The Churchill Downs Inc. Foundation, Churchill Charities, announced June 30 it will contribute $160,122 in charitable initiative proceeds derived from Kentucky Oaks Day May 6 and Taste of Derby, an event that takes place the night before the Kentucky Oaks each year. Churchill Charities will present the donations to designated charities June 30 following Race 11 (approximately 6 p.m. EDT) at Churchill Downs.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation dedicated to education and breast cancer research, will receive $110,122. Horses and Hope, a breast cancer initiative of the Office of the First Lady and the Kentucky Cancer Program, will receive $30,000 for its mission to increase awareness, education, screening, and treatment referral among Kentucky horse industry workers and their families. Dare to Care Food Bank, whose network of independent food pantries, emergency kitchens, and shelters leads communities to feed the hungry, will receive $20,000.
Through a partnership between Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, now in its third consecutive year, Churchill Downs pledged $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every person in attendance on Kentucky Oaks Day. The funds for Horses and Hope were raised through the contribution by Churchill Downs of $1 of every Oaks Lily drink sold on Kentucky Oaks Day, which is the official cocktail of the Kentucky Oaks. Dare to Care Food Bank funds were raised at Taste of Derby, an event that showcases nationally known chefs and restaurants from popular horse racing destinations around the country on the eve of the Kentucky Oaks.
“We are thrilled that the growing popularity of Kentucky Oaks Day and Taste of Derby resulted in and directly correlates with our ability to raise funds for the vital charities that do so much for our communities,” Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery said in a statement. “We want to thank our fans for helping us support these worthy causes at home and on a national level.”