It’s all about the hats at the Silver Queen Derby |

It’s all about the hats at the Silver Queen Derby

The idea for the Silver Queen Derby is simple – dress up in fancy hats, eat, drink, mingle and raise funds for the People’s Health Clinic, which provides medical care to the uninsured population of Summit County.

That’s the goal, said Jenny Dorsey, PHC event coordinator.

"Back in January, we brainstormed for a fundraiser idea," Dorsey said during an interview with The Park Record. "We came up with an idea of doing a casino night, but decided that wasn’t the direction we wanted to go."

Still, the casino idea sparked other ideas such as horse racing and the Kentucky Derby.

"We thought about how people dressed up in those fancy hats to go to the races," she said. "So we came up with the Silver Queen Derby, which will celebrate the Kentucky Derby, Park City-style."

While most people know the Kentucky Derby is held in May, Dorsey didn’t see any problems with holding the Silver Queen Derby on July 16.

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"It’s going to work out because this year, because our weather wasn’t conducive to do anything outside on the patio until a few weeks ago," she said with a laugh. "Since our summers are relatively short, we felt this was the perfect time to hold the event."

The derby will be held at Grappa Italian Restaurant at 11;30 a.m.

"We approached and met with Mary Potts Olsen who is director of operations with Bill White Enterprises, who owns Grappa, and she got excited by the event and discussed it with Bill," Dorsey said. "They agreed to be our premiere sponsor and are donating the patios, the food, the service and waiting staff and the patios at Grappa.

"When Bill White offered Grappa, it was the icing on the cake. It’s a beautiful location and the patios are always gorgeous in the summer."

Part of the event will feature a fashion show spearheaded by Farasha Boutique, owned and operated by Vanessa Di Palma Wright, who was asked to serve on the People’s Health Clinic board in April.

"I am so pleased to have the opportunity to work with the clinic, because they provide a much-needed service in our community," she said. "Also, Farasha Boutique is based out of Park City and we do pop-up boutiques all over the United States, but since, we are centralized in Park City, one of my focuses is to stay involved in the community and give back through the business as much as possible. So when they asked, I jumped on board right away."

Di Palma Wright is currently working with emerging designers to create an exclusive hat collection specifically for the event.

"We’ll work up to the last minute, so we’ll have maybe 30 hats ready if all goes as planned," she said. "The great thing about the show is if someone buys a hat, 10 percent of the proceeds of the sales will go to the People’s Health Clinic.

"The clinic has also been working with local board members and community members who will model our fashions and hats during the event," she said. "We hope we can generate some additional revenue through the fashion show that will give the clients and guests an opportunity to shop the collection, since it is exclusive."

Money will also be raised through a silent auction, Dorsey said.

"We have spa treatments, lunches and things like that will be available for auction," she said. "It will be delightful."

There will be a hat contest as well.

"We are encouraging everyone to wear their own hats," Dorsey said. "We’ll have a judging contest and the winner will get a little trophy, a little something for wearing the best hat."

If all goes well, Dorsey would like to see the Silver Queen Derby become a People’s Health Clinic tradition.

"I realize with our summer being so short in Park City, there are a lot of opportunities for people to go to different activities, but I encourage people to buy a ticket and make this first event of ours a success," she said. "We would like to do this again, because the services we provide require fundraising.

"In our community, one person out of five is uninsured," Dorsey said. "That could be a family member, neighbor, a friend, an employee. So, we would like people to come be a part of the festivities."

Bill White Enterprises will sponsor the Silver Queen Derby at Grappa Italian Restaurant, 151 Main St., on Saturday, July 16, at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by visiting