United Way Donating Over $30K in Gift Cards to Belmont Backstretch Workers


Sarah Andrew

Backstretch workers at Belmont Park will soon receive some relief in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in the form of $50 gift cards donated by United Way of Long Island. The cards, which total more than $30,000 in value, will be distributed to all backstretch workers by members of the Backstretch Employee Service Team of New York (B.E.S.T.) and the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA). This gift expands a program that kicked off earlier this month in which backstretch workers completing quarantine received gift cards, courtesy of United Way of Long Island through its “United Together Response Fund for COVID-19.”

“Timing is everything, and our hope is these gift cards will provide some relief to workers and their families with groceries and essentials,” said United Way of Long Island President and CEO Theresa A. Regnante. “This is right in line with our mission: being 'United Together' in helping families cope as best they can and get through these challenging times.”

“Backstretch workers are essential to racing and I am thrilled that each worker now at Belmont Park will get a gift card,” added B.E.S.T. Executive Director Paul Ruchames. “As a member of the Preparedness and Response Team at Belmont, I am particularly grateful to the entire backstretch community for their full cooperation with our recovery plan. 'United Together' is truly an approach that is working and will undoubtedly lead racing to greater heights once the threat of coronavirus is over. Thanks to United Way LI and BCCA for bringing this wonderful gift to the backstretch community.”

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