Gallery: Race is on to have the most fun

PEOPLE gathered across the south-west yesterday afternoon for the race that stops a nation.

At the Star of the West Hotel in Port Fairy, the 12th annual Heather Holcombe Foundation fund-raiser took place, organised by committee member and friend Sue O’Keefe along with Heather’s son and daughter.

The fund-raising initiative began after Mrs Holcombe passed away aged 40 from cancer. 

Melbourne Cup was her favourite day of the year.

About 110 people attended the event, raising money for the palliative care unit at the Port Fairy hospital.

“We’ve donated $4000 to the Jane McGrath Foundation, $13,000 to Peter’s Project and $1500 to Make a Wish Milly from Yambuk in the past and we now have plans to donate to the reconstructive surgery machine in Warrnambool,” Ms O’Keefe said. 

“It’s a great day and everyone here was a good friend or a relation of Heather, she was a great community member and quite the social butterfly.”

While the women were enjoying some bubbly and fund-raising, schools across the district joined in the festivities with a variety of activities. 

St Joseph’s Primary School did its best to cover race day with racing attire, sweeps, Monopoly money games, imaginary betting competitions, catwalks and picnics. 

Pupils dressed up in outfits including suits, jockey silks, horse masks, dresses and even just a classy fascinator.

“It’s a fun day because we don’t have to wear our school uniforms and we get to dress up,” pupil Becky Suggett said. 

But it’s not all about the fun of Melbourne Cup. “We do a sweep, but we also learn about the odds and lengths,” pupil Harry Price said. 

Teacher Jim Guinan said pupils were able to watch the race in class on smart boards. “We also teach students about the history and give the grade six students an opportunity to experience a shared picnic lunch,” he said.

Elaine Oppenhiem (left), Suesan Gliddon, and Rosena Guiney soak up the Cup atmosphere at The Royal Hotel in Warrnambool.

Elaine Oppenhiem (left), Suesan Gliddon, and Rosena Guiney soak up the Cup atmosphere at The Royal Hotel in Warrnambool.

Ella Baudinette with three of the favourites at the Royal Hotel.

Ella Baudinette with three of the favourites at the Royal Hotel.

Marilyn Richmond won in the sweep at the Royal Hotel in Warrnambool.

Marilyn Richmond won in the sweep at the Royal Hotel in Warrnambool.

Josie Callaghan best hat, and Glenda Roache, "lady of the day", at the Royal Hotel.

Josie Callaghan best hat, and Glenda Roache, "lady of the day", at the Royal Hotel.

Josie Callaghan, who won hat of the day at the Royal Hotel and won in the sweep.

Josie Callaghan, who won hat of the day at the Royal Hotel and won in the sweep.

 Elaine Oppenheim won "best fascinator" at the Royal Hotel.

Elaine Oppenheim won "best fascinator" at the Royal Hotel.

Lucy Finnerty and Hannah Neil at St Colman's Primary School dress ups day.

Lucy Finnerty and Hannah Neil at St Colman's Primary School dress ups day.

Matthew Lenssen at St Colman's Primary School in his cup day dress ups.

Matthew Lenssen at St Colman's Primary School in his cup day dress ups.

Sue O'Keefe (left) and Dorothy Church at the Melbourne cup fund-raiser at the Port Fairy Star of the West Hotel, which raised money for the town's hospital.

Sue O'Keefe (left) and Dorothy Church at the Melbourne cup fund-raiser at the Port Fairy Star of the West Hotel, which raised money for the town's hospital.

Sandra Winnen, Michelle Martin from Port Fairy and Mandy Sinnott from Yambuk and Ros Turner from Warrnambool at the Port Fairy Hospital fund-raiser.

Sandra Winnen, Michelle Martin from Port Fairy and Mandy Sinnott from Yambuk and Ros Turner from Warrnambool at the Port Fairy Hospital fund-raiser.

Shane Morris holds the cup he won at the Port Fairy Senior Citizen Cup Eve Sweep.

Shane Morris holds the cup he won at the Port Fairy Senior Citizen Cup Eve Sweep.

Jodi Fry, Leonie Boyd, Karen Stewart. Helen Finnegan and Rachel McAllister.

Jodi Fry, Leonie Boyd, Karen Stewart. Helen Finnegan and Rachel McAllister.

Melbourne Cup Luncheon fund raiser for Port Fairy Hospital held at Port Fairy Star of the West Hotel.

Melbourne Cup Luncheon fund raiser for Port Fairy Hospital held at Port Fairy Star of the West Hotel.

Sue Anderton with daughter Sara, four, from Warrnambool.

Sue Anderton with daughter Sara, four, from Warrnambool.

Surfside campers (front left to right) Kane Law, eight, Harrison King, eight, Sophie King, seven, Danielle Law, five, and (back left to right) Steven King, Jennie King, Jason Law and Andrea Law, all from Ivanhoe, gather around to watch the Melbourne Cup, on a long weekend.

Surfside campers (front left to right) Kane Law, eight, Harrison King, eight, Sophie King, seven, Danielle Law, five, and (back left to right) Steven King, Jennie King, Jason Law and Andrea Law, all from Ivanhoe, gather around to watch the Melbourne Cup, on a long weekend.

Krystal McNair and Lauren Taylor, both of Warrnambool, stop at Lehy's Electricals to watch the running of the Melbourne Cup on the various screens.

Krystal McNair and Lauren Taylor, both of Warrnambool, stop at Lehy's Electricals to watch the running of the Melbourne Cup on the various screens.

Krystal McNair, of Warrnambool, appears nervous as she watches the running of the Melbourne Cup at Lehy's Electricals.

Krystal McNair, of Warrnambool, appears nervous as she watches the running of the Melbourne Cup at Lehy's Electricals.

A small group of people gather at Lehy's Electricals to watch the running of the Melbourne Cup on the various screens.

A small group of people gather at Lehy's Electricals to watch the running of the Melbourne Cup on the various screens.

A small group of people gather at Lehy's Electricals to watch the running of the Melbourne Cup on the various screens.

A small group of people gather at Lehy's Electricals to watch the running of the Melbourne Cup on the various screens.

 Lyndoch Making a Move participant Maxine Hooper and physiotherapist Sarah Murray, both of Warrnambool, celebrate winning their Melbourne Cup sweeps, after watching the race at Lehy's Electricals.

Lyndoch Making a Move participant Maxine Hooper and physiotherapist Sarah Murray, both of Warrnambool, celebrate winning their Melbourne Cup sweeps, after watching the race at Lehy's Electricals.

St Joseph's Primary School students (left to right) Megan Hamilton, 11, Casey Anderson, 12, Tayla Carlin, 12, Rosalie Cullum, 11, Aislinn Cowan, 12, and Ella Thornton, 11, all dressed up for the schools Melbourne Cup celebrations.

St Joseph's Primary School students (left to right) Megan Hamilton, 11, Casey Anderson, 12, Tayla Carlin, 12, Rosalie Cullum, 11, Aislinn Cowan, 12, and Ella Thornton, 11, all dressed up for the schools Melbourne Cup celebrations.

Becky Suggett, 12, Harry Price, 12, Erin McKenna, 11, front Maggie Rayner, 10, and Briana Surkitt, 12, at St Joseph's Primary School.

Becky Suggett, 12, Harry Price, 12, Erin McKenna, 11, front Maggie Rayner, 10, and Briana Surkitt, 12, at St Joseph's Primary School.

Majayla Snell, six, Lillie taylor, six, and Eva Joseph, six, take part in St Joseph's Primary School's Melbourne Cup Fashion Parade.

Majayla Snell, six, Lillie taylor, six, and Eva Joseph, six, take part in St Joseph's Primary School's Melbourne Cup Fashion Parade.

Ben Winnell, six.

Ben Winnell, six.

Moses Stromval-O'Brien, six.

Moses Stromval-O'Brien, six.

Cody Bartlett, six.

Cody Bartlett, six.

Harry Jenkins, six.

Harry Jenkins, six.

Ivis Nereekal, eight, and Emma Hovey, eight.

Ivis Nereekal, eight, and Emma Hovey, eight.

Briea McLachlan, six.

Briea McLachlan, six.

Indi Baulch, six, Amarlie Conheady, six, and Leah Bell, seven.

Indi Baulch, six, Amarlie Conheady, six, and Leah Bell, seven.