Ladies and Gents in their finest attire, hats and bow ties, gathered at the SSMAC’s 7th Annual Kentucky Derby Brunch to support The Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club.
The Junior Committee of the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard & Airmen’s Club (SSMAC) cordially invited all to attend its Annual Kentucky Derby Brunch and Viewing Party with the addition of the celebration of the America’s Cup races at their headquarters location on Lexington Avenue.
Devin Markowitz with Cognac
Each year the event includes: catered brunch and tasty desserts, open bar featuring Mint Juleps, brunch cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages and of course a viewing of the day’s America’s Cup and Kentucky Derby races.
Guest arrived wearing seersucker suits, yachting blazers, sundresses, silk cravats, bold bow ties, fascinators, sun hats and their nautical best. Supporters also enjoyed a Kentucky Derby Hat and Bow-Tie Parade for a chance to win best bow-tie (gentleman) or best hat (ladies). The horse race raffle and silent auction were equally fun!
Guests wearing their finest Hats and Fascinators
During the event I had a chance to chat with Maruschka D. Valentin, SSMAC Junior Committee Vice-President.
Cognac: Welcome back darlings, I am Cognac Wellerlane and I am here at the SSMAC 7th Annual Kentucky Derby Brunch and I am here with Maruschka Valentin who invited me to this event as she always does every year. This is tremendous, what an event.
Maruschka: Thank you so much Cognac. It’s so wonderful to have you here again at The Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club for our 7th Annual Kentucky Derby Brunch. We are so excited with the turnout. We are expecting 150 people here at this afternoon’s event and everyone seems to be having a great time.
Well it’s a beautiful event. The hats are gorgeous, the women are beautiful, the men are adorable in their bow-ties.
Maruschka: Everyone really brings it. It just makes the event that much more because everyone puts so much effort to their clothing, hair, bow-tie choices so it really is a fun afternoon. I look forward to it every year.
Tell my audience how many years you have been supporting this event?
Maruschka: I am one of the vice presidents of the Junior Committee which is a group of young professionals and I have been involved probably about six years now with the club. We hold different events throughout the year but the Kentucky Derby is our main fundraising event. All of the proceeds goes right back to the club so they can pay for their utilities and also keep the cost low for the men and women who are staying here at the club.
Marushka Valentin with Cognac
This is for the Marines and anyone that is in the armed forces?
Maruschka: Yes, It’s for active duty, off duty, retired military also NYPD and NFDY and the club has been in operation since 1919.
Wow, that’s a long time. Now you have these other events here as well.
Tell my audience….in the winter time you have a Marine Ball, don’t you do that as well?
Maruschka: In October the main fundraiser for the organization is the Military Ball and each year they honor a different branch of the armed forces. So last year was an army year so I am looking forward to see who we are going to honor this year. As the Junior Committee we do other events throughout the year. We usually have a care package event about twice a year where we team up a branch that is serving overseas. We select different items, toiletries, magazines, gum, different things that they may need and we send several care packages over to them with handwritten notes by some of our members and often times we do parties with the New York Young Republicans Club as well for that event. It’s also one of my favorites and in the past we have had a Halloween party and smaller networking Happy Hours throughout the city. So we do what we can to support. The mission of the club is to serve those that serve our country.
One of our Military Service Men, Nick Youmker
You do a terrific job. You really do. I want you to tell my audience where we can go to support, participate and contribute, what is the website.
Maruschka: The website is ssmaclub.org
In 1919, Mrs. Cornelia Barnes Rogers and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. with General John J. Pershing founded The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Club. In war and peace, without any U.S. Government funding and supported solely by donations of patriotic Citizens, it has ever since been a “Home Away From Home” for over 2,500,00 men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. We have existed now for over ninety years with our warm, friendly, and safe environment providing hospitality and accommodations for 15,000 Armed Forces personnel annually.
Paul Ervin – Winner of the Bow-Tie Contest
The mission of SSMAC is “To promote the general welfare of men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States and its Allies, and their families, by maintaining and offering club and lodging rooms.”