LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – From tastings, to gala'sand parties, the pre-Derby celebrations are off to a great start. Not only are these events fun and they bring in celebrities, but they also raise a lot of money and awareness.
More than 50 different local vendors dished up Kentucky favorites at the 10th annual Taste of the Oaks. This event benefits the Easter Seals of Louisville, a special organization devoted to some very special kids.
"We help small children with disabilities to try to live up to their maximum potential," said Larry Fisher, former Easter Seals of Louisville chairman.
After the wining and dining, it was time for a brand new event Grace at the Race. Retired NBA Chicago Bulls player, Scottie Pippen walked the red carpet. He's visiting the Derby city for the first time.
"There's a lot of energy here with the Derby coming on this weekend, it's great time to be here and we are looking forward to a great weekend," said Pippen.
Pippen helped raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana as well as the West End School.
"As a player, former player, you always want to be able to give back," said Pippen.
Over at the Kentucky International Convention Center, it was time to have a little fun and raise money for the annual 100 Black Men of Louisville Derby Scholarship.
"The 100 Black Men are very caring organization," said Erica Lee, Miss Collegiate 100. "They always want to reach out and help others in any way that they can."
At Ferdinand's Ball, this year's celebrity host was National Champion Louisville Cardinal, Peyton Siva. The party raised funds for old friends, a non-profit group devoted to rescuing retired racehorses from neglect, abuse, and slaughter.
"It's truly an honor to be here," said Siva.
It's no surprise who Siva will be putting money on this year at the Kentucky Derby. "I've got to go with Coach P's horse," said Siva. "The man's been on fire this year."
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