Sheriff’s Cup for Hope returns Sunday with 5K run/walk at Aspen Golf Course | AspenTimes.com

Sheriff’s Cup for Hope returns Sunday with 5K run/walk at Aspen Golf Course

For Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, the best part about getting Gretchen Bleiler involved with Sunday's second annual Sheriff's Cup for Hope 5K run/walk is getting to avoid the run altogether.

"I cannot and will not run a 5K, so I had to find someone else who could," DiSalvo said with a hearty chuckle. "Gretchen has been an old friend and our true Silver Queen, so we wanted to get her involved and she graciously agreed to be the hostess of our 5K."

Aspen's Bleiler is a two-time Olympic snowboarder, which includes a silver medal in the 2006 Torin Games, as well as a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist. Part of hosting Sunday's 5K run/walk at the Aspen Golf Club will be signing autographs and taking pictures with participants.

The 5K is a new addition to the Sheriff's Cup this year, which is a fundraiser for the Aspen Hope Center. It includes the second annual Sheriff's Cup golf tournament Sunday afternoon.

"It's bigger and better than last year," DiSalvo said of Sunday's festivities. "This year we kind of got involved with the city and the golf course and expanded the event. I keep looking down the road to how we can make this even cooler."

The party starts tonight with Home Team BBQ hosting a welcome party for runners and golfers from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday's action starts just after 8 a.m. with a yoga session, followed around 9:30 a.m. with the 5K around Aspen Golf Club. There will be a community picnic at 11 a.m., with the golf tournament starting around 1 p.m.

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Also included are activities for the kids, live music and a putting contest.

There also will be numerous raffles and silent auction items to bid on. Auction items include an X Games VIP experience package, a Chicago Cubs package and a Daytona 500 package.

Some of the items can be won through CrowdRise, a social fundraising website where winners are the ones who get people to donate the most money.

On top of noted area residents such as Lance Armstrong and Andy Mill, DiSalvo said there could be a few other "celebrity" surprise appearances. He did not mention any names.

While the golf tournament already is sold out, there still is a chance to partake in the rest of the activities. Cost for the 5K run/walk is $45, with the money going straight to the Aspen Hope Center.

The Aspen Hope Center serves primarily to help area residents with suicide prevention and crisis management. According to the organization's website, Pitkin County averages four suicides per year, with suicide being the third leading cause of death for people ages 18 to 25 in the country.

"Suicide is our community problem. There is no doubt about it," DiSalvo said. "It's not fun to talk about, it's not fun to think about, but this is how we can prevent it, or do our best to prevent it, by getting people the help they need. That's the real reason we are out here, to raise money for people who are in dark places and don't know what to do."

To sign up for the 5K or donate, visit aspenhopecenter.org. DiSalvo said he hopes to raise around $100,000 for the center.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

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