By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
The 15th annual Kentucky Derby Party benefiting the Regional Rehabilitation Center will build on the power of the hat.
At the 2012 party, supporters created sponsored hats and gathered donations before and during the event.
“It was a huge success,” said Nancy McDade, Derby Day committee member, noting that winner Shirley Taylor of Booneville raised more than $1,000. “It blew our top off.”
Already 10 Regional Rehab supporters have signed on to take their hats the extra mile in the sponsored contest.
“There’s always room for more,” said Jennifer Spearman, who is organizing the sponsored hat effort.
Just like at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, hats are part of the elegant, relaxed tradition for the Derby Day party.
“It’s the classiest event in Tupelo,” said Alan Bank, Regional Rehab board chairman.
Favorite foods like smoked pork loins, peanut butter candy, Kay’s chicken salad and decadent desserts are served every year. And it wouldn’t be a Derby party without mint juleps. Guests will get to place their bets with Derby Dollars and the cheer on their favorites during the Run for the Roses. After the payouts, the fun begins as party-goers use the Derby Dollars in spirited bidding with the live auction.
This year the silent auction – which involves real money – will feature art, jewelry, pottery, the official Kentucky Derby poster, gift certificates and some one-of-a-kind items, like a hat signed by Masters winner Bubba Watson.
The money raised through the party goes to help the adults and children who need physical, occupational, speech therapy and early intervention services which Regional Rehab provides without charge.
“That’s what it’s all about,” said Kay Mathews, executive director.
15th Annual Kentucky Derby Party
4 to 9 p.m. May 4 419 and 425 Robins St., Tupelo
Hosted by Tom Evans and Michele and Allen Worthey,
Tickets are $40 person; $300 for table of 8
Call (662) 842-1891
To participate in the sponsored hat contest, contact Jennifer Spearman at (662) 844-3897.