The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) recently announced its latest official Pin & Win charity partner for 2024-2025 as the Victorian and Tasmanian chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC VIC & TAS).
This new partnership with RMHC VIC & TAS will raise funds to provide families with gravely ill children free accommodation and other essential supports, ensuring they can remain close to the child’s medical facility and remain focused on the child’s recovery.
The successful Pin & Win fundraiser has granted over $8 million to Australian charities since 1995, with RMHC VIC & TAS being the 17th partnership in its 29 years.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the club is delighted with this partnership, commenting “It is very meaningful to announce our partnership at the Ronald McDonald House in Parkville, which supports our Flemington neighbours The Royal Children’s Hospital, knowing that the funds raised through Pin & Win over the next two years will be making a difference to their lives.”
RMHC VIC & TAS Chief Executive Officer Peter Bishop said their charity is thrilled.
“The partnership will support families to stay at the houses during periods of lengthy hospital treatments through accommodation, education, respite, hospital bedside support and scholarships.”
The previous partner, the Australian Childhood Foundation, was granted over $1 million during its two-year partnership; one of the VRC’s most successful partnership periods to date.
These significant partnerships are able to occur through the sale of souvenir pins representing the Lexus Melbourne Cup, throughout the Melbourne Cup Carnival and other events.
The first of these will be the VRC’s Love Letter to Racing event, to be held on 17 February, which is Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Day.
Hosted by Ross Stevenson from 3AW, Love Letter to Racing is an annual event featuring prominent speakers reading their personal love letter to racing. The speakers for this year’s event include Australian journalist and crime writer John ‘Sly’ Sylvester, and Paul Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce.
As part of the partnership announcement, the VRC and RMHC VIC & TAS collaborated with the Herald Sun to tell the story of one family from the Northern Territory’s Tiwi Islands, which have benefitted from the charity.
Parents Isabel and Giovanni Valadares have been staying in a Ronald McDonald House since September of last year with their three-year-old son Quintero, after their baby Ernesto was diagnosed with a rare heart condition in utero.
Ms Valadares said it was a huge relief to find they were able to stay at a Ronald McDonald House.
“I could breathe again,” she said. “I could focus on my baby and getting him better.”
Pins will be available to the public online, in stores and at Flemington race days and events later this year.