9th Annual Pink Ribbon Polo Classic held Sunday

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Crowds packed a polo pitch in Albemarle County Sunday afternoon to raise money for breast cancer research. The ninth annual Pink Ribbon Polo Classic drew thousands of people to King Family Vineyards in Crozet. For the first time, proceeds will be divided between two non-profits - the Virginia Breast Care Foundation and the Every Woman's Life program.

Most people at the Pink Ribbon Polo Classic sported something pink - to show support for women fighting breast cancer and to remember others who lost their battles.  Thousands gathered on the grounds of King Family Vineyards in Crozet Sunday afternoon for a day packed with polo, food and wine.

Organizers added a new beneficiary this year - a group working in central Virginia to prevent and treat breast cancer.

Organizer Christi Sheffield said, "This year we really wanted to really highlight the need of our local community and so we partnered both with the Virginia Breast Care Foundation and with the Every Woman's Life program."

Every Woman's Life is a statewide breast and cervical screening program.  The Charlottesville office has enrolled 5,000 women to date, but says there is always a need for the care.

Shannon Grady of the Every Woman's Life program said, "We currently have waiting lists of about 60 women just in the Charlottesville office who need services so this money is going to go a long way to help these needy women."

Polo organizers say these efforts to raise money and awareness are saving lives. "It's really more of a celebration of life and really making certain that what we're able to do today raises funds for people tomorrow," Sheffield said.

Last year's Pink Ribbon Polo Classic raised about $50,000 for the Virginia Breast Care Foundation.  Organizers doubled the number of sponsorships this year and hope to give an even bigger donation.

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