April 22, 2016 Louisville, KY.  – Each year, the Kentucky Derby Festival presents the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award to an individual or organization for their outstanding service to the community.  This year’s award will be given to honor the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA). The award will be presented at the 60th annual They’re Off! Luncheon today in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House Hotel. Accepting the award will be McDaniel Bluitt, founder of the West Louisville Boys and Girls Choir and WLPAA. Along with the award, the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation – the Derby Festival’s charitable arm – will also present a $5,000 check to Bluitt and WLPAA.

“The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy has helped change many young lives and created an artistic outlet for Louisville youth for more than 25 years,” said Mike Berry, KDF President and CEO.  “We couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient to receive this year’s award.”

The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy is dedicated to developing the talents of young boys and girls – from 8 to 19 years of age – focusing on their academic and social development through the performing arts. WLPAA believes these sound life skills enable youth to become productive members of the community. They offer both a boys and girls choir, which performs at various events, including for the Governor, Mayor, and at international singing competitions. The Academy, which was founded by Bluitt in 1990, provides not only creative instruction, but also tutoring sessions and leadership training.

“Fifth Third is honored to partner with KDF to present this year’s Silver Horseshoe Award, to the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) under the dynamic and tireless leadership of McDaniel Bluitt”, said Mike Ash, Fifth Third Bank’s Kentucky Regional President.  “WLPAA has literally changed lives for so many west Louisville youth by not only creating artistic opportunities, but at the same time, addressing academic and social development.  McDaniel’s work continues to help make our youth college and job ready and develops future leaders.  Fifth Third Bank congratulates WLPAA and is proud to be a long-time supporter.”

The Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award will be presented by Mike Ash of Fifth Third Bank and Leslie Broecker, Chair of the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation. Since 1962, the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award has been awarded to various organizations and individuals who’ve made significant contributions in our community.

The Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, a 501(c ) 3 not-for-profit charity, was established in 1998. The Foundation receives and manages charitable contributions on behalf of the Kentucky Derby Festival, Inc., and is dedicated to providing assistance for charities in the community. Since its inception, the Foundation has given more than $350,000 to support other non-profit agencies and charitable causes.

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