By Eric Thomas
The thrill and excitement of horse racing is coming to Jacksonville on Saturday, November 2 with “A Night at the Races.” Come out and pace your bets at Bogart’s Banquet Hall, 2142 East State St. The doors will open at 6 p.m. with post time for the first race at 7 p.m. The proceeds from the evening go to support the ongoing services of Jacksonville Center for Independent Living (JACIL).
“This unique fundraising event is being held for the first time in this area, that we are aware of,” stated Judy Lakin, member of the board of directors and part of the committee that is bringing this event to town. “The group we are working with has been helping a variety of civic organizations nationwide for over 60 years. We are excited to bring the thrill of horse racing to Jacksonville and help a worthy cause at the same time.”
The main event is 10 actual horse races that have been prerecorded, featuring thoroughbred and quarter horses. Before each race, patrons are given a “past performance” racing sheet describing the history of the horse, including how each of the horses have placed in previous races. All participants then place their betting tickets on the horse of their choice. All betting will be with play money which you can purchase at the event, (an ATM is available). The races will be shown on a brand new 65” TV that will be raffled off at the end of the evening. You must be present to win.
Each race will feature commentary by professional racetrack announcers and shows the horses parading to the post, loading in the gate, split-screen close-ups, horses in the lead graphics, the tote board results, winning horse in the winner’s circle, slow-motion photo finish replays plus full graphics and commentary announcing the results of each race.
Tickets will be sold until October 31 from any JACIL board member or through the JACIL office located at 15 Permac Road. The cost is $30 per ticket and that will include entry into the event, hors d’oeuvres, and $10 in play money for betting. The event is limited to 200 people so first come, first serve. Tickets will be available at the door but will not include $10 of play money for betting. All winnings will be paid out in U.S. currency.
Anyone with questions concerning this event is urged to call Judy Lakin at 217-248-7460.
“This fun-filled, interactive event is a way to have a great evening out while at the same time, helping to make a difference in our community,” concluded Peggy Davidsmeyer, executive directive of JACIL.
JACIL is a nonprofit organization that serves people with all disabilities and their families by assisting them to gain effective control and direction of their own lives in the home, in the workplace and in the community. It was established in 1997 and serves Cass, Mason, Morgan and Scott counties.