july 11, 2008

THE VILLAGE VOICE

Bet On Del Mar!

 

by Shelley Moore

As I write, the countdown to the first post at the Del Mar track winds down. By the time this story runs many of you will have enjoyed opening day festivities and special events that bring a whole new dimension to the Del Mar community each year.

Thoroughbred horse racing fan or not, racing makes Del Mar a special place like other communities such as Baltimore's Pimlico or Louisville's Churchill Downs or Elmont, New York's Belmont Park. Del Mar's star studded racing history is as much a characteristic of Del Mar as the Pacific Ocean .

As a new executive director for the Del Mar Foundation, a recipient of the generosity of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's philanthropic support over the years, I thought it would be interesting to look into the various relationships between the thoroughbred horse racing tracks and their respective communities. While racing philanthropic giving has early roots, it finds its legs in the years following World War II. This just might be attributable to the fact that many tracks did their part for the war effort. Del Mar served as grounds for Marine training and B-17 bomber manufacturing, Belmont held “War Relief Day” for the Red Cross where price of admission was purchase of war bonds, and Pimlico ran a five-day National War Fund meeting, contributing $267,142 from receipts to various war charities.

The ‘dark' days would ultimately result in a period of boom not only for the country but for the racing industry. The inception of a wide variety of giving back beyond the Triple Crown proves to be as diverse as the community foundations born of individual donor interests. There's the Churchill Downs Foundation to racing association fundraising events as fancy as any black-tie you'll ever attend, and even the million dollar Hot Springs, Arkansas community funds created by Oaklawn. It may be about the size of the purse for owners, but the proceeds to charity are as valuable to the communities that have the good fortune to host thoroughbred and jockey clubs alike.

And while many of Del Mar's homes stand waiting for this special time each year, it is with warm welcome home that the Del Mar Foundation invites the continuation of philanthropic traditions, giving back to the special racing meet locations where memories are made. Preserving the spots like Del Mar for future generations is always a good bet.

I would be remiss not to share a once in lifetime chance to become part Del Mar's philanthropic history with each of you, whether you are in Del Mar for the races or your family summers have always been spent here, or you're a lucky full-time resident. The Del Mar Foundation's Founding Endowment is a sure bet. Not only has the Del Mar Foundation been around for over 25 years, but it has been paying out like a winning ticket.

The Del Mar Foundation has deep roots in the community and is governed by community leaders. We accept a wide variety of assets and support the most complex forms of giving. We offer maximum tax advantages and multiply impact of dollars through pooling them with other gifts.

The Del Mar Founding Endowment ends this year along with the opportunity to be part of the legacy this first Del Mar Endowment creates. The Del Mar Foundation will always be here, endowed to make sure our mission lives on forever. This special group of founders will be uniquely positioned to convene annually, coordinate resources and help address Del Mar's most pressing issues and opportunities.