It’s A Winter Wonderland Down To The Stretch

Racing News
Posted 12.06.12 at 12:04

Over 1,000 children and their parents share the dignity of Christmas giving

Inglewood, CA — December 6, 2012—Betfair Hollywood Park Racetrack will be the site for the St. Margaret’s Center 24th Annual Christmas Program for 450 pre-screened families living at or below the poverty level. On Saturday, December 15th more than 400 volunteers will provide a day of Christmas activities for families in need. The day-long event which runs from 9:00am-6:00pm is unique in that it reaches out to the entire family.

St. Margaret’s Center seeks to enhance the dignity of participants by directly involving parents in the gift giving process. Upon entering, children are whisked away by friendly elf-like volunteers to enjoy games, prizes, arts & crafts, refreshments, live entertainment, and meet with Santa himself. Meanwhile, parents will be guided through gift rooms by their personal shopper and allowed to choose gifts for each child. Volunteers will then wrap the gifts before parents are reunited with their children. “The beauty of this program is that parents choose the gifts for their child. They become the givers,” said Mary Agnes Erlandson, St. Margaret’s Center Director. Families are allowed to stay at the party for as long as they wish, and each one will depart with a $25 grocery certificate to buy their holiday meal, and the children with a new book and goody bag filled with treats for the trek back home.

Families who utilize the services provided by St. Margaret’s Center go through a qualifying process that guarantees the gifts will go to the neediest families in the community. After outgrowing former locations, Betfair Hollywood Park Racetrack opened its doors and its heart to this event in 2002 and continues to be one of the program’s biggest supporters.

Other businesses and community agencies including Doorking, Inc., the Centinela Hospital Medical Staff, The NBC Today Show, Southern California Edison, Polaris Electric Company, Randall McAnany Company, the Lennox School District and many other churches,groups and individuals have also discovered this worthwhile program and generously lend their support.
Betfair Hollywood Park, which will celebrate its 75th year in 2013, has long been a contributor to various racing-related charities.

The December 15 racing program is arguably the most significant one of the Autumn meet as the feature event is the $750,000-guaranteed CashCall Futurity.

A Grade I for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track, the Futurity has long been a proving ground for future thoroughbred success.

Some past Futurity winners who have gone on to win Triple Crown events include 2009 hero Lookin At Lucky, who returned to capture the 2010 Preakness as well as Real Quiet (1997 Futurity and 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness) and Thunder Gulch (1994 Futurity and 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes).

The day will also feature a fleece pullover giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last.

St. Margaret’s Center, a program of Catholic Charities since 1987, provides relief, dignity and support to low-income persons in crisis and assists individuals through case management and skills development to become more self-sufficient and achieve greater economic security. Programs include food, homeless services, immigration processing, counseling, adult education, tutoring, utility assistance, application for public benefits and medical screenings.

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