In 1977, “Three’s Company” was a hit TV show, smart phones were unheard of…and the first Children’s Hospital Colorado Gala was held in Denver. Fast-forward to September 2017, where the 40th anniversary celebration blended black-tie glam with down-home, boot-stompin’ entertainment by country-western duo Big & Rich. The evening’s program included skits and chats by three engaging Children’s Hospital patients-ambassadors, and a live auction allowed some big-hearted donors to make generous, on-the-spot contributions to the mission. Overall the event raised $2.4 million. Yee-haw!

The Bonicello group at the reception

On Sept. 23, around 1,300 Children’s Colorado supporters put on their fanciest Saturday-night duds and headed downtown to the Hyatt Regency Denver At Colorado Convention Center for an evening of food, fun and philanthropy. The evening began with a reception that offered appetizers galore, as well as a Love & Libations wall that allowed guests to make a donation and not only receive a mystery-prize envelope, but also have the opportunity to write a personal note to young patients at the hospital.

The program began with a welcome from the hospital’s president and CEO, Jena Hausmann, and Children’s foundation president and CEO, Steve Winesett, who introduced this year’s hosts, the Freyer Family: John, Sr., and wife Ginny, and John, Jr., and wife Andi. They were presented with a Children’s Hospital signature red wagon, dedicated with their family’s name as well as business Land Title Guarantee Company.

Commemorating the Freyer Family and Land Title Guarantee Company with a signature Children’s Colorado red wagon.

Emcee Steve Thomas talked about his tour at Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Anschutz campus location and led a spirited live auction that netted $150,000. Thomas was aided by three Children’s Ambassadors who are also patients: Carter, Savannah and Kaley. He told guests that the Ambassadors’ own fundraising efforts for the hospital are on track to total $20,000 in 2017. The three introduced fun-focused Big & Rich, who “Did It For The Party,” storming the stage with loud exuberance. Guests had to opportunity to kick up their heels, as well as indulge in after-dinner niceties at a reception outside the ballroom.

The crowd is wowed by Big & Rich. (Photo by Jensen Sutta)

Children’s Hospital Colorado sees more, treats more and heals more kids than any hospital in our seven-state region. Its medical professionals are experienced and forward-thinking when it comes to the latest methods for diagnosis and treatment. This translates into less invasive treatment, less time and less stress on children and families. The hospital’s specially trained pediatric experts recognize that families are partners as they deliver family-centered care. With a very family-friendly facility, it’s easier for parents and siblings to be involved in the day-to-day medical, emotional and social needs of their child. From 100 percent private patient rooms to healing color therapy and views of nature, every detail of Children’s Hospital Colorado was built to help kids get better faster and reduce stress on the whole family. To learn more, please visit: ChildrensColorado.org.

Children’s Ambassadors Carter, Savannah and Kaley

Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation was established in 1978 and is dedicated solely to advancing the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado. Every dollar received is used to further the Children’s Hospital mission of caring for and curing children through the provision of high-quality care, education, research and advocacy. Donor support helps expand the hospital’s reach nationally and internationally and makes Children’s Colorado one of the world’s preeminent institutions of medicine and science. A donation of $150 can provide a guitar for The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at the Pediatric Mental Health Institute to help kids cope and express themselves. And $250 can provide two weeks’ worth of meals and transportation services for a family while in the hospital. For more information, please visit: ChildrensColoradoFoundation.org.

SAVE THE DATE: 2018 Children’s Colorado Gala is Sept. 29. Tickets generally sell out a month before the event.