Tuesday, 20/10/2020 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Horse races help charities at local church

Horse races help charities at local church

The horse races were off on Saturday evening at the St. Paul Chong Hasang Event Center in Harker Heights for the seventh annual Knight at the Races by the Knights of Columbus Harker Heights Chapter 9930.

“This is our biggest money maker for our program. The money we make tonight helps to fund the charities we give to throughout the year,” said Charlie Fitzpatrick, chairman of the Knights of Columbus.

The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic fraternal benefit society, created in 1882. The Knights are dedicated to giving charitable contributions and volunteering from local to international projects.

“It’s also about getting the community together and the church together to have some fun, enjoy the activities, and create fellowship,” said Charles Parker, grand knight for the Harker Heights chapter.

The Knight at the Races is a pre-videotaped horse race with 12 races. The knights sold sponsorships for each horse and race. The horses are mixed into a pot to build a race program.

The event used “Chong Money” to bet on the races. With their winnings, they used their Chong money to place bids in the silent auction.

“It’s fun to watch people getting very involved when watching the races. It’s a lot of fun to put on and a lot fun to watch,” said Billy Troy, deputy grand knight.

The goal of the Knights of Columbus was to beat last year’s $5,000. The funds raised are given to state and local charities.

Debbie Ponce resident of Harker Heights, whose spouse is a member of the Knights goes every year to support the organization and to partake in the activities.

“I’ve been to all seven events. I was worried the rain would affect the turnout, but it looks pretty good so far. My favorite part is watching the kids’ expressions when they get involved in the races,” said Ponce.

One of the most spirited participants was Madeline Woodward, 5, with the Cortez family of Harker Heights. Madeline jumped up and down, holding her hands high, displaying the horse number she placed her bet on as the horse crossed the finish line in first place.

“My family is pretty big, it’s a good family event to go to and be together. Madeline is loving it so far,” said Christina Cortez.

First time attenders, the Chapeau family of Killeen also got into the charitable spirit by winning one of the races.

“We came out here to have a fun, family night out. It’s fantastic. The kids are enjoying it so far,” said Tom Chapeau.


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