Our Kids Melbourne Cup luncheon the place to be
DECKED-out in lime green satin and white lace with pink gift boxes on every table, this year's French garden party themed Our Kids Melbourne Cup luncheon is off to a galloping start.
For Sharon Dowling, it's the next best thing to being at the Flemington Racecourse.
"I'm an ex-Melbourne girl so I've always made sure I've had Melbourne Cup day off," she said.
"I think it's always such a nice, elegant looking day and it's really nice to see so many ladies make so much of an effort with their appearance and everyone has such a good time."
Funds raised from the annual event will go to Our Kids to purchase paediatric equipment for local hospitals.
Our Kids fundraising coordinator Rebekka Battista said the aim of the luncheon was to raise more than $10,000 for a new special care nursery monitor.
"We need four, we've already purchased two so the money that we raise will go towards helping us purchase a monitor in the special care nursery," she said.
"A third of the babies born go through special care so we really want to provide them with the best quality equipment that they need."
Tickets have been sold out weeks in advance, with 220 local ladies and a dozen brave men dusting off their fascinators and ties.
Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed filly, best dressed mare, best hat and best dressed stallion.
Overall, more than $40,000 worth of goodies is being handed out including black and white pearl necklaces for the best dress and a $3000 18ct white gold aquamarine and diamond ring donated by the Lismore Fairmarket Antique Centre and $17,000 in prizes from Winks Hairdressing Salon.
"It's been going for 13 years and we've been really lucky that we've sold out every year," Ms Battista said.
"I guess what makes this event stand out and be such a success is the generosity of our sponsors."
The luncheon is being held at SCU.