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Fashionable fundraiser benefits backstretch workers

A portion of the proceeds raised for the YMCA of Saratoga at the Tuesday, Aug. 5, Lend an Ear fundraising luncheon will be presented to the Race Track Chaplaincy as a donation for the backstretch workers in the winner's circle following the Race Track Chaplaincy Race at the Saratoga Race Track on Friday, Aug. 22, following the seventh race.

The fundraising event, held at the Hall of Springs, was co-chaired by Margie Rotchford, a YMCA of Saratoga board member and events chairman for the YMCA's 2008 Annual Campaign, and by Natalie Sillery, owner of Saratoga Trunk.

It attracted more than 200 attendees for an afternoon that featured an earring silent auction, a Saratoga Trunk fashion show highlighted by designs from the House of Dereon (singer Beyonce Knowles' fashion house), and jewelry offerings from Fox Jewelers and Gemesis famed cultured yellow diamonds.

The guest speaker was noted orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer, Taryn Rose, who hosted a If the Shoe Fits contest at various tables during the event. There were also a variety of milliners on hand displaying hundreds of dazzling hats to try on or purchase.

Luncheon tables were adorned with richly colored rosebowl centerpieces donated by Hidden Gardens.

"In addition to donating to the YMCA of Saratoga, it was our desire to distribute a portion of the proceeds from this event to the backstretch workers at all three New York flat tracks," commented Margie Rotchford. "The thousands who work behind the scenes all season are the lifeblood of the tracks, and they are unsung heroes whose needs we wished to support."

Currently the Race Track Chaplaincy of America sanctions and oversees 77 chaplains who serve at 117 tracks and training/breeding centers throughout North America and around the world.

RTCA's mission is to provide for the spiritual, emotional, physical and social/educational needs of horse racing's vast workforce.""

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