LOCAL organisations were treated to an afternoon of racing and entertainment at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club last week.
The event is part of a series of functions held at 12 country and metropolitan greyhound racing clubs in Victoria, culminating in the Great Chase final which will be held at The Meadows in Melbourne on October 25.
Disability groups and elderly citizens homes, including staff, clients, their families and carers, were invited to enjoy the colour and excitement of an afternoon at the races.
Along with the hospitality, there was the opportunity to raise funds for each organisation.
Each community group was randomly assigned a number of greyhounds for the day, which gained virtual points according to wins and placings.
The groups with the most virtual points at the end of the day won cash prizes.
In previous years, community groups have used the prize money to buy much-needed computers, specialist equipment, or pay for excursions and activities.
Sale club manager Peter Johnston said the main aim of the day was to provide an enjoyable, social day out.
“Our guests get close to the action so they have a good view as the dogs run past the post, and they love it when they meet some of the dogs during the afternoon. Our staff, the trainers and handlers all do their best to make it a great day for our guests,” he said.
“The Great Chase is about inclusion and supporting the local community and we’re happy and proud to be part of it.”
Mirridong Services chief executive Doreen Milne said it was exciting for her clients, especially to be socialising.
“It helps them get out and about and join in,” she said.
“The more that they can (do that), the better they can relate to other people and hold some relationships and get to know people.”
Sale Specialist School’s Angie Casella agreed, and added the students loved meeting the dogs.
“It’s a really valuable thing to do,” she said.
“We’ve been here a couple of times for this event, our guys recognise other people here, they’re familiar with some of the people, they’ve even recognised some of their names and said hello.”
The Great Chase has been conducted every year since 2003, and this is the 10th in Sale.
More than $500,000 in much-needed funds has been donated to organisations working in the disability sector over that time.
The winning group on the day, Sale Specialist School, took home the grand prize of $1000.