The Kentucky Oaks survivors parade.

The Kentucky Oaks survivors parade.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Bright Pink New Charity for Churchill Downs

Company donates $50,000 to kick off a Pink Out breast cancer awareness fundraiser.

Churchill Downs on March 18 announced the opening of public nominations and voting for participants in the 2014 Survivors Parade Presented by Kroger, and a new partnership with Bright Pink, a national organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer while providing support for high-risk individuals.

The Survivors Parade is part of the sixth annual "Pink Out" festivities held in conjunction with the 140th running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 2. 

On April 1, the 140 survivors will be invited to be the guests of Churchill Downs for the Oaks and to participate in the Survivors Parade before the race. For the annual Pink Out, the track will be decked out in pink bunting and the 100,000-plus guests attending the Oaks are asked to wear pink to show their support. 

As part of the 2014 Pink Out and Survivors Parade, the Churchill Downs Inc. Foundation announced a $50,000 donation to launch a six-week fundraising program to benefit Bright Pink and its national breast and ovarian health programs. The company will also donate a portion of each Grey Goose Oaks Lily sold during the Pink Out to Horse and Hopes, a local breast cancer initiative that benefits people working throughout Kentucky's horse industry. The fundraising program concludes May 4.

"The Pink Out has become an important tradition at Churchill Downs over the past several years and we are pleased to be able to include a major fundraising program that gives our company, business partners, and racetrack guests an opportunity to support Bright Pink's efforts to overcome two of the most deadly of women's health issuesbreast and ovarian cancer," said Ryan Jordan, general manager of Churchill Downs, in a release.

Churchill Downs became actively involved in breast cancer awareness in 2009 when one of the company's long-time employees, Tricia Amburgey, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

"Although she eventually lost her battle with cancer this past year at the early age of 42, the strength and courage Tricia displayed over the past five years serves as an inspiration to all and motivates us to do what we can to prevent others from suffering the same fate," Jordan said.

During the 2014 Survivors Parade, Churchill will pay a special tribute to Amburgey. "It is our hope that through education, prevention and treatment we eventually no longer have a need for a Survivors Parade," said Jordan.

Any breast or ovarian cancer survivor is eligible to be nominated to participate in the 2014 Survivors Parade, and nominations can be made by the survivor, family members, or friends online at Voting to determine who will participate in the parade is limited to once per day. Nominations and voting will continue through Monday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The 140 survivors will be announced April 1 and each will receive two tickets to the Oaks and will be invited to participate in the Survivors Parade.

Click here to read a full release with more information about Churchill Downs' partnership with Bright Pink and opportunities to donate.