This is going to be a fun one. Tomorrow, August 13 from 5-8:30pm, I will be at the Racing City Brewing Co. to celebrate 30 years, yes THIRTY YEARS of BEST. BEST what? Great question. For those of you who don’t know what BEST is, here ya go:
The Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST) of New York has been setting the national standard in backstretch health and well-being for the backstretch workers of Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga for 30 years. As they commemorate this anniversary year, they’re reflecting on the progress they’ve made and highlighting meaningful partnerships while also hoping to raise awareness and funds to continue their necessary work.
The success of the racing industry is dependent on the strength and dedication of the backstretch community. Behind the scenes each morning, backstretch workers wake before dawn to care for the horses they love. Many people are unaware of BEST and the essential services they provide to workers all year long.
I once wrote about how I used to work at the track, and I can with 100% certainty agree that this mission right here is true. Without backstretch workers there would be no track. While you’re filling up your cooler with Truly’s (shoutout Pat Cavanagh), ironing your best Polo button up and mentally preparing for your picture at the rail that will inevitably hover around 120 likes on the gram, these people are busting their buns day in and day out looking after horses and trying to provide for their families. BEST does a fantastic job caring for the workers of the backstretch.
Each year, more than 2,500 patients are treated at BEST’s clinics. The health and well-being of its workers remains the highest priority of the organization, ensuring the workers are treated with dignity, respect, and empathy.
Am I exaggerating how important the backstretch workers are? Uhhh, here’s a word from NYRA CEO and President, David O’Rouke:
“The backstretch is the heart and soul of the racing industry. BEST is vital to maintaining the overall well-being of the entire backstretch community, and we are proud to have supported their mission for the last 30 years”
So on Tuesday night, I’ll be chillin chillin’ at an event that supports an unbelievable cause. This will be the second time in just two weeks that I’ll be all dolled up and I think it goes without saying but I am really starting to adult here.
There will be surprise bartenders and if you’re a Mets fan, you might just see Paul Lo Duca. Tickets are $40 and include one drink (choice of beer or wine), light hors d’oeuvres, and a great time! Interested? Smash this link. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to the BEST organization. I hope to see you all there! And if you can’t make it but want to know more about BEST or where you can go to donate, click here!