Celebs, racing fans raise money for Operation Open Arms


by Brooke Hasch


Posted on May 3, 2014 at 11:56 PM

Updated Sunday, May 4 at 8:33 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- More than 250 people attended the 6th annual Silks of the Bluegrass Saturday evening in support of Operation Open Arms. The organization helps care for children with incarcerated mothers.

"We're trying to break the cycle of children following the paths of their mothers," Irv Bailey, the co-founder of Open Arms said.

The organization allows mothers to work directly with non-profit, that provides temporary, and in some cases, permanent childcare. Sharon Neville was a pilot parent for Open Arms more than a decade ago. She's since adopted two children who've gone through the system.

"The foster families we have with Operation Open Arms know when they sign onto Open Arms, they are signing up for the possibility of a lifetime commitment, in which case that means adoption," Neville said.

Open Arms has helped more than 30 children in the last 11 years and it's support continues to grow.

"I'm singing for 35 minutes tonight," Lucie Arnaz said.

Armaz, the daughter of actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, was invited to the event as the night's entertainment, in which she paid tribute to the musical roots of her father. The night also attracted state lawmakers.

"You see these cute little kids, and you see that somebody cares and they're trying to help them," Rand Paul said, alongside his wife, Kelley.

"I want to do what I can to help the kids that are in that situation, that they can be in a better place," Brandon Hurst, a Kentucky MMA fighter said.

Children with parents behind bars was often a reality Judge Alan Stout faced in a courtroom on many occasions during his profession.

"As a county attorney, I prosecuted a lot of people, and I saw situation where the children were at home because one or both of the parents were incarcerated. It's a great cause and I appreciate them doing this," Stout said.

This is the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year. A seat at the table cost $250.