May 14, 2009 | A crowd of about 250 braved the rainy weather to enjoy the Kentucky Derby and support UAMS at the sixth annual Julep Cup Jaunt derby watch party May 2. The event raised a total of more than $30,000 in the past two years to benefit the UAMS neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU cares for some of the state’s tiniest babies.
Sponsored by the UAMS Consortium, a council of advocates for the future of UAMS, the event has become central Arkansas’ premier Kentucky Derby watch party and silent auction. On the 12th floor of the UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, guests watched the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby – memorably won by 50-1 long shot Mine That Bird – on a 12 ft. by 24 ft. theater-style screen.
After the race, neonatologist Ashley Ross, M.D., told the crowd it was the support of the UAMS Consortium that helped make the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the newly opened hospital a reality.
A family area in the NICU, funded by proceeds from the event in the past, has a kitchen, laundry room and additional sleeping space for family members. The new NICU features 58 private baby rooms with special lighting, noise and temperature controls to meet each infant’s special needs.
Silent auction items at the Julep Cup Jaunt included a four-day vacation to Red River, N.M.; a Viking grill; autographs from last season’s American Idol finalists David Cook and David Archuleta, exclusive golf packages; art; restaurant gift cards; and jewelry.
The event also featured Derby-themed fare catered by Capers restaurant, with music by jazz trio The Real Thing.