Run for the Roses

On May 4, residents donned festive outfits and gathered for a special Branchlands tradition: the Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Picnic. Joined by family members and staff, they enjoyed a day of pageantry with delicious food, friendly wagers, and plenty of beautiful roses.

Women at a table for the Run for the Roses Picnic

While the party kicked off at 11 a.m., the fun actually started several days before that.

We love to provide opportunities for residents to be active together. A derby hat-making activity proved the perfect way to have some fun and build up anticipation for the party. Those fantastic hats you see in the pictures are resident creations!

“My favorite part of the event is the hats. Seeing all the hats here, wearing them, making them—they’re all so different!” – Sue

Good Food, Even Better Company

The picnic delivered the best of southern cuisine. Alongside a main course of bourbon mushroom chicken or beef brisket, attendees savored macaroni and cheese, dill potato salad, and country green beans. For dessert, we served up lemon chess pie, carrot cake, and fresh fruit. The sweet tea, lemonade, and mint juleps flowed freely.

Like all of Branchlands’ seasonal and special events, Run for the Roses draws family members to come enjoy the community and their loved one’s company. We were delighted to see so many family members join the fun.

A woman and her son smiling

Branchlands residents and family members enjoying their picnic

Another wonderful part of the event is that it brings together Branchlands’ Independent Living and Assisted Living communities.

“Lots of people start out in Manor House and eventually move to Linden House. This is an opportunity to reconnect with old friends who they haven’t seen as often since moving.” -Jon Waugh, Director of Business Development at Branchlands

Branchlands residents talking together at a table

Music & Prizes

The Roger Carroll Trio performing at Branchlands

Every party needs music. Thankfully, the Roger Carroll Trio took the stage to deliver the perfect jazz accompaniment. Upright bass, electric guitar, and saxophone notes wove through the air as attendees mingled and chatted.

“The band is one of my favorite parts. They’re really good!” – Mary S.

Great music and company make a day special all on their own, but we can’t forget about the race itself! Our residents didn’t just make their own hats. They also placed their bets, trying to guess the Kentucky Derby’s winning horse.

A spread of "Place Your Bet" cards

Some made strategic choices based on the betting odds. Others went with the time-honored tradition of picking the horses with the most appealing names.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners would proudly take home these lovely prize baskets. The 1st prize basket was donated by Powerback Rehab, Linden House’s in-house rehab provider. The 2nd prize was donated by Enhabit Home Rehab, which visits Linden House once a month.

The Run for the Roses 3rd place prize basket

Run for the Roses 1st place prize

Run for the Roses 2nd place prize basket

A Beautiful Tradition

The first Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Picnic took place four years ago, only 11 months after Linden House Assisted Living opened its doors to its first residents.

With four years of festive good times behind us, we’re looking forward to many more picnics full of shared laughter, music, and memories.

Branchlands residents sharing a laugh