TORONTO, September 25 – Woodbine Entertainment congratulates the Community Association for Riders with Disabilities (C.A.R.D) and Horizons for Youth on winning the 2018 Woodbine Cares Week Charity Challenge.
The winning organizations were announced at the Woodbine Cares Community and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday, September 19. The evening brought together employees, community partners and volunteers to wrap-up Woodbine Cares Week, a 10-day celebration of the many valuable community organizations and causes that Woodbine Entertainment supports.
New for this year, community partners were divided into two categories based on the size of their social media following for the online Charity Challenge poll. Both C.A.R.D and Horizons for Youth were awarded a $5,000.00 donation after garnering more votes than other contenders in their respective categories.
Horizons for Youth is a shelter for at-risk and homeless youth in Toronto. The programs offered by Horizons for Youth include Mental Health & Addictions services, Housing Support, an engaging Day Program and Community Support & Aftercare. These holistic programs help residents leave the streets behind.
“Horizons for Youth is thrilled to be the winner of the Woodbine Cares Charity Challenge,” said Filomena Williams, Executive Director, Horizons for Youth. “A donation of $5,000.00 will help ensure that hundreds of at-risk and homeless youth each year have access to a warm and safe bed, three meals and two snacks per day and a wealth of supportive programs and services. Horizons for Youth will allocate Woodbine Entertainment’s generous donation to purchasing healthy and fresh food for our residents… (and) would like to thank Woodbine Entertainment for their ongoing support of our shelter.”
Using the horse as therapy, C.A.R.D. changes the lives of children and adults with disabilities every day. C.A.R.D.’s therapeutic horseback riding program benefits riders who seek physical or cognitive therapies, who have a variety of disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. Therapeutic riding improves sensory processing, focus and concentration, the ability to learn concepts, and communication skills.
“As with any charity or not for profit, financial rewards totally support the service we provide … We could not do what we do if we did not receive this kind of funding,” said Penny Smith, Executive Director, C.A.R.D. “The fact that Woodbine Entertainment recognizes and supports agencies like ours is an amazing and proud accomplishment for us. Woodbine walks the walk and talks the talk. This recognition boosts our confidence and moral while reinforcing that we have to keep on doing what we are doing.”
This year, the Woodbine Cares Community and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner took place adjacent to the Woodbine Community Garden, the largest urban garden in the City of Toronto. Now in its’ third season, the Community Garden has produced 2,235 lbs of food donated to local charities, a number that will jump to 8,000 lbs by the end of this season’s harvest.
In addition to announcing the 2018 Woodbine Cares Week Charity Challenge winners, numerous employee awards were distributed to acknowledge the more than 700 combined hours of volunteer time donated by Woodbine Entertainment employees.
“At Woodbine, we are proud to be able to give back to the communities that support us throughout the year,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “The annual Woodbine Cares Community and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is a great opportunity to bring many of our community partners and dedicated employees together for an inspiring and exciting evening.”
Those wishing to learn more about Woodbine Entertainment’s community building initiatives are encouraged to read the 2017/18 Corporate Social Responsibility report, available at WoodbineCares.ca.