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January 15th, 2010 by Terry Miller
As news of the devastating 7.3 earthquake which struck the Caribbean island nation of Haiti on Tuesday continues to unfold, the Santa Anita jockeys’ colony and Santa Anita Park have joined forces to send aid via the American Red Cross beginning on Sunday.
“We initiated plans to try and help with this on Wednesday,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “Alex Solis then contacted me on Thursday and said that a number of jockeys would be interested in donating mount fees or a percentage of their winnings from a designated race day, in order to try and help. We of course welcomed their support and we contacted the Arcadia chapter of the American Red Cross and they have agreed to coordinate this effort for us. This is a great gesture on the part of these jockeys and we are more than happy to partner with them in trying to help as many people as possible. As we all know, the current situation in Haiti is desperate.”
The public is invited to join in this effort as well and the Red Cross will be at Santa Anita on Sunday to assist in collecting aid. Red Cross volunteers, dressed in red coats, will be positioned at both of the track’s main admission gates and will have five gallon collection buckets available for donations.
According to initial estimates, as many as three million people may have been affected by the quake, and it is feared there could be as many as 50,000 deaths. Thousands of buildings and residences have been collapsed and many areas remain inaccessible as roads have been covered with debris and bridges have collapsed.
In addition to on-track contributions this Sunday, people are encouraged to make donations to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at www.redcross.org, or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).
The Red Cross is also receiving money through a third party mobile fundraising effort sponsored by Mobile Accord. Mobile donors can text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross. These funds will go to support the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.
First race post time at Santa Anita on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m.