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Fifth-annual Derby Day to benefit children of Greeneville and Greene County
Lay down your bets and break out your fanciest hat; it’s almost time for Ballad Health Foundation’s annual Derby Day on Main.
Derby Day, now in its fifth year, is sponsored by Eastman Credit Union and takes place annually on the day of the Kentucky Derby. The fundraiser provides attendees with the authentic feel of the derby right in Northeast Tennessee.
On Saturday, May 4, at 4:30 p.m., the festivities begin in the ballroom of the General Morgan Inn, located in downtown Greeneville. Women are encouraged to wear traditional elaborate hats, and men seersucker suits and bow ties, just as if they were going to the actual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Heavy hors d’oeuvres, including mini Kentucky Hot Browns, spicy deviled eggs and loaded bread pudding with Kentucky bourbon caramel sauce, as well as one complimentary drink, will be served. Attendees can bet on their favorite horse prior to the race and watch the event broadcast live on a 10-foot screen when the starting gun is fired.
The Tusculum University Jazz Band will provide music, and later in the evening there will be contests for best overall hat, best dressed man and woman and best dressed couple.
“This is a wonderful event, and we’ve been told it’s the next best thing to actually being at the Kentucky Derby,” said Clay Rolston, executive director of the Ballad Health Foundation. “In addition to a being a great evening of racing and fun, Derby Day on Main serves an even greater cause.”
One in four Greene County children is considered food insecure, which means they don’t know where or when they will get their next meal. These children depend on school to obtain meals and snacks, but when school is closed during summer and holiday breaks, the food has to come from somewhere else. This is where Derby Day on Main comes in: the event’s proceeds go toward the Second Harvest Food Bank summer feeding program to purchase food for kids in need. The funds raised will also benefit Greene County residents who participate in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a worldwide literacy program that mails one high-quality book per month to children from birth to school age, regardless of family income.
Last year’s proceeds provided 6,442 meals to 418 children during the summer and provided more than 13,000 pounds of food to families over the holidays.
Tickets to the event are $100 per person. To buy tickets or for more information, call Ballad Health Foundation at 423-302-3131 or visit www.balladhealth.org/foundation.