Churchill Gives Nearly $200,000 to Charities

Louisville track donated to such charities as Stand Up to Cancer, Horses and Hope.

Churchill Downs has presented checks totaling nearly $200,000 to fundraising partners who joined the track in the celebrations of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Friday, May 4, and the third annual “Taste of Derby” party Thursday, May 3.

Donation checks were presented to representatives of Stand Up to Cancer, Horses and Hope, and Blessings in a Backpack in a winner’s circle ceremony June 30 during the track’s final “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program.

The largest check of $112,552 was presented to Stand Up to Cancer, which joined Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Oaks for the first time as a fundraising partner as the event continued its “Ladies First” theme and its focus on women’s health issues. 

Churchill Downs has now donated more than $532,000 to cancer research through its women’s health Kentucky Oaks partnerships over the past four years.

The Stand Up to Cancer initiative raises funds to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research that will deliver new therapies to patients quickly and save lives through a collaborative effort throughout the cancer research community. Information is available online at

A donation of $30,000 was presented to Horses and Hope, the initiative launched in 2008 by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear that provides breast cancer education, outreach, and screenings to workers at racetracks and farms in Kentucky’s horse industry. With this year’s donation, Churchill Downs has donated $120,000 to Horses and Hope over the past four years.

Blessings in a Backpack, a first-time fundraising partner with the annual Kentucky Derby Week  “Taste of Derby” party, was presented with a donation of $42,255.

“Taste of Derby” became a part of Kentucky Derby tradition with its debut in 2010 and this year attracted approximately 1,000 fans to its 2012 renewal at the Louisville Executive Aviation Hangar at Bowman Field. The event brings together acclaimed chefs and racing celebrities from horse racing destination cities across the nation for a celebration of the Kentucky Derby experience.

Blessings in a Backpack, which was founded in Louisville, has grown into a national organization committed to “Feeding the Future of America.” The organization works with partners around the country to ensure impoverished elementary school students are fed during weekends throughout the school year. Information on Blessings in a Backpack is available at

With the check presented to Blessings in a Backpack, “Taste of Derby” has donated more than $163,000 to organizations that combat hunger over its three-year history.