Once again the Belmont jockeys participating in the 137 running of the Belmont Stakes unselfishly gave up their time to come, as they have for at least the last ten years, to spend time with the children and the families of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.
Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Silvana LaFerlita Gullo said, "The jockeys' visit is now one of the wonderful traditions at the house. Each year we look forward to welcoming them and we hope that we can provide something of a good luck charm for them and their race on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes."
Traditionally, the jockeys provide pony rides, autographs and gifts for the kids at the house. Gullo added, "Many of these families are going through what could be the worst experience of their lives and this is a wonderful way to provide them with some diversion."
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is a home-away-from home for seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment in area hospitals the house accommodates families in a warm and supportive environment.
Since opening in 1986 the house, located at 267-07 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, has served more than 8500 families from the United States and more than 62 countries around the world. Most of the families who stay at Ronald McDonald House are from Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as from the five boroughs of New York City.