Wellington, Florida – Three JustWorld International fundraising initiatives took place throughout North America on Friday and Saturday, August 27 and 28, 2010. Three separate horse show communities came together for one great cause - to raise money and awareness for the benefit of JustWorld project sites in Brazil, Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras and Senegal.
During the Thunderbird Summer Festival show jumping tournament held at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC, the local equestrian community supported a silent auction, Calcutta, and a signature JustWorld Horseless Horse Show, an event that sees competitors of all ages complete a course of miniature jumps on foot, organized by Stephanie Tidball.
“We were first introduced to JustWorld International last year by Tani Zeidler, and we were so impressed by the idea of an organization that inspires the equestrian community to come together and benefit children in need,” explained Tidball, Marketing Manager at Thunderbird Show Park. “Not only did the events succeed in raising money, it was a fun way to get everybody involved. Horse show moms and dads come out to support the kids, the kids get to know each other, and everyone has a great time!”
In addition to their fundraising initiatives, Thunderbird Show Park committed to adopting a $9,000 JustWorld project site in Brazil. By adopting a project site, Thunderbird Show Park will help pay for nutrition, education, health care, and general quality of life for children in the project community.
“We were so excited to be able to support such a great cause, and that we could incorporate it in to what we do,” said Tidball. “It feels amazing to benefit children in developing countries while also incorporating our sport! It’s a great idea.”
Also on Saturday, JustWorld Ambassador Cayla Richards organized a fundraising dinner at Chevy’s Restaurant in Del Mar, California.
“I think that in the equestrian community, everyone is so fortunate,” said Richards of the motivation behind her initiative. “It is so important for everyone to realize that we are lucky, and that many people across the world are not as fortunate as us. I believe that if we recognize that, we should act on it!”
And act on it she did! With over 200 attendees, the event was a huge success.
“We succeeded in raising money and, more importantly, we got the word out to a lot of competitors and trainers,” said Richards, a 17-year-old high-school senior. “Two of my friends were inspired and sent in their applications to become JustWorld Rider Ambassadors that weekend! It felt amazing to combine my love of the sport with the ability to make a difference.”
Richards was inspired to organize the fundraiser by JustWorld Executive Director, Jessica Newman.
“Jessica had come down to California the week before and really motivated and inspired me to get something done, to take it into my own hands,” explained Richards. “I’ve been showing out east for the past couple of years and I noticed that in California, not many people were taking the initiative.”
Meanwhile, during the Fieldstone Summer Showcase held August 24-29 at the Fieldstone Equestrian and Show Facility in Halifax, MA, JustWorld Ambassador Avery Stewart organized a JustWorld Horseless Horse Show. Spectators, exhibitors and professional competitors came together to raise money and have a great time in the name of JustWorld International.
“I was talking to my mom, and I realized that if I want to make a difference, I should take it into my own hands,” explained Stewart, a 16-year-old high school student. “I hadn’t planned on doing it, but at the last minute I really set my mind to it and whipped together a bunch of volunteers. We only had one day of advertising, but we still managed to raise more than $450. Everyone was so willing to help out and it went so smoothly.
“I actually just started a JustWorld Massachusetts chapter, so it was amazing to see everything fall into place,” Stewart continued. “Tons of people came out, and it was a lot of fun. Everyone was moved by the work that JustWorld is doing for children in need, and I know that a couple of the participants actually became JustWorld Ambassadors after the event. Every little bit helps, and knowing that we will help pay for kids to go to school, for food, and to have a better quality of life, is awesome!”
With show jumping riders around the world signing up to become JustWorld Rider Ambassadors, Executive Director Jessica Newman has mobilized some of the sport’s biggest names towards supporting JustWorld’s projects. There are currently more than 300 Rider Ambassadors from 34 different countries, ranging from eight-year-old pony riders to Olympic medalists, who help bring attention to JustWorld International’s cause. To find out how you can become a sponsor or a rider ambassador, please contact Executive Director Jessica Newman at email@example.com.
Founded in 2002 by former grand prix competitor Jessica Newman, JustWorld International raises awareness and funds in the equestrian community to support humanitarian projects that benefit impoverished communities and children in the developing world. Cooperating with local partners, JustWorld International implements sustainable, culturally sensitive education, health and vocational projects. For more information on JustWorld International and its upcoming fundraising events, or details on new project adoption opportunities, please visit www.justworldinternational.org.
Photo: The signature JustWorld Horseless Horse Show is a popular fundraising initiative. Photo Credits – Sportfot.com