Oceanport, NJ— The Monmouth Park Charity Fund hosted its 15th Annual Kentucky Derby Celebration on Saturday May 5, 2018 under the tents at Blu Grotto’s beautiful outdoor garden on the historic grounds of Monmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport, NJ.  This premier social event was sponsored by Ray Catena Auto Group welcoming a sold-out crowd of over 400 guests and raising a record $236,365 to support their seventy-two-year legacy of raising funds to give back to the local community.  The party exemplified a true Derby Celebration, complete with simulcast wagering throughout the afternoon and Horseshoe Raffle for the Kentucky Derby Race.  

The Blu Grotto chef prepared specialty foods and hors d’oeuvres and the open bars featured specialty mint juleps, famous Kentucky bourbon’s and Kentucky Race Day Ale’s.  Shoppers enjoyed a live auction emceed by Big Joe Henry that included a trip to Cabo, Mexico, NYC trip including tickets to “Hello Dolly", starring the Bernadette Peters, four-course dinner and wine pairings for 10 at Blu Grotto’s wine cellar and a Michael Duru Clothiers Custom Men’s Suit!  Maria Tanzola, event co-chair was pleased to lead the traditional male and female hat parade that was judged by Lauren Krieg-Harms, Warren Diamond and Phil Villapiano.

The event honored Michael Duru Clothiers for contributing time, talent and treasure to support many local charities; Thomas Hayes, Director of Customer and Community Relations at New Jersey Natural Gas, for his commitment and leadership, serving on over 20 local charity boards and assisting countless others, where his hard work and dedication strengthens partnerships between charities and the corporate community: and Joseph Roselle as a recognized and beloved philanthropic leader and personal champion in our community.  

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In gratitude for their selfless service, our Military Hero Sponsors underwrote a table of local military and veteran heroes to come as our guests.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Monmouth Park Charity Fund whose mission is to raise and distribute funds to non-profit agencies throughout Monmouth County.  These agencies provide services for health care, those at risk in the community, and those in need of special services.   Since its inception in 1946, Monmouth Park Charity Fund has distributed over $9,400,000 to over 100 local charities in Monmouth County!    

 "Monmouth Park Charity Fund's Kentucky Derby Celebration, hosted at Monmouth Park Racetrack, is an exciting way to enjoy the Kentucky Derby while helping to raise funds for the many charities of Monmouth County who care for those in need in our community," stated Maureen Lloyd, Event Chair and President of Monmouth Park Charity Fund Board of Trustees.