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CARBONDALE, Colo., June 14, 2019---Tickets are now on sale for the August 11 Chukkers, Champagne & Caviar  fundraiser at Aspen Valley Polo Club.

The club's summer marquis charity event, hosted by club owners Marc and Melissa Ganzi and Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation, has raised nearly $1 million dollars in the last two years to benefit Aspen Valley Hospital.

Last year the fun, day-long event raised $537,200, more than the 2017 event's total of $366,000.

Held 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and highlighted by the prestigious 119th USPA Silver Cup final on the club's two newest fields, the fundraiser is a winning combination of polo, sponsors and donors raising much-needed funding for facilities, new technology and programs. 

There will be a lavish fieldside VIP tent and menu prepared by Caribou Club Catering of Aspen with white-glove service and impeccable attention to detail. There will also be a roving Beverly Hills Caviar cart, champagne and other refreshments.

Some of the other highlights of the day is the always-entertaining live polo player auction and first-year hat contest. Guest auctioneer John Sarpa, Chairman of the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, will serve as emcee and auctioneer. For the first time, the silent auction featuring items donated by local Aspen businesses will be held online before the event as part of the build-up. 

There will also be kids activities, fashion models and various vendor tents featuring luxury items. Last year's event attracted 81 sponsors and organizers are hoping for more this year.

The Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation, now entering its seventh year, is a non-profit solely focused on encouraging philanthropic support for the current and future needs of Aspen Valley Hospital.

"We couldn't be more thrilled with the event," said Deborah Breen, AVHF President and CEO. Breen was named the foundation's first president in January 2013 after working in the philanthropic field for 17 years.

"The Ganzis have been so wonderfully supportive," Breen said. "We have seen the attendance and sponsorships grow. It's been incredible to nurture the event. We are expecting another sellout and hope to top 400."

Three years ago Breen and Melissa Ganzi decided to turn the Community Day celebrating the 125th anniversary into "something special" with a "build it, they will come" mentality. 

"We realized this event could have real legs and we could make something special because it was different and unique," Breen said. "Melissa said let's go for it and we did. We couldn't be happier."'

Aspen Valley Hospital is an important asset that delivers excellent care to the small mountain community, thanks in part to the funds raised at this annual benefit. Aspen Valley Hospital has met important goals as evidenced by its high-ratings in patient satisfaction and quality of care. 

Aspen Valley Hospital has been proudly serving the community for more than 125 years. In order to provide high quality healthcare the community deserves, the hospital continues to modernize and expand facilities, improve technology, and add space for clinics and medical specialties.

With over 75 physicians on the medical staff, Aspen Valley Hospital has specialty services in more than 25 areas, with the most visible service areas being emergency/trauma, orthopedics, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, surgical services, physical and occupational therapy, oncology and infusion, lab/pathology, and maternity.

Ticket packages range from $250 (Early Bird general admission single ticket if purchased before July 11) to $100,000 Luxury VIP Diamond package (30 guests). The $50,000 Luxury VIP Platinum (20 guests) has already sold out. For more information call 970-544-1302.

Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation is a 501(c)(3) IRS designated organization that oversees all charitable giving to Aspen Valley Hospital. Gifts can be made at supportaspenvalleyhospital.org or by mail to Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation, 0401 Castle Creek Road, Aspen., Colo., 81611.

With the majestic 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the busiest and fastest growing USPA-sanctioned clubs in the nation with a membership increase of 75 percent over four seasons.

Since Marc and Melissa Ganzi founded the club in 2014, polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club’s offerings of various weekly grass and arena tournaments, Gladiator Tuesdays and Asado, Kids Polo, The Polo School and Polo On Demand. In addition, the club offers practice sessions for teams competing in the weekend tournaments.

In those four years, Aspen Valley Polo Club has had a positive impact in the area hosting kids polo camps, teaching lessons and hosting several charitable events at the club that have benefitted local charities. 

The Ganzis are avid players and patrons and "have created a polo paradise" according to Piocho Ranch padron Tom Barrack. Players, sponsors, community leaders and fans share Barrack's sentiments.

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