NEW ORLEANS —The Road to the Derby kicked off Feb. 23 at the New Orleans Fair Grounds, setting the scene for the annual Day at the Races for the Elenian Club’s annual fundraiser.

Maria Villafranco was chair of the auction and parade of prizes, Carol Lama chaired the reservations and LeeAnne Leopold-Savoie chaired the decorations and one-of-a-kind derby hats decorated by its members.

The tables were decorated with colorful jockey hats. Members and guest strolled through the sellout crowd in the Black and Gold Room to showcase or model their derby hats.

This year the Elenian Club picked Cancer Crusaders as it charity. Cancer Crusaders is a volunteer group that contributes all the money it raises to cancer research at LSU and Tulane Medical Schools.

The second race was dedicated to the Elenian Club. Elenian and Cancer Crusaders officers met in the Winners Circle to cheer on the winning horse, Lagniappe BSL.

For more information on the Elenian Club, please email Faith Peperone at