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News Details LMH News

May News Release - Derby Day on Main


NEWS RELEASE - May 4, 2015 - Contact:  Betty S. Weemes, 787-5117


Above is a photo of the handsome art piece that “graced” the food table at Derby Day,
Saturday, May 2, on the General Morgan Inn’s beautiful and inviting terrace.

Traditional Kentucky Derby food was available to guests attending this inaugural event.  The menu consisted of Kentucky Hot Browns, Benedictine Dip with Crudité, corn pudding, Kentucky deviled eggs, banana bread, bourbon bread pudding, Derby Pie tartlets, and an array of other colorful and tasty hors d’oeuvres.  A real novelty item was a special treat, Kentucky Beaten Biscuits.
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The inaugural Derby Day on Main, presented by Laughlin Health Care Foundation, was well-received, well-attended with approximately 260 guests at the sold-out event held on the beautiful and inviting terrace of General Morgan Inn, downtown Greeneville.  The fund-development effort was created to support “Feed the Children of Greeneville and Greene County” for the summer recess program, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Betty Weemes, director of Laughlin Health Care Foundation, said, “We became aware of the summer program to support Greeneville and Greene County children who were receiving breakfast, lunch, and snacks at school following our involvement with volunteers in the western part of Greene County to identify “at risk” children during the Christmas and New Year’s school recess.  For the past two years, Laughlin Health Care Foundation has provided for children, who were identified as needing “food support.”  Funding for these two years was made possible through the Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award, a fund of Laughlin Health Care Foundation through the Scott Niswonger Family.  This funding support of food for the holiday recess programs was distributed at the behest of Jerlee Ottinger, the 2012 recipient of the Grady Award.  Funding for the summer program was the direct mission of Derby Day.

Last year during the summer recess from school, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, provided the following stats about the number of children who received food: The Lunch Express Bus Program fed 301 children and served 4,231 meals over a 44-day-operation.  At the summer traditional meal sites, 181 children received 1,507 breakfast meals and 2,570 lunch meals over a 57-day-operation.

“A good time, for a good cause” has been the theme of the event from the time it was announced.  Social media is now joyfully filled with photos of big hats, colorful frocks for the ladies, and dapper derby dress for the gentlemen.  Bill Brown and son, Patrick, were the MCs for the festivities.  And, they kept the afternoon and early evening moving ever so gracefully as they announced the best hat, best dressed lady, and best dressed gentleman.  Hilary Porta received recognition for her striking millinery design in the category of best overall hat.  Hugh Wells, the ever present epitome of a southern gentleman, captured the best dressed in the “gents” category. Rhonda Shanks was named best dressed lady for her dramatic and creative incorporation of black and white attire, from head-to-toe.

The sky around General Morgan Inn was filled with the sounds of music from the Tusculum College Jazz Band, under the direction of maestro, David Price.  Vintage footage of past Kentucky Derbies was projected on the 10 by 10 foot screen in celebration of the day.  These classic “Run for the Roses” film clips were continuously being run during the entire event, until the live broadcast began at 6:00.  From the 6:00 o’clock time to the 6:24 beginning of the race, Bill and Patrick Brown provided fun facts about the race.  For example, only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown:  First ever, Sir Barton in 1919.  Most recent, Affirmed in 1978. The Browns encouraged the guests to participate in “fun” opportunities to provide additional funding for “Feed the Children.”

Well-presented, traditional Kentucky Derby food was available throughout the event for the guests. The beautiful, sunshine was the catalyst for the enjoyable day; blue skies and the beautiful sunshine brought broad smiles to the face of guests from afternoon and early evening.

To our sponsors, a big shout-out: Anonymous Donor; Phil and Martha Bachman; Greeneville Anesthesia Services; Greeneville Light and Power; Mrs. Fred Parvin;  Roberts Furniture, Appliances & Accents;  Hugh & Rosetta Wells;  and our media sponsors: Charter Media and Radio Greeneville. We would also like to thank our gift-in-kind sponsors: Food City Asheville Highway, General Morgan Inn, Grand Rental, Lowe’s of Greeneville, and Betty and John Weemes.

Upon questioning next year’s Derby Day and whether or not it will be continued, it was learned that the General Morgan Inn ballroom and terrace have been reserved for the “Run for the Roses” on the first Saturday in May 2016.  Mark your calendars.

For additional information about Derby Day, contact Laughlin Health Care Foundation, 787-5117.