One Great Evening: Gatsby and Kenny G

Volunteers Lupe Reyther and Julie Collett cooed over the opportunity to see Kenny G. And tonight was their night! The artist would soon take the stage as the headline performer at Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation’s 35th annual Heart of Hearts Gala. Wings Over the Rockies proved the perfect venue for the Gatsby-themed celebration. Indeed, it was a party that could have been thrown by Gatsby himself.

“It’s all exciting,” said Laura Fitch, Director of Events for RMAHF/Centura Health, who was celebrating her 12th gala. “Every year it gets better and better. There is so much open space here. It’s a huge canvas on which to design the event.”

Go big is easily done at Wings, providing ample room to mix, mingle and decorate. Dramatically tall centerpieces and palm trees filled in the dining area, while the large stage fit the big sound that came from Spinphony, a band of four super-model beautiful virtuosic string players and their DJ. The women rocked violins and a cello, thus earning their description of offering an “elegant, high energy, rock, classical, pop” mix of music. Guests enjoyed naming the artists the band took on: Britney Spears, Pharell Williams, Pachelbel’s Canon, and Led Zeppelin, to name only a few. The Hewit Charitable Trust generously signed on as the evening’s Double Platinum Heart Sponsor and Entertainment Sponsor.

Prior to music there was mystery. The Mystery Boxes proved a popular fundraising draw as guest paid $50, $125 or $250 to pick a box tied to a hidden surprise.

“Sometimes we give people clues, which is fun for all of us,” said RMAHF Director of Annual Giving Cheryl Torres with a playful grin. “If someone hints they’d really like to find jewelry I casually say, ‘Maybe you want to pick from over there,’” referencing a particular spot amongst the nearly 100 boxes. Along with the mystery boxes, the silent auction table beckoned bidders with options on spa days, an array of tools, and other personal high-end items. After individuals claimed their reward, they could “Gift Check” it so they didn’t need to find room around their seat. “This is a great perk,” said one smiling patron handing over an enormous bundled basket.

Lynn and Dr. David Ehrenberger were honored with The Henry M. Porter Award. They are a dynamic duo in medicine. For more than a decade, the pair worked with the Centura Global Health Initiative (GHI) and established “Medicine in Motion,” a mobile clinic providing primary care services to homeless families in Westminster. Their work with GHI has focused on yearly medical mission trips to the Peruvian Amazon basin with teams of Centura associates, nurses and providers. Lynn continues to work at Avista, in both pre-surgical testing and as an employee health nurse, and is on the Avista Adventist Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Over the past 15 years David has gradually transitioned from private practice to various leadership roles within Centura and, since 2004, he has been the Chief Medical Officer at both Avista and Integrated Physician Network.

The funds raised at the gala support the continued development of the unique breast cancer programs at Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals. The funds also will be used to provide continued access to all men and women for high quality breast cancer screenings as well as diagnosis and treatment. Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and one in 1,000 men will be diagnosed. Nearly 40,000 of those people will die from the disease. Next to lung cancer, breast cancer is the most deadly form of cancer for women.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation is to raise funds, manage assets, invest endowment funds to maximize their value and administer gift fund accounts in accordance with the donors’ wishes for Avista, Littleton, Parker, & Porter Hospitals and for Porter Hospice.

 

 

 

15th Annual Men for the Cure Surpasses $2 Million for UCHealth

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When guests sat down to dinner at this year’s Men for the Cure, a “gentlemen only” fundraiser, many picked up the daintily-wrapped items on their table and looked positively perplexed. Laughing emcee Ed Greene announced: “Guys, those are bath salts to take home to your significant others.” You could hear the “Oh-hh”s all over the room.

Ed Greene (left) and Joe Theismann take audience questions.

Ed Greene (left) and Joe Theismann take audience questions.

With cigars, steak dinner, adult beverages and an iconic NFL quarterback as keynote speaker, more than 600 supporters made a beeline to XJet at Centennial Airport on Thursday, Sept. 24, to enjoy the ideal guys’ night out. It was made even better as 100 percent of the proceeds went to breast-cancer treatment and research at UCHealth – University of Colorado Hospital. With this year’s event, Men for the Cure has raised more than $2 million in its 15-year history to help fight breast cancer on a local level.

The evening began with a silent auction full of sports memorabilia, trips and restaurant outings, along with a cigars-and-cocktails reception that spilled outside, adjacent to airport runways, with a food truck, cigar bar and whiskey samples. Men had the opportunity to enter a drawing to win either a 2015 BMW R1200 or a 2016 Polaris Slingshot motorcycle, donated by Gail, Dave and event chair Dave Liniger, Jr. The Pink Life Saver, UCHealth’s mobile mammography van was onsite, and event décor plus guest attire were accented with breast-cancer-awareness pink. After a spectacular Colorado sunset, guests made their way inside to chow on sliced tenderloin.

Cigars ruled at the outdoor reception.

Cigars ruled at the outdoor reception.

After dessert, Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth’s president and CEO, spoke briefly and specifically about where and how donations are used, and breast-cancer survivor, radio personality Murphy Houston, told the crowd his story. He also emphasized his mission to spread the word about early detection for men and women alike. After a live auction emceed by Greene, former all-pro Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann took the stage with gusto. His dynamic presentation included a riveting account of his well-known, career-ending injury from a hit by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football in 1985. He also took time to applaud guests for their support of Men for the Cure. Greene, joined onstage by event co-founder Jeff Thompson, told the crowd how the event started and how gratifying it felt when the UCHealth – University of Colorado Hospital Breast Center was renamed the Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center in 2007.

Men for the Cure event founder Jeff Thompson

Men for the Cure event founder Jeff Thompson

Men for the Cure began in 2000 after Diane O’Connor Thompson lost her battle with breast cancer. Greene and Diane’s husband Jeff Thompson, part of a group of men who regularly had dinners together, decided something good should come out of that tragic event. To honor Thompson’s wife, they expanded their dinner concept into a guys’ night out to raise funds for breast cancer treatment and research. Sharon Magness Blake came on board to help facilitate the event, and 15 years later it continues to draw support from men around the metro Denver area. For more information, please visit: UCH.thankyou4caring.org/menforthecure.

UCHealth's "Pink Life Saver" mobile mammography van

UCHealth’s “Pink Life Saver” mobile mammography van

The Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center, located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, is the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region, and offers the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for breast-cancer treatment. During a single clinic visit, patients receive:
• Review of mammograms and other images by a breast radiologist
• Review of all biopsy and surgical material by a breast pathologist
• Consultation with a surgical oncologist
• Consultation with a medical oncologist
• Consultation with a radiation oncologist

UCH is the only hospital in Colorado where 3-D mammography is the standard of care (every mammogram, every time). The 3-D mammograms can detect invasive breast cancer 40 percent sooner than traditional methods, and reduce the number of false positives.For more information, please visit: UCHealth.org.

34th Annual Heart of Hearts Gala

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It’s not often you attend a charity event that transports you to Venice, Italy. With the help of vivacious circus performers and elaborate Venetian carnivals masks, the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel was dramatically transformed for an evening of fundraising and frivolity.

As guests entered the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation’s 34th Heart of Hearts Gala, they were warmly greeted by volunteers and eccentric performers from Bella Luna Cirque. Instantly, Denver’s chilly weather was forgotten. Dancers twirled around the room, entertaining the guests with their whimsical charm. A gondolier manned his rowing boat, while couples and friends posed for photos. And a stunning masked lady stood tall above everyone, balancing on stilts and waving to the crowd.

After cocktail hour and the silent auction, guests were invited to enter the main ballroom. The room was jaw dropping gorgeous. Everywhere you turned there were captivating performers and decor. Near the stage, dancers were suspended on hula hoops. Their grace was mesmerizing. White birds flew around the room on the tall sticks carried by masked Venetians. The atmosphere was simply magical, and guests couldn’t help but pull out their phones to capture the scene.

The Henry M. Porter Award was given to Jim Boyle, President and CEO of Summit Leadership Solutions and former CEO of Porter Adventist Hospital. Boyle received this award for his continuous generosity to the hospital foundations and the community. He specializes in leadership development, board development and executive coaching. The Henry M. Porter Award is named for Henry M. Porter, the original philanthropic donor to Porter Hospital.

Proceeds from the Heart of Hearts Gala support women’s breast cancer departments within Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals. Over $66,000 was raised with the evening’s paddle raiser. This total will  be used to provide free  mammograms and breast cancer care for under served individuals in the community.

The generosity of sponsors and individual donors is greatly appreciated, as one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and one in 1,000 men will face a diagnosis. Donations will fuel support groups, treatment options and integrative therapies.

If you would like to learn more about Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation and make a donation, please visit www.rmahf.org.

An Evening of Caring

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Following a very well orchestrated dress rehearsal event, the main event took place flawlessly–the Sue Miller “Evening of Caring.”

The evening’s event marked not only the 30th anniversary of the original event, but also founder Sue Miller’s birthday.

The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction while guests and models alike mingled.

Following cocktail hour, the guests were invited into the ballroom for dinner. While guests were eating, the introductions began as board chair Elaine McCain welcomed guests to the evening’s event. During the dinner, designer Brooks Luby was given the 2014 Sue Miller Survivor Award. Also recognized were Christie & Walter Isenberg, who received the Lifetime of Caring Award.

The fashion show, which featured models from the original Day of Caring began after dinner.

Miller’s amazing journey was documented in five scenes that featured music by Robin Skouteris, and was visually depicted through both studio company and academy students of the Colorado Ballet.

More than 450 people attended the event.

The fashion show detailed the stages of diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survival, and goes to show that each stage of this journey possesses beauty. Though the fashions have changed in the 30 years since the first show, the stories of these models continue to give hope to the patients and families beginning their journey, as well as inspire the transformation of the ugly duckling into the beautiful swan.

It started with a fashion model following her diagnosis in 1971. She felt like an ugly duckling, not nearly the beautiful woman that she was. Following her recovery, she found her beauty once again, and soon transformed into a swan.

That woman is Sue Miller.

Ten years following her diagnosis, she was asked to stage a fashion show. Her one condition was that all models be breast cancer survivors. An event originally hosted by the Metropolitan Mastectomy Club soon became the original Day of Caring.

In the years since, she’s lobbied the Colorado legislature to require health care organizations to provide mammograms for women over 40, as well as federal funding for breast cancer research. In addition to her numerous awards, she also has helped end the ignorance and stigma associated with breast cancer and supported the people that need it most, while receiving rewards for her tireless efforts.

 

Evening of Caring: Fashion Show Dress Rehearsal

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It started with a fashion model following her diagnosis in 1971. She felt like an ugly duckling, not nearly the beautiful woman that she was. Following her recovery, she found her beauty once again, and soon transformed into a swan.

That woman is Sue Miller.

Ten years following her diagnosis, she was asked to stage a fashion show. Her one condition was that all models be breast cancer survivors. An event originally hosted by the Metropolitan Mastectomy Club soon became the original Day of Caring.

In the years since, she’s lobbied the Colorado legislature to require health care organizations to provide mammograms for women over 40, as well as federal funding for breast cancer research. In addition to her numerous awards, she also has helped end the ignorance and stigma associated with breast cancer and supported the people that need it most.

Miller’s amazing journey was documented in five scenes that featured music by Robin Skouteris, and was visually depicted through both studio company and academy students of the Colorado Ballet.

Attendees got a glimpse of spring looks by Brooks LTD and Macy’s modeled by breast cancer survivors from all walks of life in a preview of what was to follow the next evening.

The fashion show detailed the stages of diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survival, and goes to show that each stage of this journey possesses beauty. Though the fashions have changed in the 30 years since the first show, the stories of these models continue to give hope to the patients and families beginning their journey, as well as inspire the transformation of the ugly duckling into the beautiful swan.

 

Glitzy '70s Heart of Hearts Gala

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Glitz and glamour and gambling for breast cancer – can you dig it?

The silly ’70s filtered through the Heart of Hearts Gala Thursday night. No problem, by now those bad prints, paisleys, white sports coats, ruffles and furs are back where they belong, in a bag headed to the resale-vintage shop.

There was nothing silly about the goal of the 33rd year of the Heart of Hearts Gala. The Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Hospital Foundations put their heads and hearts together to create a spectacular event. Their goal was to honor the many years of community efforts made for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Did you know that approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and one in 1,000 men will be diagnosed. Next to lung cancer, it is the most deadly form of cancer for women.

Staggering cancer statistics didn’t thwart the ’70s joie de vivre. Getting the party started was easy as smiles and laughter echoed through the ballroom. 600 guests arrived wearing their finest ’70s disco attire. Even the men got into the spirit, wearing garish pink and purple ruffled shirts under white shark skin coats a la ’70s Sonny & Cher. The theme of the evening made everyone happy and that was the purpose of the evening.

The silent auction had an abundance of items displayed for bidding. While females searched for a singing ‘Frank Sinatra’ coming through the sound system, men (& women) bid on golf clubs, golf shirts, casino trips, golf trips, hotels & spas, theatre tickets, steaks and art.

To the delight of the evening’s supporters, dinner was topped off with the band “adbacadabra,” the ultimate ABBA tribute band. And, mamma mia, did they put on a show heard all the way down Broadway. ‘adbacadabra’ delivered a fabulous show in sequined shirts, white bell-bottom pants, glittery dresses, with a white on white piano that was more reminiscent of a Las Vegas concert than one on a Thursday night at the downtown Sheraton in Denver.

The other highlight of the evening was the annual presentation of the 2013 Henry M. Porter Award to Dr. Douglas and Debbie Dennis for their commitment to advancement in orthopedic surgery. The Dennis’s are a power couple involved in Operation Walk Denver and Operation Walk with work in countries such as Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic, helping hundreds of people regain the joy of walking.

The Heart of Hearts’ focus this night was raising money for breast cancer care at Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals where each team provides patients with a unique treatment plan. Each medical team includes oncology, radiology, surgical, integrative therapies and a range of support groups and services for the entire family. The funds raised this year will support the continued development of unique breast cancer programs, and to provide continued access to all men and women for high quality breast cancer screenings as well as diagnosis and treatment.

For more information on supporting health care in your community please see the website www.rmahf.org or call 303-715-7600.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men's Night Out for a Great Cause

The nearly 700 men attending University of Colorado Hospital Foundation’s “Men for the Cure” pulled the pink out of their closets as a show of solidarity in the fight against breast cancer.

“It’s nice to see men out for this cause,” said first-time volunteer Ashley Pokrzywinski. With wide smiles, deep laughs, and an air of camaraderie, it appeared the men were enjoying their gathering. They moved in and out of the pristine XJet facility. In the true spirit of the event’s founding members known as the “Red Meat and Cigars” crowd, The Robust Room passed out complimentary cigars from Nicaragua’s oldest as well as its newest cigar manufacturers. Men took to the outside for a few puffs. Inside, guys socialized while Bad Candy, a talented trio with guitars, moved seamlessly through classic rock, bluegrass, country, and contemporary tunes.

A hard-working trio for the Cure: Ed Greene, left, Sharon Magness Blake, Ernie Blake

A hard-working trio for the Cure: Ed Greene, left, Sharon Magness Blake, Ernie Blake

Goodie bags donated by Neiman Marcus contained an assortment of Kiehl’s premium beauty products proved to be the perfect bookend to the more male-oriented cigars. Event co-founder and sponsor Sharon Magness-Blake cheekily reminded the men to be sure to return home with the lovely little signature silver Neiman’s bag.

Silent auction items weighed heavy toward sports with signed footballs and enticing golf packages. Patrons were also putting pen to paper to bid for a guitar autographed by Rascal Flatts. Other revenue generators included high-end wines for sale by the bottle. And one lucky ticket holder drove home in a 2014 Lexus GS350 provided by Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has been attending the dinner long before he took office. He spoke about the dinner’s history. “This dinner has raised $1.3 million, yet our work is not done until we have won.”

Speaking of winning, John Fox, coach of the 5-0 Denver Broncos, took to the stage as the event’s keynote speaker. After sharing that he doesn’t usually make appearances during football season, he spoke about his own family connections to the disease. Then, he smiled and confessed he didn’t have time to prepare remarks. Audience members filled the space by asking him an array of questions from football talk to favorite foods.

To date, the dinner has raised nearly $1.3 million to advance breast cancer research, care, and early detection education at University of Colorado Hospital. Proceeds from Men for the Cure have been used to purchase medical equipment such as an Atec Vacuum Assisted biopsy machine, a digital specimen radiography system, and a stereotactic biopsy table; support a nurse navigator who provides hands-on personal care, guidance and support for the many patients and families receiving care at the Cancer Center; fund breast cancer research led by Virgina Borges, MD; and launch a mobile mammography van initiative to improve access to screenings and aid with early detection for women throughout the Denver-metro area.

Four men purchased award-winning travel and once-in-a-lifetime sport auction items. One man left with a Lexis. Everyone ate delicious tenderloin. Not a bad end to a night with the guys.