Heider Family Foundation Issues Challenge Grant for Chaplaincy Summer Enrichment Program

Cindy and Scott Heider | courtesy of Heider family


Scott and Cindy Heider and their Heider Family Foundation have issued a $10,000 matching grant to raise money for the New York Race Track Chaplaincy's Summer Enrichment program, the focus of a TDN feature earlier this week.

The Chaplaincy started the summer program 10 years ago to allow families to stay together when racing shifts to Saratoga, sending the children to local summer camp programs while the parents work. “The kids love it,” Humberto Chavez, New York Chaplain for the Race Track Chaplaincy of America told the TDN last week. “They get out of city life and get into the country.”

Scott Heider saw the article, sent it to his wife, Cindy, and the pair decided to jump in and help.

“We race under Heider Family Stables, and we also have a foundation here in Omaha, the Heider Family Foundation,” Cindy explained. “We work with a lot of different organizations, whether it's under-served youth, education, a little bit in the arts, mental health, and over the years have supported some organizations in racing, like the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, programs on the backstretch, Blue Grass Farms Charities, and New Vocations. We like to support the good the work that everyone is doing; they're working really hard, and helping a lot of people working really hard that don't have great support systems. Scott saw the article, forwarded it to me, and we saw that the chaplaincy was doing some great work in the summer program. So between us, we said we should help them a little bit. and then when I talked to (General Manager) Karen (Chavez) today, I said to her, `I don't know if it's helpful to do a match, but if so, this is the time to do it.”

Said Chaplain Humberto Chavez, “We are grateful to TDN for allowing us to speak from the heart about what this program means for our families. The kids have the opportunity to experience the outdoors, make new friends, take on new challenges, and develop confidence in themselves and their abilities. We have found that the impact of participating in the summer program is lifelong and we often hear from the kids, now adults, who have come through the program what a difference it has made in their lives. We are thankful for the widespread support from the industry and individuals.”

Said Cindy Heider, “There are people who don't have access to help, and a lot of people don't want to ask for help. But it's important to reach out to those people, especially the kids.”

Asked why they were moved to give, she said simply, “It's not a why. It's a why not.”

The Heiders will match up to $10,000 that is raised from now through July 6. To donate, visit the Chaplaincy webpage's summer enrichment program page by clicking here.

All donations made up until July 6 will count toward the challenge grant.

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