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December 8, 2020

The Australian Turf Club and its charitable arm, the ATC Foundation, raised an impressive $30,000 at the inaugural Christmas Carols Twilight Festival on Friday 4 December at Royal Randwick to support 45 children to attend a Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp.

The Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp is a unique respite program that sees high school and university students take on the responsibility for the care of children with disabilities, allowing their families to have a valuable weekend off. Their children and teenage carers enjoy a life-changing experience and array of activities from movie nights, art sessions, and sailing to zoo visits.

Funds were raised through proceeds of donated race naming rights, on-course collection tins and online donations thanks to sponsor support from Bisley Workwear, Channel Seven, City Tattersalls, De Bortoli Wines, Emotive, Hall Chadwick Longines, PMY Group, Ranvet, Schweppes, Sydney Commercial Interiors, and Taylor Construction along with major community support partner Randwick City Council and generous racegoers.

The Christmas twilight celebration featured a range of free family activities including a spectacular on-course parade by Santa and helpers with legendary horse trainer Gai Waterhouse, the lighting of a giant Christmas tree and a special Christmas Carols concert by ARIA award-winning entertainer and Sony Foundation Ambassador, Samantha Jade.

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Jamie Barkley said the Christmas Carols event was a chance to mark the start of the festive season and support the wider community in what has been a tough year for many.

“Royal Randwick’s Christmas twilight event was truly a spectacular occasion with thousands of families, friends and businesses in attendance to enjoy some free Christmas cheer and entertainment in a COVID-Safe environment,” Mr Barkley said.

“What was even more heartening is the generosity of ATC sponsor partners, Randwick City Council and racegoers to raise $30,000 for the ATC Foundation to be distributed to the Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp to provide respite for children with disabilities and their families, which we’re incredibly proud of.”

Sony Foundation CEO Sophie Ryan, was thrilled with the significant contribution towards the Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp and deserving families.

“We are incredibly grateful for the initiative of the ATC and ATC Foundation to adapt and innovate their annual Christmas event within the current environment and still achieve a great fundraising outcome to support this important program for children with disability.

“The result from the Christmas Twilight Festival appeal will ensure many families that have had limited access to disability care support this year due to COVID restrictions, will be able to access some respite, but also give their child a holiday of a lifetime at Sony Camp,” Ms Ryan said.

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