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Determined that other cancer patients and their families should not suffer, Chris Thieneman, Tom Thieneman, Jr., and Matt Battaglia created The Mint Jubilee, whose mission is to provide resources to non-profit organizations committed to finding cures and controls for cancer and other relevant non-profit organizations. In 1993, Matt’s mother, Nancy Van Cleve Battaglia, lost her fight with lung cancer after fighting the disease, which spread to her brain and liver immobilizing her and impeding her ability to communicate. Affected by that experience, the three established a gala event that would increase awareness and funding for cancer treatment and research while simultaneously showcasing Louisville to Hollywood and the world during the Kentucky Derby celebration. Sponsored this year by Chambord, please join myself (a.k.a. Non-Fitting Pants), my wife (a.k.a. "The Pants"), Bob Costas (a.k.a. "Baby Pants"), Kenneth Edmonds (a.k.a. "Babyface"), Chris Thieneman, Matt Battaglia, and Tom Thieneman for an evening of celebration for a good cause on Friday, May 6, 2011.

Background:  during the Fall of 1995, Chris Thieneman, Matt Battaglia, and Tommy Thieneman began thinking of creative ways that they could use their talents to make an impact on cancer research. They wanted to create an event that would raise awareness of the struggles of cancer patients and at the same time honor Matt’s mother.

On a similar note, but not to take away from the importance of this event, I recently shed my locks for the St. Baldrick's foundation in honor of this beautiful angel who was diagnosed with Leukiama week before my wedding in December.  I've found myself longing to volunteer more for cancer research ever since.

Matt and Chris had been All-American football players at the University of Louisville during the Schnellenberger era and knew that they could pull together to create an extraordinary event that would increase awareness and funding for cancer research. Along with Chris’ brother Tommy, they created the inaugural Mint Jubilee Derby Eve in 1996. Since that time, the Mint Jubilee has raised more than one million dollars for the treatment of cancer patients and research towards finding a cure and resulted in The Mint Jubilee Cancer Resource Center at a local hospital.

Occurring in Louisville, 5/6/2011 the night before the Kentucky Derby, The Mint Jubilee has become one of the most prestigious charity events in the world and attracts high profile international celebrities, entertainers and dignitaries. The event has been televised worldwide in over 130 countries and more than 200 million homes.

After licensing The Mint Jubilee brand to others for the past six years, The Mint Jubilee returns in 2011 under the direction of Chris, Matt, and Tom.  Ticket sales were going so well for another annual event, The Gala, that organizers had to move the location twice to accommodate guests. The Derby evening event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana and the featured entertainer is Grammy Award-winning artist Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

The Mint Jubilee on Derby Eve will include honorary host Bob Costas, and proceeds from the party will benefit the Mint Jubilee Foundation, and of course, yours truly (as guest, not press nor celebrity).

Date: Friday, May 6, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m – 1:00 a.m.
Location: The Palace Theatre,
625 South Fourth Street

Tickets available at www.mintjubilee.org
Cost: $ 750 - VIP Guest
$500 - Guest

Photo:  (mintjubilee.org)

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Kit Helton's picture

About Kit Helton

Average single guy who has been able to lead an above average life. Originally from New Orleans and arrived in Louisville after 10 years via Chicago in 2005. Currently residing near Churchill Downs with my dog, Dixie. Owner of a catering company for over a decade and published cookbook author, I am lucky to return to the Food & Dining as well as Arts beats for Louisville.com.

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