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Down & Derby raises more than $150,000 for community
Down & Derby

A fundraising event centered around the Kentucky Derby recently raised more than $150,000 for local nonprofits, complete with live and silent auctions, a block party and “a lot of big hats.”

During the Kentucky Derby, members of the Rotary Club of Lanier-Forsyth hosted the eighth annual Down & Derby event. Club President Janice Davis said more than 450 attendees came out to the event, which she said was held outside this year and had a block party atmosphere going through several homes’ yards and into a neighborhood street.

“The party actually goes from 4-10 [p.m.], so we call it a six-hour party around a two-minute horse race,” Davis said. “It raises really good money, too. Our sponsors are very generous, and we all had a good time.”

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Davis said all proceeds raised at the event went to local nonprofits, including CASA of Forsyth County, Mentor Me North Georgia, Bald Ridge Lodge, L.E.A.D.E.R., Family Promise, Jesse’s House and B.A.D.G.E.

After the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, Davis said the money that was raised for that event was sent out last year to help the nonprofits during the tough time.

Since the previous event was canceled, Davis said donations would have counted toward this year’s event, but many donors “doubled down” and made donations for both years.

“We are just really grateful for the support our community gives us in pulling this event off,” Davis said.