***Update, In light of changes at Churchill Downs, this event has been cancelled.
Louisville Fire Department (LFD) firefighters will race on the Churchill Downs turf Thursday, June 8, beginning at noon, to raise money for YMCA’s Safe Place sites, competing for the Tim Croft Cup. As a dual mission, the event honors the memory of Croft, who lost his life due to cancer, which was attributed to hazards he faced in the line of duty. Croft passed in 2018.
This year, the YMCA Safe Place Services Turf Classic is celebrating its 30th anniversary. A silent auction will accompany the event, ending at 8 p.m. The firefighters are the only humans permitted to run on the track. Louisville’s fire stations were among the first Safe Place sites in the country.
For decades, local youth have visited area fire stations to access the help and services they need through YMCA Safe Place Services, according to a recent press release. The long-standing partnership began in 1992. The program, a branch of YMCA of Greater Louisville, offers help, hope and healing services to teens and families in crisis, including those who are homeless and youth in need of shelter. Its mission is to “accept, affirm and advocate for youth by empowering them to reach their full potential in spirit, mind and body,” according to the YMCA website.
The day at the races includes seats on Millionaire’s Row and a buffet dinner. The event coincides with Churchill Downs’ Thursday Twilight Racing. Learn more details here.