CHARITY will be a major winner tonight regardless of The Eureka result at Club Menangle.
Set to represented by talented pacer My Ultimate Ronnie in the $2.1million major, prominent owner Rob Watson has pledged 10 per cent of the winnings to a wonderful cause.
Furthermore, Watson has made a guarantee that regardless of My Ultimate Ronnie’s earnings, he will donate $10,000 to the charity.
On top of this wonderfull gesture, My Ultimate Ronnie’s owners have announced they will match Watson’s amount.
Trained by Jarrod Alchin, My Ultimate Ronnie will be driven by Cameron Hart, who will wear specially-designed colours during the 2400-metre clash.
Watson had the touching silks created to promote Toby For Childhood Cancer during what promises to be the industry’s biggest stage.
Toby Meachen is the son of Watson’s friend, Ian, who succumbed to childhood cancer.
Ian and his wife, Tania, started the charity in honour of their son, who lost his battle at the tender age of six.
“Having a child go through such an ordeal is a difficult time for all involved,” Ian said. “Toby was five when he was first diagnosed and six when he passed away.
“The diagnosis once a child responds positively to treatment is usually very high, but although Toby did respond, he was part of the very low percentage that relapse.
“Six weeks after he got home he relapsed, and knowing very few survive after that, we were aware of the outcome.
“Not many in the world relapse, but those who do, all pass away.
“During the journey, you meet so many families with far less chance and you almost feel guilty your child has such a good chance, which Toby did at the time.
“We started the charity when Toby was in remission, but when he relapsed, it got put on hold.”
Toby FCC is all voluntary, meaning every cent is donated to such a heartbreaking cause.
The funds are distributed at 80 per cent to research and 20 per cent to support kids managing cancer.
“It’s pretty rare for kids to have it like Toby did and is just a terrible ordeal for everyone,” Watson said. “I spoke to Ian and he was happy for me to place Toby and his charity on my colours for The Eureka.
“I have devoted the colours to be carried by my slot runner for the next three years.”
Watson’s generous act goes further than tonight, with The Eureka earnings during the three-year term being donated to Toby FCC.
“Whether it’s a win, placings or running last, I am donating 10 per cent of my stake to charity,” Watson said. “Regardless of the outcome, I have guaranteed $10,000 a year for next three years will go in support of Toby’s cause.”
Praising Watson for his generosity, Ian highlighted the importance of having supporters who can use their platform to promote any charitable cause.
“Guys like Rob and coporate partners are a big part of charities and are really important in spreading the message,” Ian said.
“We have raised more than $300,000 since December, which is an ok start and we are very grateful, but our goal is to reach $1million this financial year and $5million within three years.
“Our focus is on the opportunity we have to make a difference.”
An Australian Pacing Gold purchase, My Ultimate Ronnie, which boasts 16 wins and eight placings from 28 starts, faces and enormous task from barrier 10.
DONATIONS to Toby For Childhood Cancer can be made by clicking here