Great Charity Challenge Returns To WEF On Saturday, Feb. 4

The Great Charity Challenge, an exciting pro-am competition featuring costumed equestrians riding for different nonprofits, will return Saturday, Feb. 4.

After weeks of reviewing more than 300 applications from incredible organizations across Palm Beach County, the random selection of nonprofit organizations was celebrated Saturday, Jan. 7 with sponsors, donors, and local elected officials. The 30 lucky charities will have the chance to win up to $100,000 on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The Great Charity Challenge, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, works year after year to unite the community and inspire change. The 14th edition will specifically focus on encouraging the local community to #BeTheChange and build a path to a sweeter future for neighbors in need. The event has acted as a catalyst for charitable giving over the last 13 years, distributing an extraordinary $17.7 million to 294 local nonprofit organizations, thanks to the generosity of the equestrian industry and the local community in Wellington.

The GCC is proud to ensure full transparency throughout the selection and donation process. Additional smaller grants will also be awarded leading up to the actual event on Feb. 4 via a random selection process for nonprofits who meet the GCC’s vetting requirements. These grants will range between $1,000 and $10,000.

This year’s new cocktail hour selection format kicked off the countdown to Saturday, Feb. 4 and enabled the GCC to highlight some of the individuals who make the event a reality, as well as those who have supported and promoted the event in the community over the years.

A total of 30 charities were drawn by several teams and corporate sponsors of the event, including: the Arani Family, Dragon’s Lair Farm, Fidelity Investments, Frog Pond Stables, HorseScents, Key Benefit Concepts, the Kiely Family, Louisburg Farm, Portfolio Horses, the Ryden Family, Sexton Engineering, Turnham Green and the United Way. Local community supporters joined in, including all five members of the Wellington Village Council.

The list of participating charities includes: Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, the Angari Foundation, the Best Foot Forward Foundation, Boca Helping Hands, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Caridad Center, Clinics Can Help, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, the Habilitation Center, the Hispanic Human Resources Council, the Hope Floats Foundation, Jeff Industries, Lake Worth Dollars for Scholars, Lighthouse for the Blind, the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, the Middle School of the Arts Foundation, Opportunity Early Childhood Education and Family Center, the Pace Center for Girls, Paws 2 Help, Speak Up For Kids, the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, the Children’s Healing Institute, the Glades Initiative, the Guatemalan-Maya Center, the Lord’s Place, the Pearl Mae Foundation, Tomorrow’s Rainbow, Village of Hope and the Wellington PTA/PTO/PTSA.

“This new drawing format has been an amazing way to help those interested in creating change network with like-minded individuals and those who have the ability to make a direct impact,” said Kelly Arani, the GCC’s event and marketing coordinator.

The partnerships that come out of the GCC are invaluable.

“Each year, we are able to amplify our impact thanks to our loyal donors and sponsors, as well as new supporters who are inspired by past impact and believe in the GCC’s mission. This is teamwork at its finest, and it has been truly inspiring to see it grow over the past 13 years,” GCC Executive Director Anne Caroline Valtin said.

Equestrian Sport Productions, the Wellington International operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, donates the facility, staff and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event and guarantees that 100 percent of the funds raised are redistributed in the community.

The GCC competition will offer free general admission and will be held Saturday evening, Feb. 4, starting at 7 p.m. at Wellington International during WEF’s Saturday Night Lights. Free parking will be located at 13500 South Shore Blvd., home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival showgrounds.

Interested in joining the event? Donations and sponsorships from local families, foundations, businesses, vendors, exhibitors and spectators, ranging from $50 to $100,000, are what make the event reach its fundraising goal every year. Customized sponsorship opportunities start at $500, while donations of all levels are welcomed.

For the latest event information and sponsorship opportunities, visit