Luncheon and auction raises big money for Katie Cox appeal

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

The Katie Cox Appeal is now expected to be at around $300,000 after a massive last few days, including a Melbourne Cup fund-raising luncheon at Addington yesterday.

The 33-year-old Canterbury trainer-driver is battling a rare form of lung cancer, with a trust fund set up to help pay for expensive medication. She recently started her first round of treatment.

Trust founder Craig Wiggins told the 200 people at Tuesday's luncheon that the total was already at $195,000, after a number of sizeable donations, including $25,000 from Entain, $10,000 from TAB NZ and $5000 from Harness Racing New Zealand.

On top of that the luncheon then raised close to $100,000. Money was raised from the luncheon itself ($1200 + GST for a table of 10) as well as an auction featuring around 50 items that had been generously donated.

Cox was at the luncheon which was also attended by a who's who of Canterbury harness racing, including high profile trainers, breeders, owners and drivers.

It had been organised at short notice by well-known racing presenter Greg O'Connor who MC'd the afternoon and was involved in some spirited banter with auctioneer for the day (and former junior driver) Stevie Golding.

The highest bid was $8500 forked out for a trans-Tasman horse flight with IRT, while a service fee to multiple Group 1 winner King Of Swing sold for $6000.

A trip for two to the world's richest harness race the Eureka in Sydney fetched $4300, while a 10% per cent lifetime share in Levi (courtesy of Tim Vince) raised $4000. Levi, a What The Hill two-year-old, has had one placing from three starts and will race again as early as Friday night.

A full driving set by 10-time Kiwi champion and now USA-based Dexter Dunn was also offered up. It went for $1100.

One News was also at the luncheon, with an item on Cox's plight going to air last night. In it she talked of the amazing support she'd had from so many people since the diagnosis.

Many in the crowd stayed on to watch Mark Zahra win his second consecutive Melbourne Cup.

The final tally from the auction and luncheon isn't known yet but it will be "close to six figures", according to O'Connor.

"It was a great vibe and everyone has been extremely generous - it was a very successful day."

For those wanting to contribute to the appeal :

Whatever with Wiggy Charitable Trust CC59951

Katie Cox Appeal
06-0837-0390071-01
Please use the reference Katie

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