ATP Breaks the Mold Again With Kentucky Derby Watch Party

WALTHAM, Mass.—You’re invited to Armenia Tree Project’s black tie gala in Downtown Boston! No, not this time. ATP is taking a novel approach to fundraising, with a Kentucky Derby Watch Party and Casino Night planned for May 5.

“ATP is in a unique position as the only Armenian environmental organization in the diaspora,” says Executive Director Jeanmarie Papelian. “As a progressive organization in this unique space, it attracts support from across a broad spectrum and is known to take an unconventional approach. That is why we are so excited about this event, which has never been done before in the Armenian community. And it is open to everyone, including non-Armenians and anyone who wants to support environmental causes.”

The Kentucky Derby Watch Party will be held at the historic Gore Place in Waltham. Gore Place is a historic country house located on a 45 acre estate. The mansion was built in 1806 as a summer home for Massachusetts lawyer and politician Christopher Gore. The Gores entertained notables including the Marquis de Lafayette, Daniel Webster, and James Monroe, and the property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. The Carriage House was built on the grounds around 1793. Around the time when the Gores built their first home on the property, they had this building constructed to house horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The newly restored Carriage House is a historic setting for events, with a rustic feel and authentic horse stalls.

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of racing’s Triple Crown that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of 1.25 miles at Churchill Downs. The race will be livestreamed at the ATP event on May 5.

The race known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” is also called the “Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. In addition to the race itself, a number of traditions play a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The mint julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and sugar syrup, is the traditional beverage of the race, and it will be served at the ATP event.

Another tradition is for Derby goers to show up at the racetrack to party with abandon. Kentucky Derby parties are held across the United States. Women appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats, and men dress in outlandish outfits including seersucker suits and stylish fedoras.

This unique ATP event will include a blend of food, drinks, gaming, and fashion. The Kentucky Derby Watch Party planning committee is John Aftandilian, Kristin Asadourian, Berge Ayvazian, Karen Gilbert, Kelly Higgins, Gohar Diana Hovsepian, Marie Mabardi, Linda Ostayan, Susan Piligian, and Daniele Sarkisian.

The evening will include casino games and watching the famed horse race via livestream. All of the proceeds from the gaming will benefit ATP’s tree planting and environmental education programs in Armenia. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and tickets to the benefit event are $150 per person. For more information and to access ATP’s Kentucky Derby web page, visit www.ArmeniaTree.org/KentuckyDerby

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Jason Sohigian

Jason Sohigian is the deputy director of Armenia Tree Project. He has a master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard. His undergraduate degree is from the Environment, Technology, and Society Program at Clark University with a concentration in Physics. From 1999 to 2004, Jason was editor of the Armenian Weekly.

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