Churchill Downs Donates $223,000 to Causes

Churchill Downs to present more than $223,000 to Komen for the Cure and three others.

Churchill Downs officials will present donation checks totaling $223,346 on June 24 to four charitable organizations that benefited from fundraising partnerships with the Kentucky Oaks and Taste of Derby Presented by Yum Brands™, a new event held during Kentucky Derby Week.

Representatives of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Horses and Hope, Dare to Care, and The World Food Programme will accept checks for the donations to their respective organizations and causes. The donations will be presented in the winner’s circle following the seventh race, scheduled for 3:57 p.m. (EDT).

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, will receive a check for $118,346. That donation is the result of the second year of the fundraising partnership between Komen for the Cure and the Kentucky Oaks.  

Churchill Downs pledged to donate $1 for each person who attended the 2010 renewal of the Oaks, and a record crowd of 116,046 poured through the track’s admission gates on Friday, April 30. Also included in the Komen fundraising total is $2,300 in winnings from the “Kentucky Oaks Dream Bet,” in which the track wagered $1,000 on each of the 14 fillies that competed in the race. The winner was favored Blind Luck, who paid $4.60 for each $2 win wager.

The partnership of Komen for the Cure and the Kentucky Oaks has generated $218,346 in breast cancer research funding during its first two years.

A check for $30,000 will be presented to Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear to benefit her Horses and Hope breast cancer outreach initiative in Kentucky’s horse industry. Horses and Hope provides breast cancer screening and education to stable workers and other employees at Kentucky racetracks. The check represents fulfillment of a Churchill Downs pledge to donate $1 from the sale of each of “Oaks Lily,” the signature drink of the Kentucky Oaks, on the day of the race.   

The donations to the United Nations World Food Programme and Louisville’s Dare to Care Food Bank grew out of the inaugural Taste of Derby, held at Louisville’s Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center April 29. The World Food Programme and Dare to Care are key partners in Taste of Derby’s presenting sponsor, Yum! Brands, own World Hunger Relief initiative, the world’s largest private-sector hunger-relief effort. Each program received half of the $70,000 in designated proceeds from the 2010 Taste of Derby.

“The fundraising efforts championed by Churchill Downs and these great organizations have produced exciting results, and we are pleased to formally present these contributions to our partners for work that is making a substantial difference in the lives of so many people,” said Dana Johnson, director of community relations for Churchill Downs.  “Kentucky Derby Week and the annual celebration of the Kentucky Oaks have long been important parts of life in this community and region, and it is very gratifying to Churchill Downs and our partners to see these celebrations help to raise critical funding for people in need in our community and beyond.”