Race Track Chaplaincy of America, New York Division, Requests the Honor of Your Company…August 17th

Do you like delicious food?
Who doesn’t?

Do you like to help others–in this case, the people without whom horse racing could not happen?
Again, who wouldn’t want to do that?Marion E. Altieri, New York Writer

Have you always admired Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, and longed to get invited to one of their luncheons?
I’ll answer again for you:  of course!

I am pleased to present to you the opportunity to do all three of those things at once–on Wednesday, August 17th at 11AM in Saratoga:

  • You can dine on some of the finest and most interesting brunch fare in North America.
  • The coin you pay for the experience will help the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, New York Division (henceforth, RTCANY) to do the jobs that God has given them to do, for the people who make horse racing happen.
  • And last–but most certainly, not least–you’ll have the opportunity to dine with Mrs. Whitney and John in a setting that’s as elegant and So Saratoga as you’ve always dreamed.

2016 RTCANY Brunch MemeHow, you may ask, can you achieve all three of these things at once?  Why, let me tell you.  First, some background:

I won’t tell you over-and-over, about all the wonderful things that the RTCANY does for the hundreds of humans who work on the backstretch at the three NYRA (New York Racing Association) tracks.  Everyone who tends to the needs of horses in Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct is a defender and lover of their equine charges.

The problem is that, as humans–hard-working humans, at that–they, too, need defenders and lovers who care about their welfare.

They’re too busy hotwalking, grooming, medicating, feeding, watering, hosing-down, walking to the paddock and back–generally, taking care of every single need of every single horse on the three tracks.  These hard-working people who care for horses work 12+ hours a day, and frankly generally, don’t get paid what they’re worth.

They have many needs, if for no other reason than that they’re human beings and Life on this planet is difficult for most of us.  Even our GOOD days aren’t necessarily all-that-good.  Imagine being a hotwalker who works slavishly for 12 hours a day–then sends more than half your income home to your Mother in another country, because she needs it.

That’s devotion.  That’s love.  That’s a person who deserves not only a pat on the back, but a hug and the knowledge that someone is always there for them.  Rain or shine, good times or bad–the Race Track Chaplaincy is always there. RTCANY, as goes their acronym, is led fearlessly and with great love by the ever-kind,Chaplain Humberto Chavez and his team, which includes his amazing wife, Karen, and the organization’s Eveready Bunny, Nick Caras.RTCANY LOGO

Obviously, RTCANY is an organization worth supporting, right?  And you’re not sure how to do it.  Well, you could just write a check–you could actually tithe your earnings–and/or you might decide that you’d like actually to meet the RTCANY team, and break bread with them.

(Breaking bread, BTW, is a wonderful way to get to know someone…why, it’s biblical.  God knows that, when souls share a meal, that the organic nature of that meal–the very physical act, creates a spiritual bond.)

So on August 17th, you have the opportunity to break bread with the RTCANY team AND with Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson–and with other like-spirited people.

Where?  How?  Good questions!  The Annual RTCANY Brunch will be held on August 17th at the Saratoga Natioal Golf Club on Union Avenue in Saratoga.

Now, here’s the thing.  Most fans of Thoroughbred horses and racing also are fans of the amazing, indomitable spirit whom we all know as, Marylou Whitney and her brilliant and utterly devoted husband, John Hendrickson. Mrs. Whitney and John have been blessings to so many horses and people, for decades.  (A devoted horsewoman, Mrs. Whitney has had many victories with horses who bear her silks, including the 2004 Belmont Stakes’ winner, Birdstone.  You may remember that–no doubt, for the first time in history–the owner of the Belmont-winning horse actually apologized for winning.  Birdstone beat the Triple Crown hopeful, Smarty Jones, and Mrs. Whitney apologized sincerely, for wrecking the Triple Crown effort of the valiant Smarty Jones.  How gracious of her!  Many Smarty fans were sad, but many bettors–ecstatic!)  John manages Whitney Stables, among other endeavours–and together they’ve championed many causes over the years, including nightly dinners/movies/BINGO/field trips for backstretch workers in Saratoga.

Mrs. Whitney’s and John’s generosity of spirit is renowned; there’s not a person in Saratoga or Lexington who doesn’t have a story about a time when they read/or witnessed/or received–a kindness imparted by The Dynamic Duo.

For this reason, RTCANY will honor Mrs. Marylou Whitney and Mr. John Hendrickson at the 11h Annual Brunch, on August 17th.  If you don’t get a ticket to this wonderful event, you’ll regret it.

You won’t get to brunch out on (Saratoga) National’s mind-boggling food>
You won’t get to help others, just by EATING.
You won’t get to brag to your friends, that you had brunch with Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson.

Oh, yeah, and you won’t get to bid on the Longines watch that will be up for grabs.  One of only 180 Longines watches that were made to commemorate American Pharoah‘s Triple Crown win.  Yeah, one of those watches.  If you’re not there, you can’t bid.  You snooze, you lose.

Believe me, this is some beautiful watch.  I’ve always, always wanted a Longines watch. They’re just so elegant, so perfect.   So organic, sexy, sensual.  (I probably shouldn’t have used two of those adjectives in an article about the Chaplaincy…)  But, sigh, I’m pretty sure that the twenty bucks that I could mark on the paper won’t fetch the gorgeous timepiece.

But YOU may submit the winning bid.  BUT  you can’t bid on it–OR lunch with Mrs. Whitney and John–OR meet Chaplain Humberto, Karen and Nick–OR catch some of the greatest people-watching during the entire race meet–if you’re not there.

Be there, or be rhomboid.  Email RTCANY@aol.com to reserve your ticket(s), or go to this Facebook page (below), and follow instructions.  Tickets are about a hundred-bucks and change, I believe.  And remember, if you really care about such things–about 70% of what you spend, will be tax deductible next April.

OK, I’m off to pick out a nice outfit.  Hard to find a getup that will match my prominent surgical scar; the vet wrap on my left leg and the new air cast on my right leg…so this quest actually may take me until August 17th.  Gotta go–ciao for niao!