Backside Learning Center Launches 'Purses for a Purpose' Program


Sarah Andrew

The Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs is launching “Purses for a Purpose”, a program to allow horse owners to pledge a portion of their horse's earnings to benefit backside workers and their families.

“The backstretch community is a hugely important part of our sport, and we're more than happy to support it in any way we can,” Brian DiDonato of Franklin Ave. Equine LLC, owner of Moonshine Dancing (Speightster) and Too Much Kandy (Kantharos), the first two horses to participate in Purses for a Purpose, said of his motivation for becoming involved. “The BLC has done an excellent job in fulfilling their mission–especially during these tough times–and we're proud to help them continue their important work.”

The Backside Learning Center (BLC), a non-profit organization dedicated to building community and enriching the lives of equine workers and their families at Churchill Downs, serves nearly 1,000 backside workers and their families annually through an array of educational programs, social services and community building events. During the current crisis, the BLC has provided emergency food delivery to over 100 families, has connected students to computers and provided other support for online learning and other basic needs.

Horses who are a part of Purses for a Purpose will be featured on the BLC website and in social media.

Sherry Stanley, Executive Director of the BLC, added, “We are excited about Purses for a Purpose because it connects horse owners to the transformative work we do with backside workers and their families. We are so thankful for the support of the horse racing community during this time. Now more than ever, this solidarity and support is important as we navigate new challenges brought about due to COVID-19.”

For more information on how to become involved with Purses for a Purpose, click here.

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