Gearing up for Derby Day

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managinig editor

The Madison-Morgan Conservancy put on a unique fundraiser, a hat consignment sale, last week gearing up for the upcoming annual Derby Day, which will be held at Bonar Hall in Madison on Saturday, May 7.

Dozens of people showed up to peruse the conservancy’s stock of fancy and vintage hats.

“We put out a call for hats and we received 32 hats to consign.  We even had part of Christie Hudson’s vintage collection,” said Christine McCauley, director of the conservancy.  “The donors of the hats donated at least half of the proceeds to the Conservancy.  Seventeen of the 32 hats sold, and we had at least 50 people show up to shop.”

But hats were not the only thing the conservancy fundraiser had to offer shoppers.

“Annie B. Williams was also here selling Cabi Collection pieces and is donating all her proceeds from that evening to the Conservancy.  It was a fun time in our new office space, and we are grateful for the funds raised by the event,” said McCauley.

McCauley is looking forward to this year’s Derby Day, noting that tickets are set to go on sale on Tuesday, April 1. The fun begins on Saturday, May 7 at 4:30 p.m.

“Derby Day is the Conservancy’s only fundraiser of the year, designed to raise funds for our operational costs.  Membership dues are the largest percentage of our annual budget, and Derby Day helps us meet the budgeted goal every year,” said McCauley.

The Madison-Morgan Conservancy’s Derby Day was named one of the eight best Derby Parties in the country, two years running.

According to the conservancy’s press release, “Bonar Hall, a c. 1839 13-acre estate, is the ideal location for the Conservancy’s annual event.  This grand ante-bellum home is an architectural gem and has undergone little modification since being built.

Current owners, Betsy Wagenhauser and Alex Newton, have recently restored the house and continue to refine the landscape, which includes tree-lit grounds, a formal boxwood garden, and historic dependencies, through which party-goers meander. Derby Day 2016 includes a tour of Bonar Hall, live streaming of the Kentucky Derby, Bourbon tastings, a beer garden, delicious Derby Supper by Epting Events, live auction, best dressed and best hat competitions…”

The Madison-Morgan Conservancy is a nonprofit organization whose 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.

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