The elegant but relaxed event is built around the most exciting two minutes in sports, but offers hours of grown-up fun. The tradition continues on May 7 at the Robins Street homes of Tom Evans and Michele and Allen Worthey.
“We try to make the event as close to what they do in Louisville as we can,” said Regional Rehab board president Alan Banks. “We keep adding things every year.”
This year, the first 50 couples will get their pictures taken for free on the red carpet courtesy of the Southern Light Collaborative camera club. And, of course, in fine Derby form, there will be a hat contest.
Tickets – $40 for individuals or $300 for a table of eight – come with $500 Derby Dollars, which is play money used to place wagers on the race. After the race, participants can use their winnings in a live auction.
The Derby Party’s silent auction, where partygoers use real money, features artwork, pottery, jewelry, gift certificates, furniture and a week’s stay at a Destin, Fla., condo. New this year, the organizers are adding a draw down, with tickets available at the event.
Favorite Derby party foods such as smoked pork loins, Kay’s chicken salad and decadent desserts will be back by popular demand. Even though founders Red and Nita Raspberry have passed away, their family is continuing the tradition of making Nita’s candy, which has become a Derby Day staple.
“We’re maintaining tradition,” said Kay Mathews, executive director of Regional Rehab.
Another Derby Day staple, Tim Prewitt and friends, will be back to provide musical entertainment.
All the fun helps maintain a 50-year tradition of the rehab center, which provides physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as audiology services without charge to children and adults. Last year’s event raised $15,000 for the center.