Marion County continues to show its infectious enthusiasm for Horse Fever, the joint venture between the Marion Cultural Alliance and the Florida Breeders' and Owners' Association.
The art project demonstrated the area's cultural vitality and encouraged cooperation and communication between different sectors within the community. The Horse Fever auction held at Live Oak Plantation March 22 generated $846,500, and a portion of the net proceeds were distributed to 22 different charities April 25.
"It's amazing to see such a spirit of solidarity within the community," Horse Fever chairman Laurie Menard said. "Everyone has demonstrated a spirit of giving, and we're hoping that we can continue to grow as a community by helping each other with our charitable endeavors."
The positive impact of the project has emboldened the vision for community action, as a way of encouraging support for making a meaningful difference.
"Horse Fever was a wonderful idea. I had a chance to see the horses in Lexington, Ky., and wasn't surprised at the way Ocala embraced the project," said McKathan Farm's Kevin McKathan, who along with brother, J.B., purchased Van Whoa, who's now standing at their training facility in Citra, Fla.
The largest check, in the amount of $107,105, was presented to the Florida Thoroughbred Charities. "This is tremendous. It's wonderful to see the proceeds of the project benefit those who are in need," said T-Square Stud's Leverett Miller.