The Standardbred Media and Marketing Association (SMMA) on Friday announced Kelly Spencer was its Golden Pen Award recipient
, given annually to a member of the organization who makes outstanding contributions to harness racing publicity and marketing.
Spencer is the manager of marketing and communications at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario. Her initiatives to create a fun, lively, family environment at the track have drawn praise throughout the industry.
From bouncy pony races, to trivia contests to drivers and trainers participating in pre-taped routines broadcast at the track, Spencer strives to make the Grand River experience memorable.
Opening night this year featured “Local Biz Night,” in which 34 area business were paired with a horse in a race. Employees got to meet their horse before the race and pose for pictures. The businesses paired with the winning horse each received a trophy to bring back to the workplace, plus a dinner party for 20 at the track.
This year also began the “Paddock Report,” during which racing participants are interviewed in the hopes of providing fans and bettors with useful information and insights.
“Kelly continually comes up with imaginative ways to bring people to the track,” SMMA President Ken Weingartner said. “Just as importantly, she gives them a reason to return. Creating a fun environment at the races, and then having visitors go tell others about it, is publicity on which you can’t put a price.”
Spencer, a key member of Standardbred Canada's Trot Blogs team, will be presented the award at a date to be determined.