Under starter’s orders to boost centre appeal

A TRADITIONAL curtain- raiser to the Huntingdon racing season, the popular August Bank Holiday race meeting this year boasts a new sponsor. Housebuilder Campbell Buchanan gives its name to the whole race day, which, for the second year in succession, is

A TRADITIONAL curtain- raiser to the Huntingdon racing season, the popular August Bank Holiday race meeting this year boasts a new sponsor.

Housebuilder Campbell Buchanan gives its name to the whole race day, which, for the second year in succession, is being held in aid of the £2million appeal to build the Saxongate Community Learning Centre in Huntingdon.

Bank Holiday Monday, August 28, will be a true family fun day out.

As well as watching six exciting races over the jumps and two pony races on the flat, racegoers can enjoy good food and drink or even bring along their own food to eat in the picnic enclosure close to the racing action alongside the running rail.

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There will also be lots to entertain the children with a quiz to win a PlayStation 2, face painting, a tombola, bouncy castles and other inflatable rides.

Mascot Hugo the Huntingdon hound will be handing out mystery children's packs during the day.

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As well as all this, everyone coming to the races this Bank Holiday has the chance to help complete the Saxongate Community Learning Centre by purchasing a special ticket in aid of the appeal.

Papworth Trust still urgently needs to raise £65,000 for the project in time for it to open in September.

Explaining the decision to sponsor the raceday, Toby Markham, managing director, said: "As well as a housing development at the Old Model Laundry Site being built alongside some Papworth Trust supported housing, our Hurdles site near the racecourse is nearing completion, too.

"So, having a Campbell Buchanan Raceday not only dovetails perfectly with our being a local business, but also gives us the opportunity to put on a great day out for all the family and to be associated with a worthy project that will benefit all people in Huntingdon.

"When Papworth asked us if we wanted to be the raceday sponsor we jumped at the chance. Racing is a great way to promote your business and we will use the day to entertain our staff and contractors."

Last year, the event raised £10,000, and Papworth hopes to top this figure, with funds being raised through race sponsorship, proceeds from pre-booked tickets and a bucket collection on the day.

Papworth's Helen Joyner has been getting support from companies to sponsor individual races.

She said: "We are really pleased with the response so far and now most races are sponsored. Naturally, we would like to 'fill the card' and there are still some races available.

"Because of the support of Campbell Buchanan as our main sponsor, all proceeds from race sponsorship will go straight to Saxongate, helping us to complete our £2million target, so if anyone - from businesses or an individual - wants to have a race named after them, have an advert in the racecard, and take advantage of the many other benefits on offer, please contact me.

"To really make the most of a day out at the races, we also have hospitality packages available, where companies or individuals can entertain their guests in luxury, in a private box, or the racecourse restaurant.

"Anyone interested in this opportunity should also get in touch."

Duncan Sanders of Bennett Sanders, sponsor of the third race, the Bennett Sanders Maiden Hurdle, said: "We are really pleased to be able to use this day to demonstrate our commitment to a local charitable appeal at a local venue.

"The Saxongate Community Learning Centre is a facility that will allow everyone to learn and develop new skills together.

"We are proud that Huntingdon is the town chosen to house, what is believed to be, a pioneer in the UK."

And the pink buckets will be out again.

"Last year, racegoers were very generous in filling our collection buckets, so watch out for us again this year, sporting our Saxongate T-shirts," said Helen.

"We still need some volunteers to help out on the day.

"Anyone volunteering will get free entry into the racecourse, and plenty of free time to enjoy the day - so please get in touch if you are able to help."

INFORMATION: For those wanting to attend the race day, save money, and support the appeal, there is a special pre-booked ticket offer.

Premier enclosure tickets are available for £12 each (usually £16), and £2 of every ticket price will go directly towards the Saxongate Appeal.

Children under 16, accompanied by an adult, get in free.

These tickets must be booked, by telephoning Huntingdon Racecourse on 01480 453373, and quoting code PAP06.

Gates open at 12.05 pm with the first race starting at 2.05 pm.

For further information on sponsoring a race or volunteering on the day, please contact Helen Joyner on 01480 357227 or Helen_joyner@papworth.org.uk.

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