By Ruth Sowby
Orb won the Kentucky Derby after coming from 17th place on Saturday. It was a gloomy day in Churchill Downs but a bright, sunny day in Burbank. That’s where the Glendale Association for the Retarded celebrated its 22nd annual Derby Day with the use of a giant screen at Pickwick Gardens so members and guests could enjoy the famed horse race in real time.
GAR Executive Director Sandy Doughty greeted dozens of visitors. But she was upstaged by client Lynette Sparks in a southern plantation dress. Sparks coyly twirled her umbrella as her “Welcome to Derby Day” provided a cheery start to the festivities. Program Coordinator David Carn was also on hand to greet guests.
Although a silent auction, buffet lunch, opportunity drawings and live auction made up the majority of the program, the climax was the running of the horses. Guests bought Derby Dollars to bet on the winner. One hundred Derby Dollars could be had for $5, up to 2,000 Derby Dollars for $100. Betting tables, betting forms and “roving bookies” made it easy for horse race fans to part with their money — all in the name of charity, of course.
Glendale residents up for the fun included Glendale City Council member Dave and wife Linda Weaver. GAR board members arriving early were Lt. Lola Abrahamian, of the Glendale Police Department and Glendale Adventist’s Liz Mirzaian. Husband Mihran Mirzaian was along for the ride.
Studio City resident and “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek was Honorary Celebrity Chairman.
The afternoon ended with a sing-a-long to the catchy “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Event proceeds will be used primarily for client health needs not covered by insurance.
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