Paige Bellissimo, The Localist
While her father, developer Mark Bellissimo, is a prominent figure in Wellington, Paige Bellissimo is forging her own path by combining a passion for horses with philanthropic diligence. In 2010, the Boston College grad founded the Great Charity Challenge, a relay-style jumping competition that has generated more than $10.7 million for 200-plus Palm Beach County charities. Additionally, Bellissimo serves on the leadership council for the foster care organization Place of Hope, volunteers at The Soup Kitchen in Boynton Beach, and is creating a young professional committee for Brooke USA. When it comes to the family business, Bellissimo has a hand in future plans for the International Polo Club as well as the Tryon Resort and International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, which she says will be like “Disney World for equestrians.” Despite sustaining an injury last year, she plans to return to the competitive show-jumping ring once she’s strong enough—but she’s already riding for fun atop her two horses, Bear and Zindora.
Why she chose show jumping: I love the thrill of it, and the connection with the horse is really special.
What drives her passions: Giving the grants for the Great Charity Challenge. We try to visit as many of the charities we benefit as possible, and it’s amazing to see what they do with the money.
Biggest charitable wish: That no child would ever go hungry.
On her love for Palm Beach: I’m definitely solar-powered. I love being outside.
Favorite eateries: Pizza Al Fresco and Bricktop’s
Local escape: The water swings at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Bucket list trip: New Zealand
Binge watches: The People v. O.J. Simpson
Recent read: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Guilty pleasure: I’m a chocoholic. I think I have it with every meal.
Woman’s best friend: My boyfriend and I share a mini Bernedoodle named Toby.
Dream dinner guest: Comedian and actress Kate McKinnon
Life motto: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Quote: Anyone can change everything. You can donate your talents or your time. It all helps and can be impactful.”