Blog Exclusive: 2015 NGA Fall Meet and the Results of the Howl-O-Ween Dog Photo Costume Contest

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From left to right: Leslie Csokasy, Shelby Rangel, and Kylee Unke pose with the 2015 NGA Fall Meet Fastest Female, PJ HOLD MY OWN. Photo courtesy of Peppi Greco.

The National Greyhound Association (NGA) organized their first meets in 1905 – 1906 after its precursor, the National Coursing Meets, that date back to 1888. These were highly anticipated events and this fall’s 110th edition proved no different. We talked with our friend Leslie Csokasy, a down-to-earth lady who sits on the NGA board and also works for the Women of Greyhound Racing.

Under ideal weather conditions, Fall Nationals activities began October 12 and concluded October 17. Although the official tally hasn’t been announced, unofficially the pup sale exceeded $1,000,000.00 and the brood sale topped $30,000.00.

Of this season’s entries, Victor Rangel and Paul Bitterman of Lancaster, New York campaigned both the fastest male and female entrants. SUPER CHARGED, a son of DJAYS OCTANE X UCME STAR STRUCK, posted a sizzling opening round time of 29.78 while PJ HOLD MY OWN, a daughter of FLYING COAL CITY X PJ MICHELAOA, stopped the clock in 29.83. Rangel and Bitterman partnered for the fourth consecutive year to top sales ring earnings selling 28 pups for just under the $400,000.00 mark.

The festivities of the NGA Fall Meet included the elections of the NGA Board of Directors and Officers, and the announcement of the new inductees at the Canine Hall of Fame (P. L. Greer, K’s Broadway, Mo Kick, Granny, and Cayman Went).

For the first time, the Women of Greyhound Racing awarded a custom rosette designed by Peppi Greco to honor the fastest female at Fall Nationals. Congratulations to PJ HOLD MY OWN and all connections!

Greyhound Channel values the Women of Greyhound Racing’s efforts to support and educate the community. The Women of Greyhound Racing are a group of people who work to bring together and celebrate the women of racing and the ladies who support and work in the greyhound industry. We appreciate the organization’s commitment to helping others, especially those associated with racing, during difficult times in their lives.

As we approached the month of October (National Breast Cancer Awareness month), inspiration struck. Greyhound Channel created a dynamic promotion to incorporate the fun of Halloween while promoting Breast Cancer Awareness and, like the the Women of Greyhound Racing, help our community. Greyhound Channel’s first ever Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Photo Contest was born.

We started the promotion in early October, inviting everyone to submit photos of their dogs dressed up in a Halloween costume to participate in our first annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Photo Contest! Our promotion generated a lot of excitement: not only did we have advertising up on our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, but our friends over at Southland Greyhound Park, Derby Lane, Gulf Greyhound’s Big Money podcast, and GreyhoundNews spread the word, too! Lots of people shared, voted, and cheered everyone on as we came together to support an incredibly worthy cause (and have just a little bit of fun, too).    

Aside from the coordination of the promotion and its absolutely adorable entrants, Greyhound Channel also pledged to donate all proceeds from this contest to the Women of Greyhound Racing organization. We’re ecstatic to report our donation to benefit #BreastCancerAwareness is $250.00. We are over the moon!

We’ve received word from our contact at the Women of Greyhound Racing, Leslie Csokasy, on their plans for these proceeds. They will benefit the Helen Nassif Community Cancer Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “The funds will be used to create a space for women to gain guidance, counseling, and emotional support while dealing with the physical changes of their bodies challenged with cancer treatments. The dedicated room will have wigs, scarves, eyelashes, make up, online counseling, and information as well offer privacy and online counseling.”

Last year, the Women of Greyhound Racing raised enough money to donate to two Florida non-profits: The Charmettes and Save the Twinz. A third donation was made to the Johnson Research Center at Kansas State University for the Wildcat Challenge to Tackle Cancer.

The photo entries of our participants’ #HalloweenHounds were creative and fun! For extra incentive, we offered prizes to the photo entries with the most votes, as determined by their peers in an open voting system. With Greyhound Channel employee participation we had to split the contest into two categories: Guest Winners and Staff Winners.

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Even though we had official prize winners in this contest, we think it’s safe to say the real winners here are the folks assisted by the Helen Nassif Community Cancer Center. A big thank you to the Women of Greyhound Racing and all of our contest participants!

Stay tuned to Greyhound Channel’s Blog for exclusive news, future promotions, and contests.

Would you like to learn more about the Women of Greyhound Racing? Connect with them via their Facebook page: Women of Greyhound Racing.

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