and the charities that benefit make it more than just”fun.” This is all part of #BeTheChange
I’d love to hear from you!