The second annual Louisville Urban League Derby Gala, featuring casino games, a seated dinner and a performance by national recording artist Charlie Wilson, drew more than 1,000 people to the Omni Louisville on Wednesday night.

Kentucky Derby Festival board member Alfonso Cornish said the event has grown so popular because of the work the Urban League does outside of Kentucky Derby season.

“This is the second year the gala has been an official part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. It is a successful partnership because people appreciate what the Urban League does for this community. The gala is a way to support it and have fun too,” Cornish explained.

The Urban League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan service organization that offers programs focused on a wide variety of issues including employment, education, criminal justice, health and affordable housing.

The gala is the organization’s main fundraiser. Individual tickets were $250. Corporate sponsors paid prices ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 for the tables. Some major sponsors included HJI Supply Chain Solutions, Brown-Forman, Atria Senior Living, Butchertown Grocery and LG&E.

“This year was the biggest gala we’ve ever had. It is in the biggest venue we’ve ever had, and it sold out. The Omni has just been incredible, and I hope it keeps growing every year,” said Condrad Daniels, an Urban League board member and president of HJI Supply Chain Solutions.

Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds said she was especially proud that Wednesday’s gala reflected the Urban League’s mission by attracting people from all sections of the city.

“This is one of the most diverse groups you will find anywhere. People from every racial and economic group in Louisville are represented here. I’m so thankful they all saw a purpose in helping the Urban League further its work. We are all about getting people together,” Reynolds added.

20180502_184200DinersBernadette HamiltonAlfonzo Cornish20180502_19042220180502_18511420180502_184433GamblingEric KingLady JLady J 2Tori Murden
Left to right: Speed Museum Director Stephen Reily, former Courier Journal columnist Betty Baye and historian Emily Bingham posed for a picture. | Photo by Michael L. Jones


Michael L. Jones
    Michael L. Jones, a freelance journalist and author, covers communities for Insider Louisville. His latest book "Louisville Jug Music: From Earl McDonald to the National Jubilee" (History Press) received the 2014 Samuel Thomas Book Award from the Louisville Historical League. In addition to his contributions to Insider, his writing appears regularly in LEO Weekly, Louisville Magazine, Food & Dining – Louisville Edition, and Who’s Who Louisville: African American Profiles. He also sits on the board of directors of the National Jug Band Jubilee. Jones and his wife, Melissa Amos-Jones, a physical therapist, live in the Kenwood Hills neighborhood near Iroquois Park.


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