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Soroptimist derby party helps women earn college degrees


Why go 202 miles and a few furlongs north to Churchill Downs, when the Derby silks can be seen right here on a big screen TV at the fi fth annual Soroptimist Derby day party. Stables and Silks, considered by those who attend to be “The Real Derby Party,” is off and running on Saturday, May 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the horse environment of the Tennessee Equine Hospital in Thompson’s Station.

“This is our fifth year and we have grown each year,” said Cindy Sargent, club vice president. “The Equine Hospital is great. It fits into our theme of the Derby.”

Tickets for the event are $75 per person, $140 per couple and $1,000 for a table of 10. Included in the ticket price are a Derby Day feast of hot browns, the Benedictine, Derby Pie, all provided by the Daily Dish; mint juleps and a special tasting of the new Louisville spirit, Angel’s Envy; a tour of the only equine hospital in Middle Tennessee and its stables; and live music by The Chill band.

While enjoying the food and adult beverages in between races, check out the silent auction, which will include numerous themed baskets just waiting for a new stable.

Proceeds for the event will go towards scholarships for women to attend Columbia State Community College and to support Bridges Domestic Violence Shelter.

“Last year we were able to give scholarships to seven women and provide funds to Bridges,” Sargent said.

For two of those recipients, the scholarship money meant a positive change in their academic timetable and their lives.

“Oh my gosh, it was one of the best things that has happened to me,” said Margaret Fay, a single mom who lost her job as an office coordinator with a local nonprofit and was trying to scrape up the money to go to college.

“I was scraping through, but now I can afford to take extra classes and hopefully if I stay on track, I’ll graduate next May.”

Fay is studying business administration with an emphasis on human resources, “to help people.”

Carmen Renee Snider was a busy stay-at-home mom who decided to go back to school. Her single income dictated a lot of financial juggling as a part-time nursing student and full-time mom.

“The scholarship helped me to go full time in 2012,” she said. “Now, if I can stay on track, I’ll graduate in December, 2014 and be able to contribute to the household income.”

Snider said she was surprised to learn she received the scholarship.

“I don’t typically fall into the college-student category or fit the normal scholarship criteria,” she said.

Soroptimist, which means “best for women,” is the women’s version of the Optimist Club. Business and professional women work together to improve the lives of women and girls locally and internationally.

“We are all about bettering the lives of women,” Sargent said. “We are a partner in Soroptimist International, and then each chapter finds their own projects.”

The local chapter of professional women from varied backgrounds come together to help better the lives of women in the community by supporting differentcharities like Mercy Clinics new healthcare for adults program, breast cancer and other women’s health-related organizations, domestic violence and education.

Soroptimist International’s focus is human trafficking around the world.

“It’ll be the best Derby party around.” To order tickets go to

For more information about Soroptimist go to the website or contact Jenna Campbell, club president, at 615-790-7960.

Posted on: 5/2/2013


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