WASHINGTON, Pa. — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) honored Pastor Joe DiDonato on July 21 for his 25 years’ service as track chaplain, presenting him with a plaque and a donation for his chapel.
Fans were invited to join “Pastor Joe” and his family in the winners’ circle. An estimated 100 people congregated to thank Pastor Joe, a tribute to the broad impact of his ministry, which includes Sunday services, visits to injured or ailing horsemen and horsewomen, a vacation Bible school and holiday events for children.
In 2016, the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association presented Pastor Joe with its President’s Award.
Pastor Joe has ministered to the spiritual needs of horsemen and horsewomen and their families.
Pastor Joe’s ministry is broad. He conducts regular Sunday services, of course, but he also tends to the spiritual needs of injured or ailing horsemen and horsewomen, presides at weddings and funerals, administers a vacation Bible school and organizes holiday parties for children, such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
A Pittsburgh native and graduate of Point Park College (now Point Park University), Pastor Joe held a variety of jobs, including radio disc jockey, before finding his calling. Surrounded by gambling opportunities, he confessed to the United States Trotting Association several years ago that he takes advantage of one:
“I always say, ‘Bet on God to Win, Place and Show — every day!”
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