by JIM WELLS
Donations continue to arrive for the jockey benefit on Monday night, but organizers are in desperate need of volunteers to help with dining room duties.
“We really need about 25 people,” said jockey agent Richard Grunder, who has organized the benefit, with proceeds earmarked for the three jockeys who were injured in a four-horse accident on July 2.
The benefit consists of a spaghetti dinner and silent auction from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the Shakopee American Legion.
Volunteers are needed, Grunder said, to help with clearing and cleaning tables so that people can be seated as efficiently as possible.
Grunder, trainer Tim Padilla and thoroughbred owner Tony Hapka were busy shopping for dinner items early Friday afternoon at a local supermarket. They had put in an order for beef when Grunder received a phone call.
Jerry’s Foods in Eden Prairie, where many racetrackers do their grocery shopping, was on the line, willing to donate 110 pounds of beef. “They’re going to deliver it tomorrow to the Legion,” Grunder said. “That’s a tremendous help.”
Grunder and his companions picked up 30 gallons of tomato sauce on Friday, 500 pieces of French bread, three large jars of garlic seasonings, five cases of noodles and 24 rolls of paper towels.
Grunder expects more than 500 tickets at $8 apiece to be sold to the dinner. The silent auction will begin at 4 p.m. and run until 7 p.m.
Donations for the auction continue to arrive. Thursday night, Grunder caught the attention of hockey fans in the grandstand after Emerald Bay Stable donated the jersey worn by Dominik Hosek during the 1999 Stanley Cup finals. Hosek was a six-time Vezina winner as the NHL’s top goalie and a two-time league MVP for the Buffalo Sabres. “There was a bunch of guys in the grandstand who seemed pretty excited about that,” Grunder said. The Sabres lost the Cup in six games to the Dallas Stars that year.
Also new to the list of auction items is a package of four seats for a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 18.
New as well is a stud service for Kipling, sire of Kip Deville, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Kipling stands at Mighty Acres in Pryor, Okla. “That’s a real good auction item,” Grunder added. “(Trainer) Amber Blair put that one together. The ranch where he stands donated that.’;’
Grunder said that several door prizes will also be part of the benefit.
Proceeds will benefit Paul Nolan, Don Proctor and Scott Stevens, who were injured in the worst spill in track history.
Nolan and Proctor hoped to be back in the saddle in time for the Claiming Crown July 24. Nolan was told this week that he will sidelined for three months, however. Proctor is still uncertain when he will return. Stevens was hurt worst of all and is likely to be sidelined longest of the three.
Nolan was diagnosed this week with a compression fracture, a small fracture in the crown of a vertebra and a fracture in the transverse process of his back.
He said Friday and he and Proctor plan to attend the benefit on Monday, although he was uncertain about the etiquette of such a thing.
“Are you supposed to attend benefits for yourself,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m not sure about that.”