It’s nearly time for the Kentucky Derby, and for the second consecutive year, TCM Counseling is hosting its “A Night at the Derby” fundraiser in association with America’s most famous horse race.
The event takes place Saturday, May 5, at the Spring Lake Country Club, 17496 N. Fruitport Road. Tickets are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight.
This actually marks the eighth year that TCM has held a spring fundrasier. The first seven events focused on a Broadway theme.
“Last year, we changed the theme to ‘A Night at the Derby,’ a Kentucky Derby theme, and out of all of those, it was our most successful one ever,” said TCM Counseling Executive Director Sarah Lewakowski. “We raised $65,000 after expenses. That exceeded our expectations. You learn things every time you try something new, so it was very successful and fun last year, and we think it’s going to be even better this year.”
The evening begins with a cocktail hour (think mint juleps) at 5 p.m. A silent auction will take place during that time, and those in attendance will each get to draw a horse to cheer on during the Kentucky Derby, which starts at approximately 6:30 p.m. Prizes go to those who draw the winning horse.
“We’ll all watch the race, where everyone is going to be picking a horse for prizes,” Lewakowski said. “Then we’ll have dinner and a brief program about TCM Counseling and what we’ve been doing in the community, and an update on the mental health status and need for the community along the Lakeshore. We have services from the Tri-Cities down to Holland and Zeeland.”
Trophies will be handed out to the winners of the “Best Hat” and “Dapper Dan” contests.
If you can’t attend the banquet, there’s another way to support TCM Counseling. Raffle tickets are now on sale at www.tcmcounseling.org. The cost is $25 per ticket, five for $100 or 10 for $175.
The grand prize is a four-night trip to Barbados. A second-place winner gets a sunset cruise along Spring Lake/Lake Michigan, while third place is dinner and golf for four at Spring Lake Country Club.
You do not have to be present at the banquet to win the raffle prizes.
TCM offers free counseling services to anyone who needs help. Their policy is to never turn away someone in need. Services include a school outreach program, the Employee Assistance Program and suicide prevention. This past school year, 283 students received services through TCM Counseling.
Lewakowski said these types of services would not be available without money raised during the “A Night at the Derby” and other fundraisers.
“We’re providing services to 20 schools along the Lakeshore, and that wouldn’t be possible without people’s support,” she said.