A Cajun-themed benefit to aid two seemingly disparate charities will be held at the iconic Castle Post in Versailles, Ky, on Sun., April 23. Proceeds from “Ragin’ Cajun At The Castle” will raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and The Simunye Project in South Africa.
This is the second time the two nonprofit organizations have held a joint fundraiser. The first, a poker tournament, was held in Lexington, Ky., in 2014.
Longtime Saddlebred breeder Bridget Parker of Parker View Farm in Versailles established The Simunye Project in 1986 after several visits to the region indicated critical need for humanitarian aid. Simunye (“we are one” in Zulu) is an impoverished town in the KwaZulu-Natal province in west South Africa. To learn more, visit www.thesimunyeproject.org.
“The funds we have raised help with community outreach for HIV/AIDS education in the area, built a school as well as our headquarters building, and improved living conditions,” said former jockey and Simunye Project Board Member Shane Sellers. Jockey Gary Stevens and Keeneland Clerk of Scales Javier Torres are also on the board.
Founded in 2006, the PDJF provides financial assistance to 61 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries such as paralysis or traumatic brain injuries. For more information, visit www.pdjf.org.
“We are pleased to again partner with The Simunye Project to raise funds for people in need both here and abroad,” said PDJF President Nancy LaSala. “We think the public will enjoy this night of Cajun food and fun at The Castle Post knowing their donation will benefit two charities that have no guaranteed funding but that are making a difference in people’s lives.”
Tickets are $75 per person which includes dinner, entertainment, two drink coupons, dancing/karaoke, and an auction of racing memorabilia. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., with a Cajun BBQ buffet dinner to be served from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Tickets are limited and may be purchased at https://pdjf.org/purchaseTickets.php.
Among the auction items are: a halter worn by recent Dubai World Cup winner and 2016 Eclipse Champion 3-Year-Old Colt Arrogate and a two-day trip to New York City featuring dinner at Bobby Flay’s restaurant Bar Americain and lunch and fashion advice from television personality and author Carson Kressley.
The Castle Post is located at 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles, Ky.