Ocala Farm Ministry to Hold Annual Fundraising Dinner

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The Ocala Farm Ministry, which helps to provide for the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of members of Central Florida's Thoroughbred industry workforce , will hold its annual fundraising dinner and auction this Sunday, Apr. 23, at the ITW building at the OBS Sales Complex.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction, featuring, among other things, a California Chrome halter, donated by Taylor Made Farm; an Arrogate saddle towel from the Pegasus S.; a Saratoga race day package, featuring box seats, dinner at Sperry, a facial or massage at the Saratoga Day Spa; and a Hall of Fame tour with Tom Durkin; equine van hauling, donated by Creech and Brook Ledge Van Lines; stallion seasons to WinStar's Overanalyze and to Lane's End's Morning Line; and a package of 10 bullet ads donated by the TDN. Last year's dinner and auction raised better than $80,000.

The Ministry, a 501 (c)(3) charity and a division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), supports an Academic Scholarship program that has seen it recipients further their education at institutions like Duke University and the University of Central Florida; conducts youth soccer leagues for boys and girls attracting nearly 1000 participants to date; English and Spanish classes; an Easter egg hunt attended by hundreds of people; and organized summer activities for children. In 2016, for example, the Ministry offered free lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the summer to children up to 17 years of age as part of the Marion County “Feed the Kids” program. Additionally, over the last eight years, the chaplaincy program has helped people in need in the local horse community to the tune of $110,000.

Tickets to the event are available for $100 apiece or $800 for a table of 10. For further information, contact Stephanie Brennan (352) 427-8540 or Jaqui de Meric (352) 843-0456.

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