Tee Off for Hope! Annual Golf Tournament


Bang, they’re off!

It was a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. then, 30 degrees warmer and the first foursome arrived at the Highlands Ranch Golf Club dining room. One after another the golfers pulled up in their carts laughing and loving the pure Rocky Mountain air. There are few places on earth where golfing is set in such an-almost perfect setting.

The 22nd Annual Golf Classic was an annual fundraiser benefitting the Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains. Donated funds from this day of golf will go directly to impact the many programs at LFS such as pregnancy counseling, domestic and international adoption, foster care, respite care, teen pregnancy prevention classes, refugee resettlement, and older adults and caregiver services. With offices located in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley/Evans and Fort Morgan, CO and Albuquerque, NM, LFS proudly responds to social and emotional needs of approximately 30,000 people annually.

Guest speaker Stacie Hazleton, a LFS foster mom, spoke of the serious needs of children in the foster system. She shared stories of the children who have broken her heart and told success stories of those who became a part of her family even after moving on to adulthood. Taking the good with the bad Hazleton emphasized how each of the children had been a gift to her family and how thankful she was for what each had taught her and, given her through the years.

Golfers were fed overstuffed burritos to start their golf day and big charcoal broiled steaks at the end of their eighteen holes. They enthusiastically chowed down plates of steaks accompanied by a cool one (or two), as the prizes and silent auction items were distributed. Prizes were offered by 3rd Avenue Studio, A Touch of Colorado – Belmar, Birdee Girl, City of Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department, Colorado Avalanche, Comedy Works, D’Lance Golf Performance Center, Highlands Ranch Golf Club, Meridian Golf Club, Jay’s Valet, Rioja, Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group, Swift Automotive, The Club at Pradera, and the Trouble Salon.

The day was splendid. Excellent for engaging in fun, family rivalry, friends, comparing score cards and a spectacular golf game on a breathtaking course found only in Colorado  Add to that, the Rockies majestically peering over the guests. Without a doubt, this was a day of celebration.

Lutheran Family Services was also celebrating their 67 years of dedicated service to vulnerable children and families. The golfer’s support and presence meant more to everyone than just another round of golf.

For more information about LFS programs and services call 303-922-3433 or visit the website: www.lfsrm.org.



JFS Hosts Magic Johnson at 2015 Executive Luncheon


Each year, Jewish Family Service brings extraordinary speakers to Denver to exemplify their mission to help those in need.

This year carried on the tradition as the legendary Magic Johnson took the stage at the Hyatt Regency Denver to talk about his career, his life experiences and the lessons he has learned. Magic demonstrated why he is still one of the most beloved sports figures in modern history–taking the time to talk to fans, shake hands, high five kids and oh yes, raising $200,000 in about 15 minutes. He instantly and consistently made friends with all of the 1,000+ attendees.

Magic mentioned several times how impressed he is with the mission and accomplishments of Jewish Family Service. JFS helps seniors live independently at home, provides quality mental health counseling, offers training and job placement to those with developmental disabilities and provides food and financial aid to people in crisis.

It was a slam dunk in every sense.

JFS Brings Real Hope this Holiday Season


No, it’s not a typo. Jewish Family Service has revised their traditional “Reel Hope” event to “Real Hope” at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Supporters and guests munched on heavy hors d’oeuvres before the award presentation began. Two extraordinary and much-loved women were honored:

  • Sheila Bugdanowitz, recipient of the 2014 Kal Zeff Business Leader of the Year award–Sheila began her connection to nonprofit organizations as a candy striper at Rose Medical Center, and is well-known and highly respected now as the president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation.
  • Sheryl Goodman, recipient of the 2014 Jack Shapiro Community Service award–Sheryl was adopted through JFS many years ago and feels an obligation to give back. She is highly active with JFS, serving on the board and with the Jewish Disabilities Network.

David Friedman was the informal emcee of the program and kept it light-hearted and whimsical. JFS Board Chair Eric Pollock said a few words before Barry Curtiss-Lusher introduced Sheryl Goodman and Steve Kris introduced Sheila Bugdanowitz. JFS President and CEO Yana Vishnitsky affirmed that it was a great party (“and we Russians love a good party,” she joked.)

Holocaust survivor Eddie Fiss gave a heartfelt thank you to JFS for the lifetime of support and care they have given him through several periods of trial and triibulation. The program wrapped up with a performance by “Mix,” the award-winning a capella group from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Founded in 1872, JFS is a nonsectarian, nonprofit human services agency serving metro Denver and Boulder. JFS helps seniors live independently at home, provides quality mental health counseling, offers training and job placement to those with developmental disabilities and other barriers to employment, and provides food and financial aid to people in crisis.

LFS Hosts 21st annual Inkeeper Dinner


It was a rollback to the ’50s as Lutheran Family Service be-bopped into their 21st annual Innkeeper Dinner at the Colorado Springs Hotel Elegante’ on Tuesday. Poodle skirts and saddle shoes abounded as supporters of this valuable community organization gathered for a great buffet dinner, silent and live auction and entertainment by The Dinettes.

KKTV’s Jen Lennon returned as the jovial emcee for the evening and President and CEO Jim Barclay thanked attendees for their support and commitment. Auctioneer Shelly St John expertly navigated through the Heads or Tails game and other auction offerings.

As an example of a success story that recently occurred, KPC Respite Center’s Traci Hearne stood on stage with client Malcolm, who wholeheartedly thanked the program for helping him out when his family was greatly in need. Sometimes a string of bad luck can be devastating, but LFS is there to help and rescue.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains is a faith based, non-profit human service agency helping children and families during their most challenging times. They have been committed to serving all people, regardless of race, religion, gender or age since 1948. They offer assistance in:

  • Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling;
  • Older Adult & Caregiver Services;
  • Foster Care;
  • Prevention Services;
  • Refugee & Asylee Programs;
  • Disaster Response

JFS Hosts legend Archie Manning


It’s evident that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when looking at where Peyton and Eli Manning got their talent and initiative.

Their father Archie Manning, a football star and motivational speaker in his own ritecame to Denver for the 10th annual Jewish Family Service Executive Luncheon on Wednesday.

The sold out crowd enjoyed listening to the Manning family stories, including the fact that eldest brother Cooper was actually the most talented athletically (is that possible??) but had to retire from football because of health reasons. Archie took the stage to great applause, limping a little bit and told the crowd he’d be getting knee surgery soon. “My offensive line wasn’t as good as Peyton’s,” he quipped.

He had a poignant message that leadership and goals make all the difference in life, quoting several famous people who agreed with that sentiment. “If you don’t set goals, you can’t regret not reaching them,” Archie quoted Yogi Berra as saying.

Also talking about goals and working hard to make it in life was Veronica Huerta, who started out her young adult life full of drugs and bad habits. Through perseverance and a driving goal to be there for her twin boys, Veronica told of how Jewish Family Service helped her get back on her feet and pursue a successful career. She’s “living the dream” now, with a husband and family who loves her, a good job, her own house, and peace of mind.

Jewish Family Service believes in strengthening the community by providing vital services to people in need. Founded in 1872, JFS is a nonsectarian, nonprofit human services agency serving metro Denver and Boulder. JFS helps seniors live independently at home, provides quality mental health counseling, offers training and job placement to those with developmental disabilities and other barriers to employment, and provides food and financial aid to people in crisis.

Sheraton Hosts Party for a Purpose


Happy New Year!

The Sheraton Downtown Denver hosted partygoers on New Year’s Eve wanting to usher in 2014 in style, while at the same time provide proceeds to a good cause.

Guests arrived ready to party and quickly donned hats and tiaras bearing the “Happy New Year” message. Upbeat jazz tunes by Clave’ Fusion helped to create a festive and anticipatory atmosphere, and partygoers were able to sit down to a wonderful meal expertly prepared by Sheraton chefs.

Although there’s times to party, there’s also times to remember when things were not so fortunate and so General Manager Chuck Schuringa presented a check to the American Red Cross, Mile High Chapter, in order to help flood victims from last summer get back on their feet and back into their homes.

We all join together in wishing a prosperous and happy New Year to all, and a fresh start to many who deserve it after going through hard times.