A Fashion-Fantastic Fundraiser

With the recent snowfall that swept through our city, it’s hard to imagine that the Kentucky Derby is only months away. But, next month begins a series of Derby festivities that will fill our social calendars, and will lead us to the most exciting two minutes in sports. One of the most anticipated events again this year is the Gals and Guys Hats and Ties annual fundraiser, at the historic Churchill Downs, benefiting Dress for Success. Honorary co-chairs and board members Julia Carstanjen and Dana Johnson promise another high-fashion event with top fashions from our local boutiques! There’s no better place to check out the latest trends for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. I caught up with Julia and Dana to find out details about this year’s event and the best place to purchase tickets.

Dana Johnson.

Dana Johnson.

Can you share with me the exciting details of this year’s Gals and Guys Hats and Ties Fundraiser?
Julia Carstanjen: Yes! We are thrilled to announce that WLKY news anchor Vicki Dortch will emcee the event with entertainment provided by DJ Jaybird. We are excited once again to feature some of the hottest Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby fashions from some of the area’s most stylish boutiques, hat milliners, fascinator and tie designers.

Who are some of the key sponsors for the event?
Dana Johnson: We are fortunate once again that Churchill Downs, Inc. will open its doors for our cause, the perfect venue for Derby season. The Voice-Tribune generously jumped on board again as our premier media sponsor, and our very own signature cocktails will be provided by Republic. Kathy Campbell of Heyman Talent Agency has offered volunteer models guaranteed to rock the runway in fabulous looks from Rodeo Drive, Rodes, Sunny Daize, Glasscock and Boutique Serendipity. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful sponsors’ help us give back to our community from their contributions.

Can you tell me about the amazing silent auction items guests will have an opportunity to bid on?
Carstanjen: Every year there is something new from boutiques such as Rodes, Glasscocks and Rodeo Drive as well as custom, one-of-kind creations from top milliners, hat and tie designers, such as Christine A. Moore, Gabriel Amar for Frank Olive, Vineyard Vines, and many others. Last year the selection of hats and accessories were top-notch, so it’s a real “win-win” for guests to purchase a great hat or tie benefiting such a worthy cause.

Julia Carstanjen.

Julia Carstanjen.

Charities depend heavily on volunteers and fundraisers to help carry out their mission. Can you elaborate on the impact you’ve made on Dress for Success?
Johnson: Every year thousands of deserving, underprivileged women in our community are transformed “from the inside-out,” with job training and interview skills, as well as appropriate business attire, empowering them to land that dream job, and create better lives for themselves and their families!

What can guests expect if they purchase a VIP ticket?
Carstanjen: VIP guests will receive early access to the event from 6-7 p.m. to claim “first dibs” on amazing couture hats and ties. There will be premier seating for VIP guests during the fashion show, as well as a chance to win two tickets to the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby in the new much anticipated Grandstand Terrace Section.

What is the best way for someone to purchase tickets to the event, and can tickets be purchased at the door?
Johnson: VIP tickets are $150 per person, or two for $250. General admission tickets are $50,and all can be purchased at dfslouevents.org or by calling 502.584.8050, and yes, tickets will be available at the door for $65.