Residents can enjoy a derby-themed evening to benefit children with special needs during “A Night at the Derby Gala” next weekend.
Saturday’s annual fundraising banquet costs $150 per person, with cocktails served about 5:30 p.m. at Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children in Killeen. The dinner and auction starts about 6:30 p.m.
Auction items include a trip for two to the New York world premiere of “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” a whitetail deer hunt with a three-day guided hunt at the Santa Margarita Ranch in California, a trip to the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans with a private tour of the saddling paddock and horse training arena, dinner for eight at The Range at Barton House in Salado and a fish fry that feeds 50 people.
The event also will feature traditional derby cuisine by The Range, mint juleps, a derby hat contest, horse racing for entertainment, finish-line photos, raffles and gift bags.
Clayton Champlin, 19, a Florence High School student with special needs, will be recognized as the Empowered Child of 2014. Champlin has attended events at the retreat for 16 years.
“Clayton is always excited about visiting the retreat,” said Ericka Mitchell, development coordinator for the local Peaceable Kingdom. “The incredible young man has demonstrated the great spirit of empowerment through his positive attitude, sense of adventure and courage as he faces life with developmental challenges.”
The gala also will honor Mary Helen and Charles Schreiner IV and their family. The Schreiners, along with Daurice and Jim Bowmer, served as the founders of Peaceable Kingdom.
For event tickets, sponsorships, donations and volunteer opportunities, call 254-554-5555 or go to www.varietytexas.org.