Florida Amateur drivers surpass $140,000 in donations

cover photo by Skip Smith

by John Berry

Despite record amounts of rain in South Florida over the past 72 hours, nothing could dampen the festivities at Pompano Park on Saturday night as the Florida Amateur Driving Club surpassed the $140,000 in charitable donations with a special gift presentation to the Sanctuary House of South Florida.

Skip Smith photo
The Florida Amateur Driving Club surpassed $140,000 in charitable donations.

The Sanctuary House, founded by James Sanzeri and Jared Cashner in 2008, provides a safe, caring, professional and sober environment for men in recovery. They also operate a food bank, provide treatment, counseling and medical services along with job training and placement.

Said Club President Dein Spriggs, “the Sanctuary House is just one of the many charities to which we have donated over the years, including Tomorrow’s Rainbow, Bit-by-Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, Vinceremos, Peaceful Ridge Rescue and Hopes, Dreams and Horses, to name a few.

“Since we have been blessed with participation in a grand sport that has no boundaries, our members believe it is good ‘karma’ to bless other charitable organizations that benefit our society.”

The Florida Amateur Driving Club has weekly events at Pompano Park throughout the racing season with the member drivers—both men and women–donating their earnings from their driving skills to the Club for charitable distribution.

Driver Joe Pennacchio, who has 150 lifetime wins at some 20 North American tracks, said, “I drove my first winner at the Little Brown Jug track in Delaware, Ohio and that was some 20 years ago. That is what is so great about this sport. We have youngsters in their teens involved and folks in their 90’s that still are active in harness racing. The competitive spirit is alive–no matter one’s age!”

That competitive spirit is peaking in South Florida these days as the F.A.D.C. members are all vying for a seat in the sulky when the Spring Amateur Championship Series is held at Pompano Park in March of 2016, when many of the world’s leading amateur drivers from Europe will be competing for the crown.

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