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Trumpet sounds Derby Party

Race day festivities are next Saturday at Elks on Riverside

POSTED: April 25, 2013 1:00 a.m.

When the trumpet sounds to start the Kentucky Derby race May 4, the Gainesville Rotary Club will kick off its own fundraising festivities with a Derby Party at the Elks Club on Riverside.

The Derby Party is set for 4-8 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Elks Club, 1547 Riverside Drive, in Gainesville. Cost is $50 per person.

“Events are always a good time, and when it’s for a good cause, it doubles the pleasure,” said Jeanne Hanlin, a 24-year Rotarian.

Part of the pleasures slated for the Derby Party are silent and live auctions, a three-division hat contest and a Derby Race Raffle. The hat contest is divided into three categories: Dapper Dan for best man’s hat, Church Hill Downs for best woman’s hat and Colt and Filly for best couple.

“We are encouraging people to dress in their Derby best,” Rotarian Letrell Simpson said. “We encourage them to wear hats and have a good time.”

For the raffle, participants may purchase tickets linked to a race horse. At the race’s conclusion, participants with a ticket linked to the winning horse will win the raffle.

Proceeds from the raffle, auctions and the $50 entry fee will go to community service projects funded by the Gainesville Rotary Club. Service projects include Alliance for Literacy, the local food bank, Our Neighbor Inc., Boys and Girls Club and WomenSource to name a few.

Rotary president and Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver came up with the idea for the party.

“She thought it would be a great opportunity to have fun and raise funds for agencies in Gainesville and Hall County,” Simpson said.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Chris Slate at 404-925-7324 or


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