It's off to the races ... and to the houses

Spring is in full swing! Now that the spring breakers have returned, first pitches have officially started the baseball season and the AYSO goals are up at the parks, it feels like we're racing into the final stretch before summer. This time of year also offers two long-standing Hinsdale social traditions: Derby Day and Kitchen Walk.

Derby Day

This year's Derby Day party, hosted by the Hinsdale Auxiliary of Brightpoint (formerly Children's Home & Aid), takes place at Butterfield Country Club in Oak Brook on Saturday, May 4. As it turns out, this is the 69th annual event, making it one of the longest running benefit fundraisers in the area.

Guests are encouraged to wear their hats and cheer for their favorite horse and jockey during the televised broadcast of "the most exciting two minutes in sports" (a.k.a. the Kentucky Derby) before enjoying a seated dinner with guest M.C. Alex Maragos of NBC Chicago, live and silent auctions, raffles and dancing into the night.

You might not be familiar with the Brightpoint name, but you probably recognize its former moniker, Children's Home & Aid. Originally formed with the goal of providing safe homes for children who needed to escape abuse, Children's Home & Aid started serving Illinois in 1883. The recent rebrand to Brightpoint also took into account modern policies, and Brightpoint recentered its work by focusing on prevention, recognizing that children do best when they are at home in stable families. Today's programs, which the Derby Day event supports, work to provide this stability by addressing small problems before they become life-altering crises through five program areas: early childhood care and education, child welfare, parent support, mental health and wellness, and youth services.

"When I started volunteering with Brightpoint and getting to work with these kids, I knew I had found something special," Hinsdale Auxiliary President Tish Newcomer said. "When we say, 'It's a great time for a great cause,' it really is. We have the chance to make a difference in the lives of so many families."

To purchase tickets or find out about sponsorship opportunities, please visit

Kitchen Walk

Less than a week after the Derby Day party is another big day in town: the Hinsdale Historical Society's Kitchen Walk on Friday, May 10. This year's theme, Graceful Gatherings, is on display in six of Hinsdale's homes, each boasting tables curated by local designers, specialty drinks and nibbles from local favorites , and items to purchase from luxury vendors.

With droves of protective bootie-clad guests expected rain or shine (pro-tip: leave the stilettos at home), tickets are limited this year. Guests can choose general admission for $75 or Premium Preview for $95. (Trolley tickets already are sold out.) Premium Preview tickets (limited to 250) offer access to the homes an hour before they open to the general public and before the trolleys arrive. To purchase these tickets, you must be a Historian-level member of the Hinsdale Historical Society.

"Proceeds of the Hinsdale Kitchen Walk go to maintaining and preserving our three properties: the R. Harold Zook Home and Studio, Hinsdale Historical Museum and Immanuel Hall, which houses our Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center," Co-President Emily Bower said. "These crucial funds allow us not only to preserve and record our village's past and present, but also to develop and support educational programs, exhibits and resources that depict and share the memories and stories of Hinsdale's rich history."

Co-President Walker Rediehs said the Kitchen Walk is one of her favorite days of the year.

"What's not to like about eating, drinking and shopping with friends while walking through beautiful homes?" she said.

Visit www. to purchase tickets.

- Allison Peters of Hinsdale is the paper's society columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].