By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Racing Media Relations
The racing community has once again come together at Batavia Downs to help out the family of one of their own. Wednesday night (Sept. 30) is the “Helping the family of Brad Hanners Fundraiser” night.
There are many facets to this endeavor but one singular goal as horsemen are donating purses and donated items will generate revenue through a silent auction.
Drivers who will be donating their entire 5-percent income for the Wednesday night card include Drew Monti, Shawn McDonough, Dave McNeight III and Jack Rice. Trainers who have also agreed to donate their entire 5% are Dave McNeight Jr., Maria Rice, Mike Carrubba and Bob Gruber.
Drivers and trainers who will be making a general donation include, Ron Beback Jr., Russell Bratt, Denny Bucceri, Mike Caprio, Kevin Cummings, James Clouser Jr., Lee Dahn, Alex Giuliani, Brad Jackson, Lisa Lederhouse, Jim McNeight, Darrin Monti, Jim Mulcahy, John Mungillo, Angelo Nappo, Jerry Nugent Jr., Courtney Ohol, JD Perrin, Don Rothfuss, Rose Russo, Ron Van Wagoner and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.
Owners who have agreed to donation a portion of their Wednesday earnings include Steve Andzel, Dave Bratt, Louis Frascella, Mike Torcello and Howard Ouriel.
Organizations who will be donating funds include the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association.
Those attending the races live can also make cash donations or bid on any of the silent auction items that will be available. The auction will be held in the Paddock Room and bids will be accepted from 6:15 p.m. until five minutes after the 10th race.
Auction items include:
-- A set of bobbleheads consisting of Jim Marohn Jr., Wendy Ross, Tim Tetrick, Drew Monti and Jody Jamieson;
-- An autographed whip from William O’ Donnell, David Miller and Jody Jamieson and a Sweet Lou cup;
-- A Future Hall of Famer, Yannick Gingras, autographed jacket and driving gloves;
-- A Hall of Famer, Ron Pierce, autographed driving jacket;
-- An autographed full set of driving colors from Hall of Famer, Ron Pierce;
-- A Breyer Foiled Again horse signed by Yannick Gingras.
Jami Rae Chatt is the driving force behind the fundraiser and is well qualified to do it. Chatt also organized the Anthony Coletta fundraiser that raised $12,835 in 2013; an effort that garnered her the Unsung Hero Award from USHWA last year.
“Because we did so well for Anthony Coletta, we wanted to help the Hanners family any way we could. When everyone is on the racetrack, it’s all business. But other than that, we’re all one big family and I have seen how generous the Western New York racing community can be on many occasions. I’m just glad to be a part of it,” Chatt said.
Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing said “Jami is an amazing young lady. When she came to me asking if the track would help put this on we were more than happy to help anyway we could. Jami is a very caring individual and her efforts for Anthony Coletta proved that. I only hope we can be as successful for this family as they go through this very bad time.”