Page 22





Equestrian Anne Caroline Valtin Supports Wellington Through Her Great Charity Challenge Leadership STORY BY MIKE MAY | PHOTO BY LOIS SPATZ

Nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach County are better off now than they were 13 years ago thanks to the hard work of Anne Caroline Valtin, executive director of the Wellington-based Great Charity Challenge, sponsored by Fidelity Investments. The big-picture numbers associated with the Great Charity Challenge are eye-opening.“In 13 years, the Great Charity Challenge has distributed $17.7 million to 294 charitable organizations and nonprofit groups,” said Valtin, who is also an accomplished equestrian rider. Every dollar raised by the Great Charity Challenge is distributed to approved Palm Beach County-based charitable organizations, due to the GCC’s support from Equestrian Sport Productions and the Global Equestrian Group covering all event expenses.“We are proud that 100 percent of the funds raised are distributed to approved causes in need,” said Valtin, who has led the Great Charity Challenge since its second year of existence.“We track how the funds are distributed and spent, and we generate a report every quarter. We are very transparent with how we distribute the funds and how that money is spent.” The GCC’s grant application process starts each year on Oct. 31. Groups have two weeks to get their paperwork completed and submitted. “Our application process is very fair and simple,” Valtin said.“We know that nonprofit organizations have limited time and resources to dedicate to such a task.” Valtin makes sure that the vetting process is performed in a professional manner.


september 2022 | wellington the magazine

“We have a very thorough vetting process to determine the validity and impact of each group’s mission, thanks to a partnership with Bank of America and the support of GuideStar,” she said. Once a nonprofit has been approved, its application is placed in a lottery bin. By the end of the vetting process, roughly 300 groups will have been approved.Then, just like in lottery drawings, one approved application after another is extracted from the lottery bin. An average of 50 applicants will receive funding through the process, which will next be held in January 2023. Soon after the drawing, nonprofits will be assigned to 35 different show jumping teams for the event held in early February. At the GCC, those 35 teams will compete against one another at Wellington International, home of the Winter Equestrian Festival.The better that each team does, the more money its charitable organization will receive. The 15 charities not assigned to a show jumping team will receive funding in the form of grants, but not as much as the 35 charities involved in the Great Charity Challenge itself. The riding groups will win $15,000 to $100,000 for their nonprofits. On the day of the GCC, everybody affiliated with the nonprofit groups is a show jumping fan. “I am passionate about equestrian sports and philanthropy, but for this special night, I’m truly just a facilitator,”Valtin said. And thanks to Valtin, the Great Charity Challenge will continue operating smoothly, which means that charitable organizations in Palm Beach County will continue thriving. For information regarding the 2023 Great Charity Challenge, visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.