Aspen Celebrity Downhill to Benefit Grassroots Experience

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Aspen/Snowmass Village, Colo. (Mar. 10, 2004) -- Aspen Grassroots Experience is gearing up for the eighth annual Aspen Celebrity Downhill, a fundraiser for Grassroots Experience. This year's event takes place March 11-14 on Aspen Mountain.

The cache of celebrities for the fundraiser includes actors Matt Dillon, Willie Garson (of Sex and the City) Jacqueline Obradors, comedian David Alan Grier and NFL Hall of Famer Karl Mecklenburg.

Also traveling to Aspen for the weekend are seven children who are recipients of the Aspen Grassroots Experience program. They will travel from across the country from cities like Atlanta, Washington D.C., San Francisco, New Orleans and Kansas City to team up with the celebrities, sponsors, locals and Aspen visitors.

The weekend of festivities commences on Thursday, March 11, with a cocktail party at the Baldwin Gallery given by In Style Magazine. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served at the reception while DJs spin discs and Estilo Boutique hosts a fashion show.

On Friday, March 12, singer-songwriter John Hiatt will perform a solo acoustic show to a sold-out crowd at the historic Wheeler Opera House. Jimmy Ibbotson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will open the show with an acoustic set starting at 7 p.m.

Afterward, Former Boxing Champion Evander Holyfield hosts the popular "Casino Night at the Caribou Club from 9 pm to midnight — also a sold-out event.

On Saturday, March 13, the celebrated Downhill ski race takes place on Aspen Mountain's Little Nell run. Skiers (and snowboarders) participating in this friendly competition will race the dual slalom course in pursuit for first place. The top three teams will be honored with trophies at the awards ceremony that afternoon.

The Gala Dinner at the St. Regis Hotel begins at 6 pm Saturday night. Comedian David Alan Grier will take the stage at 9:30 pm to round out the evening.

Aspen Grassroots Experience's mission statement is dedication to empowering at-risk youth from cities across America to discover, define and reach their potential. The week-long programs hosted by Grassroots bring these youth to Aspen for fun outdoor experience, goal-setting and values-based "rap sessions" with mentors.

The Aspen Celebrity Downhill unites celebrities from television, film, sports, and music with sponsors along with youth program participants for an exciting weekend of festivities. Since inception in 1997, the Aspen Celebrity Downhill has raised net proceeds in excess of $750,000 for youth programs.