Wednesday, April 29, 2009

After-School Program to Launch at Belmont

ELMONT, N.Y. – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray presents a citation to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and The New York Racing Association, Inc. for their support of Gateway Youth Outreach, a youth agency servicing the children of the communities surrounding Belmont Park. Looking on are Pat Boyle, executive director of Gateway Youth Outreach (far left), and Ed Ambrosino, councilman for the Town of Hempstead (far right).

There will be a few extra hands at trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn at Belmont Park this spring, but they won’t belong to either grooms or hotwalkers. Instead, McLaughlin will be hosting a group of elementary students in the afternoon in conjunction with Gateway Youth Outreach, which supports the youth of neighboring Elmont with a number of programs and services.

According to Pat Boyle, the executive director of the agency, four students will visit McLaughlin’s barn on a weekly basis during GYO’s after-school program. The students will have the opportunity to observe the inner workings of one of the country’s leading Thoroughbred stables at historic Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes.

“It’s a chance for the children to see a side of racing that few people get to see,” said McLaughlin. “They will be able to watch what goes on in the barn during the day, and get to meet a racehorse, as well.”

As Belmont Park opened for its 64-day Spring/Summer Meet, McLaughlin and The New York Racing Association, Inc., were presented with citations from Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray for their efforts in arranging the weekly educational sessions at Belmont Park.

“This is a great thing Kiaran and NYRA are doing for the community,” said Ed Ambrosino, councilman with the Town of Hempstead. “We are appreciative that they are able and willing to take the time to reach out to the children of the community.”

Gateway Youth Outreach serves the children of Elmont and nearby communities with counseling, education and recreation. Its after-school program is one of many that promote a safe environment for children to develop their talents in healthy, productive ways.