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Basketball team ready for Europe

Dear Editor:I wanted to write a letter to the editor to say a huge “thank you” to so many who helped out our Aspen boys basketball team that is traveling to Europe this summer, by supporting us at the Ironbridge Golf Club tournament fundraiser on April 29. Over 50 outstanding golfers joined us in our efforts to raise money for a wonderful educational adventure for these young men. The weather was great, the golf course and sights spectacular, and everyone had a great time.Between our silent auction and the golf tournament itself, we raised just what we needed to help these kids have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. None of this could have ever been possible if it wasn’t for the generous spirit of Dirk Gosda and head club pro Doug Rohrbaugh and the Ironbridge Golf Club itself. Our sincerest thanks to them for helping us put on a great tournament. You guys are first class!A special thanks to all the parents of our kids going on this trip who volunteered their time once again to make this a huge success. To my wife, Mardi Ketchum, a huge thanks for going way beyond the call of duty to help arrange so many of these fundraisers for these kids. Also, a special thanks to our Sister Cities program and Trudi Vogt in Garmisch/Grainau, Gerrit Bernstein and Georg Vengert in Karlsruhe, Rolf Zajonc in Berlin, Stefan Koenes in Bamberg, and Wolf and Nancy Gensch in Snowmass Village for helping to organize our itinerary, hotel slays, sightseeing, and making this trip a reality.For those of you wondering what we are doing over here, here is a brief summary. We aretaking a select group of 12 AHS boys basketball players on a whirlwind tour of Germany and France in June, covering all of Germany and a small part of France while playing 11 games in 15 days against some of the best competition the youth clubs in Europe have to offer. While we are there, we plan on seeing some of the most famous cultural sights in the world like the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the infamous WWII concentration camp at Dachau, the very famous and historic castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, along with many cathedrals, palaces and museums across the countryside. We will travel from the Black Forest region all the way up to northern Germany and Berlin, then back down through historic Bamberg, Munich and Bavaria, while taking a couple of day trips across the border into France. One of the best things we will do while there is to actually sit down with the team and coaches we have competed against and have dinner with them every night to exchange ideas and thoughts.The players attending this trip are very thankful to all of you for helping make this possible. They include Michael Holmes, Cory Parker, Brian Westerlind, Josh Ganner, Jeff Gerbaz, Michael Taylor, Brent Hollenbach, Blake Wilcox-Snyder, J.D. Redmond, Tommy Rittenhouse, Devin Kahn and Matthew Holmes, along with coach Steve Ketchum.Thanks to all of you who have made this dream possible.Steve KetchumAspen High School head boys basketball coach


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