Edited Maryland Jockey Club release
More than $120,000 was raised for Noah Grove, the son of Bowie, Md.-based trainer Chris Grove, during a Laurel Park fundraiser Feb. 13.
"What a tremendous success," said former Pimlico general manager Chick Lang, who spearheaded the Noah Fund charity with Fran Raffetto, wife of Maryland Jockey Club chief operating officer Lou Raffetto. "To see Noah get up on the podium and thank everyone for coming to his party was priceless."
Noah comes from a family with deep roots in racing. His grandfather, Phil, won 3,991 races as a jockey and currently is a steward for the Maryland Racing Commission. The 5-year-old was diagnosed with bone cancer last February and to save his life he underwent a through-the-knee amputation. Last week Noah received his first prosthesis. Until he stops growing, the boy could need as many as two new prostheses each year.
"A Night For Noah" brought in cash donations from owners, trainers, and jockeys from around the country that totaled $50,000 and the 125 auction items brought in more than $70,000.
"This is an example of how our industry supports itself and how great racing is for the state," Lang said. "We had some of the biggest names in our sport--Nick Zito, Bobby Frankel, Jerry Bailey, and Michael Gill--rally around the event."
A prize package to the 130th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) topped the auction items with a bid of $2,700. The bit Smarty Jones used to win last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes brought in $2,500 and immediately the winning bidder, Willie White, a partner in Skeedattle Associates, gave it to the young boy.
"I can't tell you how many times I had people coming over to me wishing the legislative body was here to see this," said Lang.