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Metro Atlantans - racing to save a generation of fathers and their children

Oliver Lewis, who rode Aristides, the first Kentucky Derby winner
Oliver Lewis, who rode Aristides, the first Kentucky Derby winner

In just a couple of weeks (Saturday, May 1, 2010), Space Atlanta will be transformed into the premiere venue for a unique celebration to benefit young African-American Atlantans, many of whom are fathers of young children. The theme of the celebration is the 136th Kentucky Derby. Long considered the grandest of American equestrian events, this year's "Run for the Roses" provides the thematic backdrop for the Community Council of Metropolitan Atlanta's (CCMA) Kentucky Derby Gala.

The trifecta of fun kicks off at 4:00 pm with live music, tantalizing food, contests, and of course prizes. Ladies are encouraged to pull their round boxes of filigree & finery (a Kentucky Derby tradition) from the shelf and make a statement by joining in the hat contest for which a special prize will be awarded. Several gift vendors will also be on-site, and one of the highlights of the afternoon will be a special tribute to the panoply of African-American jockeys (some as young as 15!) from the race's earliest days. Festivities continue until 7:30 p.m.

The gala is one of CCMA's primary fundraisers of the year and tickets, which are selling briskly, are just $25.00 per person. Your ticket purchase enables you to make a tax-deductible contribution to support its positive, impactful community programming. CCMA is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk youth, young African-American males (18 - 25 years old), and young ex-offenders through community-based programs, mentoring, conferences, and educational opportunities. Participation in this event allows all patrons to affordably join in the "race to save a generation." Tickets are available from CCMA staffers, board members, and on-line using PayPal. Donor and vendor sponsorships at Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels may still be purchased as well. Interested donors and vendors should call the CCMA office at 404.935.5859 or visit the Race to Save a Generation web page at

One of CCMA's core initiatives, the "Priority Male Institute," shows promise as an effective means of helping young African-American fathers find renewed purpose and direction for their own lives, as well as the lives of their children. Another upcoming CCMA event serving these young at-risk families is a community Children's Health Fair, scheduled the following week (May 8th). Be sure to return to the Examiner to read about the gala, but more importantly, don't miss the opportunity to come out to support this worthy cause and have great fun doing it.