By ASHLEY ANDERSON
“Get a table â€“ Try not to end up under it.â€ The provocative slogan is just one of many featured in the ad campaign for the second annual Unbridled Eve Gala, which promises an evening of A-list celebrities, first-class musical performances and a multitude of features all benefiting a great cause.
Held Friday, May 3, inside the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House Hotel, Unbridled Eve is a pre-Derby celebration hosted by sisters Tonya York Dees and Tammy York Day. â€œ(Weâ€™ve taken) the great planning committee and sponsors and celebrities and Derby investors that we have involved, and I think itâ€™s just moved to a new level this year, and thatâ€™s what weâ€™re really excited about,â€ Day said.
Following a hugely successful inaugural event, Unbridled Eve will entertain guests with country superstar Luke Bryan, NBCâ€™s â€œThe Voiceâ€ finalist Nicholas David and popular local band The Crashers set to perform.
Last yearâ€™s notable guests included Warren Moon, Ice-T and Coco, Kate Flannery of â€œThe Office,â€ Bob Guiney of â€œThe Bachelorâ€ and Phil Hellmuth, winner of the World Series of Poker and World Series of Poker Europe. The list of celebrities attending the 2013 black tie-optional soiree will be finalized closer to April.
â€œTheyâ€™re approachable, they mingle, they talk to everyone so everyone is together,â€ Dees said. â€œWeâ€™ve had more interest this year than weâ€™ve ever had with people that want to attend Derby, come to Derby, help, whatever it is.â€
â€œWe have about 30 really great celebrity attendees that we have verbal commitments, so more to follow with that,â€ Day assured.
The sistersâ€™ annual Derby Prelude parties presented in various cities throughout the U.S. build buzz for the Derby Eve gala. For the fourth consecutive year, the Yorks hosted an event in Los Angeles the Thursday before the Golden Globes to increase awareness of the Derby, along with Unbridled Eveâ€™s main benefiting charity, Blessings in a Backpack. The non-profit provides elementary school children who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year. The organization currently serves nearly 62,000 children in 437 schools in 42 U.S. states and three countries: Canada, Colombia and Haiti.
â€œItâ€™s such a small amount of money that makes a difference that I think everybody can relate to (Blessings in a Backpack),â€ Dees said. â€œItâ€™s $80 for the actual food that goes in the backpack for a year.â€
Three secondary beneficiaries of Unbridled Eve will be selected by vote of the eventâ€™s executive committee. All four charities will benefit from proceeds of Unbridled Eve, including money raised through the partyâ€™s live and silent auction. Premium auction items of the past have included tickets inside the ownerâ€™s suite at the Staples Center for an L.A. Lakers game and an exclusive Indianapolis 500 experience. â€œOne of the things the galaâ€™s known for is our great auction items with the live and silent, and we have some fabulous items again this year that weâ€™ve already secured and are in the process of securing,â€ Day said.
Aside from celebrities, charities, music and top-of-the-line experiences and merchandise up for bid, Unbridled Eve will feature 10 premium specialty bars with fine wines, champagnes, bourbons and custom cocktails sponsored by Southern Wine and Spirits, along with an interactive dance activation from sponsor Humana Vitality. â€œWeâ€™re lucky to work with the sponsors we work with,â€ York Day said. â€œWeâ€™re just very fortunate because itâ€™s fun when you work with people like that, that are just such quality people and quality companies. It makes it fun.â€
â€œAnd, we love our in-kind people, too,â€ York Dees added. â€œWe couldnâ€™t do it without them.â€
The first-ever Unbridled Eve garnered a wealth of attention from the media, including national publications such as â€œThe Wall Street Journalâ€ and â€œThe New York Times,â€ which listed the decor, provided by Millennium Events, and a dress created with real roses by Amy Streeter of Susanâ€™s Florist among the impressive highlights of the evening. The barâ€™s been set high after just one year, but the Yorks are confident the newest installment of Unbridled Eve will be bigger and better than ever, offering the perfect kick-off to the reason behind Derby season: the most exciting two minutes in sports.
â€œItâ€™s crazy planning, itâ€™s an insane amount of work always, but this year we have such a fabulous group of people (on the committee),â€ York Day said of the seemingly smooth effort to plan the second annual Unbridled Eve. â€œWeâ€™ve got the people that weâ€™ve worked with for years, weâ€™ve got new people with new ideas and the planning committee really makes it, so it just makes it all fun. … Weâ€™re proud of our city. Itâ€™s kind of cool for everybody to come see it and our state.â€
Unbridled Eve will be held from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. inside the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House Hotel. Tickets to Unbridled Eve are $500 each; $200 for dance only; sponsored tables are $7,500. For tickets and tables call 502.894.9768 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship information, call 502.548.5094. Visit www.unbridledeve.com for more on the gala.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at email@example.com, 502.498.2051.