On May 7, Kentucky Derby excitement came to Marco Island at the 10th Annual Talk Derby to Me Fundraiser at the Marco Island Brewery.
The event raised $30,000 to benefit the Upon a Star Foundation and the Marco Island Charter Middle School.
As the pre-event derby coverage from Churchill Downs played on the Brewery’s many TVs, guests picked their favorites to win. The silent auction and a variety of raffles kept people busy as they waited for the Kentucky Derby to start.Mint juleps made the wait easier for some. And for many, it was all about the hats.
Guests took their hats seriously, and the Brewery was filled them in all different colors, shapes and sizes. Guests competed for prizes in a Best Hat Contest for the ladies, and a Best “Crazy Pants” Contest for the gentlemen. A live auction came at the end of the evening, which included many travel and dining packages.
Event organizers Michelle and Howard Jordan are the founders of the Upon aStar Foundation. Over the past decade their derby fundraisers have raised over $300,000 to offer financially strapped families the ability to provide their children with extracurricular activities, such as music lessons, art classes and sports.
During the event, Howard Jordan announced that the Talk Derby reins would be passed to the Marco Island Charter Middle School for next year.
Michelle says, “Ten years has come and gone, it’s been a great ride. We have decided to transition Talk Derby over to the Marco Island Charter MiddleSchool. They are a great partner to the community. Led by their president Tarik Ayasun and board members Allyson Richards and Joan Pernice, we are confident they will continue to grow this event.” Michelle added, “It’s bittersweet, but it’s time. We will focus our efforts on a different event next year.”
In addition to the Marco Island Brewery, key partners who helped make Talk Derby to Me a success include Bonefish Grill, Centennial Bank, CJ’s on the Bay, Cormiers, Crazy Flamingo, McFates, Micki Norco, Nacho Mama’s, Prouts Plumbing, Stoicos and many others.