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HomeBusiness & CommunityClubs Help Clubs in Kentucky Derby Benefit, May 4

Clubs Help Clubs in Kentucky Derby Benefit, May 4

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The Kentucky Derby, a signature horse race event anticipated annually throughout the nation, celebrates a milestone this May as the Run for the Roses rounds the track for the 150th time.

On May 4, another Derby tradition continues in Hernando County as the second annual Kentucky Derby Party fundraiser happens at the Weeki Wachee Area Club. The Weeki Wachee Area Club Kentucky Derby Party, co-hosted with The Brooksville Woman’s Club, will be celebrated at The Weeki Wachee Area Club, 7442 Shoal Line Blvd., on Saturday, May 4.

This clubhouse is owned and operated by a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation. Its members are all volunteers who plan and coordinate events to benefit the community and the club. The club relies solely on donations and proceeds from planned events. The GWFC Historic Brooksville Woman’s Club, a member of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs, has served the Hernando County community since 1910–carrying on the tradition and carrying out the mission of “Unity in Diversity,” focusing on Education, Conservation, Home Life, Arts and Public Affairs in its many events and activities. Its meetings, events, and many community happenings have been conducted in a building that has become a Hernando landmark.

“Weeki Wachee Area Club is having a Kentucky Derby Day Party,” announced Maryann Johnson, president of the Weeki Wachee Area Club. “Come grab those hats, ladies and gentlemen, put on that bow tie, and get ready to place your bets for the 150th Run for the Roses.”

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Johnson promises a joyous, exciting festivity centered around the occasion of the most fantastic race of them all. “Enjoy some old Southern hospitality, great prizes, and plenty of food and beverages while you watch the fastest, exciting 2 minutes go by live streamed,” she said.

The party starts at 5 p.m. with mint juleps and a buffet, with the race livestreamed at 6:45 p.m.
“This really is the greatest 2 minutes in sports,” said Johnson.

Prizes will be given for Best Hat and Best Dressed at this party. Faux betting will take place, with prizes awarded for win, place, and show. “Our volunteers helped with this Brooksville Woman’s Club event last year to raise funds for their kitchen renovations,” said Johnson. “This year, we are holding this fundraising event for our renovation needs, and some Brooksville Woman’s Club members are helping us. Clubs helping clubs makes events like this special.”

DeeVon Quirolo, GFWC Historic Brooksville Woman’s Club, 2nd VP Fundraising, agrees. “We had so much fun last year, and Maryann and her friends at the Weeki Wachee Area Club were such a great help to us,” she said. “We were partners last year and again in 2024.”

This year’s celebration, promises Quirolo, will see the return of many of the beloved party staples that make the Kentucky Derby Party such a popular event. “Tracy Ramirez will be back with her amazing Mint Juleps. We’ll have more fun raffles, and (award-winning Woman’s Club artist) Terry Michaud has offered to sell fund-raiser Derby hats for the party again,” she said.

Quirolo feels that the party’s new setting, at the Weeki Wachee Area Club, will expand the appeal of this well-attended celebration. “This year’s Hernando Beach venue is sure to bring in a great audience,” she said.

Limited Weeki Wachee Area Club Kentucky Derby Party tickets are available at $25 per person. A bus/name sponsor costs $100. “If you are a business owner and would like to help and have your company logo on our advertisements as well as the event ticket board, plus receive two free tickets for your company or staff, you can do so for a $100 sponsorship,” said Johnson, “For details-email [email protected].”

Tickets to the Weeki Wachee Area Club Kentucky Derby Party are $25 each at the door or in advance at Eventbrite; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weeki-wachee-area-club-kentucky-derby-party-tickets-875375209817 to buy tickets. All proceeds are tax deductible and will benefit this 50-year-old community building’s bathroom renovation fund. Weeki Wachee Area Club is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. For more information, contact us via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gfwchistoricbrooksvillewomansclub or email at [email protected].

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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