Joy of Giving Benefiting Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic


The annual Joy of Giving party sponsored by the Bachus & Schanker Cares Foundation this year benefited Justice & Mercy Legal Aid Clinic (JAMLAC). The holiday event was held Friday, December 5 at the Law Offices of Bachus & Schanker winner of the 2014 Small Business Award presented by Colorado’s National Philanthropy Day last month.

More than $18,000 was raised with proceeds directly benefiting the clients served at the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic (JAMLAC), a Denver-based non-profit law firm that provides safe and confidential resource for victims of daily hardship and cruelty.

Kyle Bachus and Darin Schanker were on hand to host the event attended by some 125 guests. The event featured a cocktail reception, holiday music led by trombonist Aidan King, a live and silent auction, and comments from host Darin Schanker and JAMLAC Executive Director Steve Thompson, who thanked donors and supporters.

Keeping the festivities in order were Communications pro Andrea Brito-Amador and JAMLAC Development Director Nikki Koster.

Also in attendance were: Scott Lumpkin, Vice Chancellor, University Advancement, University of Denver; Robert Kelso and Misty Ewegen of Forensic Pursuit; JP and Carrie Prins of Agren Blando Court Reporting; Hannah Dudley of Judi’s House. Among JAMLAC staff on hand were: Immigration Director Tina Diaz, Sulma Mendoza, JAMLAC Coordinator; Greg Fuchs, Director of Denver Urban Semester; Kelsey Winters, Director of Development, Joshua Station; and other staffers.

Founded in 2006, JAMLAC is a faith-based, non-profit law firm that provides safe and confidential resource for victims of daily hardship and cruelty. Full-time attorneys, paralegals, interns and volunteers manage approximately 50 active cases each week. Last year, JAMLAC provided civil legal services to over 800 low-income clients, 97% of whom were victims of domestic abuse.

For more information on JAMLAC visit





SafeHouse Denver Hope Gala


Puttin’ on the Ritz at the SafeHouse Denver Hope Gala came naturally to the hundreds of folks who generously support victims and, strive to seek solutions to end domestic violence.

SafeHouse Denver is important. To adults and children who find themselves in a situation with no where to turn, this organization is their safe haven.

Domestic violence is prevalent in America today.  On Saturday, Victoria McVicker, CEO of SafeHouse Denver, noted the recent publicity concerning NFL players in the news. She urged the audience to stop asking, “Why do they stay?” and start asking, “Why does he do that?”

Denver and organizations such as SafeHouse Denver continue to work toward an end to this violence. As it recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SafeHouse Denver is constant in providing life-saving programs and services to victims of domestic violence and their children. Victims of this abuse have access to emergency shelter, counseling and advocacy services, and outreach programs which provide safety and hope to survivors of domestic violence.

It’s a national shame and a crime against hundreds of thousands of women and children. Fortunately, SafeHouse Denver is well supported throughout our community. It is nationally recognized for its efforts to end these horrendous acts of abuse.

Dayle Cedars, the Emcee for the evening returns each year to show her support for SafeHouse Denver. With children of her own, she knows the importance of supporting the fight against domestic violence.

The tables were filled with nary an empty seat in the elegant Ritz-Carlton ballroom. Victoria McVicker and Carrie Wernecke-Swenson lead the audience in applauding honorees Linda Johnston with the Carolyn Hamil-Henderson Memorial Award and Carol and Paul Rose with the 2014 Susan Noble Community Impact Award. The program included one survivor’s deeply moving story; Adam Kevil kept the auction alive with his fast and clever nudges for more money and, the crowd relaxed to the sweet sounds of the Arvada West High School Vocal Chords.

Safe-House Denver is a vital and important organization in our community. You can show support by learning more about domestic violence and helping to support those who find themselves in this difficult situation. Contact SafeHouse Denver, 1649 Downing Street, Denver 80218. 303-318-9959. 24-Hour Crises & Information Line: 303-318-9989.






The Hope Gala at the Ritz


SafeHouse Denver celebrated with hundreds of supporters and guests Saturday night at the exquisite Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Denver. The annual Hope Gala benefitted adults, children and youth at SafeHouse. The express mission this year and, every year at SafeHouse, is that every house should be a safe house.

Since 1977, SafeHouse Denver has provided lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence and their children.  It operates as the only shelter in the City and County of Denver that exclusively serves victims of domestic violence. Hard as it is to believe, the grim fact of domestic violence remains – one in three women suffer domestic violence. Those statistics meant that even the women at the gala were counted in the statistics of the one in three. It’s a despicable situation but heartening to see the hundreds who bought tickets with hope, to eliminate violence in the home in Denver.

SafeHouse began as a 16-bed shelter providing a safe place for women and their children. Today, SafeHouse’s shelter has 26 beds plus cribs, serving more than 340 women and children in a typical year. In addition, SafeHouse serves hundreds more women and children through non-residential services. More than just keeping women and children safe, SafeHouse services include individual counseling, advocacy support groups, legal assistance and referrals to other services.

The evening festivities began with beautifully prepared passed hors d’oeuvres of prosciutto and gorgonzola lollipops, fresh spring rolls and a tasty wild mushroom tartlet. Table after table of auction items decked the classy hotel halls while guests enjoyed cocktails, nibbles and bidding on the fine auction items such as wine baskets, gourmet dinners, get-a-way packages, sports collectibles, and more wine cases and wine tastings.

This event was a time to listen and give recognition to those who donate their time and money to the harsh reality of domestic violence. The Carolyn Hamil-Henderson Memorial Award was presented to Irene Blatnick from the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Jeff Thorpe, president of AutoNation, accepted the Susan Noble Community Impact Award. AutoNation was recognized for their outstanding efforts to assist victims of domestic violence and create change in our community.

Dayle Cedars, emcee, brilliantly moved the evening along while Adam Kevil, auctioneer, got the money rolling in.

It was an night to recognize the effective work that’s been done in Denver to quell the number of domestic violence occurrences. Supporters successfully rallied that evening to help SafeHouse Denver provide safe shelter, counseling and advocacy services to victims of domestic violence, as well as educational programs to prevent future incidents of abuse.

You can be involved in SafeHouse Denver. 1649 Downing Street, 303-318-9959.

24 Hour Crises & Information Line: 303-318-9989

Pouring for a Purpose


Since it’s founding in 1979, first as a partner with the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office and later in 1983 as a private, nonprofit corporation, Gateway Battered Women’s Services (Gateway) has been a leader in the field of domestic violence resources for the community, the state and the nation. Gateway provides a wide range of services including residential and nonresidential services, short-term housing, children’s services, a 24-hour crisis line, court advocacy services and community development activities. Gateway was one of the first shelters in the community to develop a comprehensive counseling program for nonresident women and children, one of the first to establish a court advocacy program, and is one of the only shelters in the nation to allow clients and service recipients to bring pets with them into the residential program. Gateway also serves as a resource for other shelters throughout the metro area due to it’s expertise and the diversity of services it provides.

On Friday August 16th, the community gathered at the Wellshire Event Center in Denver for the 9th Annual Around the World in 80 Wines; a wine tasting, dinner and live auction to support the ongoing mission of Gateway. Guests were encouraged to “pour for a purpose,” and taste a wide variety of wines from around the world, courtesy of Mayfair Liquors, while mingling in the warm atmosphere and taking advantage of the always popular photo booth.

Immediately following the wine tasting, guests enjoyed a multi-course dinner while Executive Director Linda James welcomed attendees to the event and thanked them for their ongoing support of Gateway and the services it provides in the community. Jeneen Klippel, director of development and public relations, then took to the podium to recognize the efforts of the Gateway board of directors, staff and volunteers and to introduce Sandy Plaven, a survivor who moved the audience by describing some of the services and benefits she received as a client of Gateway and whom she credits with helping to saving her life. The evening was capped off with an entertaining live auction conducted by Shelly St. John and The Auction Divas who helped Gateway raise over $20,000 by auctioning off a variety of items including fine art, vacation packages, sports memorabilia and wine generously donated by Gateway supporters.

You can find more information about Gateway Battered Women’s Services and the role they play in the community on their website: