JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The running of the 145th Kentucky Derby is almost here and you know what that means. The Jackson Hole Babe Force (JHBF) annual Derby Dance Party fundraiser is headed for the gates and ready to run this Saturday, May 4 from 7-11pm at Hatch Taqueria and Tequilas.
This will be the fourth year for the Babe Force ‘pony party’ that includes food and drink specials by Hatch, music by DJ Simotaneous, a raffle and silent auction, and a brief speaking program by members of the JHBF board and scholarship program recipients. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from the event will go to the JHBF Scholarship Fund, empowering women to confidently and safely seek adventure in the mountains.
The Babe Force Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 using funds raised during the 2014-15 winter season. Since then, the JHBF scholarship program has expanded significantly thanks to the support of this community and generous sponsors. From humble beginnings of awarding two scholarships in that first year to 28 scholarships awarded in 2018-19. The number of applicants to the scholarship has also significantly increased and JHBF is hoping to continue expanding the program further in the coming years.
“Listening to the stories of the women who received scholarships and learning how these funds significantly impacted their lives has been incredible,” said Jovanna Hart, JHBF board member. “We feel so fortunate to be able to provide this opportunity to women in our community. Our main goal is to make being in the mountains an attainable, safe, and fun experience for females of all ages and abilities. We are proud that our scholarship program has made that happen for 60 recipients in its four-year history.”
It’s been impossible for JHBF to keep up with demand. Every year, applications far outpace how many scholarships the nonprofit can provide. But thanks to generous support, JHBF has been able to better meet demand each year.
And the success stories make it all worthwhile.
“When skiing with (mostly) male companions, there was always the expectation that the gals would be the weakest skiers by default. I felt a lot of pressure to prove myself in these groups, rather than enjoying my turns. In the women’s camp, the pressure was gone, and we celebrated breakthrough achievements as a group. We felt at liberty to discuss risk tolerance, overcoming injuries, aspirations, dreams, and our experiences with getting taken seriously in a male dominated sport and industry,” shared 2018-19 JHMR Women’s Elevate Camp scholarship recipient Martina Bella. “I would like to ski until I’m in my 80s. This scholarship allowed me to practice the right techniques, get and stay in shape, learn something new every day and keep evolving my ski style. I feel safe on skis again and have skied more this season than in the last few years combined. Once I retire from my day job, I would like to work as a ski instructor again. Thank you Babe Force for making my dream come true!”
The JHBF scholarship program helps women take steps toward believing and achieving their outdoor-oriented dreams by providing access to resources and networks they may not otherwise have access to. The organization continues to explore new opportunities for scholarships each year that provide recipients with unique experiences that boost confidence and camaraderie. Interest in the scholarship program continues to grow, with more women applying each year.
Attendees are encouraged to dress in Kentucky Derby inspired attire. Prizes will be given to “Best Dressed.” Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased from JHBF Board Members or online.
180 N CENTER STREET Jackson
330 E GILL AVE Jackson
3923 N LONG VIEW LANE Jackson
320 E SIMPSON AVE 5 Jackson
50 JACKNIFE RD Freedom
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