Mark Bellissimo, George Morris and Breyer Animal Creations® team up to create an 8-inch George Morris Talking Action Figure to raise funds for equestrian charities through the new Chronicle Support Network.
First there was Barbie, then came G.I. Joe. Now the ultimate riding hero, George Morris, is available to collect as a talking action figure!
Morris has been an icon of equestrian sport, with a silver medal from the 1960 Olympic Games, wins in the ASPCA Maclay and AHSA Medal Finals, and a training empire that includes most of today’s top equestrians.
The 8-inch George Morris Talking Action Figure, an idea created by Mark Bellissimo, in association with George Morris and Stephanie Macejko of Breyer Horses, as a means to raise funds for equestrian-based charities, will launch its 2015 special edition to honor the living legend at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Breyer, maker of the world’s finest model horses, created the action figure which will be packaged in a collector’s box with a general overview of George’s brilliant career.
The limited edition talking action figure plays 20 of George’s classic quotes, such as, “Practice, my dears, doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect,” and “My dear, if I have an aneurysm, it’s your fault,” in his own voice. These words of wisdom might inspire you to sit up straighter and keep your heels down, but you can also feel good that 100 percent of the net proceeds will go into the Chronicle Support Network’s Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.
The Chronicle of the Horse and its owners, Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, are launching the Chronicle Support Network, through coth.com, to create a national directory of 501c3 equestrian-related charities. The mission of the CSN is to identify and honor those great organizations and individuals who embrace horses and horsemanship to effect change in the community. The Bellissimo family will seed the fund with $50,000.
Mark Bellissimo commented, “There are so many great charities and individuals who incorporate horses either directly or indirectly to serve those in need, those organizations dedicated to protecting these great animals, or any other organizations who promote affordable access to horses and horsemanship. Katherine and I thought it is critical for us to ‘chronicle’ these efforts in a central place that will allow for these organizations and individuals to tell their stories as well as create network for collaboration and fund raising. Our goal is to raise and distribute millions in this effort.”
Katherine added, “We are honored to include both George Morris and Breyer’s Tony Fleischmann as partners in our first fund raising effort on this initiative.”
The Bellissimos and their daughter Paige are founders of “The Great Charity Challenge,” an annual equestrian event in Palm Beach County, Fla., that has raised and distributed $8 million dollars over the last six years in support of Palm Beach County Charities.
Fundraising will include direct donations, fundraising events, and/or special projects. The funds will be distributed at certain major events like the annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show. In addition, a charity will be selected monthly as the featured “Charity Spotlight” and will receive at least $1,000 from the fund. COTH will also donate promotions of the selected charity to raise awareness via its website, ads in its magazines (both the Chronicle and Untacked), and its social media pages.
The Chronicle Media Network is the most pervasive equestrian sport network in the world:
- www.coth.com is ranked fourth globally in equestrian sports out of 6,320 websites (http://www.alexa.com/topsites/category/Top/Sports/Equestrian)
- The Chronicle has more than 300,000 Facebook followers
- There are 8 million annual unique visitors to coth.com.
This extensive COTH community will engage in identifying worthy charities as well as providing online voting for six nominations for CSN equestrian philanthropist of the year to honor an Individual who uses some form of equestrianism to promote a greater good in the community (which can be for equestrian or non-equestrian activities). A committee will select from the nomination, and the winner will be announced annually at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show.
Charities who incorporate horses or horsemanship (required) in their mission who would like to be included in the Network, please submit an online application by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/1MEnDsw
An initial grant opportunity will be awarded during the Friday Night U.S. Open Show Jumping event Sept. 25 at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show.
Only a few thousand first edition action figures are being made. You can purchase them online for $100 with 100 percent of net proceeds going to the CSN. Action figures will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
A second offering will be a limited edition boxed set also created by Breyer Animal Creations with a talking George and his talented international jumper Rio. There will only be 250 made in 2015, and they will include a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by George Morris as well as an offer for the purchaser or designee to participate in a clinic at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (N.C.) in 2016. More details to follow.
Once you have your action figure, join us in a “Where In The World Is George” campaign to show us all the places where George Morris is making appearances—at shows, in stables (hope they are spotless!) or maybe at your dinner table (if you’re looking to lose weight!).
“I thought it was a fun idea of Mark’s,” said Morris. “I support that all the proceeds go to charity work, and it was a fun thing to do. I’m very supportive of it.”
“At Breyer, we celebrate the spirit of the horse every day, and no one has celebrated the horse and the art of equitation like George Morris,” said Tony Fleischmann, President of Reeves International, Breyer’s parent corporation. “It’s been fun to work on this project with George and Mark Bellissimo, whose vision and passion for sharing all that is good about horses and the horse world we share. We’re delighted that the proceeds of the project will support the CSN to help horses and horse people, and we’re proud to have contributed to funding this project.”
Join Morris and the Chronicle, with more than 75 years of history covering horsemen and horse sports, in now moving forward to educate the public about the great causes and great people who use the magic of the horse to affect the lives of others.
Purchase the George Morris action figure here: http://bit.ly/1KtEFWE
Visit the Chronicle Support Network here: http://bit.ly/1LM8z6e
Any charity selected by CSN to receive funds will be subject to a review by the CSN using various methods to accredit the charities. Charities must be based in the United States and a 501c3 in good standing to be eligible for the site or to receive promotions from the COTH media network. Existence on the website is not a validation of a mission or an endorsement of the charity. Any Charities that are not qualified will be removed from the site. CSN has final discretion on who is on the site and whether a charity is qualified to receive funds. CSN may use third party organizations to accredit and review charitable organizations.
CSN funds will be directed via random grants, online contests, or special grants. COTH shall reserve the right for final decision on acceptance into the network and the techniques to distribute funds. COTH will have the right to appoint a group to approve distributions from the Fund.
About Breyer Animal Creations®
For horse-crazy girls, there are only two kinds of horses: real horses and Breyer model horses. The iconic Breyer brand, a division of Reeves International, was founded in 1950, and is the leader in creating the world’s most authentic and realistic model horses for play and collecting. These hand-painted, collectable model horses and animals have a worldwide following, thanks to the incredible sculptures that form the foundation of the line. Today, Breyer has expanded its play lines to include play sets, craft activities and horsey accessories for its younger fans and its collector lines to include resins, crystal and porcelain. To see the complete line of Breyer horses, and to learn more about Breyer events and the model horse hobby, visit us at BreyerHorses.com.