A wise neighbor of mine likes to say, "There are many measures of a man." I would argue that the stunning success of the GoFundMe fundraising drive for injured Unionville jockey Paddy Young speaks volumes about how loved and respected he is: in less than two weeks, people have donated more than $120,000 to help him and his family.
Fellow jockey Willie McCarthy started the drive on May 23, writing, "Paddy needs no introduction, but I can honestly say he's the most respected man inside and out of the jockeys' room, a champion on & off a horse!"
The first goal set was for $10,000. That was met in maybe a half-hour.
They raised it to $100,000, and that was surpassed within a week. When I last checked (June 4), 730 people had contributed, everywhere from $5 to $1,000.
That's because in addition to being a champion jockey and a legendary horseman, Paddy is a great human being. His hilarious Facebook videos of himself and his kids are classics. His barn is down the road from me, so I used to see him riding out most mornings, in all weather. He always would give me a cheerful wave and greet me in his Irish accent. I miss that so much, and I have rejoiced at the remarkable progress he seems to be making thanks to his own toughness, his family's support and love, and the skilled professionals at Paoli Memorial Hospital.