Sister Savvy With Tonya York Dees & Tammy York Day

Tammy York Day and Tonya York Dees.

Tammy York Day and Tonya York Dees.

Dynamic sister-duo Tonya York Dees and Tammy York Day have spent most of their life working in unison, especially when it comes to hosting Derby soirees.

The two have been planning parties to celebrate the first Saturday in May for quite some time, but decided this year to bring a new event in town to honor the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. On May 4, the York sisters will play host to the first-ever Unbridled Eve held in the Archibald Cochran Room of the Galt House Hotel.

“We’ve been doing Derby parties pretty much most of my adult life and this was just kind of the perfect year to do our own,” said York Dees. “We decided to do it and kind of hit the ground running actually about a year ago February.”

In over a year’s time, the York sisters have assembled more than 100 volunteers serving on the event’s planning committee, who have helped land celebrities to mix and mingle with the 800-people guest list.

Among the notables expected to appear are NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon, comedian Ron White, Oscar Nunez and Kate Flannery of hit TV show “The Office,” and serial Derby attendee Bob Guiney of “The Bachelor” fame.

Additionally, Randy Owens from legendary band Alabama will headline the event followed by music from Atlanta’s own DJ Second Nature. Local-favorite, The Louisville Crashers, will open the evening.

“You just get to know people and its networking,” York Dees explained of how she and her sister landed the stars on her guest list. “They come in for Derby and they have a great time. I just think the whole weekend and Derby experience creates a bond with people.”

One way York Dees and York Day have been able to meet the rich and famous is through their annual Derby Prelude parties held in Los Angeles and Nashville months before the Run for the Roses.

“(Celebrities) have a ball at the LA party because we have a lot of Kentucky people there,” York Dees said. “We have all the models and the hats and Mint Juleps, and they say everybody’s so nice.”

Aside from hanging with the notable names attending Unbridled Eve, one of the party’s main incentives is to provide support for main beneficiary Blessings in a Backpack. The York sisters expect to raise enough money to feed 1,250 low-income children for an entire year through the Blessings program, and will also make a small donation to the Les Turner ALS Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

Through ticket sales and the live and silent auction, guests will be able to support all three causes. They’ll also have the chance to win some outstanding prize packages from Masters tickets to a VIP Chicago Cubs experience, seats in the Los Angeles Lakers Owner’s Suite, a private poker game with World Series of Poker champ Phil Hellmuth, a VIP Indy 500 experience and Emmy tickets.

Also on the auction list is an original painting by renowned artist Bill Lopa, who created a portrait of a Derby race horse using vivid color schemes and a “splatter” technique.

As the highly coveted items are auctioned off throughout Unbridled Eve, guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner while lounging in the ballroom furnished and decorated by Millenium Events. Seven specialty bars from key sponsor Southern Wine and Spirits will also be provided throughout the night. Among the brands featured will be Ketel One Vodka, Chopin Vodka, American Harvest, Four Roses Bourbon, Beam Spirits, Constellation Wines and Moet Hennessy. For those looking to have a good time without all the liquor,  Humana Vitality, the event’s other key sponsor, will offer a B12 non-alcoholic shot.

With all that and more in store for the inaugural Unbridled Eve, guests are sure to walk away with even more anticipation and excitement for the fastest two minutes in sports.

“I think it’s going to be probably the most logistically well-executed (party) and kind of the perfect number of people, the perfect crowd, the perfect mix of everything,” York Dees said. “It’s going to be beautiful; it’s going to have great entertainment, incredible drinks, an unbelievable auction … and interesting people – not just the celebs, but all the people who attend from all over the place.”

“And what we want our (party) to project is classy but really fun,” York Day continued. “And, that’s what we know it will be. It’s what we’ve worked so hard to attain.”

Tickets to Unbridled Eve are $500 each and only a few individual and sponsor tables remain. The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Silent auction items are now available for bidding online.

For more information on Unbridled Eve, visit www.unbridledeve.com.

Photos By CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

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