By Nick Nunn staff writer
The Madison-Morgan Conservancy held their fourth annual Derby Day fundraiser this past Saturday, May 3, at Goose Creek Farm, located on the Beauchamp Family’s Cosmo Country Estate. In addition to having a live viewing of the Kentucky Derby, attendees also enjoyed a catered meal by Hallie Jane’s Catering, a bourbon tasting and a live auction. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy’s overall mission is to “provide public education on conservation matters and to protect and enhance the heritage and quality of life of the residents of Morgan County by preserving historic sites, greenspace, farmland, and timberland.”
The Derby Day serves as the Conservancy’s sole fundraising event of the year, and Chris McCauley, executive director of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, said that the organization exceeded its fundraising goal for 2014 at the Derby Day event. Ticket prices were listed at $85 dollars per person, with the option to become a sponsor beginning at $125. “We don’t have a total yet on how much money was raised, but we know that we surpassed our goal,” said McCauley. “We sold out at 225 people, and we had a waiting list of about 30 more. We had about 25 more people this year than last.” McCauley said that this was the second year that the event was held at Goose Creek Farm, which boasts 400 acres of property that were permanently protected by the donation of conservation easements in order to protect the habitat of wildlife in the area.
Raffles were held for both the Kentucky Derby race itself and the Derby Dash, which had local “celebrity” riders competing on a locally designed course. Out of the money earned from raffle sales, 75 percent went to the Conservancy. The value of the 13 auction items ranged from $325 to $5,000. “We only have on fundraising event a year because there are many organizations in Morgan County trying to raise money, and we are cognizant of that,” said McCauley. “It’s also a lot of work, and we only have one staff person. So we depend on lots of volunteers, who are also volunteering for many of the other organizations.” For more information on the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, visit their website at www.mmcgeorgia.com