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WEG drivers play Santa

December 19, 2006

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With highly-respected Canadian sports journalist Dave Perkins at their side, six elite members of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Standardbred drivers’ colony donated $15,027.60 to the Jim Proudfoot Corner of the Toronto Star’s Santa Claus Fund Monday evening at Woodbine.

“These guys are terrific athletes--some of the best drivers you’ll find anywhere--and their continued support to the Jim Proudfoot Corner has just been unbelievable,” Perkins told Woodbine Entertainment’s Greg Blanchard, during an interview broadcast live, coast to coast in Canada, on The Score Television Network.

Two days removed from winning a Sovereign Award for Canada’s Outstanding Thoroughbred racing-related Newspaper Story of the Year, Perkins was at Woodbine representing Jim Proudfoot, both his mentor and an unwavering supporter of Canadian horseracing who passed away in the spring of 2001.

For each Tuesday ranging from Nov. 21 to Nov. 28, some of the drivers donated their five percent drivers’ commissions, and others made personal donations, but each of them had only one thing in mind: help less fortunate children at Christmas.

For over 100 years now, the fund has annually provided 45,000 gift boxes for needy children at Christmas. With The Star covering all administration costs, every cent donated is ensured to get to the kids, helping to provide sweaters, socks, mitts, hats, books, toys and candy for those in youngsters in need.

“The bottom line is that we raised some money for the kids and that is all that really matters, especially this time of year,” said Zeron, the resident of Oakville, Ont. whom, due to his tenacity in the racebike over the past handful of Tuesdays, personally raised more than $7,000 for the cause.

Not to be overshadowed by Zeron, top-notch pilots Chris Christoforou, Luc Ouellette, Jody Jamieson, Mark MacDonald and Phil Hudon (along with the Woodbine Entertainment Group) also stepped up and came out to support the Star’s Santa Claus fund, one which has been picking up much momentum at the Toronto oval over the past few Christmas seasons.

“It’s always good to give back,” said Christoforou, who was off his Monday evening mounts due to sickness. “The communities do so much for us, and, believe me, we recognize that. Most of the time (drivers) are going full out, racing day and night, so being able to stop and give something back every once and a while is something we really enjoy doing.” (WEG)
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