• 5 p.m., July 27 at Ford Park
  • Game Kicks Off the Vail Police Department’s “Make a Difference Day” Food Drive


For the third year, the New York Philharmonic will exchange instruments for gloves when it challenges the Vail Police Department in the 2010 Jerome Ashby Memorial Softball Game at 5 p.m. July 27 on the west ball field at Ford Park. The community is invited to attend the game and encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food items to kick-off the 10th annual “Make a Difference Day” food drive coordinated by the Vail Police Department.
The friendly game will pit representatives of Vail police, fire and emergency services departments against New York Philharmonic musicians. The Orchestra, which initiated the softball challenge two years ago, will be in Vail for its eighth annual residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival through July 30 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The game will be played in memory of Jerome Ashby, the Philharmonic’s former Associate Principal Horn and Principal Wagner Tuba. Ashby, who joined the Orchestra in 1979, passed away in 2007 after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. Tickets for the New York Philharmonic concerts can be purchased through the Bravo! Festival at (877) 812-5700 or at www.vailmusicfestival.org.
The game is sponsored by AK Electric, a local electric company. AK Electric has kicked off the food drive with a donation of $500. The company will also be providing refreshments for both teams during the game.
Donations of food items will be collected during the game for pantries throughout Eagle County in partnership with the Salvation Army, Bright Future Foundation and Food Rescue Express. Non-perishable items such as canned goods, rice, beans, pasta, cereal and juices are needed. Cash donations or checks made out to “TOV Make a Difference Day” are also appreciated.
Food pantries throughout Eagle County are having a difficult time keeping up with the spike in demand. Tsu Wolin-Brown, director/case worker with the Vail Valley Salvation Army says, “It’s increasingly difficult to meet the demand as supplies deplete within weeks. We don’t know what we’d do without the help of organizations like the Vail Police Department.”
To help meet the growing need, Vail has set an ambitious goal of collecting 450,000 pounds of food for the 2010 drive. Last year Vail collected 333,000 pounds of food.
“I’m proud of the way the community comes together each year to help our neighbors and friends,” said Moses Gonzales, Vail code enforcement officer and food drive organizer.
The food drive will continue through Oct. 24 for “Make a Difference Day,” the nation’s largest day of volunteering sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation. For information about the food drive, contact Gonzales at (970) 479-2208 or email mgonzales@vailgov.com.



Media Contacts:         
Eric M. Gewirtz, (212) 875-5705       
New York Philharmonic
Moses Gonzales, (970) 479-2208
Vail Police Department
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