Derby-themed fundraiser set

Published 10:07 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Betting on the horses is a popular activity surrounding the Kentucky Derby, but betting a child’s future will improve if he is able to go to college offers much better odds.

The Friends of Hampton Roads will be combining the Derby with supporting scholarships in a May 4 event to be held at Suffolk’s Historic Obici House. The fundraiser will support two different scholarship funds and also celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary.

“We give away good money,” said Angela Mercer, sergeant-at-arms on the organization’s executive board. Roughly $500,000 worth of scholarships has been distributed since the organization began.

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One of the scholarship funds to be benefited honors Dr. Katherine Treherne, a dermatologist who died in 2010. A general scholarship fund also will receive money from the event.

“This year, as we celebrate our 25th year, we wanted to do something different, outside and in the spring,” said Marcia Pitt-Ridgill, a member of the public relations committee for the Friends of Hampton Roads. “We decided on the historic Obici House, as it reminded us of the class and elegance of Dr. Treherne. We felt the Obici House would be perfect for a Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser.”

The event will take place on the day of the 139th Kentucky Derby from 4 to 7 p.m. The race will be televised shortly before 6:30 p.m., with flat screens available in every room of the Obici House for guests to watch the race.

Prior to the race, themed activities, games and contests will take place, along with a cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment by RaJazz.

Tickets for the event are $100, and a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit for more information.