GRANTS PASS — On your marks, get set — EAT!
Horse racing fans can support the sport by securing a seat at a charity dinner and benefit auction called "Dinner for the Downs," set for June 6 at R-Haus restaurant, 2140 Rogue River Highway, Grants Pass.
Tickets are limited. Only 200 will be sold for $50 each.
Earlier this year, Josephine County commissioners decided the county could no longer subsidize the more than 50-year-old horse racing tradition at Grants Pass Downs.
The Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association has taken over operations of the event, which will be held on Saturdays, Sundays and the Fourth of July, from June 15 to July 7.
Organizers need financial support from the community to pay for the nine-day race meet. SOHRA and nonprofit Friends of the Josephine County Fairgrounds are co-hosting the June 6 fundraiser and will split the proceeds.
The dinner menu includes tri-tip steak and barbecue chicken, side dishes, desserts and a full no-host bar. The auction will be conducted by Wayne Liska of Liska & Associates Auctioneers.
Liska, an Oregon Auctioneers Association champion with more than 35 years experience, has offered his services to SOHRA for free.
"I support the races," Liska said, "They're a big community thing and I'm a community thing. It's a good match. Everybody's got to pull together to make this happen."
Among the items up for bid is a weeklong trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, spa treatments, gym memberships, art and jewelry.
To buy a ticket or for more information, call 541-401-3961 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.