Thursday, August 8, 2013 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky. (August 8, 2013) – A steady morning rain couldn't dampen the spirits of more than 2,600 children and 1,500 parents and guardians who turned out at Turfway Park last Saturday, Aug. 3, for the 2nd annual Cincinnati DreamWorks Give Back . . . to School event.
The event, which drew support and volunteers from 16 sponsors, provided back-to-school supplies, hygiene items, and clothing to children from low-income families in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Northern Kentucky. Within two-and-a-half hours, 1,600 backpacks had been given away to children enrolled from kindergarten through eighth grade.
The rain lasted about as long as the distribution. After the skies cleared, every child and adult had the opportunity to enjoy free donuts, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, and treats, and volunteers, parents, and children played games together on the Turfway lawn. Face painting and two bounce houses proved popular, as did a special appearance by Tychus, a service dog in training.
"From last year's event to this year's, the number of children who attended jumped from 350 to 2,600, an increase of 642 percent," said Cincinnati DreamWorks president Tim Hall. "We anticipated we would see an increase to 750 children, or maybe 1,000. As it became clear the need would be even greater than we expected, our sponsors and volunteers stepped up again and we were able to provide supplies to 1,600 children and food and fun for everybody. We also provided bagged groceries to many of the families.
"We are celebrating that we were able to serve so many children, but we are not content to stop there," Hall said. "There were too many other children we were not able to reach. There is plenty of room for improvement if we want to reach an even larger population, and we mean to do so. We will plan even earlier for next year's event and continue working with key organizers to reach more of Northern Kentucky's struggling families."
Turfway Park's participation in Give Back . . . to School was organized through the racetrack's HERO initiative, an employee-based volunteer program in place at all Caesars Entertainment properties. Turfway adopted the HERO program in July 2012.
Tim Hall, Cincinnati DreamWorks, (800) 486-1464, or Sherry Pinson, Turfway Park, (859) 647-4842
About Cincinnati DreamWorks
A registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, Cincinnati DreamWorks partners with organizations and individuals to provide community service, medical and other specialty services, employment, educational and career building programs, mentoring and tutoring programs, health and wellness centers, housing units, and food, clothing, and furniture assistance to those in need in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Southeast Indiana. Cincinnati DreamWorks is an outgrowth of the faith-based Cincinnati Dream Center.
About Turfway Park
Part of Kentucky's year round Thoroughbred racing circuit, Turfway Park presents live racing from December through March. Opened in 1959 as Latonia Race Course, the track was renamed Turfway Park in 1986 and has been owned since 1999 by a partnership that currently includes Caesars Entertainment, Rock Gaming, and Keeneland Association. Known for innovation, Turfway Park introduced night racing to Kentucky, was the first Kentucky track to offer simulcast and intertrack wagering, and in 2005 pioneered the use of an all-weather surface for racing. Turfway Park is home to the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3), a designated prep race for the Kentucky Derby.