In the lead up to Newcastle’s richest ever horse race – the $1 million Pages Event Hire Hunter – the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Newcastle Jockey Club (NJC) have announced they will join forces to raise vital funds to support the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) at this Saturday’s race meeting.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter’s CEO, Richard Jones OAM, said that in light of the week’s events in Northern NSW, a shift in focus from the Rescue Service’s own fundraising activities to support the Rural Fire Service was indisputable.
“The Emergency Services are all in this together and the images this week of acts of selflessness and bravery in the face of incredible danger has touched us all. We are in for a long summer – so the least we can do is get behind the RFS and ensure they can maintain their extraordinary effort,” Mr Jones said.
It is a history-making week for the NJC who will be hosting the first million-dollar race ever to be run outside of Sydney at their stand-alone meeting this weekend.
In the midst of their operational challenges to get the event up and running, NJC’s Chief Executive, Matt Benson, indicated that a focus on what has been achieved this week in battling the fires was the least the club could do in support of the RFS.
“The opportunity to get involved with raising much-needed funds for the ongoing bushfire battle throughout the Hunter and Northern NSW is welcomed by everyone at the club and in racing.
"So many of our participants are affected by what has happened this week and we are delighted to be able to leverage off this wonderful event for such an important cause,” Mr Benson concluded.
Patrons will be able to donate to volunteers as they enter and leave the track on Saturday, and the TAB has kindly assisted by allowing punters to make a donation at their service windows on track as well.