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Hermitage Farm to host Derby Gala event

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By Taylor Riley

By Taylor Riley

Reporter

Hermitage Farms in Goshen will be the scene of the Hermitage Grand Gala, a star-studded Derby Eve party this Friday, May 1.

The party is a joining of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, founders of 21c Museum Hotels, and Junior Bridgeman, President of Bridgeman Foods.

Brown and Wilson are married and are active philanthropists and entrepreneurs. They are the owners of Hermitage Farm, 21c Museum Hotels and the Kentucky Bison Co. Junior Bridgeman is a Chicago native and was a University of Louisville basketball player who later went on to have a 12-year NBA career.

“In the spring of the year and the beginning of the racing season, wall eyes are on Kentucky and a celebration to raise the bar is long overdue,” Wilson said in a press release. “We want to put glamour back in to the festivities that surround the Derby with headlining entertainment and great food but also use the opportunity to raise funds for community programs we care about.”

The party is also a philanthropic event, with charitable beneficiaries including Louisville’s West End School, Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University, the Cardinal Covenant Scholarship at the University of Louisville, Kosair Children’s Hospital and the University of Louisville Autism Center.

In attendance will be Grammy Award-winning artist Darius Rucker who has signed on to perform. Ne-Yo and DJ Cassidy will also perform.

Confirmed celebrity guests include: Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Nick and Vanessa Lachey, David Arquette, Angela Bassett and Russell Wilson. Other guests include local “celebrities” John Calipari, Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth.

For more information on the event, go to www.hermitagegrandgala.com.