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Arlington Park news release

Contact: Dan Leary


Will Serve as Honorary Chairperson for 9th Annual Derby Gala at Arlington Park on May 6

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 11, 2006) -- State Rep. Suzanne “Suzie” Bassi will be honored on Saturday, May 6, as the recipient of the "Community Legislator of the Year" Award at the 9th Annual Derby Gala to be held at Arlington Park racetrack.

The annual event, which is highlighted by the running of the Kentucky Derby, helps raise funds to benefit local charities. The Derby Gala Committee unanimously selected Bassi to receive the award, in addition to naming her as the committee's Honorary Chair.

"The community is grateful for Suzie’s leadership, her years of service and the many contributions she has made to the quality of life for communities throughout the district," said Kris Stabler, Vice President of Community Relations for Arlington Park.

The "Community Legislator of the Year" Award recognizes legislators who show a commitment to community services, including education services, park and recreation services, and services that support and enhance the quality of life within the northwest suburbs.

This year, the Derby Gala is raising funds to benefit the Special Leisure Services Foundation (SLSF) and District 214's Community Education Foundation.

The Special Leisure Services Foundation represents a grass roots commitment to assist the Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA) that provides recreational services for people with disabilities. The Association is a partnership of 16 park districts in the northwest suburban corridor providing year-round leisure services.

The Foundation supports: accessible transportation by purchasing specially equipped vehicles to provide transportation to NWSRA weekly programs and special events; inclusion of individuals with disabilities to mainstream into their regular park district programs by providing additional staff or support; scholarships that provide financial support to allow participation for those in economic need; Special Olympics Illinois Area 18 which provides for the training of athletes with mental retardation or cognitive delays to compete in sixteen different sports with the opportunity to advance to district, state and international levels; and general program support by providing innovative services and programs such as Low Incidence Camp, the PAL Program and purchasing adapted equipment.

District 214 Community Education Foundation is the fund raising arm of District 214 Community Education– one of the nation’s premier community education programs. It offers Adult Education & Family Literacy classes to people who are educationally disadvantaged, assisting them in mastering the English language, improving their literacy skills, and helping their children succeed in school. The multi-faceted District 214 Community Education program also provides a variety of lifelong learning opportunities including Continuing Education classes for all interests and skill levels, Educational Travel and Cultural and Performing Arts opportunities for the community’s enrichment and enjoyment. The Annual Derby Gala is one of only three fundraisers a year given to help fund these programs.

Sherry Prause, a member of the Derby Gala Committee and President of the SLSF Board of Directors, recommended Bassi for the award because of her long history of support for the SLSF and other local causes.

Previous winners of the award were State Senator Kathleen L. “Kay” Wojcik in 2004 and State Senator Wendell Jones in 2005.

Tickets for the 9th Annual Derby Gala on Saturday, May 6, featuring a day of live racing at Arlington Park as well as the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., are available for $125 per person and may be purchased by calling Kris Stabler at (847) 385-7740. Suit jackets for gentleman and evening attire for the ladies is requested.

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 95-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at





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