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Community Involvement

Tampa Bay Downs in the Community

Since 2003, Tampa Bay Downs has donated more than $1.5-million to local charitable organizations. Tampa Bay Downs has concentrated its focus on children’s charities that make a difference in our immediate footprint. The list includes organizations that provide educational scholarships; child care for abused youth; recreational opportunities; outdoor camps for the challenged; horseback riding for developmentally disabled individuals; and hospital comfort visits for terminally ill children. Tampa Bay Downs also contributes to worthwhile causes within the Thoroughbred industry through research grants, retirement programs and jockey health-and-safety initiatives.

Below is a breakdown of where the majority of funds have been allocated:

Joshua House is a safe haven for abused, abandoned, and neglected children, offering a therapeutic residential group-care program that provides a protected, nurturing, family-like environment for children ages 6-17. These children have been removed from their homes due to crisis and many have been through multiple foster homes.

This organization fosters children with special needs and challenges, helping them to realize their full potential while at the camp despite any obstacle they may face. The camp and its staff strive to ensure the best possible camping experience for these special-needs children so they can return home with memories of new friends and exciting times. While encouraging campers to enjoy nature and face and share their challenges, Rotary’s Camp Florida allows them to grow in character, self-confidence and determination.

Locally, the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Education Foundation enhances the educational and cultural opportunities available to the youth of the Upper Tampa Bay area by meeting their needs and helping them realize their dreams by providing scholarships to area students to pursue higher education opportunities.

The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable corporation that serves the entire Tampa Bay area. Its mission is to attract, promote and/or organize major amateur sporting events and grassroots youth sports programs that foster the ongoing development and quality of life for the entire Tampa Bay area. Through our help, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission has fostered relationships within the surrounding communities to promote and support youth leagues and teams.

Combined with our efforts, Florida Thoroughbred Charities contributes to numerous equine and agriculture-related organizations including state and local 4-H Clubs, Florida Future Farmers of America, Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Southeastern Youth Fair, the Florida Division of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the Florida Horse Park.

The Bakas Equestrian Center has been a highly successful program since 1987 and offers horseback riding for children and adults, specializing in those with disabilities. Operated by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department, the program provides group riding lessons, trail rides, carriage riding, parties and special events. Physically impaired and developmentally delayed riders have the opportunity to compete in Challenged horse shows and Special Olympics. Riding provides them with increased self-esteem, balance and coordination and improved attention span. Speech and social interaction, trunk control and special awareness are also enhanced. All types of disabilities, no matter how severe, are accommodated.

Copperhead Charities

Serves the Tampa Bay area by giving to numerous organizations including Toys For Tots, the Special Olympics and local and area food banks and pantries.

A local organization that contributes to children’s well-being throughout their hospital stays. The Rough Riders are famous locally for their annual “Teddy Bear Round,” bringing smiles to hundreds of convalescing children during the holidays.

Thoroughbred Retirement of Tampa Inc.

Commonly referred to as TROT, this organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the safe retirement, rehabilitation and adoption of Tampa Bay’s racing Thoroughbreds.
This organization is the leading non-profit charitable foundation committed to the advancement of research to enhance the welfare and soundness of horses of all breeds.

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge

This group improves the lives of wounded and injured American veterans through rehabilitative, high-adventure and therapeutic outdoor challenges. Located in nearby Tarpon Springs, it is also dedicated to furthering the physiological, biomedical and pathological sciences associated with their injuries.

Oldsmar Cares

In April, Tampa Bay Downs donated $50,000 to the non-profit, volunteer organization to help with the construction of a new 3,000 square-foot structure. For almost 20 years, Oldsmar Cares and its volunteers have devoted their energy and resources to passionately working for the hungry, needy members of the community. The organization provides stop-gap rent and utility assistance, a food pantry and a clothes closet — at no cost — to those in need in the Oldsmar area. Plans for the new building also include space for tutoring children and an office for career counseling. Oldsmar Cares also assists with children’s dental care; Christmas gifts; weekend meals; holiday feasts; and job placement.

REALTORS Care Foundation

Realtors throughout the Tampa Bay area have a longstanding tradition of community involvement and volunteer their time and efforts to numerous charities and worthy causes. REALTORS Care is a charitable foundation formed to create and provide educational and housing programs and services.


The Racing Medication & Testing Consortium is a tax-deductible organization that strives to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level. The RMTC also coordinates research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants. The RMTC is governed by a board of directors representing 23 racing industry stakeholder groups.

Glazer Family Foundation

Established in 1999, the foundation helps to better the lives of children and families by establishing lasting programs that make a difference throughout Florida’s communities. Its initiatives include a Vision Program, Buc-Packs for Back-to-School, a Cheering You On! program to provide hospital patients with a teddy bear and Collection Drives at Tampa Bay Buccaneers home games.


The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is a 501(c) (3) public charity that provides financial assistance to some 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has disbursed more than $7-million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries.

Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc.


With a focus toward making a difference in Tampa’s Sulphur Springs community, site of the Tampa Bay Downs-owned Tampa Greyhound Track Poker & Racebook, the Oldsmar oval helps provide free swimming lessons to children and adults at the Sulphur Springs Pool.

Sunshine Corgi Rescue


The popular breed of canine was showcased on the second day of the 2017 Summer Festival of Racing and Music, drawing a substantial crowd to watch them compete in a series of family-friendly races. Tampa Bay Downs is pleased and proud to contribute to this non-profit organization dedicated to providing good homes for these lovable (and talented) pets.

Tampa Bay Downs has also continued to make numerous donations to worthy causes impacting our staff and community including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Alex’s Lemonade Stand; the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund; the First Tee; and Hillsborough and Pinellas County Rangers.

Tampa Bay Downs supports many organizations through time and commitment with staff liaisons serving on numerous boards in the community including Upper Education Foundation; Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce; Tampa Bay Chaplaincy; TROT; and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
Tampa Bay Downs annually donates the grounds for fund-raising activities such as Walk for Life; Walk for Breast Cancer; festivals; cook-offs; dinners; and receptions.
The total amount of the monetary contributions since 2003 has exceeded $1.5-million — with hopes of greatly expanding these contributions in the future.