Continuing a commitment to new Kentucky Oaks Day traditions established two years ago, Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, have renewed their partnership to raise funds to aid in breast cancer awareness and research through events on Kentucky Oaks Day May 6.
Kentucky Oaks 137 will once again feature a “Ladies First” theme and a day of events to raise money and awareness for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, which leads the global movement for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, and community support. The event will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Group’s VERSUS from 5-6 p.m. ET.
For the third consecutive year, Churchill Downs will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for every person in attendance on Kentucky Oaks Day, and the hope is to set an attendance record to raise maximum funds for a great cause. The lofty goal was achieved last year when an unprecedented 116,046 attendees flocked to Churchill Downs on Oaks Day.
Additionally, Churchill Downs will donate $1 to Horses and Hope, the breast cancer outreach and awareness initiative in Kentucky’s horse racing industry, from the sale of Oaks Lilies, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks. Horses and Hope was founded in 2008 by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program to identify new opportunities to provide breast cancer awareness, education, and early detection through screening and treatment referral, as well as to raise funds to sustain programs into the future.
Special Kentucky Oaks Day events will include a “Pink Out” which encourages all Oaks attendees to incorporate pink into their attire for the day to show their support. Also, there will be a Survivors Parade presented by Kroger and a Chambord® Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest. Details can be found at www.kentuckyoaks.com.
To build continued awareness for the Oaks Day “Pink Out” within the local community, Churchill Downs is also encouraging and challenging Louisville residents to wear pink every Friday throughout the month of April. Each week, Churchill Downs’ “Pink Patrol” will make a surprise Friday visit to award two individuals or establishments who excel at “pinking out” their homes, yards, businesses, schools, cars, etc. with pink decorations, trim, and products. The winners will receive two box seats for the Kentucky Oaks. Further details about how to participate in the contest can be found at www.KentuckyOaks.com.
In conjunction with this year’s Kentucky Oaks Day celebration, Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® have additionally teamed to bring back a popular co-branded line of officially-licensed apparel and gift items available online at www.KentuckyDerbyStore.com. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of co-branded products will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
“When someone in the world dies of breast cancer every 69 seconds, it’s imperative that we fund critical research, spread awareness, and educate women about breast health and breast cancer,” said Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, in a release. “As the first ‘First Lady of the Oaks’, I was very moved by the generosity and passion Oaks Day supporters have shown this cause. It’s a fun day for a serious mission, and we’re very appreciative to Churchill Downs for making it a reality again this year.”
“We are so pleased and grateful that Kentucky Oaks fans and the Louisville community have embraced our ‘Ladies First’ campaign and partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure,” said Churchill Downs Incorporated president and chief executive officer Robert Evans in a statement. “Our guests put on their pink apparel and turned out in record numbers to enjoy the Oaks last year, with Kentucky Oaks 136 being the second-highest attended racing event in the country, generating the eighth largest handle for a U.S. racing event in 2010. No other city of this size could support the growing Oaks event and the important causes tied to it the way our hometown of Louisville does.
“This year’s ‘Pink Out’ will be bigger and better than ever,” Evans continued, “and we’re crossing our fingers for another record attendance and the chance to contribute significant funds toward breast cancer awareness, research, and prevention. To date, Churchill Downs has contributed $284,000 to the Komen and Horses and Hope charities through our Oaks fund-raising efforts. We look forward to sharing Oaks Day’s special experiences-- from the pink carpet fashion contest to the annual Survivors Parade--with our guests, the many of breast cancer survivors who join us, and with a national television audience through the new coverage we will enjoy on NBC Sports Group’s VERSUS Network.”