2020 Celebration next May!
Wear your fanciest hat and come to our annual fundraiser – A Night at the Races, an event where actual races are shown to recreate the atmosphere of being at the race track. You can win big time!
What do you get for your entry fee?
The entry fee, $30 for singles or $50 for a couple, provides entry to the event. Food and refreshments are included. But the most important aspect of the entry fee is that you get to name a horse. Your horse will be randomly entered in one of the ten races and your sponsorship of the horse will be announced in the runup to that race. Preregistration is required to name a horse because we need the name for the program ahead of time, but if you show up the night of the event you still get a horse. If your horse wins its race, you win your entry fee back, making the whole night a free event. Last year, five of the races were won by owned horses.
How does it work?
We are provided with a DVD of 10 horse races, each with eight to twelve horses. The DVD is sealed when we get it and we break the seal in Getman Hall in preparation for the first race. No one connected to the event knows which horse will win each race and the winning pattern has been different for each of the last three years. Before each race, or as far ahead of each race as you would like, the betting windows will be open, selling $2 “win” tickets for all of the horses in the race. The church takes a cut of each bet, as this is a fundraiser, of course, but the rest of the funds bet go into a pool that is won by the holders of the winning tickets. This is parimutuel betting, where the amount paid out for each winning ticket depends on the total amount of the pool, less the church’s percentage, divided by the number of winning tickets. The payouts for the two dollar races for the last two years has ranged from $6 to $21 per winning ticket. The ninth race is a special race with $5 “win” tickets and last year’s payout was $80. Race betting is in addition to your “owned” horse, so if you choose to bet on your owned horse in addition to your entry fee, and your horse wins its race, you could walk away $80 to the good as one lucky horse owner could have done last year in the $5 Ninth Race.
The doors open at 6 pm to get started on food and refreshments, the betting windows will open at 6:45 ahead of the first race going off at 7:00. Races will run every 15 minutes and you can collect your winnings at any time after the race is completed, until the end of the evening. Any funds from unclaimed winning tickets at the end of the night are considered to be a donation to the church.
After the fifth race, halfway through the evening, we will take a break for two special events. The first is the judging of the hats. The Kentucky Derby, a week before our event, is famous for the ladies’ hats. At Night at the Races, both ladies and gentlemen are welcome to compete for the Best Hat, with a special prize to be awarded. The second event is a 50/50 Heads and Tails, which is a chance to get out of your chairs and stretch (other than walking to the bar or betting windows). Participation is optional and is in addition to the entry fee. Everyone who wants to play pays $5 and all participating stand up. All players choose Heads or Tails by putting their hands on either their head or their tail. A coin is tossed and all those who chose the opposite of the result sit down. This continues until only two remain standing, where one has to choose Heads and the other Tails. A final coin toss decides the winner, who wins half of the Heads or Tails pool. With 70 people attending and all participating, the pool would be $350 and winner would take home $175.
It is an adults-only event, so please arrange for a sitter and join us for a great evening of fun and entertainment. Bring your friends and neighbors, the more the merrier!