Female veterans to be honored during Thurby - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Female veterans to be honored during Thurby

This year, a special group of women are being recognized for their service to our country. This year, a special group of women are being recognized for their service to our country.
Thurby is a celebration of the state and people that put the Kentucky Derby on the national stage. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Thurby is a celebration of the state and people that put the Kentucky Derby on the national stage. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Heather French Henry (Source: WAVE 3 News) Heather French Henry (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Lindsay Gargotto (Source: WAVE 3 News) Lindsay Gargotto (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Oaks and Derby are right around the coroner but you don't have to wait until then to have fun at the track. Mark your calendar because April 30 is Thurby!

It's the second year for the new addition to Derby week, in hopes of giving more Louisvillians a chance to have a day at Churchill Downs.

Thurby is a celebration of the state and people that put the Kentucky Derby on the national stage. The event features celebrations of bourbon, local music, racing and Kentucky veterans.

[MORE: WAVE 3 News Digital Derby Guide]

This year, a special group of women are being recognized for their service to our country.

"Being at Thurby and a partner with Churchill Downs, it's a great way for us to be in front of a large audience," said former Miss America and Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Heather French Henry.

This year the KDVA, will present a $5,000 charitable donation to an organization called Athena's Sisters. They are focused on supporting the needs of female veterans.

Lindsay Gargotto is the founder of the nonprofit and a veteran herself. She personally knows the struggles female veterans face.

"Honestly when I first came back I didn't associate myself as a veteran for years," said Gargotto. "It's hard enough to feel like a normal person again once you come home."

"We have 33,000 women veterans in the state of Kentucky and right now we only service about 6 percent of that 33,000," said Henry.

Athena's Sisters gets together twice a month to talk about advocacy, education and access to resources. They focus specifically on mental and physical health care. It's also a group where women in the same situation can be heard and understood.

"I'm afraid that we have a lot of women veterans who have isolated themselves maybe emotionally because they didn't have that interaction with a sister," said Henry.

Their goal for Thurby is to reach out and connect with women who didn't even know they existed.

"If even we have one female veteran that comes forth and says she would like to reconnect and needs help and then to me that whole day will be worth it," said Henry.

The KDVA will present their donation to Athena's Sisters on Thurby at the new Churchill Downs G.H. Mumm Winner's Circle, they'll also have an information table at the track.

To learn more about the KDVA, click here.  

To learn more about Athena's Sisters, click here

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