Seagull Services Awarded $80,000 at FTI Great Charity Challenge 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Seagull's highly skilled riding
team consisted of Samantha
Ramsay, Katherine Straus
 and Beth Craven from Trelawny Farm, who led Seagull to a 5th place score of 96.484 after leading first place for a few rounds early on in the competition.

Sponsored by Fidelity Investments, the Great Charity Challenge event was estimated to have raised $2.25 million for 34 charities. Seagull's corporate sponsor was Gold Coast Feed & Supply, and team sponsor was Trelawny Farm.

"We are grateful to Mark Bellisimo and Fidelity Investments for this opportunity to raise money that will allow Seagull Services to continue our mandate of assisting people to live in dignity and realize their life potential through education, training, employment, creative expression and residential services", stated Seagull Services President and CEO, Barbara Nurenberg. She also praised Trelawny Farm for their generous sponsorship of Seagull Services and their energetic, focused riding team.

The atmosphere was filled with the excitement of competition and a sense of camaraderie as supporters and representatives of 34 charities filled the grandstands and VIP sections under floodlights and a tropical evening sky to cheer on their teams.

"This evening is not just about cheering for one team. It is about giving back to the community", announced Mark Bellissimo , who co-founded the event with his daughter Paige in 2009 hoping it would inspire others to support local Palm Beach charities.

"An event of this caliber holds the added value of being able to meet other directors, founders and representatives from other Palm Beach charities", added Ms. Nurenberg. "Every cause has a history, and I enjoyed sharing information and learning about other like-minded organizations who share a common goal of enriching lives in Palm Beach County."

One by one, the 35 organizations were represented by teams of 3 riders each who skillfully rode for their charities in a timed, relay style jumping competition along a course of verticals.

"Speak Up! For Kids won top spot with winnings of $150,000.  The teams representing the Wellington PTO/PTS/PTSA and Musicares came in second and third, winning $125,000 and $112,500 respectively."

The added excitement in the air was due to bubbly, excited fans awaiting their first glimpse of country music star Hunter Hayes, who was also there to cheer for his charity, MusiCares .

Following the horse jumping competition, the arena was quickly cleared of jumping obstacles as crews unfurled tarps to cover the grounds. Within seconds, hundreds of Hunter Hayes fans ran from the grandstands and poured onto the arena field to the crowd the stage where they enjoyed his performance.

"It was a lovely evening," stated Ms. Nurenberg, "It was breathtaking and exciting, especially knowing that in the end thanks to FTI, we were all winners".