UNC Health Johnston’s Derby Day Back On Track

Foundation event to raise money for patient needs

SMITHFIELD – If you like the excitement, pageantry and trappings of the Kentucky Derby, then you will love attending Derby Day on May 6. The Johnston Health Foundation is bringing back the popular fundraising event after a two-year break due to the pandemic.

As in years past, activities will be at the Portofino Equestrian Center in Clayton. Like the classic in Louisville, guests are invited to walk the red carpet in their finest Derby hats and fashion, sip mint juleps and watch real horseraces.

A special guest will be CBS-17 chief meteorologist Wes Hohenstein, who will emcee a brief program.

Gates open at 2:30 p.m. The event closes at 7:30 p.m. after the viewing of the Kentucky Derby.

New this year: A DJ and room for dancing under a large pavilion, and a drawing for a dream vacation. Allison Strickland, director of the foundation, says the last two Derby Days, in 2018 and ’19, raised more than $169,000 for the Angel Fund, assisting cancer patients with treatment expenses. Proceeds this year will go to the area of greatest need.

“We describe Derby Day as a party with a purpose,” she says. “We’re delighted to offer a fun outdoor event ultimately benefiting our most vulnerable patients.”

The price of admission covers food, two drink tickets and access to all attractions, including the Derby Day fashion contest. Adult tickets are $75. Youth tickets, ages 6 to 20, are $25. Children ages 5 and under get in free.

For more information, go to www.johnstonhealth.org/derbyday

UNC Health Johnston Derby Day schedule:
2:30 p.m. — Gates open
3:30 p.m. – Horseraces at the track
5:15 p.m. – Derby Day fashion contest; drawing for a dream vacation (tickets sold separately)
6:45 p.m. – Viewing of the Kentucky Derby (approximate time)
7:30 p.m. – Event ends

About the Johnston Health Foundation
The Johnston Health Foundation seeks to improve the health and well-being of the people in our communities by supporting the patients, programs and services of UNC Health Johnston. The foundation’s areas of focus are as follows:

  • Access to Care: Working to ensure access to care regardless of one’s ability to pay
  • Holistic Care: Supporting UNC Health Johnston patients with all aspects of care and teammates (staff) with professional advancement and well-being needs
  • Innovative & Preventative Care: Funding cutting-edge programs, equipment and awareness initiatives designed with vulnerable populations in mind
  • End-of-Life Care: Advocating and fundraising for hospice and bereavement support, ensuring that all patients receive quality end-of-life care with comfort, compassion and dignity

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