Big cheque heading to Prostate Cancer Foundation
A total of $50,000 has been raised for the New Zealand Prostate Cancer Foundation by Harness Racing New Zealand's Blue September campaign.
The Foundation was presented with the "ceremonial" cheque at the HRNZ offices yesterday afternoon after a month that saw ten ambassadors (drivers) win a total of 48 races from Auckland to Invercargill.
Among those at the function were All Black and Crusaders prop and Blue September ambassador Joe Moody (pictured left), as well as Blue September drivers Korbyn Newman and Jonny Cox (far right) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation's Chris Smith (second from right).
Each time the drivers won a race (wearing their blue pants) money was raised through their own sponsorships, as well as clubs, and HRNZ. There were also auctions, donations and other fund-raising events, the latest of which raised $1600 at Cambridge on Thursday night.
All ten drivers contributed to the cause during September with Zachary Butcher getting the most wins. His 13 included a double at Cambridge on Thursday. He raised $9500 in total, which was second only to Robbie Close and his band of sponsors, who raised $9600 through his seven wins.
Blair Orange also had a very successful September with 12 wins and $5700 for the campaign. He finished the month with two wins at Addington on Friday night and one at Gore on Thursday.
Others to crack four figures were Matty Williamson ($3350), Mark Hurrell ($3020), Todd Mitchell ($2000), and Brent Barclay ($1300).
To raise $50,000 was a massive breakthrough for the campaign, and far exceeded last year's total of $20,000.
"We are just so grateful for what everyone has done for us," says Canterbury Prostate Cancer Foundation spokesman Chris Smith at yesterday's function, "the money is great but it is also about the awareness."
"Blue September is all about getting men to have conversations about their health and getting checked."