12th Annual Storybook Farms Derby Day finishes strong

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Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com

Derby Day 2020 at Storybook Farm was a success, complete with coverage of the Kentucky Derby, a Dapper Dan and Most Spectacular Hat winner and a lot of sold auction items.

Derby Day is held at Storybook Farm each year as a way to raise money for the nonprofit.

Storybook Farm uses horses to help children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, cognitive delays or sensory issues.

Many in the community volunteer at the farm, including Auburn University students.

A silent and live auction is held at Derby Day to raise funds that will last Storybook Farm all year long.

“You’re changing childhoods with every dollar that you spend at this event,” said Dena Little, executive director of Storybook Farm.

The auction is not all there is to Derby Day, however.

Guests come in proper Kentucky Derby attire, complete with hats. Each year a ‘Dapper Dan’ and ‘Most Spectacular Hat’ winner is chosen.

“Of course everybody likes dressing up but it’s dressing up for a great cause,” said Liliana Stern, who is a professor at Auburn University and volunteers at Storybook. “And this is what makes this party very special.”

Neil Kalin won Dapper Dan and he beamed at the crowd, holding his basket of prizes.

2020-09-05 Storybook Farm

“Seeing as though I haven’t won anything in about fifty years, and because of my age, at this stage in life … I’m a very happy, lucky person,” he said.

Danielle Hays won Most Spectacular Hat for one she made herself during her children’s nap time.

“For the current climate that we’re in, the turnout is fantastic,” Little said. “Everybody’s having a great time, the day is absolutely exquisite. The Lord has really blessed us with very low humidity, beautiful sunshine, the farm is beautiful. And so many people have worked so hard to make this possible for the kids at Storybook.”

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