Junior Service League saddles up for 2016 Run for the Roses

The West Orange Junior Service League’s event allows the community to watch the Derby live while raising money for local charities.

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  • | 11:57 a.m. May 7, 2016
  • Southwest Orange
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WINDERMERE  Ladies, don your hats, and gentlemen, whip out your best seersucker suits: The West Orange Junior Service League is set to host its seventh annual Run for the Roses event on Saturday, May 7.

The Kentucky Derby-themed party, held at The Pines of Windermere, will allow the West Orange community to gather for a night of casino games and drinks while watching the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby. 

“Guests are encouraged to dress the part of the Kentucky Derby, which means some very elaborate hats,” said Dawn Gilmore, a league member. “We’ve seen elegant and sophisticated to over-the-top hand-crafted creations with giant feathers, flowers and even a horse or two.”

The hat contest has participants craft headpieces of their wildest dreams, and men are encouraged to participate in dressing the part, as well. Gilmore said men have showed up in the past dressed as jockeys or in suits with roses all over them. At the end of the night, the best-dressed man and the best-dressed woman also will be decided.

Guests also can enjoy the silent auction items, food from Table Top Catering, a full bar with themed specialty drinks, raffles and casino games. To get guests into the Derby spirit, the league is also offering video horse races.

Tickets to the event are $60, and the deadline to register is Friday, May 6. Each ticket includes dinner, two drink tickets, dancing, Derby fun and access to the casino-style gaming. All proceeds will go back into local West Orange charities that the league supports. Although the event had record-breaking attendance last year, Gilmore said they are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time.

“Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 from this one event (because) we have so many local charities who have reached out to us asking for assistance,” Gilmore said. “Last year we gave out close to $50,000 to local charities in the West Orange community.”


Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].