Why Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Me Away from the Coronado Schools Foundation’s “Day at the Races” at the Hotel Del!

The fine folks from Coronado Schools Foundation are on the home stretch, fine tuning all the fun details for the annual CSF Gala and Auction, “Day at the Races.” It’s all happening on Saturday, October 19th at the Hotel Del Coronado from 5-10:30pm. 

I caught up with Leanne Anderson, Director of Development for Coronado Schools Foundation to get the inside track on all the exciting party details.

All I can say, is I’m chomping at the bit to get to this party!  A Kentucky Derby theme? A horse head ice luge? Sign me up!

Upon arrival, all guests are invited to mingle and meander at the glamorous VIP reception on the newly-redone Vista Walk at the Hotel Del.

Haven’t been to this part of the hotel lately? It’s undergone a complete remodel: The Del’s famed signature turret and sparkling Pacific Ocean serve as the backdrop for this beautiful garden setting, and be sure to check out the historic Dragon Tree, which dates back to the Del’s opening in 1888. And, it’s flat! No more rolling ankles in heels.

Be sure to come dressed in your race-day finest, because you’ll have a chance to score some winning prizes.

“For the very first time, we’re doing a best-dressed contest, for guys and girls,” says Leanne. 

And as far as attire goes, so many great options! I’m still tweaking my ensemble a bit, but here’s some outfit inspiration if you haven’t gotten started. (Think, bright dresses and hats or fascinators for the ladies, and festive jackets and pants and hats for the men. Bowties and fedoras? Lady-like suits? Demure bun or big Southern hair? Really, the sky’s the limit: just give it your own fun spin. )

After the outdoor reception, guests will meander into the Grand Ball Room where they’ll enjoy a three course, Derby-inspired hearty Southern meal: French onion soup in a puff pastry, New York Strip, and a fun vegan option—the stuffed petite pumpkin with baby beets and leeks. (I’m so getting this…because, petite pumpkin!)  And for dessert, be sure to save room for the white chocolate mint mousse with bourbon cream and butter short bread. Yes, please! 

And by all means, don’t forget to check out all the red napkins on the tables, folded to look like red roses. Presenting sponsor Donna Salof folded all of these by hand. Seriously? Yes, she did. Ask her.

Feeling parched? 

“Guests will be treated to a bold, festive wines by the Boisset Collection,” says Leanne. “The wines are underwritten by the Clements Group, and chosen with the help of CSF Board Chair and Sommelier Mr. Kellen Gill.” 

Sommelier-selected wines? I’ll cheers to that!

If you’re more of a cocktail guy or gal, then you won’t want to miss the Secretariat’s Ice Bar, featuring the horse-head ice luge with the “Kinzel Kocktail, sponsored by Alan Kinzel. (Hello, photo opp!)

You’ll have lots of chances to win cool prizes like a jockey silk designed by Village Elementary students under the direction of VAPA teacher Cyndi Furhmann, and you’re invited to get your picture snapped at the Kentucky Derby-style photo booth.

As far as the live auction goes, funds from the Raise your Paddle Portion of the evening will be used to equip the new innovation labs at each school site. (Think: 3-D laser printers, interactive presentation boards, and kits with hands-on materials for engineering and robotics.)

Guests will bid on all kinds of indulgent items like a Napa Valley vacation with wine tastings, a progressive dinner/bike ride hosted by CUSD teachers, the coveted Del membership, orthodontics package from Dr. Mullins, Blue Bridge Hospitality Chef experiences with wine, a full Kentucky Derby package, and…wait for it….a Bourbon Trail experience in Kentucky! 

The 8-piece live band and dance party is destined to be a winner, and will give you plenty of chances to watch your friends whip and neigh-neigh the night away. (Or, if you’re more of a “ride it, my pony,” kinda person, that’s fine too.) 

And trust me when I say this…DO NOT forget to check out the TOP SECRET, EXTRA SPECIAL race game in the back. I’m dying to tell y’all more about it, but I am sworn to secrecy! (Let’s just stay you should crawl, scamper or claw your way to the secret race room right away to check it out.)

Well folks, I hope you’re as excited as I am. See you at the races! For more info, visit CSFKids.org.