Saturday Night Alive & Well

At the northwest corner of the 16th Street Mall, the Millennium Bridge stands like a ship about to sail. The building standing adjacent to the world’s first cable-stayed bridge is DaVita World Headquarters, the kidney resource center that has changed the lives of many dialysis patients and those living with renal-related diseases.

The iconic building that stands 14 stories high was the scene for the National Jewish Health 5280, Disco Night–an annual fundraising event benefiting National Jewish Hospital and Morgridge Academy, a school for children with severe health issues such as asthma.

Over 300 guests arrived in platform shoes, gold medallions, ’70s polyester shirts, afro-style wigs and aviator sunglasses. They walked into a setting alive with projected disco laser light shows imitating the 1970s popular New York nightclub, Studio 54. DJ G-Funk arrived in full discotheque glitter and served up a hearty menu of popular music by the BeeGees, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind & Fire and KC & the Sunshine Band.

The mostly young adult guests stepped onto the Rooftop Terrace to enjoy the elegant venue’s stunning downtown views while enjoying food from the finest restaurants in Denver. Guests enjoyed everything from oysters on the half-shell to brisket to meatballs. Libations were served up at the various open bar stations, inside and outside on the rooftop terrace.

Everyone was into the kitschy-ness of the night but no one forgot what the fun was about. Dan Feiner, Brian Parks, and Ross Chotin expressed their gratitude to everyone there and reminded them about the work of the night’s benefactors, National Jewish Hospital and Morgridge Academy.

At National Jewish, researchers, physicians, and patient-care staff provide world-class care to people who suffer from respiratory, immune and related diseases, including asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, allergic disease and heart disease. National Jewish has a substantial impact on health care beyond the patients it sees. Ground-breaking research conducted at National Jewish advances the frontier of medical care for cures for life-threatening diseases. Their physician and patient education programs, the award-winning LungLine® telephonic information service, and their comprehensive website (www.njc.org) serve to inform and educate people around the world.

The other star of the evening was the Morgridge Academy. It is a free Colorado Department of Education approved facility school which serves children in kindergarten through 8th grade who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Morgridge Academy is the only school of its kind on a medical campus in the country, and its mission is to provide a safe, friendly, and healthy school environment committed to whole-child development.

The students who attend Morgridge Academy have diagnoses that include severe asthma and allergies, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, atopic dermatitis (eczema), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and muscular disorders. With a dedicated team of teachers, nurses, a child advocate, school counselor, P.E. teacher, and Fine Arts teacher, the students receive a quality education while learning to manage their illness.

Studio 5280, on Saturday night, transformed a modern building into a flashy retro space where boogying was cool and sunglasses and wigs stayed put throughout the night. The event brought in over $125,000, which will help adults and children living with respiratory diseases and to the children at Morgridge Academy, who want only to go to school and live healthy lives like other children.