Derby-themed Yukon gala Friday

Stick-horse races, awards highlight Chamber’s ‘Run for the Roses’

Yukon Chamber CEO Pam Shelton

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

While the 148th renewal of “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” will be run May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Yukon’s version of the Kentucky Derby is just a few days away.

A Yukon Chamber Derby Race will highlight the “Run for the Roses” Annual Awards and Auction Gala set 6:30-10 p.m. this Friday, April 22 at the Mollie Spencer Farm, 1001 Garth Brooks Blvd.

About 325-350 people are expected to attend the celebratory gala, according to Yukon Chamber of Commerce CEO Pam Shelton.

Outdoor festivities will feature a stick horse race. Some 24 horses and their “jockeys” will compete.

“We’re going to have four heats of six,” Shelton said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Attendees are asked to dress in their “Derby best” to celebrate this southern tradition.

Highlight of Friday night’s Yukon Chamber gala is presentation of these awards:

  • H.B. Frank Citizen of the Year
  • T.J. Lowery Humanitarian of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Non-Profit of the Year
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Medium Business of the Year
  • Large Business of the Year
  • Ambassador of the Year

The Yukon Chamber’s board of directors has selected award winners from nominations submitted in all categories.

(Non-Profit of the Year and Medium Business of the Year are new awards)

Other gala attractions will be silent and live auctions, entertainment by saxophonist Michael Kleid, infield games, a photo booth with racehorse and jockey, and hat and bowtie contests.

Yukon Chamber businesses will provide derby-inspired food and drinks for the dinner.

“Tables and chairs will be set up under the trees at the front,” Shelton reported. “The food will be served at the ‘town center’.

“We do have bleachers and a tent for the awards and races.”



Friday night’s gala is a major annual fund-raiser for Yukon Chamber projects.

The gala committee has secured 16 large event sponsors.

“Some that we’ve never had before ‘stepped up to the plate’,” Shelton noted.

The 16 “specialty” sponsors are:

  • Grandstand & Grounds – The City of Yukon
  • Derby Pie – BancFirst (Dessert)
  • Jockey Club – First American Mortgage (Entertainment)
  • Parade Ring – Spanish Cove (Auction)
  • Starting Gate – State Farm – Cherie Logan (Horse Races)
  • Winner’s Circle – Integris Canadian Valley Hospital (Awards)
  • Photo Finish – Pearle Vision (Photo Booth)
  • Derby Gold Cup – Greer’s Heat & Air (Table)
  • Bridle Club – Camp Gladiator (Food)
  • The Paddock – Yanda & Son Funeral Home (The Derby Race)
  • Blinkers – RCB Bank and RCB Mortgage (Lanterns)
  • Garland of Roses – The Arrangement (Decorations)
  • Racing Silks Pathway – Wesco Insurance (Jockey Silks Pathway Signage)
  • Mint Julep – Great Plains National Bank (Drinks)
  • Infield – OU Health ER + Urgent Care (Horseshoes & Croquet)
  • Powder Room – The Lokal Yukon (Porta-potties)

Meanwhile, table sponsorships (eight seats each) are $600 and $1,000; individual tickets are $60 each.

“We only have two tables left to sell,” Shelton added.

For more information about the 2022 Yukon Chamber Gala, call (405) 354-3567 or visit