By Marlene Passell | July 13, 2018
Seven years ago, Mark Bellissimo and daughter Paige, the eldest of his children, found a way to meld their love of all things horses with their philanthropic endeavors. Called the Great Charity Challenge, the annual event pairs a special equestrian event with the distribution of funds to nonprofits. Amounts awarded run from $150,000 to the first-place winner to $15,000 for 36th. To date, more than $10 million has been awarded to local charities.
In recognition of their contribution to the community, Families First of Palm Beach County presented its Harriet Goldstein Award to the pair at its 11th Annual Children’s Day Awards Luncheon. The award is presented annually to individuals who have made lasting contributions to the community.
Of the Great Charity Challenge, held at his Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Bellissimo said, “We measure the success of the event, not in terms of money raised, but the numbers of lives we touch which, at this point, is in the tens of thousands.”