In January and February, our organizations hosted two separate pond hockey tournaments at The Golf Club at Fox Acres. The Colorado Women's Pond Hockey Classic, put on by the Colorado Women's Hockey Foundation and The Beaver Cup Pond Tournament, hosted by the Fort Collins Pond Hockey Association. Both charitable tournaments were held in order to benefit severely injured and ill hockey players as well as the larger hockey community in Colorado.

Because pond hockey tournaments were a new type of event for Fox Acres, we had multiple planning meetings ahead of time with Matt Reinick, their General Manager. There were many logistical issues to be considered with nuanced events such as ours. With every encounter, he was kind, patient, knowledgeable and creative in his problem solving efforts. Matt was always available when we had questions (and, boy did we have questions!). Throughout the process, Matt consistently maintained a "can-do" attitude and worked with us to find effective solutions to the many issues that came up as we planned these events.

With only a few weeks to go before our big weekends, we were introduced to Jessica, the event planner, and Chef Donna Kennedy. What a phenomenal team! Amongst many other things, Jessica worked with our organizations to plan meal service and coordinate beverage and snack service in our heated tent by the ice. She was consistently very detail oriented, enjoyable to work with and proactive in her approach to event planning. Jessica always stayed two steps ahead of matters and helped to guide our events in such a way that they were run as smoothly as possible. One exceptional thing that she did just stole my heart. She saw us unpacking for the Beaver Cup and noticed that the organization's flag had wrinkles in it from being boxed up. Despite having many other things to do, she personally took the time to wet it down and flatten it for us. When we displayed it in the banquet hall that weekend, it represented the organization far better than it would have as a wrinkly mess--all because she took the time to care about it and lend a hand.

When it came time to plan our meals, Chef Kennedy was incredible to work with. Through a series of phone calls and emails, she thoughtfully created an amazing menu for each tournament that added a tremendous amount of "WOW factor" to our meal service. Additionally, I was impressed with how versatile she was in her planning. Our female crowd proved to have a good deal of dietary restrictions and food allergies to work around. She created menus around these dietary needs with incredible ease and creativity. When it came to planning meals for the Beaver Cup crowd, which consists of mostly men, she was able to simplify her meals a bit and adjust easily to their larger appetites as requested while still ensuring that everyone would eat like royalty.

When it came time for our tournaments, the entire staff continued to work arm-in-arm with us in order to give our participants the best experience possible. What impressed me the most was what our participants had to say about Fox Acres staff. They overwhelmingly gave the facility, it's staff and the food high marks! Many of our survey respondents discussed how accommodating and kind the entire staff was throughout the weekend.

I have heard some say that the days of impeccable customer service are dead. Those poor folks should take the drive up the Fox Acres in order to renew their faith! I was blown away by the service we received from this caring and dedicated staff. Every member of the Fox Acres team was integral to our success this year with these charitable tournaments. Both the Colorado Women's Hockey Foundation and the Fort Collins Pond Hockey Association are already looking forward to planning next year's tourneys with this amazing group of professionals by our side!

Andrea L. Basalay
Vice President
Colorado Women's Hockey Foundation