Second annual Kentucky Derby Fundraiser Party May 2

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Henry County Cancer Services is once again celebrating a storied sports tradition, by raising money to help people who are in the fight of their lives.

Henry County Cancer Services is preparing to host its second annual Kentucky Derby Fundraiser Party May 2 at Willowick Farm in McDonough. The organization strives to provide assistance to local residents who are battling cancer. Special photo

The organization will host its second annual Kentucky Derby Fundraiser Party May 2 at 4:30 p.m., at Willowick Farm in McDonough, 246 Cronan Road. Tickets for the event are $35 each and include a meal and two drink tickets. Participants will be able to enjoy pre-race activities, charity betting, a silent auction, a Best Hat Contest for the ladies and a Best Dressed Contest for the men, said HCCS President Joanie Whitson.

HCCS is a nonprofit organization that has served cancer patients of all ages since 2002. Whitson said events like the Derby party, along with grants, are how the group has been able to carry out its mission each year.

“The cancer rate in Henry County is among the highest in the state,” said Whitson. “Ninety-eight percent of what is raised goes to cancer patients locally. We help patients financially with doctor bills, medicines, mileage to and from treatments, and nutritional supplements.”

The upcoming party will enable those in attendance to watch the Kentucky Derby on big-screen televisions while taking advantage of food and drinks that are typically associated with the event, while raising money for HCCS. Whitson said the group raised more than $3,000 during the charity’s first Derby celebration in 2014.

“We were just trying to come up with something different that nobody else was doing,” said Whitson. “Last year, it was a ball. We had so much fun. I feel like events like these are beneficial to the community because we get positive and heartfelt feedback from the patients and their families.”

Sponsorships are available for those who wish to support HCCS through the Derby party. The cost for a Platinum sponsorship is $1,000, and includes 10 tickets and a reserved premium table, a 4x8 banner inside the barn area and 10 drink tickets. Gold sponsorships are $500 each and include six tickets, a 4x4 banner in the arena area outside and six drink tickets. Silver sponsorships, for $300, include four tickets, a 12 in. x 18 in. sign and four drink tickets. The deadline for sponsorship forms and signs is April 15.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the fundraiser, visit