Car-nivale Theme Drives Denver Auto Show Preview Party

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The Denver Auto Show Charity Preview Party has got to be one of the easiest fundraisers to attend. Step 1: Arrive. Step 2: Indulge in great food and beverages. Step 3: Check out the Denver Auto Show before anyone else. This year, an attack of April snow showers may have dampened a few guest outfits, but a little champagne lifted spirits before the ribbon-cutting opening ceremony.

Emcee Glenn Thayer leads a champagne toast to the opening of the 2017 Denver Auto Show.

On Tuesday, April 4, guests were revved up at the Colorado Convention Center to get a first look at the largest consumer show of its kind between Chicago and Los Angeles … 400,000 square feet of the latest car and truck models. Simultaneously, their attendance at the party helped out The Denver Post Foundation, Clear The Air Fund and National Jewish Health nonprofits. This year’s Car-nivale theme was carried out with the sights, sounds and flavors of a Latin Carnival party, including calypso music, samba dancing, gambling stations, a lavish buffet and Caribbean-inspired cocktails.

Ready for Car-nivale: Bruce and Linda Erley, with Diamond DeJaynes (center)

Glenn Thayer emceed a short pre-opening program that included remarks from: CADA president Tim Jackson; Paul Williamson, of title sponsor UMB Bank; and auto show chair Anthony Brownlee. This year’s VIP chair, Bronco great Rod Smith, told the crowd he was doubly excited about the honor—it was his first time at the show.

VIP chair and Denver Broncos Ring of Fame inductee Rod Smith

Since 1899, National Jewish Health has been at the forefront of research and medicine. We are known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for ground breaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. For the past 20 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation. For 118 years, people have traveled to Denver, Colorado seeking our expertise. Learn more at nationaljewish.org

As Colorado’s media leader, The Denver Post strives each and every day to improve and enrich the quality of life in the community. The newsroom does this by telling timely, relevant stories about people, issues and events that impact the world we live in—educating us and helping us to be informed citizens in our community. Then it’s taken a step further. The Denver Post Community Foundation has invested a value of more than $6.5 million in local nonprofit organizations and events over the past year. Through the grants, sponsorships, in-kind advertising, signature events and volunteerism, the organization strives to make a significant difference in the community. Learn more at denverpostcommunity.com

Clear the Air Foundation (CTAF) represents the charitable and educational foundation created by Colorado’s new-car dealers. CTAF supports projects that include the removal of high-emitting, old vehicles from Colorado’s traffic ways to enable replacement with newer, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient cars. Additionally, CTAF is supporting charities dedicated to helping Colorado’s citizens who suffer from environment-related health issues such as asthma and breathing disorders. CTAF also supports educational efforts for students interested in working in the automotive and technology area. Learn more at cleartheairfoundation.org.

The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association was founded in 1933 by a small number of Colorado dealers organizing to protest a federal excise tax that would raise the price of vehicles for their customers and hurt what relatively few sales were present at that time. The association was officially incorporated in 1938 and has grown considerably since then. It now represents 260 new car and truck dealers throughout the state to their various publics, including: the United States Congress, the Colorado General Assembly, various federal and state regulatory agencies, city councils, the media, and the public. For more information, please visit: http://www.colorado.auto/.

First-Ever Comics 4 Critters: Puppies, Laughs and a Prince

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Cute puppies, a comedy show…and a prince? Comics 4 Critters knocked it out of the park with a Gotta Love It trifecta in its inaugural fundraiser for the Zoology Foundation and Animal Aid USA. Who says Tuesday nights are boring? On Nov. 15, more than 100 animal lovers made a beeline to Comedy Works South for an event that included a lively cocktail reception with puppies and a prince, auction items, tasty bites (that’s food, not puppy nips!), and heartwarming animal-rescue stories complemented by hearty laughter.

Sarah Bushong-Weeks chats with friends

Sarah Bushong-Weeks chats with friends

The evening began with adult beverages, a silent auction, and photo opps with rescue puppies and animal advocate/“The Bachelor” personality Prince Lorenzo Borghese. Guests adjourned to the showroom for supper favorites ordered off the menu, and comedian-emcee Geoff Young entertained with a spirited comedy set. Animal Aid USA co-founders Borghese and Karen Talbot talked about the organization’s beginnings and its concentrated rescue efforts and successes. A short video detailed the Zoology Foundation’s SBW Rapid Response Rescue program and animal sanctuary near Larkspur, and benefactor Sarah Bushong-Weeks was recognized onstage for her support. Young presided over a live auction, and event chair Sarah Tredennick and committee member/volunteer Elizabeth Baker were honored onstage for their hard work. The evening ended with lots of laughs from Denver-based comic Pam VanNostern, followed by headliner Brad Upton.

Comics inspired laughs like this all evening.

Comics inspired laughs like this all evening.

The Zoology Foundation’s mission is to promote and facilitate educational programs regarding animal respect and welfare, and to support those organizations that work for the betterment of animals. Its animal sanctuary is a safe haven for rescued and rehabilitated animals, and tours are offered for children and adults to learn about and engage with the various species there. Animal sponsorships directly benefit the care of a chosen animal and its friends. Legacy donors underwrite programs and they become an integral team member of the foundation. With more than 100 animals at the sanctuary, volunteer opportunities are available as well. Every donation, 100 percent, goes directly to the care of sanctuary animals and to many more across the nation who need a second chance. To learn more, please visit ZoologyFoundation.org, or for information on how Zoology Foundation can enhance your life or your event, contact Executive Director Valerie Young at VYoung@ZoologyFoundation.org.

Rebecca Crofoot and Scotter

Rebecca Crofoot and Scotter

Created in January of 2012 by a small group of animal lovers, Animal Aid USA is a 100-percent volunteer organization dedicated to helping animals. Through its rescue-and-relocation model, the organization has created a lifeline for unwanted, abused and abandoned animals in the southern states while also helping animals and their families in home communities. Each month, volunteers drive more than 1,600 miles from New Jersey to Georgia and back in order to relocate animals from high-kill shelters to receiving rescues and homes. To date, the organization has rescued and provided veterinary care to more than 14,000 pets. In addition, Animal Aid USA raises money to fund spay and neuter programs in low-income communities and raise awareness of the legal animal cruelties happening daily in the United States–such as the gas chamber, cardiac heart stick euthanasia and puppy mills. The members of Animal Aid USA believe that providing the proper education and resources can change the future of unwanted, abused and abandoned animals. To learn more, please visit: AnimalAidUSA.org.