“A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievement or noble qualities.”
“That’s the dictionary.com definition of a hero and it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows her that the new social media platform ‘SheHero’ has chosen Fay Donk to be the first one profiled. In her quiet, unassuming and almost invisible manner, she has been a driving force in the effort to improve the quality of life for countless backstretch workers on the New York Racing Association circuit for more than 25 years.
With time, effort and funding, she has generously supported virtually all of the programs established by the New York division of the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America. She and her trainer/husband David insist it’s just their way to say a small thanks to the entire backstretch community, not just those that work in David’s barn.
Fay is also a past president of the Belmont Child Care Association. Fay is very much a ‘silent hero.’ And it’s really only the staff of the chaplaincy that knows the true depth of her humanitarian spirit and her generosity.
As much as Fay tries to avoid any personal recognition for her good deeds, she and David were honored by the Chaplaincy at its annual brunch in Saratoga Springs in August 2015. The press release announcing them as honorees stated, in part, that ‘their love for the people who work in the backstretch has been long and legendary.’
The Donks are residents of Floral Park, NY and proud parents of Paul and Holly Rae.
It would be hard to find someone who is more widely admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievement or noble qualities” than Fay Donk. Fay wakes up every morning thinking, ‘How can I help?’
She is truly a SheHero.”
Humberto Chavez, NYRA Chaplain
“Behind every man is a better woman. Fay and I were married 24 years ago. We met at the racetrack, so there was obviously the attraction of the love for the horses, but with her, all animals. She has been the backbone and an integral part of our stable’s success. Added to that, a mother of our two children, our greatest success. Fay was involved with the Anna House, a daycare center at Belmont Park, near the initial stages of planning and for what encompassed about 17 years. She continues to be a big supporter of the Chaplaincy efforts on the backside. Her love of animals and children are a great combination.”
David Donk, Thoroughbred trainer