Giving Back

Run for The Roses: Derby-Themed Party May 7 Benefits The Connection's Scholarship Fund


SUMMIT, NJ - In a joyous mix of true benevolence and equine serendipity, The Connection for Women and Families will host a Kentucky Derby Party at exactly at the same time as the actual "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs occurs.

The special event will be held May 7, from 4 - 8 p.m. at Canoe Brook Country Club, with all proceeds directly benefiting The Connection’s Scholarship Fund. which insures that everyone can participate in programs regardless of their economic circumstance

The Festivities will include dinner and drinks, an auction, betting board raffle, DJ, Selfie Photo booth and hat contest.

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The 142nd Kentucky Derby -- The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports -- will be broadcast on two big screens in the club's Bassett Ballroom.

“The Scholarship Fund helps us send a child to AfterSchool Enrichment enabling her dad to go to work, or provides dinner to a family whose mother is undergoing chemotherapy," said Wendy Graeb, Executive Director of The Connection.

She added, "It allows us to teach English to a mom, so she can help her child with homework, or provides a special needs teen with a night of socializing and community while giving respite to her family. It also helps send economically disadvantaged children to camp who otherwise may stay home alone all summer.”

The impact is significant, as Graeb noted that, “In 2015 the Scholarship Fund distributed $270,000 in scholarship assistance to 500 individuals in Connection programs,”

Items up for auction include:

  • St James Club, Antigua - Seven-night getaway for couples or families, with two beautiful beaches, activities, a Kids Club and more. Estimated value: $2,800

  • Billy Joel Concert - Two premium location tickets to June 17 show. Value: $300

  • Diamond Earrings - 2 carat, white gold diamond hoop earrings. Value: $3,000

  • Private Italian Chef Dinner in Home for Eight - Clara Melchiorre, owner of Chicago Restaurant Clara’s Pasta, will prepare an Italian pasta feast for eight persons in your home. Value: $1,250

  • Tour the United Nations with lunch in Delegates Dining Room - Value: priceless

  • Tour Google's New York City Headquarters - Value: priceless

The Kentucky Derby event is put together by an Event Committee of dedicated volunteers led by Chairwoman Erika Melchiorre.

The Connection for Women and Families is a human service organization which provides a variety of programs and activities that are open to everyone. Serving 5,000 individuals each year, The Connection is well known for its aquatics, fitness, child care and recreation programs. Classes are offered for all ages, and are filled with girls and boys as young as six months to senior citizens in their nineties. In addition The Connection meets the needs of many different constituencies not reached by other agencies.

Programs include English as a Second Language, special needs swimming and recreation for adults and children, after school enrichment, cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation, and Pathways, for women with breast and gynecological cancer, special needs swimming and recreation for adults and children, after school enrichment and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation.

To purchase tickets for the event, visit or call 908-273-4242.

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