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Kentucky Derby event planned to support Broomfield Community Foundation

Goal is to replace some revenue lost with cancellation of dancing stars fundraiser

Justify, ridden by jockey Mike Smith, crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in 2018.
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Mint juleps, summer dresses and physically distant socialization is on the horizon for the Broomfield Community Foundation as it works with Sill-TerHar Motors to tentatively plan a September fundraiser.

The Kentucky Derby, which is traditionally held the first Saturday of May, was postponed to September, and organizers liked the idea of hosting a delayed Kentucky Derby party in Broomfield to replace its canceled Dancing with the Broomfield Stars event.

The Community Foundation announced Thursday that Sill-TerHar has stepped forward to help create an event to replace the dancing fundraiser. Together, the Foundation and Sill-TerHar are planning a Kentucky Derby party, or Broomfield Derby Day, for Sept. 5.

“I hope to see some fantastic customized hats,” said Greg Larson, managing partner of Sill-TerHar Motor.

On May 11 the Foundation announced it was cancelling Dancing with the Broomfield Stars, which is the nonprofit’s principal annual fundraising event, because of current restrictions on mass gatherings and the inability for performers to train for the competition.

Shortly after the cancellation, Larson approached the Foundation and offered to create another fundraising event to help replace essential funds that would otherwise be lost.

The event is expected to use both indoor and outdoor spaces and will likely be limited to approximately 250 guests, Foundation Executive Director Marianna Williamson said, but that is not a “hard number.” The cap on the number of people will provide the ability to present the event with physical distancing guidelines expected to be in place.

“It’s our best estimate as of now,” she said. “We’re proceeding with caution.”

She said organizers are looking forward to holding some type of event by that time, but stressed that participants will be asked to closely follow distancing guidelines.

“The Foundation is so thankful for Sill-TerHar Motors to take this leadership position, as well as other longtime Foundation supporters like Broomfield-based Restoration Specialists, Inc., which is moving their generous support from Dancing with the Broomfield Stars over to this new initiative,” Williamson said.

Sill-TerHar has been a part of the fabric of Broomfield for 60 years, Larson said, and the company can think of no better way to celebrate this anniversary than by supporting the Foundation and the community at such a crucial time.

Tickets are not available at this point, Williamson said. Details are still getting worked out, but activities could include a jewelry pull and a cigar pull, a best hat contest, betting on the horses in some form and, of course, viewing of the race.

Last year Dancing with the Broomfield Stars raised more than $150,000, Williamson said.

“Obviously this event won’t be the same magnitude, but we’re just trying to recoup some of the revenue lost for this year,” she said.

Since an Emergency Disaster Fund was created by the Foundation to help nonprofits struggling because of COVID-19, all money raised has gone out in grants to support relief efforts. This fundraiser is a way for the Foundation to sustain itself and continue to award grants, Williamson said.

The initial goal of the emergency fund was $100,000, because “no one knew how long, or widespread, the situation was,” Williamson said. Since mid-March the organization has raised about $130,000 with a goal of $200,000 to keep up the monthly awarding of grants.

On April 1, more than $10,000 was awarded in the first round of grants. On May 1, the Foundation awarded 12 grants totaling $53,500 and it expects to give out more than $50,000 in the June funding round. So far the Foundation has received three applications, Williamson said Thursday, but it expects more, as the deadline isn’t until next week.

“We will continue to give money as it continues to be donated,” she said.

Larson said the Sill-TerHar has partnered with the Foundation on several different levels, including corporate donations, for well over a decade. He appreciates that money raised stays local and is awarded to a diverse group of nonprofits.

In the past ,Sill-TerHar has engaged with the Morgan Adams Foundation, which supports children with cancer, and years ago participated in Kentucky Derby fundraisers.

“It was a great fundraiser and people really enjoyed themselves,” Larson said, adding he decided to try it in Broomfield “when we found out Dancing with the Broomfield Stars was going to be cancelled.”

More details will be available on broomfieldfoundation.org as they are finalized. People can also follow @broomfieldfoundation on Facebook.

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