September 30, 2019
Written by Rachel Bailey
Arcare were lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to host the 17th Annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour at one of their 5-star aged care residences in Victoria. After receiving a record-breaking number of applications, Victoria Racing Club selected Arcare Caulfield to host the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday 24th September between 2pm to 4pm.
The excited, Arcare Caulfield community spent months preparing for the event, with clients creating hats and fascinators in their art classes, and team members worked tirelessly to deliver 5-star entertainment, activities, decorations and atmosphere on the day.
Arcare Caulfield residence manager, Erin Jones said, “The Arcare Caulfield community are extremely excited and honoured to host the iconic Lexus Melbourne Cup and be a part of the 2019 tour. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make this event memorable, for all of the well-deserving members of the Arcare community.”
All Victorian Arcare residences were invited to travel to Caulfield to experience the magic of the Melbourne Cup for the afternoon. Clients from residences such as Arcare Brighton, Malvern East, Surrey Hills and Templestowe made the journey via their Arcare buses, bringing as many clients and team members as they could.
Clients, friends, family members and team members from all Arcare communities were invited to come along and dress for the races.
Many were taken shocked to see how the Caulfield team had transformed the courtyard for the event. A life-size horse sat prominently at the courtyard entrance to greet clients and guests as the entered the event. “What a party?” One client exclaimed as he walked into the courtyard, seeing all the decorations and the crowd for the first time. Others felt inclined to go up and pat and cuddle the horse, posing for photos with it. “It looks so real!” Another client exclaimed.
The Arcare Caulfield courtyard was a sea of colour, as people came from everywhere to get a glimpse of the $250,000 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Since 2003, the 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy has travelled around various countries engaging with community groups, councils, aged-care residences, schools, hospitals and other racing events. Since the Tour began, the Melbourne Cup has travelled over 600,000 kilometres and has visited over 450 destinations.
2019 marks 100 years of the iconic three-handled ‘Loving’s Cup’ design being used for the Melbourne Cup. The three-handle Cup design symbolises the relationship between the winning jockey, trainer and owner.
The special anniversary of the Melbourne Cup design, has made the Cup’s presence at Arcare Caulfield all that more special for the clients who attended, as the Melbourne Cup signifies so many great memories, history and tradition.
“For many in our communities, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be up close and personal with the Lexus Melbourne Cup. The Melbourne Cup holds a special place in the hearts of many Victorians, and I’m so happy that Arcare and the VRC are able to bring the experience and the magic to the Melbourne Cup to our clients; many of which wouldn’t be able to go the races themselves.” Residence manager, Erin commented.
The event commenced with an introduction speech from Victoria Racing Club’s Racing Engagements and Cup Tour Manager, Joe McGrath. McGrath spoke about the scope of the 2019 Tour and the history of the Cup and the Melbourne Cup races, before unveiling the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup to the overflowing crowd.
Many people in the crowd gasped, cheered and adored the Cup as it was unveiled, and sat prominently in the middle of the courtyard, shining in the afternoon sun.
Special guests Georgia Connolly and 1992 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Greg Hall were also in attendance, and gave brief speeches about their involvement in the VRC and ‘the race that stops the nation’. Several clients asked questions to the two special guests after their speeches and asked to pose for photos.
When the formalities of the event began winding down, that’s when the party truly began. Lively jazz music echoed throughout the courtyard, from the fabulous duo band, Mark and Steph. An array of drinks and delicious food was served by team members, and all the food for the event was prepared onsite.
Clients from various residences mingled and starting becoming acquainted with each other and the wider Arcare community.
Arcare Caulfield lifestyle coordinator, Gail Perry soon announced that there would be a Fashions on the Courtyard competition commencing on the grass, encouraging clients to put their names down. Fashions on the Field has been one of the longest-standing and most loved events at the Spring Carnival. Starting in 1962, the event is almost as iconic as the race itself.
Fashionista, Georgia Connolly and residence manager, Erin Jones were selected as the judges for the event. Volunteers, Rita and Ronnie Blint were chosen as the event’s announcers, as they are known for their comical banter within the Caulfield community.
Clients took their seats, as they patiently waited for their names to be called. Over 20 clients competed in the competition, with many proudly strutting their stuff on the catwalk like complete professionals. Surprisingly many of the normally reserved men, took to the stage, and in many cases, stole the spotlight with their cheeky personalities and dapper outfits being on full display.
High profile fashionista and former Fashions on the Field judge, Lillian Frank was amongst the group, who competed in Arcare Caulfield’s competition. Lillian Frank wore a stunning feather and sequins hat, which she made herself. Everyone believed that Frank was a clear winner in the ‘Best Hat’ category, and the judges ultimately agreed, presenting Lillian with the certificate. Frank beamed and laughed as she accepted the award.
Everyone looked amazing and the competition was tough to judge, both of the judges said they struggled to rate the outfits as ‘they were all so good’. Therefore, instead of picking just one winner, everyone went home with a title and a prize. ‘Best hair’, ‘Best shoes’ and ‘Most fabulous colour’ awards were handed out to the clients, as well as more many creative titles. Many were thrilled to be honoured in such a way.
The 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup was on display for the entirety of the afternoon at Arcare Caulfield. Joe McGrath invited everyone to have the honour of holding the iconic 2019 Cup and pose for a photo. Photos were taken in front of a brightly coloured flower wall. The flower wall was talking point amongst the clients, as many commented ow beautiful the structure was and how they had never seen anything like it before.
Former Clerk of the Course, horse trainer and jockey, and now current Arcare Surrey Hills client, Reg Kent was smiling from ear to ear, as he posed for photos with the 2019 Melbourne Cup and winning jockey, Greg Hall. Greg Hall recognised Reg’s name, saying “You must have been one of riders who helped lead my father in after his win at the Melbourne Cup?” Reg’s facial expression, a mixture of surprise, pride and joy, said it all and confirmed Greg’s comments. Over the course of Reg’s long career in racing, he led 10 Melbourne Cup winning jockeys around the track; something that he and his family are incredibly proud of, to this day.
It was a truly magical afternoon; cherished memories were created for everyone involved and the wider Arcare community united, as they came together to celebrate ‘the race that stops the nation’.
Arcare would like to thank Victoria Racing Club for selecting their aged care residence as a 2019 tour destination.
Arcare would like to thank volunteers Rita and Ronnie Blint for generously donating their time and for their ongoing commitment to the Arcare Caulfield community.
A special thanks goes to lifestyle coordinator, Gail Perry, who worked tirelessly to create this amazing event. Gail spent several weekends and late nights working on decorations, catering ideas and finding suppliers, and all her hard-work paid off. Thank-you Gail for your continuous hard-work and commitment to the clients at Arcare Caulfield; we truly appreciate everything you do.
Rachel Bailey is the Community Marketing Officer for Victoria. Rachel has been with Arcare since February 2018, when she started in the role of Relationship Coordinator. Rachel has previously worked in a wide range of roles that equipped her for her responsibilities as Arcare's Community Marketing Officer for Victoria. Rachel has previously held marketing roles and administration roles in a range of industries, earning a range of valuable communications skills that she brings to her role today. Rachel attended Lyndhurst Secondary College in Cranbourne, Victoria, graduating with her Victorian Certificate of Education in 2014. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Communication and Media Studies & Public Relations in 2017. Rachel is passionate about her work and believes that strong communication strategies are the key to creating a closer connection between residents in aged care communities and the wider community. Rachel is a firm believer in regular communications to help friends and family keep updated on the lives of their loved ones who are enjoying life in Arcare residences.