■The 139th Run for the Roses May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, inspired many local people to host Derby-themed affairs, with red roses, hats, Southern-style food such as bourbon balls and Derby pie, and mint juleps.
Sylvania Country Club hosted its annual Derby Day Party after the Derby Day Golf Tournament for members and guests. Both events have been taking place for more than 25 years. Mint juleps were served in collectible glasses from Churchill Downs. The late Diane Churdar, who hosted the party for many years, was remembered. The festive event included betting just for fun, Skoobie Snaks band, and tasty Southern favorites such as crab cakes and Kentucky hot brown sliders.
The 13th Annual Derby Days Reception at Manhattan's Restaurant presented by 20 North Gallery also was May 4. Featured was the Derby Days 2013 exhibit of fine equine art by local and regional artists including Walter Chapman. The exhibit runs through Friday at the restaurant.
Mint juleps were made from a recipe obtained by Peggy Grant from the late Samuel Riddle, owner of the legendary racehorse Man o' War.
Hats were practically a must and anyone without one was out of place. Adams Street Antiques & Art supplied many of the chapeaus. Deb Brescol sported a "My Fair Lady" hat with black ostrich feathers and Joyce Perrin wore a vintage straw cloche hat.
Notables spotted were Donna Owens, Debbie Knight, Anita Lopez, and Emmanuel Enriquez.
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■ Circle 2445, the young professionals group of the Toledo Museum of Art, hosted a Kentucky Derby Party at the Peristyle. The May 4 event to schmooze and watch the race included Southern tidbits, mint juleps, and music by Kentucky Chrome. It was a parade of well-heeled professionals in stylish chapeaus. Board chairman is Dustin Hosteler and vice chairman is Amir Khan.
■ West Side Montessori school, celebrating its 36th anniversary, hosted a Decked Out for the Derby party May 4 at Health Care REIT. Southern fare, games, auctions, and more entertained about 185 supporters. Event chairman Catherine Summers estimates the event raised about $95,000.
■ Junior League of Toledo members gathered for a Derby Day party in the home of Kelly Childress-Keefer.
■ Toledo Country Club's A Spring Affair with a Southern Flair gala on Derby Day was the opening of the social season. Friends chatted about the upcoming season of golf, tennis, swimming, and soirees on the terrace overlooking the Maumee River. The scent of wisteria, lavender, and hydrangea filled the air as guests viewed the race and then dined at crystal candelabra-centered tables. Dancing followed with Sound Proof band. Hosts of the evening were Stephen and Meghan Bramlage, Christopher and Pam DiSalle, and James and Heidi Bleyer.
■ Some folks had a head start on race day:
Mercy St. Anne Hospital's 11th annual Medical Staff Gala "Run for the Roses" was April 27 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg. Chief of staff Dr. Ted Barber and his wife, Ann, hosted the party that included the Chozen Few band and Derby-style foods including fried chicken bites and bourbon meat balls.
Door prizes were music boxes by famous equine photographer Doug Prather, Kentucky products gift baskets, and bouquets of red roses. Parting gifts were souvenir blankets and individually boxed Derby pies.
Seen were Herb and Brenda Stockard, Shakil Khan and Susan Stoner, David Vicente, Suresh Dasani, Steve and Mae Ariss, and Mercy St. Anne's CEO, Brad Bertke and his wife, Kim.
■ The Alzheimer's Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter's third annual Spring Gala "An Affair to Remember" April 20 was an elegant Kentucky Derby-themed event at Heatherdowns Country Club.
Mint juleps flowed as about 300 enjoyed the evening of music, dinner, a derby hat contest, caricature artist, silent auction, blackjack table, hand-rolled cigars, and more.
Emcee Dave Holmes of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and other guest speakers talked about Alzheimer's Disease and how memory loss disorders affect the lives of the patient and family.
More than $50,000 was raised. Sponsors included Paramount Health Care, The Blade, WTVG-TV, Channel 13, Foundation Park - Alzheimer's Care Center, Parkcliffe Community, Savage & Associates, and Signature Bank, N.A.