2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival breaks fundraising record

18 December 2023 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is thrilled to announce that a new fundraising record was set by its Pin & Win initiative during the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, with over $548,000 raised for Pin & Win charity partner Australian Childhood Foundation.

This year’s Pin & Win results have eclipsed last year’s total of $493,000 and brings the total amount raised for Australian Childhood Foundation to more than $1 million over the last two years, making it one of the most successful fundraising initiatives in the history of the Foundation.

Established in 1995, the Pin & Win initiative provides a platform for charities to raise funds via the sale of souvenir Lexus Melbourne Cup pins. The initiative has now raised well over $8 million for Australian charities to help change lives and support our community.

The previous Pin & Win record of $543,000 was raised by SecondBite in 2013 and funded more than 1.3 million nutritious meals to people who would otherwise go hungry.

This year racegoers purchased more than 33,000 Lexus Melbourne Cup pins and 16,000 diamante horseshoe pins, with first prize, the 2023 Lexus RX350H 2WD, won by Deborah Ford, a loyal VRC member who lives in Brisbane, Queensland.

Australian Childhood Foundation is a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting children and young people to heal from the trauma of abuse, neglect and family violence.  Their focus is on letting love in, reshaping children's self-perception, and restoring the possibility of a safe, happy childhood. 

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said he was proud to see the Melbourne Cup Carnival support Australian children who need it most.

“For the past 28 years, the Victoria Racing Club’s Pin & Win initiative has provided us with an opportunity to use our platform for the greater good, and what better way to do that than to support Australian Childhood Foundation,” Mr Rosich said.

“Pin & Win has now raised more than $1 million for the Australian Childhood Foundation over the last two years, and we are very proud not only to break the fundraising record this year, but more importantly to see these funds help change the lives of children all over Australia who need support.

“I would particularly like to thank each and every racegoer who purchased a pin, our valued VRC members who are always strong supporters of the program and the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour destinations across Australia who embraced the initiative with gusto.”

CEO of Australian Childhood Foundation Dr Joe Tucci expressed his gratitude for the two-year partnership with the VRC’s Pin & Win initiative. 

“We are so grateful to have been the charity partner with the Victoria Racing Club for its Melbourne Cup Carnival Pin & Win initiative over the last two years. Now more than ever, children need our support. The vital funds raised are going a long way to ensure we are reaching more young people through our National Trauma Recovery Program, helping children to heal and keep them safe,” Dr Tucci said.

“I would also like to thank our dedicated volunteers who sold pins at Flemington race days and events including all four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and our ambassadors including Olivia Molly Rogers, Stefan Dennis, Lorinska Merrington, Rachel Watts and Anthony Cincotta who helped spread the word about the Foundation and the Pin & Win program.”

Australian Childhood Foundation is the 16th charity to partner with the VRC, with money raised from the Pin & Win partnership to help fund the Foundation’s National Trauma Recovery Program.

In 2024, the VRC will introduce a 17th charity partner to the Pin & Win program, and Australia’s greatest racing carnival will continue to not only be celebrated across the nation, but change lives all over the country.