Event organizers for the recent tribute evening for Ron and Keith Waples at Mohawk Racetrack have announced the results of the fundraising effort for Paula and Paige Austin, daughters of the trainer Mark Austin, who passed away earlier this year.
"We're pleased to report that over $103,000 has been pledged to date. We can't thank everyone enough for their generosity,” said Jack Darling the co-ordinator of the event.
Julie Austin issued the following from her family: "Words cannot begin to adequately convey how incredibly grateful we are for the outpouring of support we received at the recent Waples Tribute Night at Mohawk Racetrack.
"We want every person who contributed to the event in any way – from donations to the silent and online auctions, to bidding on auction items, purchasing tickets, attending the event – to know how much we appreciate your generosity.
"It is imperative that we acknowledge several people who were responsible for the event's success. To our long time friend Jack Darling, who spearheaded the effort and worked tirelessly for many weeks, along with Ian Fleming and Bill O'Donnell. Cathy Boughton, Kelly Spencer and Heather MacKay played essential roles before, during and after the Tribute. Jamie Martin and everyone at WEG who hosted and provided a wonderful buffet dinner and venue, and Paul Salvalaggio and his team at WEG's TV department who produced a wonderful and moving video tribute.
"Last, and certainly not least, to Ron and Keith Waples, living legends in our sport, who shared their tribute evening with our family. You have our utmost admiration.
"We want every single one of you to know how moved we were by everything that was done for us. So many people were so supportive and it means the world to us. Harness racing truly is a big family who comes together when needed. Mark would have been very proud of his horsemen family."
With heartfelt thanks,
Julie, Paige and Paula Austin