Eight months ago, top West Coast rider Hannah Selleck joined JustWorld International as an Ambassador. Since then, in support of the charity, she has jumped from a plane, traveled halfway around the world and, most recently, tackled a 1.35m speed track dressed as Batman’s villain, Poison Ivy. Paired with Olympic champion Laura Kraut, who dressed as Catwoman, the JustWorld team captured the win in a unique charity class at the inaugural Longines Los Angeles Masters with the fastest time by over two seconds.
The Longines L.A. Masters, the American leg of the Masters Grand Slam Indoor Circuit, turned the Los Angeles Convention Center into an equestrian mecca. One of the most talked about events over the four days of international competition was Friday night’s costume charity class. Twenty-two top riders traded their breeches and show coats for creative costumes and JustWorld International made history as the winning charity team of the flagship American event.
The Wellington, Florida, USA and Paris, France, based nonprofit organization was one of 11 charities selected to compete in the charity class. JustWorld’s dedicated and ongoing partner, Longines, who is also the title sponsor of the Masters Grand Slam, generously sponsored the JustWorld Team. The photographer’s flash illuminated this generosity when capturing an image of the $35,000 check presented to JustWorld.
"The charity class was about going out there and having fun while raising awareness for our individual charities," Kraut said. "Of course, Hannah and I were still competitive, we wanted to win for JustWorld, but this was about helping JustWorld raise money to continue to do their good work. This was my opportunity to help, and it was great fun."
Not only did Selleck and Kraut lay down the quickest times of the night, but Poison Ivy and Catwoman came alive with their fantastic costumes and a professional make-up team to perfect the look. The extra efforts earned the pair scores of nine, nine and eight from celebrity style judges Jeannie Mai, Sebastian Roché and Ariana Rockefeller.
Selleck remarked, "A charity class at an event like the L.A. Masters is such a great way to raise awareness for charities like JustWorld. Laura and I went first and set a time that couldn’t be beat, so we raised money and awareness for JustWorld. And to do it all in costume made it that much more fun."
Selleck and Kraut were not the only JustWorld Ambassadors on sight at the L.A. Masters. Frenchman Kevin Staut, currently ranked fifth on the Longines World Ranking List, choreographed the introduction skit to the charity class. Staut dressed as the evil Joker, while Philipe Rozier and Olivia Chowdry fought Gotham’s brutes as Batman’s faithful sidekick, Robin. The antiheros rode into the arena on a Harley Davidson, generously loaned to JustWorld for use during the skit by Harley-Davidson Buell of Glendale.
"I didn’t know that I would be the Joker for the charity class skit," Staut laughed. "Jessica Newman, the founder of JustWorld, knows me too well. She didn’t tell me until right before. It was so much fun riding the Harley-Davidson, and the skit was hilarious. Philipe had to fight me, and it definitely earned a few laughs."
Shortly after the conclusion of the first edition of the Longines Los Angeles Masters Grand Slam, Staut caught a plane to travel to the JustWorld Guatemala Project, alongside French actress, Marina Hands and JustWorld founder and Executive Director Jessica Newman. Staut was excited to be able to see firsthand the good work of CNN hero, Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes. While visiting, Staut will conduct a clinic that will directly benefit JustWorld International and Fuentes’ project, Los Patojos.
About JustWorld International
JustWorld International is a not-for-profit humanitarian organization that funds life-changing education, nutrition, health, hygiene, leadership and cultural development programs for impoverished children in Cambodia, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia.
JustWorld International is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the United States and a registered Association 1901 in France. Tax-deductible donations are accepted in Switzerland and JustWorld's supporters may send their donations to Fondation Philanthropia, a Swiss public-benefit umbrella foundation. Tax-deductible donations are also accepted in Canada. Canadian donors please visit: www.tidescanada.org/support/justworld-international-fund. JustWorld International has no political or religious affiliation.