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The club and the community

31 May 2023 Written by VRC

More than $1 million was raised for charity during last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, a new milestone in the Victoria Racing Club’s long and proud history of supporting the community. We partner with charities and organisations that share our values and conduct programs for the betterment of our community’s wellbeing.

Pin & Win has been the VRC’s flagship charity endeavour since 1995 and has raised more than $7.4 million for charities through the sale of Lexus Melbourne Cup souvenir pins in that time, helping to change lives and support the community. It has supported the establishment of the Guide Dog training facility in Melbourne, Starlight Express rooms for 16,000 sick children and families, the world-class trauma centre at the Alfred Hospital and provided over 1.5 million meals for those in need through SecondBite, amongst other achievements.

Last year Pin & Win raised $493,000 for the club’s 2022-23 Pin & Win partner, the Australian Childhood Foundation, whose CEO Dr Joe Tucci said the 2022 Pin & Win campaign was one of the Foundation's most successful fundraising events in its 35-year history.

For the first time last year, the Melbourne Cup Carnival was responsible for raising over $1 million for the community. Complementing Pin & Win, the Melbourne Cup Carnival partnered with not-for-profit donation platform GIVIT to raise funds to support people affected by devastating flooding across the country in late 2022, with more than $500,000 worth of donated funds raised for flood-affected communities across Australia.

GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said the funds were used to provide critical support to people across Victoria and New South Wales.

“A family in Echuca including a child with an intellectual disability lost everything in this disaster when flood waters inundated their home,” said Sarah.

“Thanks to these donations GIVIT was able to provide them with critical supplies such as grocery, fuel and clothes vouchers to assist them while they stay with friends and rebuild their lives.

“GIVIT was able to provide a new car seat to a young family in Kialla who had recently arrived in Australia on protection visas and were severely impacted by floods.

“These donations may seem simple but their impact on communities who have experienced a traumatic event can’t be underestimated.”  

On top of these significant amounts, Cup Week last year also saw $50,000 donated to The Griffith University Institute for Glycomics and the National Breast Cancer Foundation thanks to the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep; $26,000 raised for the Victorian Jockeys Association via the saddlecloth auction; and $15,000 donated to the National Jockeys Trust following the jockeys’ appearances at the Lexus Melbourne Cup Cavalcade.

Building on the success of Cup Week, the club had a significant focus on community engagement across the summer and autumn periods. Christmas Race Day saw the club supporting the UnBox Joy Christmas Appeal for Variety – The Children’s Charity as they aimed to provide toys to over 4,500 kids who would otherwise go without, while more than $14,000 was raised for charity partner Australian Childhood Foundation at the Love Letter to Racing event on Black Caviar Lightning Race Day.

More than $50,000 was raised during the Flemington Racing Spectacular for the Childhood And Racehorse Movement (CARM) and the Good Friday Appeal. On Australian Guineas Day more than $9000 was raised for CARM while $41,000 was donated to the Good Friday Appeal as a result of fundraising initiatives on Super Saturday and TAB Australian Cup Day. 

On Thursday 4 May, the VRC and Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Pakenham launched the Subzero Arena, named in honour of one of racing’s greatest heroes. The arena was named after 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero, who not only won ‘the race that stops a nation’™, but surpassed that legendary achievement by proceeding to become one of racing’s greatest ambassadors.

The Subzero Arena is a collaboration between the VRC and RDA Pakenham, with the VRC donating the synthetic surface material that has been re-purposed from the Flemington training track plus nearly $60,000 from the VRC Equine Wellbeing Fund. The new arena provides the perfect riding surface for every weather condition and ensures that the riders at RDA Pakenham can always enjoy the therapeutic benefits from their association with horses.

There are also smaller things being done all the time to contribute to community and charity. From donations of computer infrastructure and furniture to local charities, staff volunteering at local community organisations, donations of tickets and hospitality packages for third party fundraising efforts, donations of flower arrangements to local hospitals following race days, and members events like those held at Racing Hearts helping to bring awareness to the organisation, the club is constantly at work.

Investing in our communities, industry, and environment will continue to be a core focus of the VRC, and we thank you for being part of it.


Join us for VRC Community Race Day where we are offering the opportunity for all racegoers to have their photo taken with the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup before the Cup takes off around Australia and overseas for the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. The Cup will be available in Saintly Place Glass Foyer between 1-1:45pm and in The Club Stand Lobby between 12-12:45pm for VRC Members. Tickets selling fast, don't miss out!

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