By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Tonight (Aug. 16) at Batavia Downs is noteworthy for two reasons. One, it’s the first live card of harness racing held on a Friday this meet at the Downs as the track previously hosted their now completed concert series on Friday.
Second, it’s the night of the Batavia Down’s annual “Races to Benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester” (www.bccr.org) fundraiser that will be held at the track to raise both awareness and dollars to fight this deadly disease.
This annual event is one of the larger fundraisers held by this organization and Batavia Downs has been proud to put on the event with them and be a part of this very worthy cause. It will be held in the clubhouse and runs from 5 until 9 p.m.
“We have partnered with BCCR for several years now and each year this event gets bigger and better,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing. “It’s an opportunity for us to help raise money to defeat the scourge of breast cancer in our lifetime.
"The generosity of our horsemen and patrons always shines through and I’m sure we will see that again tonight.”
There will be a silent auction held adjacent to the clubhouse with a list of prizes that will please anyone’s taste. They include:
- Two suite tickets to the Buffalo Bills versus Philadelphia Eagles at New Era Field on Sunday, Oct. 27;
- Four suite tickets to the Buffalo Sabres versus the St. Louis Blues at Key Bank Center on Tuesday, Dec. 10;
- Two suite tickets for the Carrie Underwood concert at Key Bank Arena on Sunday, Oct. 13;
- One Batavia Downs Hotel night and racing package;
- Two Batavia Downs clubhouse racing packages;
- A recliner from Max Pies Furniture in Batavia;
- And a host of other items too numerous to mention.
Dozens of local owners, trainers and drivers have already committed to donating some or all of their winnings realized tonight with more coming on board every day.
The track will also be taking cash donations from anyone willing to help that will be forwarded directly to the BCCR.
“Last year we were able to raise in excess of $13,000 and this year we aim to break that record," Haight said. "The clubhouse has been sold out for weeks so we’ll have many caring people here that night.
"And we will also have runners in both the paddock and grandstand area taking bids for the silent auction and also collecting any donations people may wish to make."
Post time for the first race is at 6 p.m.