The Derby Festival Committee recently held a surprise farewell presentation to their long standing volunteer and PRO Sally Purcell.
Chairman of the Committee Ollie Kearns said Sally has been dedicated to the Festival for 30 years.
“Sally has been a volunteer since 1985,”he told the Leinster Leader.
“She has given a lot of her time and expertise to the festival and it will be hard to find anyone to replace her.
She took charge of the Festival Queen and made it one of the most popular events of the week.
She was a good ambassador for the festival and she always kept us on our toes.”
The committee are busy fundraising for this year's festival which will be held on the last week in June.
“€30,000 is needed to run the festival,” he said.
“We need to find a way of getting that money in before our AGM in February.
“We are looking at local businesses to work with us through sponsorship, advertising and donations.
“We are looking at local restaurants and hotels and businesses that make money out of the festival to give something back.
“We do not have a main sponsor – the out door entertainment alone costs €15,000 and we need local businesses to help out.”
This will be the 38th Derby Festival which is held annually in Kildare town the week before the running of the Derby at the Curragh Racecourse.
It’s battled through lean years and celebrated good times, and its survival is a tribute to the dedicated organising committee, who have kept it alive since 1978.