The New York Race Track Chaplaincy and its team of volunteers distributed backpacks and school supplies to the children of Saratoga backstretch workers on Thursday, Aug.31, the organization said in a release early Friday.
The children received the supplies requested by their teachers in their personalized backpacks along with a brand-new pair of sneakers and a first day of school haircut.
Supporters of the program include Saratoga's leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr., who helped to distribute the supplies.
“The backstretch workers make what I do possible,” Ortiz said. “Whether you see them or not, they are with me in the winner's circle because I know I would not be there without them. I love supporting them and seeing the smiles on the kid's faces as they try on their new sneakers.”
A similar campaign will take place at Belmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 2. Approximately 250 children will be served at all three NYRA tracks.
Click here for more information about Chaplaincy initiatives.