May 6th 2017 – Elm City Social, New Haven CTAnd they’re off! With one shot of a pistol, the horses are off and running around the track, shaking the Kentucky Blue grass and in 2 minutes you have witnessed the most exciting race in sports!
Imagine yourself in 1875, at the very first Kentucky Derby. You are in a segregated section. Jim Crow exists fervently, so you are bound to miss most of the race while sitting anxiously on your small grass section of the crowd. Yet the white and elite are sitting in “Millionaire’s Row”, sipping mint juleps, and placing bets on African-American trained horses and their newly freed jockeys.
Fast forward to 2017- hats, seersucker suits, and the mint juleps are still there, but this year we have no distinction. Ethnic Online yet again put on an event to be reckoned with. We were not in a small section of Churchill Downs but were claiming The Elm City Roof Top in New Haven CT, as well as a swanky cigar bar called the Owl Shop. We attracted a crowd due to our carefree, controlled behavior and attire. Not to mention, the tunes by “That Dana Game” were spinning and guests were gracing the dance floor with dance moves just as smooth as ever.
Noted guest in attendance were: Principal Medria-Blue Ellis of Engineer Science University Magnet School, Co-Founder & Director of Norwalk Early Education Academy, Karen Amaker, New Haven NAACP Director Dori Dumas, New Haven Fire Chief John Alston, Chief Administrative Officer Mike Carter, Sr. VP of Merrill Lynch, Norm Forrester, Retired City of New Haven Attorney John Rose, Merieta Bayati of Yale University, Retired Hillhouse High School Principal Dr. Lonnie Garris Jr., New Haven Arts, Culture & Tourism Director, Andy Wolfe, retired Director of Parking Bill “Killa” Kilpatrick and all the way from Boston Chris Gaturu of Dell Computers and Fashion Designer, Nubia Williams just to name a few!
And of course a special thank you to one our sponsors, Diageo for providing us with Ketel One and George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey and of course “we all drank responsibly!”
In comparison to prior Derbies, there were no distinctions. Our mission is to always inspire, motivate, and educate. As the guests danced down the soul train line on the Roof Top and sipped Derby inspired drinks, there were plenty of opportunities to meet, greet, and mingle, as well as draw common ground. Many guests made worthwhile connections as business cards were exchanged, chairs pulled out, and martini glasses were raised in toasts.
The liveliness of the attendees gusted into the air of downtown New Haven. Random people asked to take pictures with us, giving others a chance to be educated about EO and its mission. “Best Hat” and “Best Suit” winners respectively Ms. Karen Amaker and Malcolm Blue. Not to be out done 2 time Best Dressed winner, Mr. Bill (Killa) Kilpatrick was as clean as a whistle!
As the afternoon turned into dusk, we began to disperse. Next stop the Owl Shop were the evening continued well into the night as we enjoyed Stogies, and of course my favorite a Manhattan!
We hope to see you at our next event- to meet you, to network perhaps, and even to build lasting ties. Follow Ethnic Online on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.