The Glades Initiative Wins $75,000 At GCC

Richard Abedon and Karis Engle with Paige Bellissimo, Nicole Bellissimo and Sydney Shulman in "Game of Thrones" costumes.

The Glades Initiative received $75,000 for its participation in the ninth annual Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments.

Riding strong, the Glades Initiative’s team, was impressive during the Feb. 3 event, finishing near the top of the leaderboards to secure a hefty reward. The riders, Paige and Nicole Bellissimo and Sydney Shulman, were decked out in full Game of Thrones gear, the team’s theme for the night.

In the last nine years, the Great Charity Challenge event has distributed more than $12.2 million to more than 220 local organizations. The event was founded in 2010 by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, and their daughter Paige, of Wellington Equestrian Partners.

The Glades Initiative CEO Karis Engle cheered her team on. The team’s fifth place finish secured $75,000 for the nonprofit.

“What an incredible night,” Engle said. “Thank you to the Bellissimo family, our team sponsor, Everglades Stables, our corporate sponsor, Anne Caroline Valtin, executive director of the GCC, who makes all the magic happen, along with all the wonderful sponsors of such a great event each year. The Glades Initiative, our programs and families are stronger with your support.”