Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Inaugural Kids' Race Day a success

Benalla Racing Club raised about $6000 for Down Syndrome Victoria at its inaugural Kids' Race Day last Sunday.

January 24, 2014 4:30am

Down Syndrome Victoria president Natalie Graham, Benalla Racing Club general manager Bradley Thomas, wife Brie, and son Lewis.

Families and racegoers braved hot conditions on Sunday to attend the inaugural Kids’ Race Day at Benalla Racing Club.

The joint event with Down Syndrome Victoria raised about $6000 for the Down Syndrome Support Inclusion Service.

Down Syndrome Victoria president Natalie Graham said the day was a great family event that she hoped would become an annual fixture.

‘‘The best thing we can achieve from the day is awareness raising for Down syndrome,’’ she said.

Benalla Racing Club general manager Bradley Thomas said there was a good crowd of about 1500 people.

‘‘I think the DSV marquee was well supported, and was especially well supported from people out of town,’’ he said.

‘‘A lot of them stayed in town either Saturday or Sunday night, so we’ve also helped the local community.’’

All money raised will go to the award-winning DSSIS program, which assists students, teachers, integration aides, schools and parents to work together to support each child with Down syndrome in a mainstream classroom environment.

DSV educator Ian Cook said the fundraising was very important to the program.

‘‘(The program) basically relies on a small amount of government grants, fundraising and philanthropic trusts, so fundraising is a big part of it,’’ Mr Cook said.

‘‘It is good to see them up here mixing and part of the regular community, that’s what it’s all about — inclusion.’’

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