It is amazing how one small trainer can have an impact on the greyhound racing fraternity not just in their local community but nationwide.
When 22 year old Gippsland trainer Amy O’Keefe was involved in a serious car accident last month, fellow trainers, enthusiasts, and businesses across Australia emptied their pockets and opened their hearts to support one of their own.
On Sunday evening, a charity auction was held at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club to raise money for Amy. In an astounding occurrence, over $25,000 was raised to help get Amy back on track.
As a close friend, Rachael Delahunty was a driving force behind the auction and has been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the greyhound racing industry
“Greyhound people are like a family and she is like a sister to me. We have had people from all over Australia donate things and they have been very concerned and have been sending their love to her”, Delahunty said.
“It is unbelievable. The turnout we got at the track and the support we have had the whole way through is fantastic”.
“The auction itself raised $23,745 but then there was a raffle on top of that which raised another $2000-3000 and then there has also been cash donations made throughout into the trust account”.
Australian Racing Greyhound was one of those happy to make a cash donation to help Amy, contributing $2,000 toward the benefit.
The auction proved to be very popular, with most lots put under the hammer going to some lovely new homes. Lots included straws and services to some of Australia’s leading stud dogs, pups, breaking-in packages and sports memorabilia amongst a plethora of fantastic items.
“There was only three items that didn’t sell out of everything we had and we had about 50 items all up”.
For those who were not able to make it to Sale for the auction and raffle, Delahunty suggested that there may be another charity event held for Amy towards the end of the year
“At this stage we are thinking about running another raffle and maybe having another auction later in the year but we all have to recover from this one first”.
Delahunty would like to thank all of the businesses and individuals that have donated items, funds and their love and support over the past few weeks. In particular, she would like to thank her father, Peter Delahunty, who helped to organise the auction and ensured everything ran smoothly
“I would really like to thank him for all of his time and the effort that he has put into it”.
“Once I mentioned it to him he set about to get it done, took over and it was great”.
“I’d also like to thank all of the people that donated; Sires on Ice, Rocky Ridge Farm, Northern Rivers Stud and all the other individuals which are too many to name. Thank you to everyone that supported us in this and most of all to the Sale Greyhound Racing Club for getting behind us and helping us as well”.
As for the girl that all of this is for, Amy is steadily getting better. It is hoped that she will be able to recover to get back to the track and enjoy the sport that she loves dearly
“She is getting better, she is at rehab and she is getting stronger every day”.
“She knows about everything that is going on and she knows that she has had best wishes from everywhere. She is really taken aback by it all”.
“We just want to get her back so she can come up and say hello to everyone and so that everyone can see that she is ok and that she is a strong person who will get through this”.
For anyone that would like to show their support, monetary donations are still being accepted via a bank account that is being administered by The Sale Greyhound Racing Club. The account details are as follows:
SALE & DISTRICT GREYHOUND RACING CLUB INC. BENEFIT ACCOUNT
ACCOUNT NO: 150173086
Congratulations to everyone that was involved in organizing the fundraiser and making it a resounding success. On behalf of myself and the team at The Australian Racing Greyhound, I would like to wish Amy all the best for a speedy recover. Hopefully we will see her training plenty of winners in years to come!!