Kiwanis Derby Day Wins By A Head

PHOTO: T.A. Graydon - NewsPlus

Colorful Hobby Horses are “ridden” toward the finish line for prizes.

Saturday, April 1, 2023, The Tri-Community Kiwanis Club continued a much-loved tradition, Derby Day! That’s right, the Pinon Hills Community Center was host to a wonderful chicken dinner, then opened the barn doors and let the ponies out. Stick Ponies—the kind you used to ride around the house on.

April Fools, there was no barn, just a great group of Kiwanis members and the Miss Phelan Court rolling giant dice so a few people riding Hobby horses could win prizes for everyone and benefit a great cause. A grand array of gift baskets and prize-filled envelopes were displayed in the lobby for the guests to browse. All fooling aside, the Tri-Community Kiwanis held a remarkably successful Derby Day race and raffle. It may not sound glamorous, but the Costco chicken with a garden salad that Miss Phelan Court served was delicious! The participation of these young ladies is always welcome at Tri-Community civic events.

Jonita and Dan Terrell browse through the fabulous prizes that are offered to the winners of the Derby.

Derby race raffle ticket holders Dan and Jonita Terrell have been attending Kiwanis Derby Day from the get-go. As they glanced through derby prizes–beautifully arranged baskets with goodies, Jonita explained who was behind this well-organized fundraiser. No successful Kiwanis Derby Day can be recognized without mentioning Karen Frazier, who has been essential to the operation of the Tri-Community Kiwanis Club since its inception in 1993. Jonita, once a member who now lives in Hesperia, said, “Karen was the founder of the Kiwanis Club here and would always rise to the occasion.”

To the crowd’s delight, Miss Phelan and her court roll the dice.

The Derby goers each received a Derby Racing Form to help choose a horse from the field, then purchase a race ticket. The 2023 Miss Phelan Court and other volunteers had the important task of rolling the giant dice to determine how many spaces the horses would advance. The number on the dice determined which horse would move one space closer to the finish line. Winners received coupons to deposit toward one of the terrific prizes. The raffle would decide who won what. Another notable Kiwanis member Robert Velez, was the Derby race announcer, keeping everyone on track.

The Kiwanis Club logo has emblazoned many an event’s advertising in the Tri-Community. Always willing to participate in local occasions, their generosity is felt miles beyond our local borders. From Phelan Phun days to the Trunk or Treat Halloween, Wrightwood’s Classic Car Show, or the Veterans High Desert Luncheon, the Tri-Community Kiwanis Club is there for support.

German Day at the Heritage School in Phelan will be coming up on May 24th, 2023, featuring vintage cars from Porsche, an exhibit from The Regimes Museum, and a piece of the Berlin Wall from 5-7 PM. Tickets are available at the Heritage School front office, 9542 Wilson Ranch Road, Phelan, CA. For information, call 562-712-2166.

Riders line up for the start of the horse derby. (Photo: Samuel Prince)

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