This year, all of the proceeds from one "buyback" pony purchase will be given to Hospice of the Eastern Shore, a community nonprofit organization that serves the needs of patients and families who face life-threatening illnesses.
Buyback ponies are released back to their home on Assateague Island. The buyback owners receive a special plaque and get to name their purchased pony.
Roe Terry, public relations officer for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and manages the herd of world-famous ponies, said this is the second time Hospice has benefited from the buyback donation.
"Everybody knows someone who had to use hospice," said Terry.
Karen Agar, chief executive officer of Hospice of the Eastern Shore, is very pleased that Terry decided to make a generous donation to the organization.
"We're very, very honored to have been chosen," Agar said. "It shows how much support we have in the community."
According to Agar, services offered through the hospice are available to everyone, which is why the organization "depends on donations to continue its programs."
Those programs include "Fragile Hearts," a local support group for children who grieve and struggle with the loss of a loved one.
With the help of Fragile Hearts and other initiatives, family members and patients facing serious illnesses can "make the most of every day," says Agar.
Several hospice employees will be in attendance that day wearing hospice T-shirts. They will also be sitting on the auction block, witnessing the event that's held each year at the town's carnival grounds.
After the hospice buyback pony is purchased, Agar will be presented a check from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
According to Agar, the hospice was presented with a donation after a woman from Charlottesville purchased a "buyback" pony two years ago.
The woman decided to help make a donation to the hospice because her mother was in the care of the organization before she passed.
"We're hoping to have the same effect this year," said Agar.
Terry said the fire company is proud to make this type of contribution to a community organization.
"It's a good deal for everybody," he said.