First Lady Jane Beshear announced Tuesday the 15th Annual Celebration of Hope, an annual gathering of cancer survivors, will offer some exciting new changes. For the first time in the history of the event, the Celebration will be held during the week leading up to Derby, on Wednesday, May 2, instead of the Monday following the race.
Additionally, the Celebration is moving out of Frankfort to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
“I’m thrilled about the fresh changes to this year’s Celebration of Hope,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Holding the event pre-Derby will only add another layer of excitement and anticipation for our ladies. And the Kentucky Horse Park is a fitting and exceptional site to help honor our survivors, remember those we’ve lost and be inspired by those who continue to fight – which is what the focus of this occasion is truly about.”
Former First Lady Judi Patton started the Celebration of Hope to celebrate breast cancer survivors and to help educate Kentuckians about the risks of the disease. This event brings together survivors, advocates, and their friends and families. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women — both nationally and in Kentucky.
The change in venue to the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena means more women than ever before will be able to participate, Mrs. Beshear said.
Event-goers will enjoy viewing a parade of more than 20 equine breeds as part of this year’s event. Following the festivities, the Kentucky Horse Park will offer free trolley tours of their grounds and facilities.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and participants, as in previous years, will enjoy a brunch featuring Kentucky Proud products. Participants can shop for jewelry, clothes, books and more from an array of local vendors.
The Celebration’s keynote speaker this year is Louisville native Rachel Helson, an actor, author, producer and philanthropist. At the age of 22, Rachel produced and starred in Broadway’s Rocky Horror Picture Show and is the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Tony as a Broadway producer. Having had several family members diagnosed with breast cancer, Rachel has been involved for many years as a strong advocate for breast cancer awareness.