By: Joanie Cox-Henry Contributing Writer
And they’re off! St. Jude Catholic Church in Boca Raton is gearing up for A Night At The Races, Feb. 9 in its Mount Carmel Grand Ballroom located at 21689 Toledo Road in Boca Raton.
Presented by Vera Ferola, A Night at the Races is the first year of a Kentucky Derby-themed event. However, it’s the 26th year for the annual St. Jude Ball, which is the biggest church fundraiser for the entire year.
The goal this year is to raise $40,000 for St. Jude Catholic Church.
“We wanted this year’s event to be more inclusive so we came up with the idea for ‘A Night At The Races,’” said Jay Brandt, director of development at St. Jude Catholic Church and School. “We dropped the price $75 from last year and you don’t have to rent a tux this year. We’re encouraging event goers to wear their ‘Derby best’ and hats are encouraged. We will have DJ music by High Voltage Entertainment and an open bar featuring a signature mint julep cocktail.”
In addition to a live auction and raffle items, event goers will have a chance to bid on televised horse racing with St. Jude Bucks where a never seen before race will be shown.
“There are also sponsorship opportunities to name the horses and we will have two big screens, 16 feet wide and nine feet tall showing the races,” Brandt said. “You can wager on the horses and win amazing prizes.”
“We want this to be a fun event,” said Rev. John F. Horan, O. Carm. “The enthusiasm behind putting these events on is always exciting. I love working with our team and parishioners, as well as the community. We always have a great time. We’re also excited to be putting a spotlight on several outstanding people in the community who we will be honoring at the event.”
This year’s honorees include: Joseph and Pam Janoura, Fr. Brian Horgan, Patricia Brehm Smith, Hank and Patricia Torres and Pia Giannone.
“It’s always nice to highlight the wonderful things people are doing in our community, which then inspires others to get involved,” Horan said. “I’ll be auctioning off my personal parking spot at the church and we have many other wonderful items that will be available to bid on. We look forward to seeing you at A Night At The Races.”
Tickets to A Night At The Races cost $125 per person and includes food, open bar and some St. Jude bucks. Tickets are available at stjudeboca.org or by calling 561-392-8172.