Tag: helping hands for freedom

A record crowd and generous donations made the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino a success for local and regional charities. The Shelbyville property hosted three days of Indiana Derby festivities, culminating with the Indiana Derby on Saturday, July 15. Many organizations, including several veteran assistance programs, benefited from fundraising efforts during A Royal Derby celebration.

Friends of Ferdinand was one of several local charities that benefitted from charitable giving during Indiana Derby Night Saturday, July 15. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Five veteran organizations received donations from the annual A Knight In Arms event held on Thursday, July 13. The benefit took place in the Indiana Grand Race Course Clubhouse, and proceeds went toward Helping Hands for Freedom, K9 for Veterans, Warrior Vodka – Cheers to Our Heroes, Wreaths Across America, and Wish for Our Heroes. Total donations gained through a silent auction, Give $10 Get $10 slot promotion, and Indiana Derby Mega Bets totaled $18,935.

“It always amazes me to see the continued generosity and commitment to our veterans shown by Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Centaur Gaming. Our COO, Jim Brown, continues to take giving to the next level and this year was no exception. During A Knight In Arms gala, he increased the amount each charity received to bet on the Indiana Derby from $1,000 to $2,000,” said Marine Corps Veteran Glendel Coble, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s vice president of casino non-gaming operations.

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The tasks are the same as any other Saturday night at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino for Garry Lauziere, but the level of excitement is taken up a notch for Indiana Derby Night Saturday, July 16. Lauziere is currently in his third year as the track’s official bugler and once again, he’s excited to be part of Indiana’s biggest night of horse racing. He is also primed and ready to participate in pre-Derby events, including “A Knight in Arms” which honors those who serve and protect.

“Indiana Derby Night is awesome,” said Lauziere. “The Derby is becoming a Family Night too and we are seeing more families coming out to the event. Word is getting around that it’s something you shouldn’t miss and the crowds continue to get bigger.”

Affectionately known as “G Note” at Indiana Grand, Lauziere brings four decades of experience to his position at the track. He plays the familiar “Call to Post” prior to each race on Saturday nights and also adds a short tune between every other race to the delight of fans at the track. He’s most noted for his jazz rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana” that is played at the beginning of the night after his first “Call to Post” from the winner’s circle.

Lauziere has always had an interest in music. The native of Manchaug, Massachusetts is retired from the United States Marine Corps and served his country for 20 years in several capacities. He was the drum major for one of 12 Marine Bands and performed for numerous high profile events that included kings, presidents and astronauts. His job was very diverse while serving in Desert Storm and Desert Shield in Japan.

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