Jockeys and humanitarians will come together Sunday, October 12, 2014 to benefit both The Simunye Project of South Africa and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund. Former jockey Shane Sellers and Bridget Parker of Parker View Farm are hosting the Second Annual All-Star Jockeys’ No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament at The Red Mile Clubhouse in Lexington, Ky.
Simunye is an impoverished area in the KwaZulu-Natal province in west South Africa. The Simunye Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization Bridget Parker established in 1986 after several visits to the region indicated critical need for improved living conditions and humanitarian aid. It was Parker’s professional association with Shane Sellers and his support for the PDJF which helped link these two great causes.
Among the jockeys scheduled to appear are: Robby Albarado, Calvin Borel, Jean Cruget, Julien Leparoux, Rosie Napravnik, and many others from the Keeneland jockey colony. Tickets for the event (includes buffet dinner, entertainment and live and silent auctions) are $65 per person. There is a $250 buy-in to play poker; spaces limited to 125 players. Both event and poker tickets are available at www.pdjf.org. Registration for poker begins at 5 p.m., dinner begins at 6 p.m., and tournament play begins at 7 p.m.. Chicago-based entertainer Vito Zatto brings his hilarious Las Vegas-style comedy, impersonations, and stand-up routines to the event.
“’Simunye’ is a Zulu word meaning ‘we are one,’ and by hosting this event we want to bring together many people for two causes that are about hope and help for disadvantaged people in two separate areas of the world,” said Bridget Parker, whose Parker View Farm near Lexington has been at the forefront of the Saddlebred industry for 35 years. A life-long horsewoman, Parker has been active in numerous projects that support underprivileged and minority children both in the U.S. and internationally.
“Last year’s event raised over $50,000,” said Shane Sellers. “That enabled us to build a community center in the area, organize food banks, and continue our work in individual and community outreach, education and HIV/AIDS awareness.”
“I think that everybody has a responsibility in their life to do whatever they are can to alleviate suffering wherever it occurs,” Sellers added.
The Red Mile harness track is located at 1200 Red Mile Road, Lexington, Ky. Sponsorship opportunities are available: please contact Bridget Parker at (859) 873-4394 or Nancy LaSala at (630) 595-7660.
The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Founded in 2006, PDJF has dispersed more than $5 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or traumatic brain injuries. The Fund is a cooperative effort among race tracks, jockeys, horsemen and enthusiasts. Visit www.pdjf.org for further information.