The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America, created in 1986, held a groundbreaking ceremony Mar. 28 for a multi-purpose building and chapel on the grounds of Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
The 3,500-square foot facility (which Chaplaincy officials hope will open this fall) will be located just inside the Gate 6 entrance to Belmont Park and will include a chapel which will also function as a multi-purpose room, office space for the chaplaincy staff, and a classroom to be used as a learning center. Among those who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony were David O'Rourke, president and CEO of NYRA; Ramon Dominguez, retired Hall of Fame jockey who serves as president of the chaplaincy; and Michael Dubb, Thoroughbred owner and the founder and principal of the Beechwood Organization, who also donated construction materials for the entire building. Major funding was provided by several parties including Lisa and Kenny Troutt of WinStar Farm, Kristine and Chris Kay, the late Marylou Whitney and her husband John Hendrickson, and the estate of the late Dolores Ochota.
“This facility is a dream come true for the chaplaincy and for all the people it helps,” said Dominguez. “We are extremely grateful to all those who played a part in making it a reality.”