If you’ve lived in Barrington long enough, the mention of Derby Party means two things. First, it’s time to put on your party hat, and second, it’s time to save the date in support of Barrington Children’s Charities (BCC).
For eight years, BCC has thrown one of the most anticipated fundraising events of the season—a Kentucky Derby-themed party that brings a taste of iconic horse race elegance to Barrington. The location for this year’s Saturday, May 5 soiree at Mrs. Mary Galvin’s estate in Barrington Hills, brings an extra element of equestrian glamour.
“My co-chair, Jodie Barbera, has known Mrs. Galvin for years,” explains Sara Werner, who has served on the board of BCC with her husband Greg Werner. “When asked if we could hold our event in her barn, she generously donated the space. It’s a rustic barn with a magical feel. On Derby day, it will feel like we’re in the stables at Churchill Downs.”
But as long-time supporters know, this is about more than just another fancy party. At the heart and soul of the event is the cause—children in need from the Barrington area and the myriad ways that BCC works to give them the best shot at future success. Run entirely by volunteers, the nonprofit, 501c3 organization donates monies raised to support and address the social, emotional, physical, and educational needs of children within the District 220 area and chooses all beneficiaries based on need.
With the idea that children are our society’s most valuable resource, BCC has a two-fold mission to heighten public awareness of children’s issues and foster solutions to their problems. This is something that struck Werner and her family very directly and inspired them to get involved.
“Almost 20 years ago, Greg and I made the decision to raise our family in Barrington. We based our decision largely on the reputation of the school system as well as the close-knit community where children are a priority,” says Werner. “As an active parent, volunteer, and occasional substitute teacher, I have seen first-hand the importance of supporting not only the educational needs but also the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children in our community. Barrington Children’s Charities was founded by our dear friends, Tom and Darby Hills, who recognized there was a need in Barrington. Whether it’s food for the weekend, mental health therapy, or strengthening middle school girls’ self-esteem, we are providing ways to help create a positive life balance for the future leaders of our community.”
Barbera’s devotion to BCC is similarly motivated. While the organization’s two main fundraisers—Derby Party in spring and Holly Ball during the holiday season—are lavish and memorably grand, the bottom line is raising money for BCC programs.
“These fundraisers allow us to raise important funds for endeavors such as our ‘Blessings in a Backpack’ program,” she explains. “Just through Blessings alone, District 220 children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program are provided with food every weekend of the school year.
This is just one way we nourish and support children who are living here in our communities and give them a chance at a brighter tomorrow.”
This enthusiasm and passion for BCC shines in the quality and detail of the event itself. This year’s 8th annual Derby Party will include catering from Moretti’s Unique Events, a photo booth, unique live auctions, surprise raffles, and entertainment by the Sons of Bildor with the emceeing talents of veteran FORD model Kurt Clauss and Living Healthy Chicago host Jane Monzures. As always, traditional Derby attire (with appropriate footwear suitable for this year’s barn venue) is highly encouraged.
Werner says she and her husband have been attending these events since their inception. “Five years ago, we were asked to join the board of directors. We jumped in with both feet and are truly committed to the mission of the organization. Co-chairing this year’s Derby Party is another way for me to help raise funds for children in need in our community. It’s going to be a fabulous day for a fabulous cause.”
Barrington Children’s Charities 8th Annual Derby Party will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Tickets are $150 per person. For more information, visit barringtonchildrenscharities.com.