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Hats, Horses and Hope

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 16, 2018 – Lutheran Family and Children’s Services (LFCS) will be hosting their annual Kentucky Derby Party on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the new Jackson Civic Center. Doors will open at 5 pm. Dinner, catered by Smokehouse 61 will be served at 6:30 pm, the Run for the Roses Horse Race will kick-off the night’s entertainment at 7:30 pm, followed by live music from the local favorite band, Silver Fox.

 Guests are encouraged to break out their big, bright hats and bow ties to pony up for a good cause- children, women, and families facing crisis right here in Southeast Missouri. The Kentucky Derby Party is one of only two annual fundraisers held by LFCS, and has become a favorite among local supporters, according to Michelle Ramsey, LFCS Regional Development Officer. She says, “The theme for this year’s event is Hats, Horses, and Hope, a FUNdraiser to benefit LFCS. We really want to put emphasis on the fun that can be had at our event, all while making a huge impact on our clients.”

LFCS of Missouri is a non-profit, statewide social service organization providing counseling, adoption, crisis pregnancy assistance, child care and mentoring services to the community. The Cape Girardeau office has been serving clients here in Southeast Missouri since 1973. With offices in Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield, LFCS touches the lives of more than 46,000 individuals annually. The services provided by LFCS are open to everyone regardless of race, faith, national origin, gender or age. Although Lutheran based, more than 85 percent of families served are non-Lutheran.

This year’s event will have many favorite activities from past events, but the organization has added some new features as well. It will once again be held at the Jackson Civic Center this year, a new caterer, Smokehouse 61 will be providing the food, and guests will enjoy dancing and singing along with the event’s new entertainment- Silver Fox.

“We will have all of the favorite Kentucky Derby fun you would expect- and of course it wouldn’t be a Kentucky Derby without Mint Juleps, and Mimosas. Attendees will be able to purchase the traditional derby drinks with Derby Dollars, which will be exchanged dollar for dollar at the door.”

“No Kentucky Derby would be complete without Kentucky Bourbon Balls. Fortunately, we are blessed with our wonderful friends, Robert and Mary Gentry, owners of The Corner Store, and we will have their famous Kentucky Bourbon Balls available for purchase,” said Ramsey.

Ramsey says the Kentucky Derby Party will once again feature their Run for the Roses Horse Race, which is one of the big attractions of the night, as well as a large part of this fundraiser. The organization sells local businesses a horse, which they get to name. A video production company then produces a horse race, complete with a voice-over calling the race, naming the horses as they run. The race is then shown on a large video screen at the event. Leading up to the race time, attendees of the Kentucky Derby Party can place bets on the horse they hope to win with Derby Dollars.

This year the bets that are wagered will all benefit the Crisis Pregnancy Program offered by LFCS. We get a call almost every day from birth mothers. She may be married or single, a high-school dropout or a college graduate; loved and supported by her family or deserted by those she thought cared. But the constant is that she has found herself in a crisis pregnancy and is concerned and afraid. Sometimes she needs financial help and sometimes she just needs someone to listen to her and give her some words of comfort and advice. We are there for these young women whether they decide to parent the child themselves or make an adoption plan. Our goal is to find the best possible solution to a difficult situation. We try to provide her with the tools she needs to decide what is best for her baby and herself.

The Run for the Roses will take place at 7:30 pm, with prizes, including cash, being awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place from those who placed their bets. “It’s so much fun to watch everyone get into the race, cheering on their chosen horse and seeing their reactions as the horses run,” said Ramsey. “It’s all in fun, of course, but everyone really gets into it,” she added. “But the beautiful part of it all, is that the funds raised from this event stay right here, and help do so much good in our community for those facing some really tough times.

The event organizers strive to provide their guests with a feel for the real southern event from the moment they arrive. Derby-themed backdrops, signs and decorations make for a great atmosphere for our attendees. “We want to show them a good time and we want to give them a unique event,” Ramsey said. “We’re trying to make sure people feel special and feel like, ‘My money’s going to a great cause.’”

Guests have a lot of options for fun with this ever-evolving event. This year they can have professional photos taken by local photographer, Pat Patterson, in their derby best on the red carpet, purchase bottomless beer and specialty drink steins for the night, enter their prize tickets for numerous raffle items, have fun mugging for the camera in the complimentary photo booth with friends, and so much more. There will also be bourbon tastings by Barrel 131, a gourmet dessert table, as well as ice cream from Sugar Chic Creamery available for purchase, with all proceeds going toward the support of LFCS.

No Kentucky Derby Party would be complete without the southern flair displayed by the attendees, and this one is no different. “Of course you see some of our guests in full Derby attire- big hats, the dresses and suits, “said Ramsey. “But others will come in everyday attire too,” she added. According to Ramsey, there will be prizes awarded for the Best Derby Hat, Best Dressed Gal, Best Dressed Guy, and Best Dressed Couple.

“We really want it to be something very special, where you go get a babysitter, you get dressed up and go out for the night, all for a great cause,” Ramsey added. Reserved tables of 8 are $320, and individual reservations are $40. Both are available now at: https://lfcsmo.networkforgood.com/events/6038-hats-horses-and-hope or at the LFCS office, located at 3178 Blattner Drive in Cape Girardeau.

For more information, call (573) 450-4675 or visit www.lfcsmo.org.

 

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