Country Star Hunter Hayes to Perform at Wellington’s $1.75 Million Great Charity Challenge

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Hunter Hayes and Paige Bellissimo. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Hunter Hayes and Paige Bellissimo. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 21–Country music star Hunter Hayes will perform a full concert to accompany some of the world’s top equestrians competing in the Great Charity Challenge that is on track to distribute $1.75 million (€1.29 million) in what may be the globe’s largest equestrian contribution to charity.

Hunter, a multi-platinum recording artist and four-time Grammy nominee, will perform during the “Saturday Night Lights” FTI Consulting GCC at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Feb. 1.

Founded in 2010 by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions and their daughter, Paige, GCC has distributed more than $4.2 million from the equestrian community to over 90 non-profit organizations in Palm Beach County. This year, more than 400 local charities applied for a chance to be one of the 34 participants in the running for the top prize of $150,000 with a sliding scale of prize money to a minimum $15,000 that every participating charity will win.

“The FTI GCC has had a significant impact on Palm Beach County during very difficult financial times for many families,” Mark Bellissimo said. “It is so gratifying to have such a great talent like Hunter take time from an extremely intense recording schedule to support this event. It speaks volumes about his character.”

To mark Hunter’s contribution, Paige Bellissimo added a new twist, where a 35th team will be created to compete on behalf of a Hunter Hayes’ charity, “MusiCares.”

Tickets are available at http://equestriansport.tix.com

The lineup of charities (the two wild cards to be selected the night of the event):

CHARITY/SPONSOR
Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc./Bellissimo Family
Big Dog Ranch/Brushwood Stables
Blooming with Autism/Boyer-Van Kampen Foundation
Boca Raton’s Promise- the Alliance for Youth/Cynthia Sulzberger and Steven Green
Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County/Patten Family
Connor Moran Children’s Cancer Foundation/Newstead Farm (Firestone)
Danny and Ron’s Rescue/Tequestrian Farms (Tisbo Family)
Equestrian Aid Foundation/Pasmore Stables
Farmworker Coordinating Council of Palm Beach County/Spy Coast Farm
Foster and Adoptive Parent Association of Palm Beach County/G&C Farm (Mirabal Family)
Healing Horse Therapy Center/Salamander Farm
HomeSafe/The Dennis Dammerman and Donald V Little Memorial Team
Lighthouse for the Blind/Creel Family
New Urban Community Development Corporation/Kalman and Pin Oak
Palm Beach School for Autism/Goshen Hill
Pediatric Oncology Support Team (POST)/Stateside Farm (Goddard Family)
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League of the Palm Beaches, Inc./Kabley Farm
Polo Players Support Group/Mershad Team 1
Restoration Bridge International/Smith and Bloomberg Families
Seagull Industries for the Disabled/Trelawny Farm
Speak Up for Kids/Lothlorien
Spirit of Giving Network/Fair Play Farm (Kasowitz Family)
The Arc of the Glades/Equinimity
The Alliance for Eating Disorders/Greenriver (Roger and Jennifer Smith)
The Children’s Foundation Equine Assisted Therapy/Starwyn Farm (Goldstein Family)
The Children Healing Institute/JKG Farm
The Unicorn Children’s Foundation/Louisburg Farm, AAA Equestrian and the Reid Family
Urban Youth Impact/Mershad Team 2
Wellington Cares/Hollow Creek Farm
Wellington PTO/PTA/PTSA (yearly recipient)/Entrust (Rose Hill Farm)
Women’s Circle/Ashland Stables (Fleishhacker Family)
Wounded Warriors/Crown Family
WILD CARD 1/Bruce Duchossois
WILD CARD 2/Pine Hollow Farm (Dvorkin Family)