First Charity Cup Set for Finger Lakes

The first Charity Cup will be held Oct. 4 at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack.

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack Oct. 4 will hold the first Charity Cup, which will award various charities money depending on the outcome of six races at the upstate New York racetrack.

Six local charities, up from an original four, will vie for a share of a $30,000 donation purse, up from the planned $20,000. The selected charities for the 2008 event that will vie for a share of the $30,000 purse and the $10,000 top prize are Camp Good Days, Salvation Army of Ontario County, Ontario County Humane Society, Literacy Volunteers of Ontario County, Mercy Flight Central, and Christopher’s Challenge.

The six charities will be asked to pick a winning horse in each of six designated races, and will earn points based on race results. The charity that earns the most points will take home the Charity Cup trophy and a donation of $10,000; the second-place organization will earn $6,000; third place $5,000; fourth place $4,000; fifth place $3,000; and sixth place $2,000.

In addition, each group will receive a special gathering area to highlight their cause, collect additional donations from racing fans, and entertain their board, staff, and valued donors.

“The overwhelming response and the quality of the 60-plus applications we received was so outstanding, we increased the number of participating charities and the total purse,” Finger Lakes president and general manager Chris Riegle said. “It was an extremely difficult selection process for our committee, which is a testament to the tremendous work that our local non-profit organizations provide to our community.”

Charities located within Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Seneca counties in New York were invited to participate through a selection process based upon several factors including, but not limited to, an assessment of overall need, services provided, the program to be supported, and the potential impact within our community.

The selected charities each identified their own specific needs that any earnings will go toward. For the inaugural Charity Cup, special consideration was given to charities that help meet the needs of children, with two of the available spots reserved for those organizations.

On the racing side, the feature Oct. 4 at Finger Lakes is the $200,000 New York Breeders' Futurity for 2-year-old New York-breds at six furlongs. It's the richest stakes of the meet, which runs through Dec. 6.