Hat parade participants are preparing for Saturday’s Juleps, Jockeys and Jazz fundraiser benefiting SOWEGA Council on Aging at Stonebridge Country Club. From front left are Reba Stewart, Nancy Lorber, Lorie Farkas, Virginia Burkart, Kaye Walden and Gayle Chapman. Back row from left are Dee Mathews, Kay Hind, Delores Presley, Debbie Blanton, Izzie Sadler and Dana Mitchell.
ALBANY, Ga. -- When the 21-horse field for Saturday's Kentucky Derby was finalized over the weekend, it wasn't just the oddsmakers in Vegas who got busy readying the betting lines for the annual Run for the Roses.
Some less heralded "bookies" with the SOWEGA Council on Aging also used the information to finalize preparations for the agency's Derby event Juleps Jockeys & Jazz, which will blast from the starting gate Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Stonebridge Golf and Country Club.
"When they announced the field, we started pulling all the information together to prepare our 'betting' tickets," Izzie Sadler, the development director for the Council on Aging, said Monday morning. "Everyone who attends our Derby event can place $5 'bets' on any horse in the field. Those bets will be placed in one of the 21 trophies we've gotten to represent each horse, and a ticket will be drawn from those bets on the horses that win, place and show.
"The people who made the winning bets will claim first, second and third prizes. All of the money from the bets will be included in the overall pool from which every penny will go to benefit programs and services provided by the council."
Sadler said the Juleps Jockeys & Jazz event is starting to take shape as one of the big social events of the season.
"Three weeks ago, while we were scrambling to get everything ready, I was a little concerned," she said. "But the community has really stepped up and got behind what we're doing. We've already sold more than 200 tickets, and there is a great deal of excitement surrounding our event.
"We're getting some wonderful items for our live and silent auctions, and we're including items that cost from $25 to $1,000 so that everyone can get involved."
In addition to the silent and live auctions, Juleps Jockeys & Jazz will include jazz music by the T. Marshall Jones Jazz Quartet, a free framed memory photo, a complimentary mint julep served in a keepsake souvenir cup, live TV broadcast of the race, and a Derby hat parade and competition.
At the call to the post by emcee Doug Lorber, participants will sing "My Old Kentucky Home.
"We have a few more details to take care of, but I think we're pretty much set," Sadler said. "Tickets (which are $75 per person) are still available (at www.sowegacoa.org) and will be available at the door. We're expecting this to be a wonderful evening."
Among the prizes and auction items available at Juleps Jockeys & Jazz are a weekend at a mountain cabin in Helen, original artwork by David Lanier, horse riding lessons, a home alarm system, 20 tons of crushed stone, signed items by Leesburg baseball star Buster Posey and country music star Luke Bryan, as well as a number of baskets and gift certificates from area vendors.
For additional information, contact the SOWEGA Council on Aging at (229) 432-1124.