By David Lewis
IT took a while, but local charity Foodbank was finally able to collect a $2000 cheque at Mount Gambier’s greyhound meeting at Tara Raceway last Sunday.
The presentation had actually been set down for a month previously to coincide with the running of the Foodbank Feature Grade 5 final (512m) that had been won by Nathan Wilson’s Oakvale Style.
However, due to Covid restrictions no patrons had been allowed on track on that particular day.
The chase for charity at Tara Raceway initially came about through a Catch for Cash initiative whereby many of the greyhound catchers at the twice-weekly meetings donated their modest fee.
Subsequently the local Sunset Community Kitchen received a cheque for $2000 last November.
Following this was the introduction of the Tara Tipsters, initially 14 race-day regulars who threw in a few dollars each week in support of a local charity as they set about outdoing one another in what turned out to be a fiercely contested tipping competition.
Introducing Foodbank’s Mount Gambier Regional Branch Manager, Lynne Neshoda, was greyhound owner Kevin “KD” Douglas, also one of the Tara Tipsters and well known in the district for his outstanding charitable work.
Speaking after the running of the 512-metre Foodbank Mixed Stake, Mrs Neshoda said Foodbank SA had been supporting the Limestone Coast community for more than 15 years.
“Currently, Foodbank is supplying more than 130 local charities and schools in the region with food relief,” she said.
“In the past 12 months our warehouse has distributed more than 380,000 meals to those in need living on the Limestone Coast.”
In attendance at Tara Raceway for the first time, Mrs Neshoda was certainly appreciative of the Foodbank donation.
“On behalf of Foodbank I’d like to sincerely thank the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club and the Tara Tipsters for their terrific support,” she said.
“It is likely that the donation will go towards one of our forthcoming projects – the upgrading of a volunteers’ kitchen.”
Winner of the Foodbank Mixed Stake was Two Hands George, the third leg of a treble for owner-trainer Tim Richards.
Richards and his greyhound were not required to be at the presentation but the Meningie trainer was more than happy to lend his support to the cause.
This was much appreciated by the club.
The Tara Tipsters are now throwing their support behind the Visually Impaired Club of Mount Gambier and adding to the tipsters’ team are Kerry Hawker, Christine Yourgules, John Hawker, John Little and Jeff Guy.