Ten local charities had a winning night at The Meadows Racetrack in North Strabane Township Friday, where they participated in the Driver Charity Challenge and Family Fun Night hosted by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association.

Drivers partnered with each of the charities during the charity challenge races, with driver Tony Hall – who accumulated the most points during the competition – presenting the first-place check for $3,000 to Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors.

All of the other charities received between $500 and $2,000. In addition, participants from each charity joined PHRA and MSOA for dinner and an evening of racing.

“This is a really wonderful opportunity for harness racing to show their appreciation for the great work being done by charitable organizations in the Washington County area,” said Ashley Eisenbeil, director of marketing at PHRA. “We’re also hoping that people new to the track will enjoy it.”

The charities that participated were Bridge to Home Animal Rescue; Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors; Washington Area Humane Society; Harness Horse Youth Foundation; Pacing for a Cure; Washington County Special Olympics; Big Brother Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh; The Arc of Washington County; Washington County Animal Rescue Team; and Harness Racing Museum.

Dave Palone, who has the most wins in North American harness racing history, drove for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and won his race en route to a second-place finish in the charity event.

Said Tom Baker, chief community affairs officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, “We are big believers in Dave Palone. We are very appreciative for the opportunity to participate tonight. The funds will help support our matches, and enable us to provide the staff and resources necessary to support those matches.”

In 2018, Big Brothers provided matches for more than 1,500 children, Baker said.

Another charity, Wounded Warriors, also plans to put the charity earnings to good use. Jeff Curtis, president of Wounded Warriors, said the organization leases 2,800 acres in Eighty Four, which includes a stocked pond and hunting grounds.

“This will benefit us a lot,” said Curtis. “Ours is a 100% volunteer organization, and any donations that we get helps us to maintain the property.”

Activities also included a disc jockey, a balloon artist, face painters and a harness racing simulator. It was the first time the charity event was held.

The MSOA is a nonprofit trade association of owners, trainers and drivers of Standardbred horse racing at The Meadows.

Original source credited to observer-reporter.com.

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