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

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.

JFS Hosts legend Archie Manning

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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.

Taste for Life Benefitting Project Angel Heart

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Project Angel Heart’s Taste for Life event was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Denver on November 5th. More than 800 community leaders, culinary experts and attendees enjoyed tasting plates and cocktails from a few of Denver’s most celebrated restaurants and caterers. Through ticket sales, donations and a silent auction, the annual event raises funds for Project Angel Heart, which provides nutritious meals for members of the community fighting life-threatening illnesses. Guests enjoyed live entertainment, a wide array of items at the silent auction, and complimentary food and beverages from some of the most popular establishments in the area.

Project Angel Heart is a non-profit organization that delivers nutritious meals to improve quality of life, at no cost, for those coping with life-threatening illness in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas. Started in 1991 by providing 12 clients with a single donated meal, the organization has grown immensely, and now serves over 445,000 meals to nearly 2,000 clients in the area. Over the past 22 years, Project Angel Heart prides itself on serving “meals with love” for men, women and children living with a life-threatening illness.

Culinary Design Challenge 2013

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Let the cooking begin!  Food was chopped, sautéed, roasted and sliced as four teams, each led by a renowned chef, competed to win the 2013 Culinary Design Challenge.  The four teams were: Team GE MONOGRAM (Black) led by Chef Martin Yan, of Yan Can Cook; Team WOLF (Red) led by Chef Elise Wiggins of Panzano; Team MEILE (White) led by Chef Michel Wahaltere of AMBLI and Team THERMADOR (Blue) led by Chef Virginia Davis of The Kitchen Mistress. All teams were given the same set of ingredients consisting of items such as ground buffalo, duck breasts, broccolini, stilton and goat cheeses.  Each team worked under the direction of their chef to produce an entree which was then evaluated by the panel of judges. Darrin Alfred, Daniel Asher and Patricia Bainter were the judges for the event.  Rachel Folsom of Luxe served as the emcee and announced the winner Elise Wiggins and Team RED.

The event was held at Kitchens at the Denver, a kitchen design center, full of the latest high end appliances and finishes.

The Culinary Design Challenge was a fundraiser for We Don’t Waste, which is a non-profit which collects leftover food from restaurants, caterers and events. The food is then delivered to shelters and non-profits serving the hungry.  Over a million servings of food are collected and re-distributed each year. Over 300 tons of high quality food are re-directed from the landfill and used to feed those in need in Denver.

For more information about We Don’t Waste, please check out their website at wedontwaste.org