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FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge – January 26, 2013 Reaches Goal of $1.5 Million to Benefit 34 Palm Beach County Charities

January 24, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, Florida – January 23, 2013 –  Setting a historic record for a show jumping class purse, the 2013 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (FTI GCC) will distribute $1.5 million dollars to 34 Palm Beach Countycharities in an exciting event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday, January 26, 2013.


It is only with the generous support of the team and corporate sponsors and riders that in its fourth year the FTI GCC has become one of the largest and broadest-based philanthropic events in the county. With this year’s total, the event will have donated 4.2 million dollars to more than 75 Palm Beach County Charities and has had a significant positive impact on thousands of lives in Wellington and Palm Beach County.



Last year’s winning presentation at the FTI GCC.
Photo © Sportfot.



At a time when the nation’s focus has been on cutbacks and economic challenges, there is a bright ray of light shining on Palm Beach County as the 2013 FTI GCC attracts thousands of spectators to cheer on their favorite charity. In this case, the knight rides in not on one white horse, but on over 100 horses as 34 teams of three riders each will compete for $1.5 million in prize money to go to one of 34 Palm Beach County charities randomly paired to their team.
The exciting pro-am show jumping event pairs world champions and Olympic riders with amateurs to compete in a relay event over a challenging set of jumps to see who can come in with the clear round and fastest time to win for their assigned charity. Each team is sponsored by a generous equestrian family.

“This event allows us to showcase and to financially support the broad missions of 34 randomly selected charities from Palm Beach County. It is unique to get this many charities involved in a single event, so it is not about a specific charity but the spirit of giving. My family, my fellow Wellington Equestrian Partners, and the equestrian community are very fortunate to enjoy this lifestyle and this is a great opportunity for us to give back to our community,” stated Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions.

At its inception, the goal for Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige was to create a unique charity model for the FTI GCC. All 501 (c) (3) charities in Palm Beach Countyhave a chance to participate as names are randomly drawn from hundreds of charities entered. Each charity is then randomly assigned to a show jumping team. Everyone wins as each charity will receive a minimum of $10,000, which can be a huge help to many of the smaller charitable organizations.


Margie Engle

Anchoring last year’s winning team at the FTI GCC was Olympian Margie Engle. Photo © Sportfot.

Equestrian Sport Productions absorbs the entire cost of the event so every cent of the $1.5 million dollars goes to the charities. General admission is free and the public is invited to cheer on their favorite charity in a family friendly Saturday night event featuring a children’s fair, entertainment including a live band, face painters, skydiver and special guest entertainers. Come ride the fantastic new hand-painted Venetian carousel!

While the event only lasts one day, it is important to realize that the positive benefits generated continue for a year. For many of the smaller charities who took a chance to throw their name in the hat and get randomly chosen, the money they receive from the FTI GCC can be their operating budget for the whole year. In other cases, it will allow them to reach even more of their constituents in need.

As an added bonus, the $50,000 FTI Challenge Bonus gives everyone the chance to vote for their favorite charity at which also details the event and the charities involved. You can vote until the last horse completes the course on Saturday, January 26, with the funds going to the top three fan-favorite charities.



The new Venetian carousel is fun for the whole family. Photo © Elena Lusenti.


Everyone is encouraged to support the event and be a part of one of the proudest moments of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Please join us every Saturday night through March 31 for “Saturday Night Lights” show jumping competition, children’s fair, food and beverages, and live entertainment.    

For ticket options please contact Annette Goyette,

The event is only possible with the generous support of our team sponsors:



Team Sponsor – Charity

Bellissimo Family – Trump Wildcard – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach County

Georgina Bloomberg – South Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Boyer Family – Spirit of Giving Network

Brushwood Stables – Paws for Liberty

Crown Family – Western Communities Football League

Bruce Duchossois – Wellington PTA/PTO

Equinimity – Voices for Children

Finally Farm – First Care Family Resources, Inc.

Firestone Family (Newstead Farm) – Hanley Center Foundation

Ashley Fleishhacker – Palm Beach County Motorcyclists Toys for Tots, Inc.

Jennifer Goddard – Children, Hope and Horses

Goldstein Family – Danny and Ron Rescue

Goshen Hill – Urban Youth Impact

Harrison Family – Wellington Cares

Hollow Creek Farm – Polo Players Support Group

Hymowitz Family (Rose Hill Farm) – Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches

Kalman, Pin Oak and HiHopes Team – Achievement Centers for Children and Families

Kasowitz Family – GCC Wildcard

Donald V. Little Memorial Team – Arc of the Glades

Lothlorien – Kids Cancer Foundation

Louisburg Farm, AAA Equestrian and the Reid Family – Community Caring Center of Greater Boynton Beach

Mershad Family – American Red Cross, Treasure Coast

Mershad Family Team 2 – GCC Wildcard

Mirabal Family (G&C Farm) – College for Kids dba Take Stock in Children

Jesse Pasmore and Martha Jolicoeur – JDRF

Patten Family – Blooming with Autism

Pony Lane Farms – YWCA of Palm Beach County

Salamander Farm – Palm Beach Island Cats

Nick Skelton – GCC Wildcard

Michael Smith – The Caridad Center

Roger and Jennifer Smith – South Florida Science Museum

Spy Coast Farm – Alzheimer’s Community Care

Tom and Jeannie Tisbo (Tequestrian) – Wellington Colts Travel Baseball

Trelawny Farm – Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast


Gates open at 6 pm on Saturday, January 26, and class starts at 7 pm.

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, 3400 Equestrian Club Road, Wellington, FL33414,

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm BeachInternational Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

About FTI Consulting 

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at


About Fidelity Investments®

Fidelity Investments® is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $3.9 trillion, including managed assets of $1.7 trillion, as of December 31, 2012. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit


Please visit or call 561-793-5867 for more information.