• Kentucky Derby Day Fundraiser for Catholic Charities’ Anti-Hunger, Youth and Senior Programs, Saturday, May 6 at Rocking H. Ranch in Lakeland

    LAKELAND, FL (April 10, 2017) – Why travel all the way to Churchill Downs, Kentucky or stay home to watch the Kentucky Derby on TV when the famous horse race and many of the popular traditions and pageantry associated with it can be enjoyed right in Lakeland, Florida?
    That’s right. Thanks to a Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser sponsored by Catholic Charities of Central Florida, everyone can watch and get involved in the 2017 running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6 in real time on a giant screen at the Rocking H. Ranch at 2200 Ewell Road in Lakeland.
    The festivities begin at 4:00 pm with hat contests for ladies and gentlemen, silent and live auctions and preliminary horse races leading up to the Kentucky Derby at 6:00 pm. Mint juleps will be available all afternoon and a sit down dinner funded in part by 
generous corporate sponsors will follow the main event.
    Kentucky Derby Day will be moderated by popular TV personality Ken Suarez of Channel 13 FOX News in Tampa and well-known Lakeland auctioneer Marty 
Higginbotham will handle the live auctions. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and 
Orlando Channel 13 TV news anchor Ybeth Bruzual will help judge the hat contest.
    Individuals can enjoy all the activities for a donation of $75, while corporate sponsors can become involved on many levels. All proceeds are earmarked for four Catholic Charities benefiting underprivileged people and seniors in Polk County — the Agape Food Bank, the Lakeland Activities Center for Seniors, SmilePak for underprivileged school children and the Family Stability program.
    “The funds raised by Kentucky Derby Day are vital to sustain our programs which serve children and adults regardless of their religious beliefs,” said Renee Baker, special events coordinator of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, in appealing to 
individuals and members of the business community to “lend a helping hand.”
    In addition to attending the event or signing up as a official sponsor, Baker said people also can get involved by donating auction items, making a cash donation or 
serving as a volunteer. “There are many ways to help this worthy cause,” she said.
    Levels of corporate sponsorship are: $15,000 Winner’s Circle, includes a 
table for 10 guests, recognition on the Kentucky Derby Day Website, a full page ad in the program and other perks; $10,000 Triple Crown, includes priority seating for eight guests, a half page ad in the program and other recognition; $5,000 Best in Show, 
includes preferred seating for eight and special recognition; $1,000 Thoroughbreds, 
includes guaranteed seating for eight and special recognition, and $500 Patron, includes two tickets and mention in the program.
    For additional information on Kentucky Derby Day, including details on benefits offered to corporate sponsors and profiles on the Catholic Charities programs that will directly benefit from this fundraiser, call Renee Baker at 407-451-5315 or send her an 
e-mail at rbaker@cflcc.org. Information on tickets, volunteer opportunities and corporate sponsorships is available on the Catholic Charities website at www.cflcc.org/derby.