(Edited press release)
The late Luke Kruytbosch, who served for a decade as the track announcer at Churchill Downs, will be honored Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. (EST) as the American Heart Association holds its 17th annual Crystal Heart Gala at the Louisville Marriott downtown.
The black-tie event will feature fine food, auction items and music, and annually raises money to fight heart disease and stroke.
Kruytbosch, who provided the vivid and exciting on-track calls of each Kentucky Derby (gr. I) from 1999-2008, died suddenly last July at age 47. It appeared heart disease was the cause of his death.
Churchill Downs has stepped into a position of prominence for the Crystal Heart Gala to honor its late announcer and focus attention on heart disease, the nation’s number-one cause of death for men and women. John Asher, Churchill’s vice president of racing communications, is chairman for this year’s Crystal Heart Gala.
Gala director Michael Neumann has added carnival midway games to the gala this year, where attendees can win locally donated gift certificates and merchandise. Entry requires an admission fee, but there’s no limit on play once inside. Games include beanbag toss, ring toss, skee ball, tip-a-troll, and others.
There also is an open bar (with sno-cone martinis!), live and bid-board auctions, and music by Gayle King and the Pendulum Orchestra.
Some tickets are still available at $500 per person/$1,000 per couple. Corporate tables and sponsorships are also still available. For more information, to sponsor the gala, or to order tickets, call (502) 587-8641.
The Crystal Heart Gala raises money for the American Heart Association, which funds education, advocacy, and scientific research to fight heart disease and stroke. The gala has a special emphasis on childhood heart disease.
The University of Louisville and River Road Asset Management are also key sponsors of the event.