This page is intended to address some of the misconceptions about the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. From the phone calls and emails we receive, we have complied this “top 10” list.
# 1: The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels is a state agency. WRONG! We have always had a great working relationship with the Governor and Secretary of State but we are totally independent of state government. The Honorable Order receives no state funding. We rely on voluntary contributions for the charitable and educational work we fund.
#2: Anybody can “join” the membership of the Honorable Order. NOPE! A Colonel commission is a requirement (see below).
#3: The Honorable Order issues Colonel Certificates / Commissions: DOUBLE NOPE! Only the Governor of the Commonwealth has the authority to appoint a Kentucky Colonel. The actual certificate, by law, is issued by the Kentucky Secretary of State. There is a formal nomination process.
#4: All Kentucky Colonels are members of the Honorable Order. NOT NECESSARILY! All Colonels are welcome in the organization. However, participation in the charitable efforts is a requirement.
#5: The Honorable Order exists to serve Kentucky Colonels. SORT OF! The Honorable Order is a non-profit, charitable organization. While we do our best to respond to questions and requests from all, our primary efforts must be directed toward our active members.
#6: A Kentucky Colonel is “entitled” to Derby Tickets. GOOD IDEA! At least it is a good idea from our standpoint. However, Churchill Downs wants to sell the tickets rather than give them away. Imagine that!
#7: Kentucky Colonels’ Day on Millionaire’s Row, the Derby Extravaganza and the Oaks parties are fund raisers. NOT DIRECTLY! All Colonel social events (and the Colonels Emporium) are priced to “break even”. By offering outstanding social events, we hope members will find encouragement to remember the Good Works Program in their charitable giving.
#8: Ticket and merchandise purchases count as contributions. GOOD TRY! We are delighted we can offer social events and the Emporium but membership is based on support of our charitable activities.
#9: All contributions to the Honorable Order are tax deductible. ABSOLUTELY! Well, at least if you pay taxes in the USA. We are told some of the 62 or so other nations where members reside may not allow deductions.
#10: The Colonels’ Oaks party is just a less expensive Derby Extravaganza. WRONG DAY! The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday preceding Derby Day which is always the first Saturday in May. The Kentucky Derby Museum is the location of both events.
Thank you for remembering the Good Works Program in your charitable giving.