2012 Travers Celebration Set for Aug. 23

The official party of the Travers Stakes will benefit three charities.

This year’s Travers Celebration on Aug. 23 will benefit the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the Times Union Hope Fund, and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The “official party” of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) will be held at Saratoga Race Course two days before the 143rd edition of the Aug. 25 “Mid-Summer Derby.”

“We are delighted to once again host and support this outstanding event which benefits three vital organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for youth, workers along the backstretch and jockeys,” said New York Racing Association president and COO Ellen McClain in a release. “We encourage all of our stakeholders to show their gratitude for the critical work these organizations perform on behalf of these individuals by attending the official party of the Travers Stakes.”

Sponsored by Macy’s, Ketel One Vodka, NEWS 10, the Albany Times Union, and NYRA, the cocktail reception will include live and silent auctions and music by the New York Players.

A portion of proceeds from all merchandise sold at the NYRA stores, from sales of Coca-Cola products, and from group sales events at the Carousel Restaurant and At the Rail Pavilion at Saratoga Race Course during the race meet will benefit the Travers Celebration and its charitable partners.

The 2012 Travers Celebration is co-chaired by George R. Hearst III, publisher and CEO of the Times Union, and Sharon Dominguez, wife of Ramon Dominguez, winner of the 2011 and 2012 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.

Tickets cost $175 per person and $125 for young adults (under 30). Go to www.2012traverscelebration-eac2.eventbrite.com for more information.

According to NYRA, the Travers Celebration has raised more than $1.1 million for non-profit organizations in the Thoroughbred industry and throughout the greater Capital Region since its inception over a decade ago.

The Backstretch Employee Service Team is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing care and service to maintain the health and well-being of employees in the backstretch.

The Times Union Hope Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, raises money and awards grants to after-school and summer programs serving at-risk children in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered devastating on-track injuries.