Saratoga is the place to be in August, especially the week leading up to the Travers Stakes, the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in America.  One of the big events that takes place during Travers week is the Belmont Child Care Association Gala at the Gideon Putnam.

Many Saratoga guests and race enthusiasts make this event an annual tradition, enjoying top entertainment, delicious food, socializing with racing's finest, and the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind items to help the cause.

As usual, my role was to play the appropriate music to fit the 'Country Fair' theme of the evening, complete with classic fair backdrops, and serve as the evening's announcer. I had the honor of reading off the description of  impressive items that brought in some of the night's biggest revenue, including a trip for two to Paris, a weekend in New York City, and a private jet to the 2011 Breeder's cup.  In addition to other items like a trip to Napa, California, a shadow box with Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom's halter, a shadow box with 2010 horse of the year Zenyatta's halter, and a Tuscan Villa for seven days, the event brought in over $275,000.

It truly is an honor to be a part of this fantastic event, year after year, and work alongside celebrity auctioneer D. Wayne Lukas.  Mr. Lukas is a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, the first trainer to win over $100 million dollars in purse money, and his horses have won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes on several occassions.  Every year he makes a commitment to join us to help the backstretch workers and thier families, he started the night with some words I'll never forget, "Those of us fortunate to have wealth, fame and recognition also have a responsibility." It is clear that Mr. Lukas is a great leader in showing how some of the wealthiest and luckiest people can make the world a better place, by just attending a fun night on the town.

If you didn't get a chance to attend the gala, you can always show your support by visiting the Belmont Child Care Association's website and by making plans to join us next year.

Special thanks to the staff of Anna House and all the volunteers that make this event such a success!