After the Finish Line Non-Profit

Rancho Santa Fe’s “Hearts, Hats and Heels” Fundraiser

This Valentine’s Day in Rancho Santa Fe, former racehorses will be receiving some extra love at the third annual Valentine’s Day charity fundraiser, “Hearts, Hats and Heels.”

The fundraiser will take place on Thursday, February 12th, from 11 am to 3 pm at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.

This year, the proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit “After the Finish Line,” a group based out of Toluca Lake that cares for former racehorses and works towards their rehabilitation until they’re adopted.

After the Finish Line was founded in October 2007 by Rancho Santa Fe resident Dawn Mellen. The organization contributes to thoroughbred retirement and rescue organizations all over the country.

In 2014, After the Finish Line spent about $100,000 to help 300 horses. According to founder Mellen, many rescue organizations rely upon After the Finish Line to help their rescued horses.

After the Finish Line founder Dawn Mellen

After the Finish Line founder Dawn Mellen

“Hearts, Hats and Heels,” will consist of a fashion show, a lunch, and silent and live auctions. The event will be relatively unstructured, and the fashion show will feature clothing by local stores Satori Designs, Jessie Georgina, Peaches En Regalia, and Déjà Vu Love Boutique.

Afterwards, there will be tables from which guests can buy the apparel modeled in the show, with 20% of the sales going towards After the Finish Line.

As for the silent and live auctions, the items put up for bid will range from gift certificates for restaurants, spa services, hair salons and fashion retailers, to golf rounds at local country clubs, bottles of champagne, and horse racing items.

These are big-ticket, high priced auction items that are meant to raise a lot of money for After the Finish Line.

The auctions will even have art and jewelry to bid on, for those who are looking to get a last minute Valentine’s Day gift for their special someone.

Tickets for the fundraiser will go for $75, and can be purchased at In previous years, the fundraiser has sold out.

People who cannot attend the actual fundraiser but still want to support At the Finish Line are still welcome to donate.

Mellen says she looks forward to expanding her donor base at this event by talking to people who do not know about her organization; “I look forward to meeting more people who want to support ex-racehorses, and meeting people who in the past didn’t know that we existed and want to come support us.”

As After the Finish Line has never before benefitted from Rancho Santa Fe’s Valentine’s Day Fundraiser, this should be a great opportunity for the organization to grow and gain more members.

This fundraiser is one of many held throughout the year in Rancho Santa Fe, and is yet another example of the community’s incredibly generous, charitable spirit.

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