Tickets available now for Rotary’s Kentucky Derby Gala

Photo courtesy John Duvall
May 6 will welcome back one of Pagosa’s popular spring traditions — Rotary’s Kentucky Derby Gala. Tickets for the party are on sale now, with the event set to have all the makings of the Churchill Downs event, but with Pagosa flair.

By Lisa Scott and John Duvall
Special to The PREVIEW

In a town with lots of great parties and events throughout the year, what many have dubbed “Pagosa’s best party” will be happening on May 6, between 2 and 6 p.m. at the Keyah Grande Lodge. It’s Rotary’s fifth annual Kentucky Derby Gala, and it’s a party not to be missed.

While watching the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby live from Louisville, Ky., you will be able to place your bets and cheer on your favorite horse while sipping mint juleps, munching on gourmet food, listening to live music and admiring some of the most beautiful and outrageous hats and fashion statements seen anywhere. When Pagosa gets gussied up, Pagosa does it right — sometimes tres chic, sometimes tres quirky, but always tres entertaining. Let’s not forget that there will be a men’s and women’s hat contest.

The catered meal will include bourbon-sauced short ribs with a variety of side dishes and there will be fabulous desserts. Bob Hemenger will provide live mix of saxophone jazz and swing music that you will know and want to dance to. Mint juleps will be flowing and betting on the horses will be fast and furious. Of the betting proceeds, 75 percent will be returned to the winners and 25 percent will support the Rotary efforts in the community.

And, as if these weren’t enough reasons that you want to be there, you will be supporting all the good work Rotary does. One hundred percent of the funds we raise is put to work right here in Pagosa Springs. The funds raised at this event will support college and vo-tech scholarships for graduating high school seniors, the Feed Our Children Backpack Program, Pagosa Outreach, sponsoring four Loaves and Fishes events annually and many others.

An “experiences” silent auction will be held and the following items have been secured: a seven-night resort stay at any location; three-day Bahamas cruise for two; Creede theater tickets and one night stay; Durango adventure package; six-hour raft trip for four adults in Mesa Canyon; full-day 4×4 trip for four adults; train tickets; rounds of golf; and more.

Tickets are $40 each and will sell out. You can get tickets from any Rotarian, Chamber of Commerce, EXIT Realty and The Choke Cherry Tree.

The Kentucky Derby is the longest continually held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. It is the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which is followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes races.

Singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with 250 Pagosans and millions worldwide, and then hooting and hollering with everyone else as you watch the race on the big screen TV is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries, the work impacts lives at both the local and international levels. Pagosa club members are dedicated community members who share a passion for both community service and friendship.

Becoming a Rotarian connects you with diverse group of professionals who share your drive to give back. To become a Rotarian, please visit with a current member and visit our website pasgosaspringsrotary.org.

This story was posted on April 13, 2017.