Soup for the Soul Benefits Hospice Programs

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Now in its 16th year, Soup for the Soul brings Denver’s finest chefs together for one delicious evening to support Porter Hospice and The Butterfly Program. Guests sampled scrumptious creations of gourmet spring soups and appetizers topped-off with a yummy assortment of desserts.

The evening wasn’t just about good eating. Soup for the Soul is a fund-raiser for Porter Hospice Foundation and the Butterfly Program. Since 1986, Porter Hospice has provided faith-based, full-service hospice care for patients facing the end of life. The services made possible through charitable donations are developed on need rather than the ability to pay.

The Butterfly Program for children is designed to give support to children and their families facing serious illness.

As guests sat back to count up the calories eaten, Murphy Huston from KOSI began the auction bidding. Guests bid on original art works, art glass from Pismo, vacation packages, sports memorabilia, spa & golf packages, baskets of wine, work out bags and clothes and an exotic vacation at the Mahekal Beach Resort.

The participating restaurants gave generously of their time and best vittles. No one left the Sheraton hungry.

For more information and donations to the Porter Hospice Foundation / Butterfly Program please contact the foundation at 7995 E. Prentice Avenue, Ste. 204, Greenwood Village, 80111. Phone: 303-715-7600.

All proceeds from Soup for the Soul support hospice patients and their families as they are nearing the end of life’s journey. Additional funds raised during the Paddle Raiser portion of the auction supports The Butterfly Program, which provides compassionate, pediatric palliative care and support to children and their families who are facing a life-limiting illness.

 

 

 

6th Annual Empty Bowl Is Full of Support for Love INC of Littleton

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When mountaineer Eric Alexander was in the midst of a terrifying fall off a high mountain ledge, he told the crowd at this year’s Empty Bowl fundraiser he was thinking of four-letter words: Stop. Help. Grab. “And a few others,” he added. Miraculously, his descent stopped on a small ledge the size of a speaker’s podium, and he said he knew God had other things planned for his life. Most certainly his stories of faith, courage and helping others inspired 400 guests at this year’s fundraiser for Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) of Littleton.

A show of friendship at the artisan-bowl table

A show of friendship at the artisan-bowl table

On Thursday, Oct. 15, supporters made the trek to The Wildlife Experience for a unique fundraiser that featured a soup buffet along with a message to fill each “empty bowl” with service. The evening began with a welcome table full of hand-crafted bowls created by Colorado artists and a sign asking guests to choose their favorite. The accompanying silent auction and reception spanned all of the gallery rooms with music provide by Close N Encounters. Guests got an early start on their holiday shopping with the option to buy mystery wine, as well as mystery gift cards for a modest donation. Soon, soup buffet stations opened with friendly volunteers serving delicious enticements prepared by Wildlife Experience chefs. Most popular selection? Jazzy jambalaya was a tasty treat to these guests, snapped up early on.

Father Sean

Father Sean

The dinner program was emceed by congenial, engaging host Father Sean McGrath, of St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church. “Giving a Hand Up,” the event’s theme, easily segued from Love INC’s mission of “bringing churches together, helping people in need and transforming lives” to keynote speaker Eric Alexander’s stories of literally giving a hand up to people with disabilities—while summiting some of the highest peaks in the world. Alexander had the crowd riveted with dramatic and humorous accounts of his adventures, some chronicled in his book: “The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest’s Death Zone.”

A spirited live auction led by Tom Kimball, featured an excursion led by Alexander and garnered identical bids by two lucky guests who will each be able to take advantage of the experience. At program’s end, Love INC’s executive director, Rev. Doug McKinney, was honored for his service.

Keynote speaker, mountaineer and author Eric Alexander (left), with Love Inc of Littleton's executive director, Rev. Doug McKinney

Keynote speaker, mountaineer and author Eric Alexander (left), with Love Inc of Littleton’s executive director, Rev. Doug McKinney

Love INC of Littleton is an affiliate of Love INC, a national ministry currently operating in over 30 states. The mission of Love INC, to mobilize the Church to transform lives and communities in the name of Christ, is carried out by more than 12,000 churches at over 155 affiliates across the United States. Church and community partners working together to meet needs forms the foundation of each Love INC affiliate.

Since opening at the end of 2008, the Love INC movement in Littleton has come alongside people in need and formed relationships to give a hand up. LOVE INC’s Transformational Ministries take the next step for those climbing out of poverty and despair who want real life change, guiding and equipping clients with knowledge and practice in changing habits and skills to help them recognize their value in God’s eyes and to humankind. One Love INC client wrote: “Love INC is kind of like a family. When they came into my life, it was like they were the light at the end of the tunnel while I was climbing a very steep mountain.” For more information, please visit: www.loveinclittleton.org.

Fiesta on the Plaza

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21 Guitar Celebración

The 21st Annual Fiesta on the Plaza was a colorful, festive celebration honoring the Clinica Tepeyac. Local TV personalities, Greg Moss and Belen DeLeon from 9News added to the celebration with their crowd-pleasing talents. DeLeon is a wonderful singer/entertainer who WOWED the audience with her beautiful voice and flirty ways.

Fiesta on the Plaza is Clínica Tepeyac’s major annual fundraising event. The vibrant silent auction was alive amid, what seemed like, a true south of the border market day. The arena at the National Western Arena complex was dancing with color, original art, folk art, music, food, drinks, and lovely people who continue to support the worthy and important Clinica Tepeyac. After shopping, listening to the strolling musicians, enjoying the citrusy libations and oohing & aahing over the array of auction items to bid or buy, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner of Guajillo braised pork with red chili sauce, spaghetti squash and, key lime pie.  The program included folk dancing and a performance by the beautiful Belen DeLeon.

The evening concluded with a silent auction lead by Adam Kevil. He successfully finagled large rolls of dinero from the enthusiastic guests who can now enjoy a Cuban Meal for Ten, a Sonoma Vacation, a week in Beaver Creek, original art by Denver artist, Emanuel Martinez, a much needed Puerto Vallarta beach vaca, and of course, a Denver Broncos Package. Scholarships were hailed and the major awards honored The Colorado Health Foundation as the Outstanding Community Partner Award. The Jim & Gloria Garcia Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service was given to Dr. Harvey Bogard. Max and Elaine Appel took home the Corazon y Alma (Heart and Soul) Award.

For more information about this worthy organization that greets everyone with open arms, call 720-274-2923. 5075 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80216. www.clinicatepeyac.org

LFS Seeds of Good Deeds

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The Lutheran Family Services 22nd annual Innkeeper Dinner attracted a boisterous crowd on Tuesday night at the DoubleTree Hotel in Colorado Springs.

Guests perused silent auction items dressed in tandem with this year’s theme: “Seeds of Good Deeds,” with many dressed in farm outfits and carrying pitchforks.

President and CEO Jim Barclay gave a rousing speech about how far LFS has come and expects to grow in the coming years. He touched upon the sobering statistics of Syrian refugees and the complexity of the process for any refugee group in the United States right now. LFS opens its doors and services to an incredible array of people who need assistance, and Natalia Renee Parker gave a heartfelt speech that underscored the importance of adoption and providing loving homes for children. She and her family opened their hearts to six adopted kids along with their own two.

Auctioneer Darrell Neu provided some tongue in cheek humor in squeaking out some extra dollars in the live auction. “You’ll never see a Wells Fargo truck following a hearse,” he said in urging guests to open their pocketbooks.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains literally provides life-saving services to those in need. Special areas of assistance include adoption and pregnancy counseling, older adult & caregiver services, foster care, prevention services, refugee & asylee programs and disaster response.

JFS Hosts Magic Johnson at 2015 Executive Luncheon

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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.

A Magical Night of Masquerade

By day it’s a bustling professional office building. By night – well, for one night – it’s a party palace. On Saturday evening Denver Human Services hosted the 4th annual Black & White Masquerade Ball, to benefit GIVE Denver, in its gorgeous east side office.

“The first Masquerade Ball was also the grand opening of this beautiful building,” explained Marv Allen, GIVE Denver Director. “It’s the perfect place for the event.”

He’s right. The ample space worked well for having a stage, dance floor, cocktail area, food stations and several silent auction tables. Pink and purple spotlights replaced the lighting of daily fluorescents. Large glass vases filled with over-sized black and white feathers, black velvet cushy seating, and bar top tables added to the atmosphere. Yet, the best decorations were the variety of masks; masks of gold, black, white, silver, sparkle, feathers, twists, swirls and curls worn by the more than 200 guests.

“It’s great to see so many people come out and support the good work of GIVE,” said DHS Executive Director Penny May. “GIVE Denver is truly a beacon of hope for many in the Denver community when they need it most. Donations from the Denver community allow GIVE Denver to provide basic necessities, like food, shampoo, school supplies or diapers, to thousands of people each year.” She went on to credit the success of the evening to GIVE Denver Coordinator Tom Meiers. “He did the lion’s share of the work to make tonight happen and he did a great job.”

The evening included an outstanding performance of drum, song and dance from West Africa by students from SOAR Charter School’s music program. Then Denver’s own old school funk and R&B band Jakarta took the stage and rocked the space. In the end, how could anyone possibly remember they were in a professional building? It could only be remembered as an incredible party.

Each year, thousands of people receive support through the GIVE Denver Center at the Denver Department of Human Services. The Masquerade Ball raises resources for foster children, homeless families and people who may not have their needs met through regular government assistance programs. GIVE Denver relies on donations to provide items such as school supplies, diapers, emergency clothing and basic necessities to clients of Human Services.

GIVE Denver’s mission is to instill hope and a brighter future to Denver’s under-served community through donations and with the assistance of volunteers.

 

 

 

Lutheran Family Services Annual Tee Off for HOPE

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Golfers enjoyed a beautiful morning on the course for the 21st Annual Lutheran Family Services Golf Classic, held at Hiwan Golf Club in Evergreen on Monday, August, 11th, 2014. Over 120 golfers gathered early in the morning for registration and a quick breakfast before the 7:30am shotgun start. The perfect weather and breathtaking course set the scene for a round of golf that was enjoyed by all. The event, which is one of the main fundraisers for the organization, was a huge success for the participants, volunteers, and board members.

The round of golf was followed by a catered lunch, prize drawings, golfing awards and a short program by LFS staff and volunteers. Prizes were awarded to the lowest scoring teams, the mens and women’s longest drive, closest to the pin and putting contest, as well as a trophy award for the annual Church Cup award. Leadership team members also addressed the audience and described the work of LFS and the importance of contributing to the organization. Vice President of Resource Development, Jane Pope Meehan, welcomed the audience and introduced Becky Miller Updike, VP of Child and Family Services who explained the many programs LFS offers the community. Events Manager, Danette Goldhammer, thanked the attendees for their participation.

Lutheran Family Services, founded in 1948, believes that all people, from the newborn infant to the most elderly person, deserve to be valued in our community. Therefore, Lutheran Family Services is committed to offering love and support to the people it serves, regardless of race, religion, gender, or age, to help equip them to live full and whole lives.

 

LFS Hosts Masked Ball at the Ritz

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The Masked Ball at The Ritz was an elegant affair that incorporated a hint of mystery in the air.

The Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains annual gala took place at The Ritz-Carlton on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

The evening program included a lovely welcome and silent auction, where guests were delighted with the elegance of the masks, the items to be bid on, and the drinks and appetizers served.

Pianist Eric French filled the room with joyous classics. Laughter was abundant, and when dinner was served, spirits were high. As guests flooded into the reception hall, entertainment by the Gayle Leali Quartet was filling the air with gorgeous voices and instruments.

Comedian Sam Adams had the crowd enjoying themselves even further throughout the meal.

LFS President and CEO Jim Barclay gave a resounding welcome to guests, along with stories of compassion that left guests thankful they were able to participate.

Distinguished awards were also presented by Jim Barclay, and included Eagle Wings Awards for Saint Lukes Lutheran Church; Realities for Children based in Fort Collins, CO; and Gary Gabrielson of Colorado Springs, CO. Special thanks were also delivered to sponsors of the gala.

The planning committee included Nancy Beyer, Dee Gonzales, Sarah Jacobsen, Karla Kalahar, Jeanne Maloney, Shelia Singletery, and Margie Versen.

The 21st annual gala was a night that in the words of Jim Barclay, President and CEO, had a fundamental purpose of “strengthening LFS’ ability to bring help and hope to others through faith-inspired service.” It appears to have done just that.

Jewish Family Services Reel Hope fundraiser

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The Jewish Family Service of Colorado (JFS) honored Norman Brownstein, Rabbi Steven and Senator Joyce Foster at its 18th annual benefit film screening, Reel Hope fundraiser. Reel Hope supports all programs of JFS, including mental health counseling, senior and adult in-home care, disability and employment services, and family safety net services.

Reel Hope returned this year to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres by Kevin Taylor. All proceeds from the event will benefit programs of Jewish Family Service of Colorado.

600 community members attended the event and paid tribute to Norm Brownstein as he received the 2013 Kal Zeff Business Leader of the Year Award, and Rabbi Steven and The Senator Joyce Foster accepted the 2013 Jack Shapiro Community Service Award.

Norm Brownstein is a founding member and chairman of the board at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. The National Law Journal named Brownstein one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America and he was named as one of Lawdragon’s 500 Top Leading Lawyers in America. He is involved in many activities on behalf of the University of Colorado and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he is currently vice president. He is presently a director of National Jewish Health and a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He is a past presidential appointee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council (1996–2006). He and the firm are longtime supporters of Jewish Family Service.  When a young Norman Brownstein and his brother lost their family, Family and Children’s Services (now Jewish Family Service) stepped in and gave them the wherewithal to redirect their lives.

Rabbi Steven and Senator Joyce Foster were the 2013 Jack Shapiro Community Service Award recipients. They have both supported and advocated on behalf of many nonprofits, including Jewish Family Service. Rabbi Foster spent his entire 40-year rabbinate at Temple Emanuel. Rabbi Foster brought to his rabbinate a deep commitment to social justice, Jewish education and Jewish continuity. He founded the Temple Emanuel preschool and kindergarten, the Theodore Herzl Jewish Day School (now Denver Jewish Day School) and Stepping Stones to a Jewish Me. Senator Joyce Foster has a long legacy with Jewish Family Service that includes leading, working for and supporting the agency. Senator Foster was a Denver City Council member for 10 years and served as president during her term. She served as a Colorado state senator from 2008 to 2012.

The awards ceremony concluded with a live auction and the movie “Torn,” an 80-minute film that the New York Times calls “sensitive and profoundly human.” The event co-chairs were Ed Barad, David and Allison Foster, Danny and Becky Foster and Debbie Foster.

Jewish Family Service of Colorado (JFS) believes in strengthening the community by providing vital services to people in need. Every day, JFS helps people overcome life’s challenges to live fuller, more meaningful lives.  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 barriers to employment, and provides food and financial aid to people in crisis. Every year, the agency benefits more than 20,000 people of all ages, faiths, and incomes. For more information, call 303.597.5000 or visit www.jewishfamilyservice.org

Mi Casa: Leading Others on the Path to Prosperity

She is dealing with the most vulnerable in our community who can do nothing for her. This is where greatness in our country starts.

— Denver Mayor Michael Hancock referring to Mi Casa’s CEO/Executive Director Christine Marquez-Hudson

Starting your day by attending the 5th annual Mi Casa Path to Prosperity Breakfast is like a drinking a Venti cup of inspiration. The morning was about life-changing achievements by the agency’s participants, new and innovative projects in response to economic challenges, and good work in carving out a clear direction by its board. Yet, one thread ran through all the news of the day.  Mi Casa is being led by a woman who is as grounded as she is visionary.  Earlier this year, 9News named Mi Casa’s CEO/Executive Director Christine Marquez-Hudson the 2013 Leader of the Year. Rightfully so, as under her guidance, Mi Casa nearly tripled its outreach moving from 800 served in 2008 to 2,300 served in 2012.

When Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock spoke he educated the audience on what it is like to be at the helm of a non-profit. He humbly and light-heartedly reflected on his time in leading the Urban League. He shared what his mentor taught him: success rests on building a reputation as being someone people know is going to do what they say they will do. And, along with that, the person is someone they like. Then his message turned to present day. With glowing and authentic words, he emphasized that Christine Marquez-Hudson is that person.

“You have a superstar in Christine Marquez-Hudson and I hope you recognize that,” said Mayor Hancock.

When Mi Casa’s leader took the stage she more than personified the mayor’s words. She is as compassionate as she is focused in what people need to succeed.

“At Mi Casa we go beyond the tech skills. It’s about helping people believe in themselves again. And my staff tells me that’s what they need most.”

And Mi Casa is delivering on both fronts. Part of the excitement of the event was the announcement of the opening of the Mi Casa Innovation Lab in Northeast Park Hill. The Lab offers a menu of services from career planning to entrepreneurial counseling to courses on financial literacy and technology.

She also introduced another Mi Casa project: TalentSource, a full-service Denver staffing agency providing diverse talent. With an endearing combination of giddiness and pride, she beamed as TalentSource’s freshly launched website was illuminated on the big screen. It’s a project to be proud of. TalentSource will connect Denver area employers with a skilled, bilingual and diverse workforce and as a division of Mi Casa, TalentSource is the only full-service staffing agency in Colorado whose profits support a social mission.

Christine Marquez-Hudson also praised her board, and the many board members before them. She shared how the current group came together to outline the organization’s direction for the next five years. The plan includes a focus on integrating services, moving the agency toward financial freedom by initiating revenue generating projects, and providing impeccable community leadership. All efforts support Mi Casa’s mission to advance the economic success of Latino and working families.

Perhaps, though, the most moving words came from a young man named Alan. He’s known as a “super participant” at Mi Casa’s neighborhood center since he has logged more than three-digits in days attending the center. He summed up the meaning of all Mi Casa is doing when he said, “I think the world would be a better place with more Mi Casas.”

 

Lutheran Family Services Hosts Innkeeper Dinner

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.

As an annual celebration of accomplishments and thanks to those who helped in this past year of particularly trying times of floods, fires and other disasters, LFS hosted the Innkeeper dinner.

For this 20th anniversary year, the dinner was at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum, aptly dubbed “Saddle up for LFS.” Attendees were able to mingle, catch up with friends and marvel at some iconic rodeo and western memorabilia.

Visit the LFS website for more information about their programs, including adoption and pregnancy counseling, older adult and caregiver services, foster care, prevention services and refugee and asylee programs. (www.lfsrm.org)

Go Rapids! RMC Families and Friends Enjoy 2013 Day at the Game

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With an invitation to chow on great barbecue and attend a professional soccer match, Rocky Mountain Communities’ 2013 Day at the Game had everything a family could wish for on a mid-summer evening. It was just as much fun for single adults attending, too, as around 200 RMC residents, along with generous sponsors and friends all met up at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, July 27, for the annual event. The weather was Colorado-comfortable and showers held off till the evening’s end with the good guys coming out on top as the Colorado Rapids beat the LA Galaxy 2-0. Even if the game had gone the other way, the smiles conveyed by guests couldn’t have been any larger or more genuine.

Jumping for joy over seeing a Colorado Rapids game

Jumping for joy over seeing a Colorado Rapids game

The afternoon began with a sumptuous spread created by Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que—picnic tables were situated in between the players’ locker room and the field with up-close views. Kids were happily surprised when one of the Rapids’ four mascots, Edson The Eagle, flew in for hugs and high-fives. Remarks by President and CEO Dick Taft were very brief as he welcomed everyone to the event alongside board President Todd Crowley and board member Patrick Wieland. A group of lucky RMC kids were able to stand alongside a walkway to high-five every Colorado Rapids player and coach as they made their way back to the field for the second half wearing t-shirts provided by the Colorado Rapids organization.

The High Five Squad readies for the last players to take the field. The Rapids beat the Galaxy 2-0.

The High Five Squad readies for the last players to take the field. The Rapids beat the Galaxy 2-0.

Although this was the fourth annual Day at the Game event, it was the first year that big-hearted sponsors treated residents to a Rapids picnic-and-game experience. Board member Patrick Wieland said RMC residential communities can have an international flair—there are 27 languages spoken at one Denver property. He spoke with pride about programs and services available to residents that include classes in English as a Second Language, nutrition and cooking, and health and fitness. The organization also offers a summer sack-lunch program, after-school tutoring, computer labs and community gardens. Communities are found in Denver, as well as Greeley, Fort Morgan and Grand Junction.

Founded in 1992, Rocky Mountain Communities has been providing affordable housing to Colorado families for over 20 years. RMC’s mission is to develop, own and manage affordable housing and provide support services to help individuals succeed in life. Across Colorado, from the Eastern plains to the high passes of mountain resorts, to the Front Range and the Western Slope, affordable housing is an issue. Though the nature of the problem varies from region to region, the over-arching challenge of affordable housing remains the same: to offer a stable foundation for school success and family self-sufficiency; provide protection and support for the most vulnerable; enable all generations of a family to reside in the community they’ve always called home; and create a healthy balance that connects the workforce with employers. To learn more about RMC, please visit: www.RockyMountainCommunities.org.

Lutheran Family Services Denver Zoo-BQ

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The Denver Zoo played host to Lutheran Family Services on Friday night. As excited families arrived at the check-in desk, children received animal masks and then were greeted by face painters as they entered the Denver Zoo after hours. In the Conoco zoo garden pavilions, a dinner of salads, chicken, pork sandwiches and candy floss was waiting and then it was off to enjoy the animals, the train ride and the carousel.  Thunder and lightening threatened, but for the most part held off and everyone was able to enjoy their time at the zoo.  Closed to the general public, the zoo was uncrowded and families were able to see the animals without crowds and enjoy the rides without any waiting, except for lightening delays.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains provides support for the vulnerable in society from newborns to seniors.  With its beginnings over 60 years ago as an adoption agency, LFS still provides many services in the area of foster care and adoption support, but through the years has branched out to provide many other services to families facing challenges.  LFS also works with refugee and immigrant families as they adjust to their new lives in America.

For further information about Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains please check out their website at http://www.lfsco.org

Fitness Festival inspires healthy living and family fun

Greenwood Village Mayor Rakowsky, Kristina Davidson and Jay Davidson

Greenwood Village Mayor Rakowsky with First American State Bank Founders Kristina and Jay Davidson

To gain momentum for the upcoming 13th Annual Fitness Festival, local business leaders and community supporters gathered together this week to honor the generous donations and sponsorships that will make the Fitness Festival possible for another year. This pre-party patron celebration was held at the First American State Bank in Greenwood Village and organized by founders Jay and Kristina Davidson – along with their staff, colleagues, sponsors and board members.

Janice McNally, Wendy DeBell, Lisa Reddel

Janice McNally, Wendy DeBell, Lisa Reddel

The evening featured wine & hors d’oeuvres, live music and silent auction – along with the unveiling of this year’s t-shirt design for the race, designed by local students.

Brought to you by First American State Bank, the 13th Annual Fitness Festival will be held on September 7th, 2013 and features a 5K run/walk as well as a 1K fitness run. The event promotes wellness and benefits the Community Asset Project – a non-proft organization that focuses on the entire well-being of a child. The goal of the Community Asset Project is to help youths grow into happy, healthy, contributing members of society.

Through the generous support from the sponsors of the race, the Community Asset Project is able to use proven, preventative measures to help youths as they navigate the path to adulthood. Kristina Davidson, Fitness Festival founder, partnered with the Community Asset Project in 1990 to create the very first Fitness Festival. Davidson says, “A healthy lifestyle is beneficial to the body and the soul, and prepares the kids to maximize their skills, academic potential and a future productive life in our community.”

2013 Grand Marshalls Josh Ulitsky, Kersten Mullan, Tanya Bond and Monte Thelen

2013 Grand Marshals Josh Ulitsky, Kersten Mullan, Tanya Bond and Monte Thelen

This year’s Festival will honor six grand marshals representing the six high schools in the Cherry Creek School District including Monte Thelen, Mike Brookhart,Tanya Bond, Josh Ulitzky, Becky Grasser and Kersten Mullan. Over 53,000 students and their families are expected to attend this year’s Fitness Festival which includes the race, live entertainment, local fare, prizes and more.

To date, the Fitness Festival has raised nearly $900,000 for the Community Asset Project, enriching the lives of thousands of students in the Cherry Creek School District. For more information, visit www.fitnessfestival.com.

 

 

DU’s Bridge Project on par to continue serving under-served youth

DSC_1362The Third Annual Golf Tournament to benefit the Bridge Project was a swinging success. Through the efforts of community participants, board members, staff and sponsors, the Bridge Project is on par in raising about $100,000 to support kids in Denver’s public housing system and help them get into college or learn a skilled trade.

The Bridge Project sprouted from the Denver University Graduate School of Social Work and DU Chancellor Dan Ritchie’s vision of a university “dedicated to serving the public good.”  The Bridge Project gives the children of families living in Denver’s public housing communities a chance to change the daunting statistic that up to 90% of them never graduate high school. Typically families that the Bridge Project helps have an annual income of just $10,000, so the help from the organization can really change lives in a big way and create possibilities that never existed before. More than 600 kids use the centers after school every day in Denver.

The Bridge Project Staff

The Bridge Project StaffDenver..

Everyone is welcome at the Bridge, which focuses on improving kid’s academic skills in order to prepare them for college or teach them a trade to line up a successful career. The Bridge Project also helps secure scholarships so that resources are within reach for college-bound Bridge kids. And, the Bridge Project also has a summer program to help kids stay on track academically and have somewhere to go during the time off from the regular school year. Statistics have proven that the academic programs at the Bridge really make a difference; over 90% of Bridge members graduate from high school.

From left, Troy Motley, Joel Cornuet, Brian Grady and Glenn Johnson

From left, Troy Motley, Joel Cornuet, Brian Grady and Glenn Johnson

Resources to support the Bridge are provided by donors and the community, making the golf tournament a special way for supporters to give back to the cause and have a great time doing it. This year’s golf tournament was the most well-attended in its history and completely sold out with 340 foursomes and about 115 golfers in total participating.
Event Chairs Rich and Sandy Laws, of Berkeley Homes, sponsored breakfast and lunch at the Cherry Creek Country Club.Executive Director Molly Calhoun said they had done “an amazing job” organizing the event and getting golfers to come out and play for a good cause. The event also featured fantastic door prizes including a free pair of Oakley sunglasses for every golfer and more prizes for winners of the tournament.

From left, Scott Forsyth, Bridge Project Board President Alec Wynne, Ryan Haith and Chuck Mastin

From left, Scott Forsyth, Bridge Project Board President Alec Wynne, Ryan Haith and Chuck Mastin

Susie Roh, one of The Bridge’s newest board members, was one of the competing golfers and may have had a bit of a leg up having participated in the LPGA in past years. She was also one of the day’s winners, announced at the end of the tournament and one of the few elite female players.

The Bridge Project seeks to help kids between the ages of 3-18 to “achieve their academic potential in school and graduate from high school.” The program also helps their kids who do graduate high school to “have the resources to earn a college or associate degree, gain occupational training, or succeed in employment.” The Bridge Project truly bridges the gaps in socio-economic status and helps children at a personal level to be successful adults. This valuable program will continue to be able to serve the children it cares about most through the generosity and support of the community and events like this.

For more information: http://www.du.edu/bridgeproject