A 6-year-old mare connects the community with harness racing all while giving back to some great causes.
Cheering for Charity started last year at Truro Raceway and it became an instant success from the great community and a great horse. Meridian Farms donated 6-year-old Barona Lilac to use for the program. The 6 charitable organizations that participated in 2015 just had to come out to the track and cheer her on to receive their donation.
Although this program supports such an amazing cause, it also gets new visitors to the track and more people introduced to harness racing. Every new visitor is provided a behind the scenes look to see every little aspect that goes into the industry as a whole. It gives them a reason to feel as though they are a part of it and that is truly what happens with this program. Throughout the races and time with her, Lilac became “their” horse.
Everyone fell in love with Barona Lilac on and off the track. She won 14 races last season that consisted of 7 consecutive wins. With all of her success, it was as if she knew the importance of what she was doing and exceed any expectations. “I can’t put into words how special she is”, says Robyn Crowe. Robyn is the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association and a huge part of Cheering for Charity. This great cause has received media coverage all over Canada to spread the word. The anticipation for this program was way smaller than the support it has received from the community and charities becoming involved.
Due to the huge success in 2015, the program expanded beyond Lilac and incorporate the drivers at Truro Raceway. Each driver has a sponsor so any time they win, the sponsor donates $25 to the charity of the month. Although the program continues to grow, Lilac is still the focus of the barn tours in regards to race preparation, diet, training routines, and the certain gear she wears and why. Lilac will always remain at the heart of the program.
The participating drivers and sponsors are as follows:
Darren Crowe – Home Hardware
Danny Romo – Lindsay Construction
Dave Carey – Pye Chevrolet
Ernie Laffin – RDMD Refrigeration
Jamie Ramsey – Jim’s Barber Shop
Bernard McCallum – DR Polley Auto Sales
Paul Langille – Meridian Farms
The participating organizations this year are:
June – Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia
July – Truro Rotary Club
September – Big Brothers Big Sisters
October – Bible Hill Fire Brigade
November – Central Nova Women’s Resource Center
20% of Lilac’s earnings are being donated to the SOS Dragon Boat Team which is in support of breast cancer patients and survivors. Darren Crowe really wanted to do that this year as there are so many women involved in harness racing that are effected by breast cancer. Lilac wears pink this year and is also owned by the Think Pink Stable to support this cause. Everyone comes out to support her and other organizations involved with Cheering For Charity.
Check out one of Lilac’s races from last year where she supported the good cause through a great performance: