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Kentucky Derby party promises fun for a worthy cause

By By Autumn D.F. Hopkins
Staff writer
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail
Jama Jarrett (from left), Coach Kidd, Alex Alston, Julia Mishoe, Jim Strawn and Bertlela Montgomery model perfect clothing choices for the upcoming Kentucky Derby-themed party to benefit the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Jama Jarrett and Alex Alston model looks for the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center’s Kentucky Derby party. Jarrett’s look is by Ivor’s Trunk: hat by Wona Trading ($50), dress by Melly “M” ($210), clutch ($60). Alston’s look is provided by Tony the Tailor: jacket by Tallia ($295), trousers by Hiltl ($245), shirt by Forsyth ($115), belt by J&M ($69.50).
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Bertlela Montgomery models a Kentucky Derby look provided by Ivor’s Trunk. Her hat is by Wona Trading Co. ($50), jacket by Six by 6 ($160), top by Six by 6 ($69), slacks by Triba ($69).
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Don’t want to completely cover your hair? Not committed to a full-scale hat? Or just still inspired by the royals? Either way, fascinators are still the rage. This spectacular purple option was provided by Ivor’s Trunk ($30).
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail This silk pocket square adds a pop of color and an opportunity to pull together mixed prints like seersucker and checks. Use fine details like this for a polished look. An assortment of pocket squares in varying fabrics and patterns are available at Tony the Tailor.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Big hats are where it’s at! You can’t go wrong with a large, bright topper, whether you’re “stomping the divots” on the green or just having a cocktail at the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center’s upcoming Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser. Hat by Wona Trading Co. ($50) provided by Ivor’s Trunk.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Bow ties are the quintessential Kentucky Derby accessory. A selection of hand-crafted neckwear is availably at Tony the Tailor.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Brightly colored trousers and linen-accented shoes scream “spring,” and nothing ushers in spring quite like the Kentucky Derby. These wingtips are by Johnson & Murphy and retail for $195 at Tony the Tailor.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Footwear is a great way for men to spice up their spring fashion. What better place to debut your newest look than at a Kentucky Derby party? McGavok by Johnson & Murphy in red, white and blue ($195), provided by Tony the Tailor.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail A selection of the purses available at Ivor’s Trunk, on Lee Street, just in time to spruce up a derby look. The bags range in price from $60 to $90. The glasses pictured will be given away as souvenirs during the fundraiser.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Mixing and matching patterns is a fun way to express your inner creativity. The Kentucky Derby party to benefit the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center is the perfect opportunity to let your inner bad boy express his funky fashion. Here you see an upscale T-shirt pair with a glitzy dinner jacket.
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Coach Kidd and Bertlela Montgomery model ideal looks for the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center Kentucky Derby party coming up Saturday. Kidd’s look is provided by Tony the Tailor. He is wearing a handmade linen double-breasted suit designed by Anthony Paranzino as part of his Signature Collection ($695). His shirt is David Donahue Blue-on-Blue ($135), bow tie by Tony the Tailor ($45), linen pocket square ($18), shoes Johnston & Murphy ($195). Montgomery’s look is by Ivor’s Trunk. Her hat is by Wona Trading ($50), jacket is Six by 6 ($160), pants by Tribal ($69), top Six by 6 ($49).
CHIP ELLIS | Sunday Gazette Mail Coach Kidd and Bertlela Montgomery model ideal looks for the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center Kentucky Derby party coming up Saturday. Kidd’s look is provided by Tony the Tailor. He is wearing a handmade linen double-breasted suit designed by Anthony Paranzino as part of his Signature Collection ($695). His shirt is David Donahue Blue-on-Blue ($135), bow tie by Tony the Tailor ($45), linen pocket square ($18), shoes Johnston & Murphy ($195). Montgomery’s look is by Ivor’s Trunk. Her hat is by Wona Trading ($50), jacket is Six by 6 ($160), pants by Tribal ($69), top Six by 6 ($49).

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — This time of year, the Kentucky Derby is a much anticipated event for horse racing fans around the globe. But if you can’t make the drip to Churchill Downs, you might want to try Charleston’s answer to the equestrian fan’s dream: the ninth annual Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center’s Kentucky Derby fundraiser.

The event will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Charleston Marriott Town Center Pavilion.

The party will include a simulcast of the race, Kentucky Derby-themed heavy hors d’oeuvres — such as bourbon balls and hot rounds — a cash bar featuring mint juleps, friendly faux-money horse wagering and table games provided by the Optimist Club.

The nonprofit Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center provides services for those at risk of homelessness in the Kanawha Valley. Roark-Sullivan development director Cathy Matheny said this is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year and that they expect about 300 people to be in attendance.

Although the event is all about fun and fundraising, Roark-Sullivan CEO Alex Alston wants the community to know just what they are supporting.

“Through education, housing and various training, we help people become self-sufficient in the community,” Alston said. And the need for their services is great. The center has 102 beds in five facilities in Kanawha County.

“People know us as the men’s emergency shelter,” Alston explained. “They don’t know what else is there and what services we provide. Last night we had 110 people in those 102 beds. That is over and above capacity. Those are people who, if we didn’t exist, would have been on the street last night.”

But, he went on to say, the center isn’t just about having a place to crash for the night.

“People look at a shelter and they think of a shelter as just a bed. They’ve seen it in a movie and they have this conception of a shelter as just a place to sleep. They don’t understand exactly what we do. It is very different from the traditional shelter model. People have a bed — it is theirs. They have a locker for their things. They’re working towards becoming independent.”

The Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center offers myriad programs that can help with everything from the small to the seemingly insurmountable. They strive to help people be able to, once again, function independently in society.

“The goal is not just ‘a hot and a cot,’” Matheny said. “We want to get them to transition back into a supporting member of society. We want to help these people be able to maintain a stable lifestyle. We’re setting people up with a home base, giving them somewhere to grow from.”

“All of programs start from outreach and work through permanent housing,” Alston said. “Our veterans service center is open for vets in the community, whether they are homeless or not. Services can be anything from as simple as a cup of coffee or a shower, somewhere to do laundry, up to support groups on budgeting and family relationships. We have a computer lab where they can do job applications and résumés. There are a lot of good opportunities there, a lot of case management and support. Not just a place to crash,” Alston said.

“Ideally we’ll put ourselves out of work,” he added. “We want to be so successful that no one needs our services.”

Saturday’s event will go a long way toward funding those services.

The evening will be hosted by Jim Strawn and DJ’d by Coach Kidd of Electric 102.

There will be a silent auction with gift baskets including sports memorabilia, restaurant gift certificates and golf accessories.

There will be prizes awarded for the best hat and for the evening’s “high roller” at the table games. The event promises to provide lots of fun and excitement for the attendees while helping to provide a much-needed service in the community.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the programs offered at Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center, email cmatheney@rslwc.org or call 681-205-8920.


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