The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and The Taste of Vail raise more than $20,000 |

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and The Taste of Vail raise more than $20,000

Daily Staff Report

BACHELOR GULCH – “Our Big Easy Benefit” presented by The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and the Taste of Vail on Wednesday, raised more than $20,000 for locally-based Katrina relief efforts. Over 300 attendees, volunteers and chefs packed the ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton to sample tastes cooked up by Vail Valley restaurants. The sounds of Tommy Shreve jammed while Southern Wine and Spirits, Grand Vin Limited, National Distributing Company and Bacardi poured wines, hurricanes and bourbon to celebrate the flooded historic city of New Orleans. “We wanted to celebrate New Orleans not to mourn it,” said Steven Holt, director of public relations for The Ritz. “The outpouring of support from this community was amazing. We were very pleased with the turnout and the money we raised to support our community’s relief efforts.” All the supplies for “Our Big Easy Benefit” was 100 percent donated. Each of the restaurants donated their food stations and services, and each of the beverage distributors donated all the wines, bourbons and specialty drinks. An army of volunteers ran the silent auction, the registration and speakeasy casino. Workers from The Ritz-Carlton serviced the event. With more than $20,000 raised in this Katrina relief effort, an immediate donation of $5,789 will be made to the local chapter of The Salvation Army for relief efforts in the disaster zone. “The Vail Valley chapter of The Salvation Army provides emergency services and strives to meet human needs in an effort to promote self-sufficiency,” said Tsu Wolin-Brown, community caseworker and former board member of the Salvation Army.The remaining money will be used to create a fund to benefit displaced Americans that relocate to Eagle County. The Salvation Army and a local committee including Holt of The Ritz-Carlton, Susan Fritz of The Taste of Vail, Steve Pope of the Vail Daily, Kara Heide of Vail Resorts and Kathy Fort-Carty of Destination Services of Colorado, will help to assess where that money is needed most.”I don’t think any of us can fathom the needs of these families as they start their lives over,” said Holt. Bachelor, the resident yellow Labrador Retriever at The Ritz-Carlton, also raised an additional $275 dollars, selling yellow Bachelor bracelets at the event. The resort’s Loan-a-Lab charitable fund will match those funds and make a $550 donation in Bachelor’s name to The Louisiana Humane Society.

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