Kentucky Derby Party 2017
Fundraiser For The Arts - Updated
by Terry Allen
May 7, 2017
If you haven't been to this event before, you might be dazzled right out of your game plan like I was. I couldn't take two steps in any direction without bumping into beautiful women in grand and glorious hats. Yes, there were some guys in hats, but they seemed as dumbfounded as I was and just stood silent in admiring groups as rafts of flower and silk topped women floated by.
But, this was a fundraiser for the arts and I had a job to do, so I blinked and gulped and gathered my composure, and immediately followed a beautiful woman dressed in dozens of big red roses as she disappeared behind a black curtain. There was Faith Pelham and she gave me a wink...and I took that picture. Hey, it's about art, right?
For almost 40 years Pinedale Fine Arts Council(PFAC) has provided high-quality performing arts events, visual and literary arts programs and artist residencies to the communities and Schools of Sublette County.
Meghann and Scarlett were talking about their derby favorite Always Dreaming who eventually won The Derby. "We like that horse because he had a good daddy," said Scarlett.
Eric and Gwen Murphy were over from Riverton for the race. "We came over to help Holly and Cody Roberts with their branding and this was just the icing on the cake," said Eric.
I sat with Riley Zeiger to watch the Stick Horse races and during one particular confusing sight, I leaned over and asked her what they were doing. "I. Don't. Know." She said. "But I think it involves whipped cream." You are invited to look at the picture and give your opinion.
Speaking of food, everywhere I went people were exclaiming about Sue Eversull's food. I was the last one to eat as usual and all the forks were gone, but there was a plastic spoon...and it easily cut the meat. Loved the green beans, Sue. Check out the photo of the snack table...'nough said.
There seemed to be an inordinate number of very ornate pheasant tail feather hats and I wondered why I hadn't heard about their relationship to the derby before. I did run into The Hat Lady, Joan Mitchell who seems to have made quite a few of them; but then I also ran into Terry Bartley who's husband secured hers. "I told him to bring me feathers," she said. "Next thing I heard was Boom, Boom and he brought me some feathers."
I noticed a table full of professional looking people and asked them if they knew what the money was spent on that the event raised. They just happened to be a bunch of school district number 9 folks. "We brought a Chinese piano guy here. We brought some Shakespeare people here and they put on a workshop. We also brought a saxophone guy to town and he brought a huge collection of old sax's with him...that was really cool." Melanie Bennett elbowed me in the ribs and explained it further. "We sponsor whole school residencies; and artists from a variety of fields come and put on workshops."
I found Greg Legerski, Pinedale Elementary School principal at a table full of cowboy hat wearing folks. "Over the years, the PFAC has done an outstanding job of bringing the arts to our students and community, and I was glad to see that their fundraiser was such a success."
Something caught my eye out the big glass doors and I realized it was horses. Since I was at a derby party but hadn't seen a real horse yet, I headed that direction. I didn't get far because just outside the door I saw the most beautiful parking lot I'd ever seen before. Walking on it was Chelsea Linn. I couldn't get my voice to work so I just pointed at my camera and put a question mark on my face. Like magic she smiled and you can see the photo right here.
Luckily my voice started coming back and I was able to answer her question about where I was going and she said she'd like to go to..."But you'll have to hold my hand." She must have just needed help walking over to the horse because she was wearing such high heels. You've got to be careful about reading too much into stuff like this when you're a geezer...so I'm going to skip past some things right here.
Turns out once we got over to the barn, we met Arlie Stevenson from Emmett, Idaho who had come to the fairgrounds to compete in the 18th running of the Bits and Spurs in Barrel racing...and had won the buckle on her horse Badger. Chelsea was pretty impressed with that and next thing I knew we were helping her into the saddle for the picture. Then we headed back into the party and along the way she asked if I could take a picture of her and her boyfriend. I expected as much but secretly hoped he was a runty little bit of nothing. Turned out he was just the opposite and a real good sport, too. Thanks you guys for giving me a fun story. You can see their nice photo here.
Inside, an animated Kari DeWitt, was presenting awards to some of the winning groups, and had a few words to share:
"We raised $15,000 which will be spent next year in school arts programs on both sides of the county. These programs include Utah Shakespeare, Dancer's Workshop, Fine Arts programs, Poetry, Arts Fitness, and STEAM.
A big thank to everyone for helping keep PFAC going strong in the community. We are pleased and humbled by the outpouring of support," said Kari DeWitt, PFAC Director.
At Kari's final word, The Matt Haeck Band hit their amplified instruments hard and dancers rushed to the floor or were pulled onto the floor by their little ones.
Right here, I'd like to thank my sponsors because without them I couldn't share this story with our community...and I think it is a great event to write about and to photograph. Stoney Vance of 307Q is a co-sponsor and you can see some photos of him, his family and his cooking here. Make sure you try his BBQ, Smoked Mac and Cheese and his Smoked Coffee Beans. They are great! I also have to make sure everyone knows the value of Dawn Ballou and Pinedale Online who also co-sponsor my stuff. She doesn't insist on the AP style of writing and has started to like my artful kind of photos and that makes me want to do more.
This event would not be possible without great community volunteers like the Young Leo club. Don't you love those kids? They are everywhere. I know Jim and Beth Allen don't care for any notice of themselves, but don't you think their leadership in the Lion's Club/Young Leo's is amazing?
This event would not be possible without amazing sponsors, so here they are:
The Cowboy Shop, Killpecker Creek Cattle Company, Fluid and Tires, Harber Construction, Jonah Energy, Owens Orthodontics, and Ridley's Family Markets.
The VIP SPONSORS are:
Sublette Insurance, 1st Bank, Chamber's House B&B, Obo's Market, Tegelers Insurance, The Eagle Bar, Farm Bureau Financial Services, The Boulder Store Bar and Grill, Jorgensen, Bennett Construction, Bank of Sublette County, Northern Lights, Lacey Goodman & Younique, JB Welding and Fabrication, FenceTrak, Nancy Espenscheid and Betty Fear - Puncher Power, Sue Eversull Catering, Anonymous, Union Wireless and R&R Services.
The Calcutta bidders were Jim Bob and Dahlia Griffin, Cody and Holly Robert, Chad and Torie Whitley, John and Wendy Walter, Paul and Darby Ulrich.
The winners were Chad and Torie Whitley, who graciously donated their proceeds back to the school art programs. Thank you.
The Kentucky Derby Party is a fundraiser for PFAC, and the money raised is split between school district number 1 and 9. Last year’s event raised $22,000.
Owens Orthodontics won the Run for the Roses. The Cowboy Shop was 5 seconds behind.
Jonah Energy won the "People's Choice" and the "Giddy Up Award" for the most fundraising.
Fluid and Tires won the "Best Tricked Out Pony Award" for the best theme and team spirit
The images on this site are low rez and may be used without charge for personal use. If you want sharp, crisp, hi-rez for personal use or for commercial or organizational use, I sell them for reasonable prices. Some of you...and you know who know who you are...I took several good ones. Oh yeah...I'm for hire and I always get the shot. For any corrections to this story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.