Chairman Adam Smith brings enthusiasm and excitement to Methodist Family Health and its fun-filled day at the races.
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Lily Darragh
Horse prop provided by Methodist Family Health
Adam Smith was introduced to Southern Silks by a friend, but his family’s experience when a loved one received care at Methodist Family Health keeps him committed to the organization. Last year, he served on the planning committee of MFH’s signature event. Now, as event chairman of the Derby-themed party Southern Silks, Adam brings enthusiasm and excitement to the organization and its fun-filled day at the races. “I have remained involved because I know of the outstanding services Methodist Family Health provides and I want those services to continue,” he says. “I have discovered that if there is one thing I can do, it is to give my time.”
Adam’s philanthropic spirit was inspired by his parents and grandparents. “We lived in a small community, so my entire family was continually raising money for our rural volunteer fire department, our church or for families in need,” he says. “It seemed like it never stopped. My mother and grandmothers were always baking cakes, selling cookbooks or volunteering at fundraising dinners.” His father, a third-generation farmer, influenced Adam the most. “Often his hard work kept him distracted and tired, and in some ways absent, but he did it all so that he could be the provider.” Today, Adam, new owner of White Goat, is most inspired by creative people who follow their heart regardless of social norms and expectations.
Denise Luft, MFH Foundation associate director of development, notes the organization is fortunate to have Adam’s help. “We are so pleased that Adam is sharing his event planning skills and expertise to help Methodist Family Health and Southern Silks,” she says. “This event and everything we do at Methodist Family Health is to help the kids and families who turn to us for emotional and behavioral health care. Adam has a big heart and he really cares. Plus, working with him is a blast. Southern Silks is going to be a great event with him at the helm.”
Held in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby, Southern Silks features faux horse racing. Participating event sponsors act as jockeys and guests cheer for their favorites. “It’s really a good time,” Adam says. “The event introduces others to the volunteer and giving opportunities of Methodist Family, all while they enjoy a good time.”
Each year is another opportunity to improve on “great ideas and successes” from previous events, Adam says. “It gets better every year. We have great prizes for race winners, exciting live auction items and a silent auction with original art by local artists.” An addition to the afternoon’s festivities is a bugle player to commence each race, Adam notes.
Proceeds support the organization’s programs and services, offering resources for families and children facing behavioral, emotional and mental health issues. These services are provided through counseling clinics and school-based counseling programs throughout Arkansas in addition to Little Rock treatment facilities. The organization also helps families who are grieving the loss of a loved one through the Kaleidoscope Grief Center. At Southern Silks, Adam notes, there will also be a live appeal to benefit Camp Healing Hearts, a service of the grief center.
Derby Day Tradition – festive attire
Hat or No Hat – no hat for me; my hair is my only asset
Dream Racehorse Name – Mr. Smith Goes to The Races (Mr. Smith for short)