Sheriff’s Cup raises $135K for mental health, restaurant workers

In five years, the annual golf event has raised over $600,000 for mental health, veterans and other community causes

The Sheriff’s Cup held the last weekend in June raised $135,000, which will benefit local restaurant workers and those with mental health issues related to the pandemic.

The money will be distributed by the Aspen Community Foundation through its local nonprofits like the Hope Center, Mind Springs Health, Aspen Family Connections and others that have expertise in finding individuals who need the most assistance, said Valerie Carlin, community investment director for ACF.

Over the past five years of the event being held, the cup has raised over $600,000 for local nonprofits, according to Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.

“I’m a little humbled by that,” he said Friday. “There’s a lot of money here and a lot of generosity.”

The annual event began as a filler when the traditional Mayor’s Cup was canceled due to a lack of interest in 2014.

With a gap year, DiSalvo decided in 2016 to make the cup an annual event with a different recipient.

The first two years brought in more than $200,000 for the Hope Center and suicide prevention.

The next two years raised more than $300,000 for Huts for Vets, which was the planned recipient when the event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

DiSalvo said that nonprofit’s leadership offered to him that another cause be the beneficiary to spread the generosity.

This year’s event sold out with 24 teams, which included golf pro Billy Horschel.

The winning team was comprised of former pro cycler Lance Armstrong, along with local players Zack Nieditz, Chaz Johnson and Dawson Holmes.

Armstrong, a part-time Aspen resident, hosted the pre-event party at his West Home where the cup’s first Calcutta was held.

DiSalvo said that event alone raised between $25,000 and $30,000.

“We had some extremely generous people,” he said.

Part of that money ($15,000) will go to an orphanage in Bali, in honor of Gede Ardika, a Bali native who worked at Aspen Golf Club and died of COVID-19 this year.

DiSalvo said he is looking forward to next year, which will likely be an invitational event.

“Next year we’ll be back and we’ll decide who gets the money,” he said. “I’m excited to have another successful event.”