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‘A Racy Affair’ to benefit senior citizens

What do the senior citizens of the Piedmont Health District and the Kentucky Derby have in common? Thanks to Piedmont Senior Resources (PSR) Executive Director Justine Young, a derby-themed fundraiser, “A Racy Affair,” set for May 7 that will benefit PSR and help area seniors stay in their own homes.

“People don’t understand why we need money when PSR gets state and federal funding,” Young said. “That state and federal funding provides for the nutrition and homemaker programs and Medicare counseling, but it doesn’t cover all those extra things that allow us to keep somebody in their home.”

Piedmont Senior Resources is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves seniors in Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward Counties.

The idea for a  derby-themed fundraiser came from Young who has experienced the Kentucky Derby in person. The PSR director decided it would be fun to share the excitement of the occasion with Southside Virginia with a good cause in mind.

“To me the fascinating part of the Kentucky Derby is watching the women in their hats and men in their seersucker suits,” Young said. “We’re hoping people will dress to the event.”

PSR’s “Racy Affair” will take place at Young’s family farm, J & J Treeland in Prospect and will include mint juleps, smoked pork, casino games, carriage rides, raffles and a live airing of the Kentucky Derby race.

“Prior to that we’ll have a horse-drawn carriage driven by Eddie Reynolds, of Bedford, bringing up the sponsors,” Young said.

A $50 ticket includes food and drinks.

“We’re doing the food,” Young said. “We’re smoking hogs on the farm, and we’ll have all the fixings to go with it.”

Massino’s Casinos will manage the charity gaming.

“The way that will work is you buy ‘play money,’ then turn in the money you win for tickets,” Young said. “Then you put the tickets into cups for items you want, such as a weekend getaway at the Catalpa Inn in Prospect.”

Other Farmville vendors will contribute to the festivities.

“Herf House Cigars will be there with a cigar stand,” Young said. “And Maria’s Sweet Creations is doing tiers of cupcakes to look like roses. Red Door 104 is also holding a hat making party on April 23 prior to the event.”

The Kentucky Derby’s theme, “Run for the Roses,” Young noted, might also apply to recipients of the fundraiser. The PSR director has seen first-hand how clients struggle with circumstances that are far from rosy.

“When I get to a client’s home and it’s roach-infested, I have to take care of that,” Young said. “If I go to a home and there’s cardboard on the floor and tires in the windows, I’ve got to replace the windows. That’s what the money from this fundraiser is for.”

Many services PRS provides, Young explained, fall outside the guidelines of state and federal funding.

“We’ve pumped septic tanks that have over flowed up into a house, and we’ve provided heat and air conditioning,” she said. “If you’re discharged from the hospital with COPD and asthma and it’s 100 degrees outside and you don’t have air conditioning, you’re going to end up back in the hospital. A $130 air conditioner will take care of that.”

While these services may go beyond PSR’s funded mission, Young sees them as essential.

“If I’m delivering meals and the clients have no microwave or stove, I’ll buy a microwave so they can heat their meals,” Young said. “Otherwise we can’t deliver the meals — the same goes for a freezer.”

PSR meals, delivered weekly, are frozen.

That’s what this money is going for — to take care of all those other needs,” Young said.

Young hopes the community will enjoy the festive derby event and at the same time feel good about providing funds for a worthwhile cause.

“This is our main fundraising event,” Young said. “This will allow us to help seniors 60 and older live independently, safely and with dignity in their own homes.”

PSR wants to provide more “coming up roses” moments to senior citizens in the Piedmont Health District. PSR knows that the best place for that to happen is in a senior’s own backyard.

Tickets for the May 7 Piedmont Senior Resources fundraiser are available for $50 at www.psraaa.org. For more information contact PSR at (434) 767-5588.