It’s time to dust off those flamboyant hats and remember how to fashion a bow tie. Park Place Outreach’s annual Derby Day Benefit with The Olde Pink House and Woodford Reserve will come dashing back on May 1.
The event, celebrating the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby that day, will raise funds to benefit area runaway and homeless youth served by Park Place Outreach, Inc.
After COVID-19 pandemic regulations and social distancing required organizers to host a re-imagined—albeit successful—event last September, the 2021 party will take place in downtown Savannah with a small-scale, in-person, outdoor party in Reynold’s Square.
Organizers promise the event will certainly feel like Kentucky meets Savannah. Kylie Carrico, who serves in the role as AmeriCorps VISTA with Park Place Outreach — and is a Kentucky native, she likes to add — said this will hopefully be “as close to the Derby experience as you can get.”
Woodford Reserve, which is the official presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, will be on site, and provide a complete bourbon experience, from mint juleps to tastings to a full-service bar. There will be a festive hat and bow tie contest, with food from The Olde Pink House mirroring the experience.
“The Olde Pink House and Woodford Reserve have been amazing partners in this,” Carrico said. “Guests will get to enjoy derby pie and hot brown, prepared by the chefs at one of Savannah’s most well-known eating establishments.”
Attendees will watch the races broadcast live from Churchill Downs on four large screens in the square while enjoying bluegrass music and entertainment from the band Chambers Rose.
The in-person event will be limited to 50 attendees in the square, and follow CDC guidelines, as guests will enjoy their own personal table to enjoy the food, drink and entertainment through the evening.
Carrico said she is excited this year’s benefit will give patrons a choice on how they would like to celebrate.
“Last year, we planned to host the celebration in Reynold’s Square but we had to pivot a bit due to the city and CDC regulations. That’s when we came up with the idea for party boxes, so that guests could contribute and celebrate in their homes safely with friends and family. Now, as things are coming back to normal, the city has approved our in-person, outdoor gathering, but we wanted to offer options for people who still want to celebrate at home.”
Supporters can order one of two kits from Park Place Outreach and pick them up or have them delivered on the day of the event.
The “Party Kit” includes Woodford Reserve branded bar accessories, guest gift bags, a soft-sided cooler, Woodford Reserve Distillers select bourbon, mint julep syrup, and snacks provided by The Olde Pink House.
The “Cocktail Kit” includes Woodford Reserve branded bar accessories and Woodford Reserve ingredients to make Kentucky Derby cocktails to enjoy at home. The Party Kit is $500 and the Cocktail Kit is $150. Either may be picked up at Johnnie Ganem’s Wine and Package Shop on Habersham Street, or delivery can be arranged.
“All the proceeds from this event will benefit Park Place Outreach, Inc., and all the youth in our area that need our help now, more than ever,” says Carrico. “The Olde Pink House and Woodford Reserve have been so generous as hosts, and we couldn’t ask for better partners to reinforce and impart our mission here in this region.”
To find information or to purchase tickets, visit revenue-usa.keela.co/Kentucky-derby-benefit. Guests must be 21-years or older to participate in any of these festive options.