Kentucky Derby Museum cancels annual gala

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) The Kentucky Derby Museum has canceled its 34th annual Gala presented by Central Bank & Trust Co.

The announcement came Tuesday after extensive discussions among museum leadership and the Kentucky Derby Museum Board of Directors, organizers said.

With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, this united decision was made in the interest of public health and in the best interest of the community, the board said.

Historically, the elegant evening filled with dinner and dancing serves as the premier fundraising event for the Kentucky Derby Museum, a non-profit charitable organization. The rescheduled Gala was slated for Friday, Aug. 28 and would have marked the 34th year for the event.

“The pandemic has created a very challenging business environment, especially for non-profit organizations like the Kentucky Derby Museum,” said Patrick Armstrong, president & CEO of the Kentucky Derby Museum. “Canceling the Kentucky Derby Museum Gala means losing our largest fundraiser of the year, and it will be yet another hardship we must overcome as a charitable organization. However, we feel certain it is the safest and correct decision at this time.”

For more than three decades, the Gala’s fundraising efforts have helped support the Museum’s curatorial and educational programs, and other program services of the Museum.

The museum’s Education Outreach Team travels to schools across Kentucky and southern Indiana, teaching tens of thousands of students in the classroom each year for free.

The museum is exploring additional funding options.

Museum Gala ticketholders will be contacted in the days ahead for donation, credit and/or refund options.

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