Derby Gala- A Run for the Roses Benefitting the Memory Disorders Center

Guests were oohing and aahing over the Derby Gala’s simply beautiful décor.

This year, you need not be present at Churchill Downs to showcase your finest Kentucky Derby attire. More than 275 community members and patrons of St. Petersburg gathered in their big hats and bright colors to celebrate St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation’s very own, Derby Gala. The Gala took place Saturday, May 3rd and coincided with the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby which was streamed live at the kickoff of what is now being referred to as, “The Social Event of the Year!”

The night began with a special program emceed by News Channel 8 Today’s co-anchor, Gayle Guyardo.  The evening was one for the books complete with mint juleps, a silent auction as well as a live auction with once in a lifetime opportunities, Battle of the Florist competition between local floral designers, Kentucky Derby cuisine packed with southern flavors, the traditional derby pie and plenty of dancing.

The Kentucky Derby, like many events in our lives evokes great memories and feelings of nostalgia. But for many in our community, even their memories are taken away by the crippling effects of neurological disorders. Alzheimer’s  is the seventh leading cause of death and the only disease among the top ten causes of death that has no cure. Progression of the disease not only has a devastating impact on the patient’s ability to function independently, but it also places an emotional and financial burden on families and caregivers. Responding to the needs of the people, the challenge issued by Mother Teresa O’Neil, founder of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, St. Anthony’s Hospital has officially opened a Memory Disorders Center. All proceeds from the event benefit the Memory Disorders Center.

The highlight of the evening that brought awareness as well as tears to those in attendance was the very moving appeal made by Foundation donor Joan Jaicks, who applauded the hospital for establishing the Center.  She remembered her husband, Don, who struggled with memory loss and encouraged the audience to consider giving to the Center.  You can change the experience families have as they work through these diseases with the help of our esteemed medical, neuropsychological and social work teams.  If you wish to support the Memory Disorders Center or another worthy hospital program please click here for more information.

The Travis’ Family in their Kentucky Derby Attire.


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