The effort to bridge the digital divide for children of the Thoroughbred industry took a giant step forward with a recent fundraiser to benefit Tubby's Clubhouse. Hosted at Ro Parra's Millennium Farms near Lexington, the event raised $65,000 via items sold at a live auction; proceeds from stallion seasons and a generous matching grant from the Ro Parra Family Foundation. The Tubby's Clubhouse program was established by University of Kentucky Men's Basketball coach Tubby Smith and Parra, senior vice president of Dell, Inc. The program is based on Dell's TechKnow program that teaches basic computer skills to at-risk children. Upon graduation, each student receives a refurbished Dell computer. To date, Tubby's Clubhouses across Kentucky have graduated more than 500 students. "There are so many kids that are at-risk in our communities," says Coach Smith, "With these clubhouses, we can teach them skills that will serve them throughout their lives."
This newest Tubby's Clubhouse will be built in partnership with The Keeneland Association at a soon-to-be-determined location in central Kentucky. It will specialize in teaching children whose families are affiliated with the Thoroughbred industry. "We are so proud of what the Tubby's Clubhouse program means to the children of Kentucky," Parra said. "Thanks to many generous people, we can now reach the at-risk children of the Thoroughbred industry."Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson echoed that sentiment. "Tubby's Clubhouse is a wonderful program," he said. "We applaud Coach Smith and Ro for their commitment to Kentucky's children and to the Thoroughbred industry."