15th annual event
'Classic' to benefit new group, same cause
The 15th New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day, slated for Sept. 23, will benefit an organization with a new name, but a familiar cause.
Tickets for the annual horse-jumping competition and family event at the Leslie and Abigail Wexner estate in New Albany are now on sale online at thenewalbanyclassic.com.
"The Classic is a day for families, plain and simple," said Abigail Wexner, founder and hostess of the event, in a press release. "From the pig races, to the carnival rides, concert and Grand Prix, there is literally something for everyone here, regardless of age.
"It makes the day even more meaningful to know that by bringing our families together we're helping other families throughout the community because all of the proceeds benefit the important work of the Center for Family Safety and Healing."
In the past 14 years, the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day has raised more than $17 million for the cause of preventing family violence and helping victims, said Nicolette Jaworski, producer of the event.
The previous beneficiary was the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, which Wexner founded in 1998. Last year, the coalition merged with the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, a 2005 joint venture between the coalition and Nationwide Children's Hospital, to establish the Center for Family Safety and Healing.
The coalition's mission was to change and coordinate responses to family violence by working with corporate offices, medical personnel, law enforcement agencies, social service organizations and churches. The Center for Child and Family Advocacy's mission was to work with children and families experiencing violence.
The Center for Family Safety and Healing provides comprehensive services to people of all ages, breaking down barriers to treatment, sharing resources, ideas and funding for the common goal and providing a "one-stop, coordinated approach for families, enhanced through the resources of partner organizations including CHOICES, the Columbus (Division of) Police Special Victims Unit, Franklin County Children Services" and the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office, according to the organization.
Tickets for the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day are $20 for ages 11 and older. Children 10 and younger are admitted free with an adult.
Tickets include admission to the Tween Brands concert, games, rides, hands-on activities and the internationally sanctioned horse-jumping competition, which is expected to feature riders who are competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Jaworski said last year's competition winner, McClain Ward, is an Olympic competitor. He also won the event in 2004.
Twenty-eight riders from all over the world competed in 2011.
This year's winner will receive $100,000 and a one-year lease on a Mercedes, Jaworski said.
The Tween Brands concert is a popular part of the event. Past acts have included the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks, David Archuleta, Big Time Rush and New Hollow, which features three New Albany teenagers.
This year's concert features Nashville-based Hot Chelle Rae and Conor Maynard, a Brit YouTube sensation.
Hot Chelle Rae includes: Ryan Keith Follese on vocals and rhythm guitar; Nash Overstreet on lead guitar and vocals; Ian Sebastian Keaggy on bass and vocals; and Jamie Christian Follese on drums. They spent the spring touring with country singer Taylor Swift and currently are touring with pop singer Lovato.
Maynard made YouTube fame in 2011 after posting videos of himself covering popular songs. He is collaborating with rap artist Ne-Yo on his debut album, which was scheduled to be released July 30.