Thursday, 27 June 2013

Local Charities Backing a Winner

When you are trying to raise money for charity, it is always handy if you can provide a fun atmosphere and a bit of an incentive for people to hand over their hard-earned cash. That’s why I am so excited about our next race-meeting on Saturday 20th July when we’ll be helping two charities to raise funds throughout the day. 

We’ll be promoting a huge sweepstake on the big race, the totepool Cumbria Crystal Cup, in aid of St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston for whom we are hoping to raise up to £10,000. Tickets for the sweepstake cost just £1 each and there will be a cash prize for every person who is drawn from the hat on race-day. The size of the cash prize will be determined by the horses, as each ticket drawn will relate to a runner in the race. The winning horse will yield one lucky ticket-holder the top prize of £500, the equivalent odds of 499/1. There will also be at least £500 to be split between the other winners with runners in the race. 

The sweepstake was the idea of our raceday presenter John Sexton and his wife Margaret, who have been selling tickets since our first meeting of the season in May. Sadly Margaret died last week, having received care and support from the hospice team over a long period of time. While the personal connection makes the charitable drive poignant for everyone who works at the racecourse, the hospice is a charity that touches people throughout our community and I know that our desire to raise funds will be shared by many. 

As well as the busy in-patient unit, the hospice staff offer day care, drop in sessions, complimentary therapies, advice for families and care at home. The annual running costs are around £2.4 million of which just 20% is paid for by the NHS, leaving nearly £2 million per year to be raised from other sources.

Sweepstake tickets can be bought from the racecourse office and will also be available on 20th July. However, if you’re struggling to get here and fancy backing a 499/1 winner, you can also purchase tickets from the hospice by calling 01229 580305. 

Meanwhile, the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre will be parading a number of retired racehorses before the first race; each of them re-trained at their base near Lancaster. The rehabilitation centre was the first enterprise of its kind in Britain and fulfils an important role in converting flighty racehorses into adaptable riding horses, suitable for a new role and a new home. The centre will have a trade-stand packed with merchandise and will be making a bucket collection at each of the exits.

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