The upcoming Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup is not just about sports, but also service to the community and world.
Jump for JustWorld, a tradition celebrated at equestrian events across North America, is not new to Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park (tbird).
Acknowledging their partnership of 10 years with JustWorld International, organizers of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup will invite participating riders to be part of a fundraising event on Saturday, June 4 – a day before the finale.
Riders take a special JustWorld jump, which, if they clear, results in a donation to the JustWorld charity, explained Chris Pack, tbird’s president.
Guests at the JustWorld event can donate a lump sum or pledge anywhere from $10 to $100 on each successful jump. With 40 rounds anticipated, Park said, a good amount of money can be raised.
With many people donating in advance, about $16,000 is already raised. The goal is to raise $50,000.
JustWorld is a global charitable organization, founded by former Grand Prix rider Jessica Newman. It strives to combat poverty.
For more than 17 years, JustWorld has worked with partners from all around the world – including in places like Cambodia, Senegal, Kenya, Brazil, Columbia and the United States – to provide more than 6,500 children in need with education, nutrition, and health programs.
This year, the JustWorld projects will support about 10,000 children in Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras, and the United States.
One of the ongoing programs that tbird has supported is the monthly donation of five kilograms of rice to designated families in need in Cambodia.
“This significantly reduces the need for child labour, as many of these kids must beg to help their families survive, and it improves school attendance and academic performance,” explained Pack, himself a dad.
In Guatemala, the local equestrian facility has helped fund a school. The facility supports kids who cannot access quality education, resources, and food.
This year, a majority of the funds raised by the tbird event will go towards building a new school in Guatemala. In addition, 25 per cent of the money collected on June 4 will go to the Cambodian rice program.
In 2019, the Thunderbird management group visited Guatemala to plant, paint, and help at the school.
“When you see the impact your fundraising efforts are having first hand and meet the children who are benefiting from the work, it’s incredibly motivating to keep going,” Pack said.
Pack explained that with the group’s low overhead cost, 90 per cent of the money raised through JustWorld International goes to community service projects.
Those interested in making a lump sum donation can do so at the Horse Shoe office at tbird. Alternatively, people can donate directly to JustWorld International at www.justworldinternational.org.