LOWELL -- You could call it The Walk (or Run) for the Roses.

Ironstone Farm in Andover is launching the Ironstone Derby, a fundraiser and race to take place on Saturday, May 3. Participants may choose a 5-mile run or a 2-mile walk through Lowell, beginning and ending at LeLacheur Park. A race inside the park will also take place for kids, along with other children's activities including arts and crafts and face painting.

"We're hoping this inaugural event will bring new people to our farm," Executive Director Deedee O'Brien said. "We chose the Kentucky Derby theme because horse racing is such an exciting, challenging sport."

The event begins at 4 p.m. and participants are invited back to LeLacheur Park in time for the 140th Kentucky Derby, which begins at 6:20 p.m. Those who take part can watch the race on LeLacheur's center-field video screen and enjoy an all-you-can- eat barbecue at the Gator Pit.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Challenge Unlimited and the Ironstone Therapy Board, two nonprofits helping children and adults with disabilities. The organizations also have therapeutic programs improving the lives of cancer survivors and people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Neil Fater, marketing director of Challenge Unlimited, said people may run, walk, or enjoy the party.

Registration is available online on ironstonefarm.org via the "Register for the Ironstone Derby" button. Costs are $20 for the race, $25 for the barbecue and Derby, and $45 for both.


The children's race is $15 and includes a coupon for free food.