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May 05, 2012 - Denver Derby Party - A Colorado Tradition

What: 2012 Sean 'Ranch' Lough Memorial Scholarship Denver Derby Party

Where: Denver Performing Arts Complex & 14th Street - around Curtis

When: Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time: 1:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (Derby running at around 4:00 p.m. & helicopter fly over at around 4:30 p.m.)

Ticket Prices: $110 - General Admission; $220 V.I.P. Jockey Club

Beneficiary: Sean "Ranch" Lough Memorial Scholarship

Host(s): founders, committee members & sponsors

Mistress of Ceremonies: Dayle Cedars

Master of Ceremonies: Nick Mystrom

Honoree(s): Arrupe Jesuit High School student, Sandra Carrillo, winner of the Sean Lough Memorial Scholarship

Founders: Terrence Hunt & Scott Anderson

Committee Members: Scott Anderson, Terrance Hunt, Mark Barger, Josh White, Garrett Gee, Mike Berg, Brad Hansen, Mike Dominguez, Ron Martinez, Steve Heim, Chip Kahn, Kishen Mangat, Drake Harris, Kevin Curran, Matt Zettel, Scott Watkins, Bluey Kwech, Mark Zemenak, Ryan Williams, Mike Ligon, Roland Eibl, Matt Barnhill, Kretice Leiker Crowson, Aimee Monihan Greening & Nick Mystrom

Entertainment: Queen City Jazz Band from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., DJ Michael Smith from 4:30 p.m. to close

Of note: A special tribute was given to Matthew Barger & Jason Rosenbaum, two original committee members, who have since passed away

Sponsors: Title Sponsor: United Capital Markets; Premier Sponsors: Coors Light, Buffalo Trace Distillery, HD Communications LLC, Key Bank, Verizon, Reserve Casino/Hotel, Soybu; Platinum Sponsors: Republic National Distributing Co., Nordstrom, Pepsi, ReadyTalk, Spire; Gold Sponsors: Ethix Solutions, Expand a Sign, Liquid Compass, Lee Robinson Photography, Home Vibe, Benchmark 8, Japoix Restaurant, Scout Cleaning, Jing Restaurant, Georgia Pacific, Organic Pizza Company, Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Marie & Co., Pura Vida Fitness & Spa, Denver Pizza Company, Duet Design Group, Fleur Decor, Viking Power Fitness, Lindeman's, The Event Booth, IcelandAir, Founders Estate California

Attendance: 4,500

Attire: Southern cocktail - hats encouraged (big time!)

Special Thanks: Max Gill & Grill - official Wash Park brunch, bus ride & post party; The Corner Office & The Curtis Hotel - pre-party disco brunch, official hotel & venue for "The Derby After-Party"


Event Coordinator: Kretice Leiker Crowson and Aimee Monihan Greening

Blacktie Photos by: Nancy Koontz and Pamela Cress

 Sandra Carrillo is the worthy recipient of the 2012 Sean 'Ranch' Lough Memorial Scholarship
Sandra Carrillo is the worthy recipient of the 2012 Sean 'Ranch' Lough Memorial Scholarship

"I'll Have Another" might have been the horse that won the official 2012 Kentucky Derby, but we believe Sandra Carrillo, the recipient of this year's "Sean "Ranch" Lough Memorial Scholarship was as big a winner!  A senior at Arrupe Jesuit High School, Sandra won a full-ride scholarship to Colorado State University which is the alma mater of Sean Lough and many of the founders and supporters of the original Denver Derby Party, "the party with a purpose." 

With 4,500 well-dressed, behatted guests, this year's - often imitated, never equaled - event was held at a new venue, the newly renovated Denver Performing Arts Complex in the "14th Street entertainment district"  and was the most elaborate to date.  The 11th annual Derby Party, benefiting the Sean "Ranch" Lough Memorial Scholarship, was held on May 5th in a vibrant Downtown Denver!  The newly updated 14th Street area around the Performing Arts Complex was tented and closed down to transform the city streets and buildings into a dynamic indoor/outdoor space.

The focal point of this year’s fundraiser was the Colorado Convention Center corner and the largest LED display in the nation outside of Times Square, which carried the Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby on NBCThe Derby Party 2012 also incorpored the elegant Ellie Caulkins Opera House and part of the Galleria Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.  Close to 5,000 people experienced what has been recognized as the largest derby party outside of Kentucky in this very unique event space.  Even out-of-town visitors walking the streets of downtown Denver were quite impressed by the creative hats, dresses, pinstripes and plaids on display outside and around the event. 

Also on display - on screens in the main tent - were live-action cam shots of people arriving at the party.  Food and drinks were their usual ample and tasty.  The hats and clothing seen at The Denver Derby Party might have riveled Churchill Downs this year!  More flowers, colors, ribbons and feathers were seen than ever, with several Mexican-themed hats in recognition of Cinco de Mayo, which also took place the same day. 

Sean Lough (AKA "Ranch") was a dear friend, brother and son who tragically passed away in June of 2001 as a result of a mountain biking accident.  A full-ride scholarship is awarded each year to a young individual, such as Sandra Carrillo (a first generation college student), who exemplifies the qualities "Ranch" possessed: a high GPA, an economic need, and, most of all, a generous personality and a love for life. 

The Derby Party raised an estimated $400,000 this year and operates solely on volunteer time, energy and commitment, so there are very few operating expenses.  The founders of this event are proud to say that 100% of the proceeds benefit the scholarship given in the name of Sean Lough. The Sean “Ranch” Lough Foundation hosts and committee members volunteer their time, and the scholarship funds are deposited into CSU’s 501(c)3 and are managed by the school’s endowment manager.

The hosts and their sponsors would like to tell everyone who attended that they are grateful for their  continued support and – see you next year "rain or shine!"


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