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5th Annual Kentucky Derby Celebration

Publication Date : 05/15/2019 19:32:28

Author : Mandy Burris

  • Fundraiser
  • Council for Developmental Disabilities of Sandusky County
  • Board of DD
  • Kentucky Derby

Every jockey and horse work super hard to make it to the three races that make up the Triple Crown, which are the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. If a horse wins all three races they are crowned the Triple Crown Winner. A Triple Crown winner is really rare. There have only been thirteen Triple Crown winners in the race’s history. Whereas the other two races in the Triple Crown are run at different places, the Kentucky Derby is always run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. There are over 100,000 people that attend the Kentucky Derby every year, and they all dress to the nines, wear fancy hats, and drink the traditional Derby drink, the Mint Julip.  Before the race is run the crowd sings “My Old Kentucky Home”, which is always led by a choir or individual.

Mint Julips

This year marked the 145th annual Kentucky Derby, and the Council for Developmental Disabilities of Sandusky County (CDDSC) held their 5th Annual Kentucky Derby Celebration. This celebration is a fundraiser for the CDDSC and the monies raised ​pays for programs, equipment, scholarships and more for the School of Hope and the adults and families in this community that benefit from their services. This one fundraiser makes more for the CDDSC than any of their previous endeavors put together, which is why this is the only fundraising effort they have today. The proceeds from this fundraiser help the CDDSC serve nearly six hundred individuals and their families.

fancy hats    Fancy Hat

The evening is full of food, fun, games and fellowship all for the benefit of those individuals and families that the CDDSC serve. The evening’s events included Lucky Lady Cards, Jockey’s Joker, Paddock Platters, Pick Your Pony Live Auction & Race, Churchill Chances, Black Jack and Sponsored Gift Baskets Silent Auction. There were also Carriage Rides by Tim Myers and a photo booth by the Toledo Photo Guy.

high roller

How does the CDDSC make money off of this event? Well, it costs to attend number one, so even if someone didn’t participate in any other event during the evening they make money off of the ticket costs. Number two every event throughout the evening cost, except the carriage rides and the photo booth. All of the events from Black Jack to tickets for the silent auction cost money and a good portion of each event went back to the CDDSC.

black jack    Derby Games 1

The Lucky Lady Cards was a 50/50 event that ran throughout the evening and each winner was rewarded half of what was paid into the pot. The Jockey’s Joker had prizes for whoever chose the joker out of the deck of cards. Paddock Platters involved three levels of play all of which involved rubber ducky ponies with numbers on them. The numbers coincided with a horse running the derby (so it was totally luck of the draw) and at the end of the race whoever placed in the race (first, second or third place) received a payout. Churchill Chances involved choosing which horse you thought would place at the end of the race. If the horse you chose placed then you received a payout.

Silent Auction

The gift baskets were donated and or sponsored by individuals, groups, and companies. You put half of your ticket into the container corresponding to the basket/item you wished to win and at the end of the night one winner was drawn randomly out of the container. Attendees walked away with Ohio State memorabilia and décor, a KitchenAid mixer, an air fryer, coffee, wine, chocolate, Girl Scout Cookies and much, much more!

auciton    Riders

The most fun and interesting event of the evening (besides the Derby itself), however, was the Pick Your Pony Live Auction & Race. This event involved auctioning off fancily decorated stick ponies to the highest bidder. Some bidders were individuals, some were businesses and some were individuals at an entire table pooling their monies for bidding. The highest price for a horse was $325.00 that night. Each horse had to have a rider, so the winning bidder had to choose who would ride for them. The race took place in the center of the room on a checkerboard area. The rider could only move if the dice that were rolled corresponded to their position on the board. It was totally left up to chance on who won. I had the opportunity to “ride” a horse in the second race and we didn’t get very far. The same bidder won both races though, and the payout for each race was around $500.

auction horse    

During the evening everyone really seemed to enjoy the themed drinks one of which was the mint julep (of course). The crowd also really enjoyed the food which was catered in by Ole Zim’s Catering. They had everything from bite-size desserts to sliders to veggies and dip. I know a couple of men who raved about those sliders.


photo booth 1    photo booth 2

The race was only two minutes long, but it was intense. When the winner crossed the finish line there were cheers and cow bells rung throughout the room. Remember that whoever chose the correct winners won some kind of payout, so these people were invested in the outcome. Then something happened that was very unusual in the derby. There was an objection from the second place winner. The winning horse (#7 Maximum Security) had crossed lanes in a turn endangering other horses and jockeys, which is an illegal move. After a half-hour investigation it was ruled that #7 did cross over and was disqualified making him the only Kentucky Derby Winner to ever have been disqualified from the race. The new winner was #20 Country House making the original third place winner (#13 Code of Honor) second place.

During the investigation portion of the race the MC for the evening (former radio personality Mary Beth Pearson) and the staff picked the silent auction winners, and the evening broke up after the winners were announced and the prizes were awarded. This was one evening well spent from my point of view, it was fun and overall the night helped others in my community.

Keep up with what’s happening in Sandusky County throughout the year by checking out the calendar on the Sandusky County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website (

John and Bee BW

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