After a winter which felt more like spring at times, the real spring has finally galloped into our lives to help shake off Louisville’s blues. What better way to welcome spring — and all of the galloping to come — than with the sixth annual Down Syndrome of Louisville Gallop Gala in late April.
TOPS Louisville took a few moments to ask DSL Development Manager Whitney Hobbs about the Gallop Gala, the history of DSL and the gala, and what to expect with this year’s edition.
“Down Syndrome of Louisville was started in 1977 by a woman named Mary Carter, a special education teacher,” said Hobbs. “She started it as a grassroots organization with parents of individuals with Down Syndrome. In 1991, they incorporated and became Down Syndrome of Louisville.”
In more recent memory, DSL’s milestones include the establishment of its lifelong learning center in 2011, and attaining gold accreditation from Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action in 2016.
Hobbs said the gala began as another way for DSL to raise funds for its programming — which covers all with Down Syndrome from birth to college, the workplace, and through the rest of their lives — attracting those looking to do good for their community while dancing and dining the night away with their friends and friends-to-be.
Like previous Gallop Galas, the 2017 edition’s theme is centered around the Kentucky Derby; thus, expect lots of horse-racing related iconography. Due to occurring the day before the biggest fireworks display in North America, Thunder Over Louisville, Hobbs says the gala will have fireworks as part of the theme.
What else should guests expect upon arrival?
“We do have a red carpet entrance. We invite our members [over 21 years of age] — who are individuals with Down Syndrome — to come and walk the red carpet. Then, we do a cocktail party and dinner, a live auction, and of course, the gala.”
The agenda for the 2017 Gallop Gala includes Derby legend Pat Day, who will receive DSL’s Friendship Award for his work with the organization, and music from one of Louisville’s favorite party bands, The Louisville Crashers. All proceeds from the night will go back into DSL’s programming.
“We would love for everyone to come, spend some time with us, and raise some money for our wonderful cause.”
Needing to put a little gallop in your step? Then mark off Friday, April 21, 2017 on your social calendar, and head over to the Downtown Louisville Marriott on 280 West Jefferson Street in Louisville for the 2017 Gallop Gala. A single ticket to the gala goes for $250, an eight-person VIP table sponsorship for $2,500. Winner’s Circle After-Party tickets are $25 a piece; each ticket comes with two drink tickets good for your choice of beverages.
The main event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. with the after-party capping off the night beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at downsyndromeoflouisville.org, or by calling Whitney Hobbs at 502-495-5088.