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Pound Ridge GOP Derby Party a 30-Year Tradition

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Republican Party will kick off its 2012 political season with a different type of the race – the Kentucky Derby.

On Saturday, the Republicans will continue a longstanding tradition that dates back nearly 30 years. Politicos from not just the GOP, but Democrats and other party affiliations as well, will gather at a home in Pound Ridge to watch the Run for the Roses and enjoy a little food, drink and conversation before the election seasons heats up.

“I don’t really consider this a strictly political event,” said Joseph Zaino, GOP chair. “It’s not really a fundraiser. It’s more a town party. We don’t subject the guests to political tirades or pressure to vote one way or the other.”

Zaino said Democrats, Independence and Green Party members, as well as unaffiliated registrants, are all welcome to join the gathering.

“It will give everybody a relaxed opportunity to discuss town issues and get to know and respect the views of others, but most importantly, have fun,” he said.

The event began in the early ’80s when a group of town Republicans would gather at the home of Herb and Mori Zeltner to watch the Kentucky Derby and discuss local politics. The first gathering was attended by 20 revelers and has grown to more than 100 since then.

“The Kentucky Derby is supposed to be the second-biggest party day of the year,” said Frank Sisti, former chair of the Pound Ridge Republican Committee. “This has grown to include people of all walks of life. It’s a fun time. Politics are discussed, but in a fun way. It’s bipartisan. I’ve never seen anyone argue.”

This year’s invitation list includes Rep. Nan Hayworth, state Sen. Greg Ball, Assembly member Robert Castelli and Pound Ridge GOP officials.

Pat Sorge and Pat Mutoo are organizing this year’s party, which will be held at the home of John and Lisa Sauro.

“This is a fun event to arrange,” Sorge said. “Food and beverages in abundance. We have never heard of anyone getting less than their money’s worth.”

The Sauros live at 178 Trinity Pass. The party starts at 5 p.m., and race time is 6:24 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner. The cost is $35. For more information, call Sisti at 914-764-5622.

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