Introducing the First 27 Palm Beach County Charities Selected to Participate in 2017 Great Charity Challenge Presented by Fidelity Investments®

For Immediate Release 

Wellington, FL - December 5, 2016 - The Palm Beach Inter national Equestrian Center (PBIEC) was turned into a field of hope and dreams during the $216,000 Palm Beach County Sports Commission Grand Prix CSI 4* to benefit local nonprofit organizations on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
With over 300 applications received for the chance to participate in the 2017 Great Charity Challenge (GCC) presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), the excitement level was high to see whose names would get drawn out of the lottery drum. At stake: a chance to share the $1.5 million purse. To date, the event has distributed more than $9.2 million to 200 Palm Beach County Charities.
A total of 27 charities were randomly drawn throughout the evening's festivities. Event founders Mark, Katherine and Paige Bellissimo, were assisted by Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig, V ice Mayor John McGovern, Council Members Michael J. Napoleone, Michael Drahos and Tanya Siskind, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission George Linley, as well as GCC sponsors Dan Rosenbaum and his family, Lisa Lourie, Carlene Ziegler, Caroline Moran, Emanuel Andrade and representatives of Starwyn Farms.

27 charities were randomly selected on Saturday, December 3, to participate in the 2017 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments®.
(L-R) Mark Bellissimo, Tanya Siskind, Michael Drahos, Matt Bellissimo, Paige Bellissimo, Michael J. Napoleone, Mayor Ann Gerwig and Vice Mayor John McGover.

Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the GCC, commented, "The group of charities drawn tonight was the most diverse to date; it's going to be inspiring to watch them put the funds directly to work here in the community. We have high hopes that this will be our most impactful GCC yet and are looking forward to working with these charities and organizations leading up to the event."
Blending philanthropy and equestrian sports, the GCC is an exciting show jumping event that brings hope to Palm Beach County charities every year.
"We've applied for the last seven years without any luck; this is a dream come true," commented representatives of Grandma's Place, a Wellington-based organization that provides shelter and loving care to children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect and have been removed from their own homes by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Representatives of participating charities pose for a photo at the conclusion of the evening at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. 
The Soup Kitchen of Boynton Beach is another lucky rookie drawn on Saturday night. A representative of the charity commented, "We're beyond excited! This is just huge for our organization, even $15,000 will help feed people in need regardless of their circumstances!"
Future charity drawings will be held at random during the first weeks of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival and the final two wild card teams will be drawn the night of the GCC.
Mark your calendars for the 2017 GCC to be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the PBIEC during WEF's "Saturday Night Lights" series. This family friendly event offers free general admission and will feature this year's event theme: Animated Characters. 34 of these lucky charities will depend on their favorite animated characters to receive a share of the $1.5 million dollar purse.
Charities Drawn to Date:

Cancer Alliance of Help and Hope, Inc.
Children's Home Society of Florida
Equestrian Aid Foundation

Families First of Palm Beach County (Children's Case Management Organization)
Farmworker Coordinating Council of Palm Beach County, Inc.
Florence Fuller Child Development Centers
Genesis Assistance Dogs Inc.
Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization
Grandma's Place
Helping Hands Assistance Program, Inc.
Holy Ground Shelter for Homeless, Inc.
Horses Healing Hearts
Jeff Industries, Inc.
Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
Nonprofits First
Palm Beach Habilitation Center
Paws 4 Liberty, Inc
Step by Step Foundation
The Junior League of Boca Raton
The Light House Cafe Ministries of the Glades, Inc.
The Rotary Club of Wellington Foundation, Inc.
The Soup Kitchen, Inc.
The Unicorn Children's Foundation, Inc.
Urban Youth Impact
Wellington Cares
Wycliffe Charities Foundation, Inc.
Wellington PTA/PTO/PTSA

For more information on the Great Charity Challenge (GCC) please visit and to learn more about Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) please visit

Photo Credit  ©LoisSpatz. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release. 

About Fidelity Investments®
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Please visit  or call 561-793-5867
for more information on the GCC.

Anne Caroline Valtin
 Equestrian Sport Productions
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