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    The Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Thunder Funder” Campaign kicks off next Wednesday, March 9.  This enhanced initiative to help finance Thunder – the largest annual fireworks show in the United States – will be broadcast at the Galt House in the newly renovated conservatory.  The campaign will be highlighted by a televised fund-raiser that will be aired with focused coverage by the affiliates of the four major networks – WAVE, WHAS, WLKY and WDRB – as well as WBKI, WYCS and MetroTV.  

    The campaign will resemble a public television funding drive, where contributors receive gifts and recognition. Contributions will be accepted by mail (Kentucky Derby Festival, 1001 South Third St., Louisville, KY 40203), internet ( and telephone (582-BOOM). 

    The stations will begin broadcasting updates at 5 AM and continue throughout the day until 11:30 PM.  More than 300 Thunder volunteers will man phone banks and package distribution points throughout the day.  The televised portion of the fund-raiser ends at 11:30 PM Wednesday, March 9, but fund-raising packages can be purchased and contributions can be made through Saturday, March 12.

    Individual packages will range from $10 to $100.  In addition to making contributions via mail, phone and internet, contributors can also purchase individual packages at all Republic Bank and Kroger locations from March 9 until March 12.

    Thunder Funder Individual Packages:

    $10.00 Kids Pack – Thunder Power Squad

    • Glow-in-the-dark  “ Thunder Rocks 2005” Wristband 
    • Official Power Squad Membership Card
    • Gus & Peggy Pegasus Thunder adventure stickers

    $20.00 Family Pack

    • Four Glow-in-the-dark Thunder Rocks Wristbands


    • Thunder hat with glowing “Thunder Rocks” theme
    • Ten Glow-in-the-dark Thunder Rocks Wristbands


    • Name listed in print publications where possible
    • Shell sponsorship certificate
    • Including song, location, shell size, shell type, & timing
    • Thunder hat with glowing “Thunder Rocks” theme
    • Ten Glow-in-the-dark Thunder Rocks Wristbands

    Any Donation under $10

    • “I Make Thunder Rock” sticker

    Corporate packages, including hospitality opportunities, range from $1,000 to $10,000.  Details for those packages are available online. 

    The theme of the 2005 Thunder Over Louisville show is "THUNDER ROCKS,"—a tribute to 50 years of Rock ’n’ Roll.  From Elvis to AC/DC, the 2005 soundtrack will feature great Rock icons of all time. 

    Thunder Over Louisville - the Derby Festival's Opening Ceremonies - is one of the more than seventy events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. The Derby Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 325 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. It entertains more than 1.5 million people in a two-week period and has a local economic impact of more than $93 million. Thunder alone contributes $31 million of that estimate to both sides of the Ohio River.  This involvement has made the Festival the largest single-attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.   

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