The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m. 

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website,

This year’s celebrity guests from the world of entertainment include:


Danielle Gregorio is a wife and mother to three beautiful children, residing in Villa Park, Calif. She is the co-owner and principal designer of Danielle Kaye Design Studio, a boutique interior design firm located in Orange County, California. Interior design has always been a passion for Gregorio, so she is now able to re-create her visions in both residential and commercial design projects, living her dream of owning her own business and doing what she loves.  Gregorio also has always had a special talent and vision for planning and hosting the most amazing events. When partnering with Jimmy Choo in May 2012 to support and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® Man of the Year, the event was such a success that she was asked to host a yearly event. When she accepted this task, she knew it was a perfect fit to become a founding member of Heels2Heal Orange County. Most recently, Gregorio joined the seasoned cast of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County. Though new to the reality TV world, she was excited to show the world that a full-time mom, businesswoman and philanthropist can have it all.


Mark and Matthew Harris are nationally known as starring in A&E’s hit series Storage Wars, where they are the newest bidders on the show viewed by 5 million viewers weekly.  In addition to being radio personalities in Los Angeles hosting their weekly radio show, The Tastemakers, the Harris brothers are regular judges at Miss USA pageants, including Miss California USA, Miss Illinois USA, Miss Nevada USA, Miss New Jersey USA and Miss Maryland USA. The Harris brothers are also known as “The Kings of Swag” as they own and operate the biggest celebrity marketing agency in Hollywood, WOW! CREATIONS, providing celebrity gift bags and hosting celebrity gift lounges around the world from the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and many more events. The Harris brothers are also luxury life style consultants who have a daily blog and can be seen in upcoming Independent feature films playing wealthy investors and are currently shopping their new reality show, The Kings of Swag.

Aussie native Kym Johnson has made the transition from ballroom to judging panel and is currently one of four judges on Dancing with the Stars, Australia. Johnson holds three mirror-ball trophies (two in the United States and one in Australia) and she is the only professional dancer in the world to hold trophies on two different continents. In 2006, she arrived in the United States when she was asked to join the U.S. version of DWTS.  Her first partner was talk show host Jerry Springer during season three, where she won the hearts of Americans. Her other partners have included some of the most popular celebrities on the show: David Hasselhoff, Joey Fatone, Jaleel White, Mark Cuban, Penn Jillette, Warren Sapp, Ingo Radamacher and David Arquette.  Johnson has been runner-up twice on the American syndicated DWTS. In November 2009, Johnson won the prestigious mirror-ball trophy with entertainer Donny Osmond, and followed up the win with another first place in 2011 with Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward. Johnson has been involved in 13 seasons of DWTS U.S.A.


Carson Kressley was most recently a “fan-favorite” on ABC’s world-wide hit, Dancing With The Stars and recently headlined as the host of Dancing With The Stars Live in Las Vegas. In 2011, Kressley starred in Carson-Nation, a one-hour reality show that premiered on OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network. In Carson-Nation, he travelled to small towns throughout the United States, transforming lives one person at a time with his signature heart, humor and style. Previously, Kressley helmed Lifetime’s critically acclaimed show How To Look Good Naked and earned a primetime Emmy for his role on Bravo’s breakout hit series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He was a frequent style contributor on The Oprah Winfrey Show where millions of viewers accessed his expertise, style, and wit. He can also be seen as a style contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America, Live With Kelly and Michael!, The Queen Latifah Show, Bethenny and The Wendy Williams Show. Kressley recently debuted his signature line of women’s sportswear and accessories, Love, Carson, which is known for its easy, instant, affordable glamour and is available exclusively at ShopHQ.


Before he made his way to Tinseltown, the Kentucky native set his sights on music and attended the University of Georgia. Shortly after traveling to Los Angeles and upon a chance meeting with a film and television manager, Robinson jump-started his career performing in more than 50 television and film projects and still counting while still pursuing his music career. Robinson is best known for his role as C.C. White in the Academy Award-winning film Dreamgirls, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best song that he performed at the Academy Awards. He can also be seen in such films as Dear John, Fat Albert, 35 & Ticking, This Christmas, CRU (August 2014) and the soon-to-be released James Brown biopic, Get on Up due out Aug. 1. `Robinson also is slated to release brand-new music later this year.


Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rovsek is a swimsuit designer and stay-at-home mother of two. Lizzie is the newest Housewife on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County and joined the cast in its ninth season. Elizabeth hails from the Bluegrass state, is a former Miss Kentucky USA, and is now owner and designer of her own swimsuit company, Sun Kitten Swimwear. She’s married to Christian, CEO of Service First Restoration, an emergency service construction company handling properties damaged by flood, fire, mold and more, and they have two children, 3-year-old Preston and 2-year-old Kingston. They live in Orange County, California, and plan on growing their family in 2015.


His television credits include series regular roles on Kevin Hill and Close to Home and recurring roles in Ghost Whisperer and Oz. Seda also guest starred on Hawaii Five-0, The Closer, Burn Notice, House, M.D, CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue, Las Vegas and Law and Order, among many others. In 2010, Seda was seen in the award-winning HBO World War II miniseries The Pacific, playing the starring role of legendary marine Jon Basilone, and joined the cast of the acclaimed HBO series Treme as a series regular. Seda can currently be seen starring as Detective Antonio Dawson on Chicago PD. The show, created by Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf, is a spin-off of Chicago Fire and airs on NBC.


In 2013, Nina Davuluri became the first contestant of Indian descent to win the Miss America competition. The Syracuse, N.Y., native was educated at the University of Michigan and plans to attend medical school. During her year as Miss America, Davuluri will serve as spokesperson for increasing enrollment in the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – working with the U.S. Department of Education. Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2014, the 24-year-old won a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Davuluri returned to her roots and performed a Classical Bollywood Fusion dance.




Growing up in a banking family in Louisville, Hardwick started to play the piano and compose at age four with the gift of perfect pitch. He went on to win numerous national talent competitions including the Coca-Cola Talent Contest and was accepted for private study by the University of Louisville School of Music at age 12. After earning a BA in business from Centre College and completing graduate music studies at the University of North Texas (classical and jazz), he studied composition with Hall Overton at the Juilliard School of Music. He also received a DownBeat magazine award scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. The Bob Hardwick Sound is now one of the leading dance orchestras in the country, with an average of over 200 engagements per year in the United States, in addition to England, France, Italy, Ireland and Bermuda and the Caribbean. With Bob’s dazzling piano artistry, the orchestra’s irresistible beat, and a repertoire that delights all ages, Hardwick’s music makes every party a success, including Presidential inaugurals, private parties, benefit galas, corporate events, debutante balls and weddings of all sizes. Recently, Hardwick played for his fifth Inaugural Ball and seventh U.S. president by performing at the prestigious Illinois Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama.


Country artist J.D. Shelburne grew up on a tobacco farm in Taylorsville, Ky., a tiny town southeast of the Ohio River near Louisville. At age 19, he found a guitar after the death of his grandmother and began learning to play and sing on his own. By his sophomore year of college, he had found a few gigs at some local bars in the Louisville and Lexington areas and developed a fan base that eventually landed him on some of the biggest stages in the business, opening for some of the nation’s hottest stars. Eventually, Shelburne was adding original songs into the set mix, in addition to producing songs of his own material. Twelve years later he is soaking up country music, touring cities, building a fan base and celebrating a decade of success playing venues all across the southeast trying to get his big break. Today he’s among the most hardworking and relevant country singers in the business, with the hits “Farmboy” and “Grandma & Garth.” They say Nashville doesn’t work that way anymore – that talented musicians with very few connections don’t stand a chance, but J.D. Shelburne proved that Music City’s engine still runs off talent and persistence. Critics find him credible. Fans pack his shows. Venues strive to book him. There are very few new artists recording songs today about whom that can be said.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region’s leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site,


The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.