Charity Program

You can Run for a Cause!

If running 13.1 or 26.2 miles isn’t inspiration enough, there are hundreds of participants in the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon & Marathon who not only give of themselves physically, but give to others as well. For years, runners have used this race as a vehicle to raise awareness and funds for many local and national charities. The Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation is honored to be a part of this worthy outreach to so many deserving causes.

The Foundation created a committee to help oversee the efforts of the Charity Program. Foundation board members and volunteers are assigned as liaisons to help coordinate the fund-raising efforts. Since the online program was created in 2005, more than $2 million has been raised for participating local and national charities.

For more information on the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation: CLICK HERE


2021 Charity Partners are:


A Place to Sleep is a local non-profit that provides beds for children, newborn through graduating high school.  Children are recommended by the Family Resource & Youth Service Center Coordinators at their school. This ensures that the children are enrolled and attending school, as well as enabling the school to help the family find other needed resources. Some children who are too young to be enrolled in school, have been recommended by Salvation Army, HANDS Program, ALC Pregnancy Center, the Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, and Seven County Services. Other agencies working with us include KY Cabinet for Health & Family Services, Family & Children’s Place, Coalition for the Homeless, and various churches. A good night’s sleep is essential to a child’s physical, mental and emotional growth.

A Place to Sleep has provided over 1,700 beds in children’s homes throughout Kentucky with a constantly growing waiting list. Schools have followed the progress of students helped and found they are coming to school rested and ready to learn and are missing fewer days. Students are in a better mood, and their behavior is much improved. Grades are rising, and their overall sense of self-worth has greatly increased.  A bed makes it possible for children to sleep sounder, learn better, grow healthier and live kinder. It is making a difference.


Adelante Hispanic Achievers works to ensure every child has the opportunity to achieve in Louisville, Kentucky by supporting Latinx students and families in pursuit of their dreams!

We have served over 640 families in our community for 13 years and, to date, 100% of our graduates have gone to college after high school (many with full-ride or full-tuition scholarships). We currently serve 135 students per week across all our programs – with just two full-time staff – and we want to serve more! We need your help in reaching a greater number of families in our community and ensuring that every Latinx student has the opportunity to achieve his or her dreams.

To fundraise for Adelante Hispanic Achievers: CLICK HERE



Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana is an out-of-school time provider offering a safe haven for nearly 4,000 youth ages 6-18. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those most in need of our services, to realize and develop their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. We operate 5 Clubs and programming within those Clubs fosters essential youth outcomes of academic success, character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles.

To fundraise for Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana: CLICK HERE

Bakhita Empowerment Initiative is a program of Catholic Charities of Louisville and was created in 2008.  We provide comprehensive case management services, education and awareness to the community, and outreach programs. Case managers provide support to survivors of human trafficking. These services can include legal services, housing, financial assistance, education assistance, counseling, and advocacy. Case managers collaborate with community partners in order to provide a broad spectrum of services. Bakhita Empowerment Initiative provides education to health care providers, social service agencies, community groups, educational systems and law enforcement. Through education we hope to bring awareness to the prevalence of human trafficking in the community.

To fundraise for Bakhita Empowerment Initiative: CLICK HERE


Seven Counties Services is a Community Mental Health Center offering a full range of mental health services, substance abuse treatment and intellectual and developmental disabilities services in Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Henry counties. For more information, please visit

To Fund raise for Seven Counties: CLICK HERE


In early 2015, a small group of parents who didn’t know each other particularly well, decided to meet over a cold beer at a local brewery in Louisville, KY. The one thing we had in common… kids battling cystic fibrosis. That night the Klausings (Luke ­ 8 years old at the time), the Foushees (Alex ­ 2 years old at the time) and the Sweeneys (Samuel ­ 8 months old at the time) decided to work tirelessly to rally their city to join the fight to save their kids and beat CF once and for all.  Cure CF, Inc.  is 100% volunteer based: no employees, no salaries, no overhead; therefore, 100 % of all money raised goes to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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Family & Children’s Place protects Kentuckiana children, families and communities from abuse, neglect and exploitation, and helps them heal. Through collaborations with police, Child Protective Services, U of L School of Medicine and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, our Kosair Charities Child Advocacy Center ended the trauma of physical and sexual abuse for more than 1,300 children last year alone. We supervise parent-child visitation, help families stay in their homes, parents better engage and bond with their newborns and students improve socially and academically. Last year we helped nearly 5,000 children and family members regain hope.

To fundraise for Family & Chilren’s Place: CLICK HERE

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Gilda’s Club Louisville has a mission to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.  At Gilda’s Club Louisville you will find strength and comfort from members sharing their experiences and wisdom with each other.  Gilda’s Club offers over 140 FREE programs monthly for men, women and children that provides a program of support unlike any other.

To fundraise for Gilda’s Club Louisville CLICK HERE.

Our Mission:  Empowering individuals with disabilities and their families to lead fulfilled and productive lives.

At Harbor House, our vision for the future is formed by the needs and dreams of the participants and families we serve.  The founding parents of Harbor House envisioned an organization that would provide their songs and daughters with challenging, enjoyable, and productive work.  In the same way, the current Harbor House leadership seeks to provide a growing array of supports and services that will ensure participants have appropriate choices for self-fulfillment while making a meaningful contribution to society.

To Fundraise for Harbor House: CLICK HERE

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Hope Scarves supports people facing cancer through scarves, stories and research. The scarves and stories are paired together to spread hope to others in treatment; they are a tangible reminder there is light in the darkness. They are our now. A Hope Scarf can be requested by a patient, sent as a gift, or received as part of treatment at 35 partner locations across the country. Since our founding in 2012 we have sent over 14,000 Hope Scarves to people facing over 92 types of cancer, in every state and 24 countries. Our oldest recipient is 98 and the youngest only 10 months old. Whether you are a patient, have a loved one facing cancer, or are a survivor, Hope Scarves can be a resource. We have affectionately become known as “the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarves.” In addition to sharing scarves and stories, Hope Scarves has raised over $500,000 for clinical trials and translational research for metastatic breast cancer. The research is a push for change, and it is our future– research is key for improved treatment options and outcomes.

Outrunning Cancer, the largest charity team in the KDF marathon, is a significant part of how we fulfill our mission. Miles to go before a cure…but closer with every step. We are Outrunning Cancer!

To fund raise for Hope Scarves: CLICK HERE


JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents and adults with this disease, JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The mission of JDRF is to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to T1D research. JDRF will not rest until we turn type one into type none.

Interested in fundraising for JDRF through the Kentucky Derby Festival? Please reach out to Sean FitzGerald at for more information.



Kids Cancer Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to its mission to enhance the quality of life for children with cancer and their families through recreational and support programs.

We are dedicated to providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences where children with cancer and their families can grow, learn, build friendships, and most importantly…have FUN just being kids! Kids Cancer Alliance now proudly provides 60 programs each year, including oncology and sibling camps, teen and family retreats, quarterly events and in-hospital programs, as well as financial support — all completely free to children with cancer and their families.

For every child fighting cancer and their family members, we offer a powerful message of support: you are not alone!

To Fund raise for the Kids Cancer Alliance: CLICK HERE

Kosair Charities mission is to protect the health and well-being of children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana by providing financial support for social services, research, pediatric healthcare, education, and child advocacy.

Since 1923, Kosair Charities has believed in showing children their potential, instead of their obstacles. Through selecting Kosair Charities as your KDF Charity of Choice you can help make this belief a reality.

To Fund raise for Kosair Charities: CLICK HERE

Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

At Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana, together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Wishes are more than just a nice thing. Wishes deliver hope, strength and joy to sick kids when they need it most and give children the strength to keep fighting their illness.

Right now, nearly 400 kids in Kentucky and waiting for a wish and wishes can’t wait! We need your help to make more wishes come true. To learn more, visit:

To Fundraise for the Make-A-Wish Foundation: CLICK HERE

Noah Stylin’ is now raising money for research into finding a cure for Erdheim-Chester Disease. In 2016 with the advancement of testing we were able to finally give Noah’s Disease a correct name….ERDHEIM-CHESTER DISEASE. Noah has been battling this disease now for over 10+years, we have been fortunate with the care we have received at UOFL by Dr. Bertolone that we have been able to keep going even when we weren’t sure what we were dealing with.  2017 has been a big year for Noah he graduated High School and turned 18 this summer. With research we have found a doctor in New York City as Sloan-Kettering that specializes in Erdheim-Chester Disease. Noah started a clinical trail in August with Dr. Eli Diamond, who I might add has great fashion since like Noah. He has had great results in the people that are using this trail drug. We are praying that Noah has the same results. Without reasearch we wouldn’t be able to battle this disease and help people like Noah have a chance at Life. So this year help NoahStylin’ raise money to fight Erdheim- Chester Disease.

To fundraise for Noah Stylin’, CLICK HERE.

Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic arm for Norton Children’s pediatric facilities and services. The foundation raises funds exclusively for Norton Children’s Hospital, Kentucky’s only full-service, free-standing hospital created “Just for Kids”; Norton Children’s Medical Center; and pediatric services at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital to support programs, equipment, new technologies, clinical research, child advocacy and health education for patients, families, medical staff and the community.

Norton Children’s Hospital serves all families regardless of their ability to pay. As part of a not-for-profit organization, Norton Children’s facilities rely on the generosity of the community to help fulfill our mission to provide for the physical and emotional health of children, from birth to adulthood. It takes the generosity of everyone in the community to enable Norton Children’s to be here for all children when they need us.

To Fundraise for Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation: CLICK HERE

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The Parkinson Support Center is an independent, grassroots non-profit organization, founded in 1999, dedicated to providing access to care, education, and social assistance to patients and families affected by Parkinson’s Disease in Kentucky and Indiana.  We offer 18 monthly support groups, 11 weekly exercise classes, and monthly educational programs, all free to those with Parkinson’s and their families.

Our mission is to promote a healthier and improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s disease in our communities.  We have two main areas of focus:

  1. Programs and services for people with Parkinson’s disease; and
  2. Public education and awareness.

To fundraise for Parkinson Support Center: CLICK HERE


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana provides a “home away from home” for families of children receiving healthcare at area medical facilities while also lending support to other organizations who aid children.

Since we opened on September 10, 1984, our Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms have served over 25,000 families. Our staff and volunteers offer love, strength, and support, when families need it most.

To Fundraise for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana: CLICK HERE


The Shamrock Pet Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of companion animals through proactive programs such as spay/neuter, public education and adoption options. We are a group of highly committed, unpaid volunteers who have a passion for our mission and its goals.

To fundraise for Shamrock Pet Foundation: CLICK HERE

St. Vincent de Paul Louisville partners with individuals and families in crisis and helps them navigate a path to stabilize their lives and reach their full potential.

SVDP operates a community kitchen (Open Hand Kitchen), a client-choice food pantry, Ozanam Inn men’s emergency overnight shelter, St. Jude women’s recovery center, four local thrift stores, an enrichment center for at-risk youth in an after-school setting (Family Success Center) for at-risk children, as well as supportive housing for homeless families and adults.

To Fundraise for St. Vincent de Paul: CLICK HERE


Teach For America-Appalachia is committed to ensuring all students receive an excellent education. Young people growing up in poverty are seven times more likely to drop out of high school than their wealthier peers. And those that don’t drop out are significantly less likely to graduate from college.  For instance, in Appalachian Kentucky, only 30% of graduating seniors are college/career ready, compared to over 80% college/career readiness from wealthier students across the state. Together, we can change this.

Our mission is to build the movement to end educational inequity that persists along socioeconomic lines. We recruit professionals and outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural areas and become lifelong leaders in pursuing educational excellence and equity. With extensive training and support, our corps members work relentlessly to ensure that students growing up in low-income communities are given the educational opportunities they deserve. As alumni, they are a powerful force of leaders work to effect the fundamental changes needed to ensure that all children have an equal chance in life.

To Fundraise for Teach For America: CLICK HERE

In July of 2018, UP started operating 3 days a week, from 9am-1pm as a drop-in center that offered comprehensive services. It functions as a daytime safe space – a place to shower and do laundry, or use a restroom, phone, computer and mailing address. UP also offers access to a case manager, who serves as an advocate to help guests navigate through a crisis, obtain vital documents like an ID or birth certificate, and access community resources.

By uniting partners with additional agencies like Family Health Centers and Legal Aid, we provide medical, mental health, and legal services every week to our guests. UP works with other community agencies to increase access, coordination, and accountability of services to those we serve. In its first year of operation, UP helped end homelessness for 139 women and children.

To Fundraise for UP: CLICK HERE

WaterStep responds to critical needs for safe water by evaluating and implementing solutions and teaching people to use those tools. WaterStep saves lives with safe water by empowering communities to take care of their own long-term water needs. We believe that the best solutions to water problems are rooted in simple tools and effective training. We also provide safe water solutions to areas impacted by disaster, arming first-responders and survivalists with the equipment and knowledge to support those in need. Our approach is built around simplicity and sustainability, which can literally mean the difference between life and death.

To fundraise for Waterstep, CLICK HERE.