Harness racing participants are widely-regarded as being among the most generous and that status has been proven yet again.
Less than a week out from the TAB.COM.AU Charity Day, a host of star reinsman have declared they will donate their earnings from a specified meeting towards the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation.
Chris Alford and Shayne Cramp (Victoria), Luke McCarthy (New South Wales), Peter McMullen (Queensland), Ricky Duggan (Tasmania), Clint and Gary Hall junior (Western Australia) and Ryan Hryhorec (South Australia) will all ‘sport’ the foundation’s racing silks at a program of their choice and will donate all earnings from the day to the cause.
On top of that, several of Victoria’s leading concession drivers have also dipped into their pockets.
Josh Aiken, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan, Haydon Gray and Zac Phillips have joined forces to make a donation.
Each has “thrown in” $200, with the collective $1000 - a great compliment to the recent $5000 from James and Son and the $1000 from Arthur Fullwood.
Thrilled with the Fab Five’s gesture, event organiser Robbie O’Connell stated the friendship between the talented reinsmen will end come game day.
“It is a wonderful gesture from the five of them,” O’Connell said. “One top of their game fee, they have thrown in an extra $200.
“They may have come together as a group for this, but they will split up into three teams on game day, so I’m sure white line fever will creep in.
“No doubt they will enjoy revving each other up on the field and give the odd hip and shoulder for the sake of it.”
Other industry identities to support the day include Alabar Bloodstock, which has covered the costs of the footballs and netballs as well as donating a service to Grinfromeartoear, which will be the headliner of a major raffle.
A service to Union Guy donated by John Campbell is also in the mix, with connections of Red Samurai also chiming in with a service to the former handy trotter.
There are also plenty of prizes for the non-breeders, including a 10 kilogram block of Cadbury chocolate, Bolinda Publishing Audio Books and a Myer voucher.
Yirribee Stud has returned with mugs for the Most Valuable Player in each code, while Tabcorp is back as the football jumper sponsor and will supply jumpers for the four teams.
The squads will be assembled from four districts – Melton (Go Blues), Ballarat, Shepparton and Bendigo.
Other sponsors include Seelite Windows and Doors, Kevin Riseley, Allan McNeil and Glenn Sharp.
A small fee of $50 for players and spectators (under 16 free) covers the costs of Sunday’s sausage sizzle, the games and the night’s function.
Last year’s event raised $14,000, which is outstanding considering the foundation receives $18,000 from the government.
Along with the fun and games, the function will also include a memorabilia auction.
It was last year’s auction that proved to be the biggest money spinner for the cause.
Paul Smart from Azuma International supplied the various pieces of memorabilia, which raised almost $8000 for the Chrildren's Tumour Foundation.
Unlike 99.9 percent of auctions, Azuma International didn’t place a reserve on the items.
For examples, a supplier will put a $500 reserve on a particular item, and should it sell for $550, the charity only receives $50!
Azuma International, however, split the takings down the middle.