Wings Over the Rockies: Hops in the Hangar


Denver has long been a hotbed of new microbreweries that produce customized, flavored beers of all kinds and for every taste. The state of Colorado is home to four of the top-50 brewing companies in the nation, and, at last count, had about 200 breweries statewide.

With more than 50 breweries in Denver metro and a history of early American brewing dating back to the mid 19th century, it’s nearly impossible not to have tried at least some type of Colorado-based specialty beer of any flavor imaginable. (And, yes, today there is even a cannabis-flavored beer.) Every October Denver hosts the Great American Beer Festival, dubbed the largest of its kind, and celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. It’s already sold out!

Meanwhile, over in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, the folks at Wings Over the Rockies have produced their own beer bash. And they know how to throw a party! Since it’s for a good cause there’s no excuse for beer lovers from all over town to not drop by to savor some of the Mile High City’s best suds.

As part of this year’s 4th annual Hops at the Hangar fundraising event, Saturday, August 12, the Wings museum featured 32 beer brewers and four food trucks to entertain aviation enthusiasts and beer lovers across the metro region. Besides the iconic aircraft — F-111 Aardvark, A-7 Corsair II in the hangar– classic cars of decades past like the Mustang, Corvette and Thunderbird were featured in the reception area or party zone. Food trucks and stations were available from Summit Tacos, Pacy’s Food Truck, and Rocky Mountain Slices.

Wings Over the Rockies Director of Sales & Corporate Events Keisha Makonese presided over the informal beer bash featuring the ‘90s cover band The Junior Varsity 3 and more than 30 beer brewer stations and eateries. A crowd of more than 800 sampled beers and waited patiently for their pizza slices, custom gourmet sandwiches and specialty tacos.

The annual event benefits Wings’ educational programs, events, and year-round activities for children and families recognizing aviation heroes, technology, and history.

The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum is located on the former Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado. The museum preserves the history of Lowry AFB’s operations from 1938 to 1994 in its collections, archives, and research library. For more information on future events, to become a member or ticket prices please visit or call 303-360-5360 or email:



TAPS Celebrity Classic Sings With Patriotic Pride


Like a favorite song, this year’s Colorado Celebrity Classic put together all the right notes for a summertime fundraiser that has become a must-attend event. Combining country heart and patriotic soul, guests were treated to an evening of crowd-pleasing food and musical entertainment to benefit the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). On Friday, June 16, the Steve Grove Family Ranch was the place to be for more than 400 survivors and supporters of an organization designed to give empathetic care to those grieving the loss of a loved one who served in the armed forces.

Pete Coors (second from left) and members of the Coors Cowboy Club “Chuckwagon Crew”

This year’s Celebrity Classic combined its former annual Friday-night Songwriters Show with the day-after Saturday concert, producing one event that allowed guests to catch stellar entertainment, along with the stories behind the hits. The evening began with a performance by Tony David’s WildeFire group, as guests strolled outside to choose their favorites among a delectable pit-fired, prime-rib dinner prepared by the Coors Cowboy Club “Chuckwagon Crew” from Amarillo, Texas. Pete Coors was among the genial servers.

A short program emceed by KOA NewsRadio’s Steffan Tubbs featured TAPS families on stage, and the organization’s founder, Bonnie Carroll, spoke to the crowd along with survivor Laura Benton. Al Duran and Rob O’Regan were recognized for their hard work, honored as this year’s recipients of the Tony David Volunteers of the Year Award. A live auction was run with efficiency and fun by Roger Sierens, as patrons bid on a number of sports and entertainment packages. Among some familiar faces spotted in the crowd: U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, Denver Nuggets icon Bill Hanzlik and former Rockies ace Jason Hirsh.

A friend and fan poses with All-4-One

Taking the stage for the Songwriters Show were award-winning singer-songwriters Billy Montana, Frank Myers, Keni Thomas and Jimmy Nichols. The four not only performed their popular hits, but also shared personal anecdotes with a rapt audience. The evening ended with a lively set performed by internationally acclaimed R&B group All-4-One, who wowed the crowd.

Entertaining the crowd (l to r): Billy Montana, Keni Thomas, Frank Myers and Jimmy Nichols

The annual, accompanying golf event morphed this year from competitive tournament to a fun-focused outing at Eisenhower Golf Club at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Limited to 10 teams, the event’s Saturday-morning, single-ball golf format was followed up by a relaxing lunch.

TAPS was founded in 1994 by military veteran Bonnie Carroll after her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll (former staff member in the Reagan and Bush White Houses), was killed in a plane crash in Alaska. TAPS was created to provide compassionate care, casework assistance and round-the-clock emotional support for those impacted by the death of a military loved one. To date, the organization has helped more than 70,000 surviving family members. TAPS has been awarded four out of four stars from Charity Navigator, and Carroll received the Medal of Freedom for her work in 2015.

Cute boots! TAPS family Laura (left) and Gabriela Benton

Carroll writes: “TAPS is a family built on love made up of all of us who have come together from across the country and around the world through shared experience. We are here for each other, with comfort, care and resources…All services are offered to survivors at no cost. TAPS Casework is another free service to help with military benefits, emergency financial support and education entitlements for surviving children, healthcare questions, or access to reports and investigations. The Helpline is available anytime day or night (800-959-TAPS (8277)). TAPS can connect survivors with free and unlimited grief counseling in addition to a TAPS Peer Mentor.” For more information, please visit:

Party Animals Flock to MaxFund's Whiskers In The Night


It’s not unusual for eventgoers to pass around phones during an event, admiring photos of each other’s kids. At MaxFund’s 28th annual Puttin’ On the Max fundraiser, phones were out in full force—but in this case, the “kids” images were beloved pets. On Saturday, Nov. 5, the “Whiskers in the Night”-themed event attracted 350 glammed-up animal lovers who were treated to an evening full of niceties at The Brown Palace Hotel.

Kitty ears and a smile during the Pet Parade

Kitty ears and a smile during the Pet Parade

The pre-dinner reception was highlighted by an extensive silent auction complemented by passed hors d’oeuvres. Guests adjourned to the ballroom for a sit-down dinner and program emceed by Britt Moreno, CBS4 morning anchor. MaxFund co-founder Bill Suro spoke to the crowd about the organization’s beginnings and was featured in an emotional, educational video that focused on animal stories at the no-kill shelter.

This cute chihuahua was a crowd-pleaser at the Pet Parade.

This cute chihuahua was a crowd-pleaser at the Pet Parade.

The always-anticipated Pet Parade put the spotlight on a handful of adorable, adoptable shelter animals. It was followed by a live auction run by Halie Behr, and a call for donations that was answered by numerous generous supporters.

Co-founder Nanci Suro spoke about MaxFund’s successes overall and in the past year, and architect Pete Pappas showed the audience plans for shelter additions and enhancements. The evening was capped off by talented singer and personality Lannie Garrett, who wowed the crowd with both her vocals and her antics as alter-ego country diva Patsy DeCline.

Big finish as Patsy DeCline (aka, Lannie Garrett) sings: "If you've got the money, honey, I've got the time."

Big finish as Patsy DeCline (aka, Lannie Garrett) sings: “If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time.”

MaxFund is a true no-kill animal shelter and adoption center that challenges the traditional methods of animal sheltering by leading the no-kill movement in Colorado. Participants strive to give animals–including the injured, abandoned and abused–a “second chance at life.” In 2015, 1,236 dogs and cats were adopted from MaxFund, and 6,289 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered. Since inception, great forever homes have been found for 30,533 dogs and cats. Money raised at Puttin’ on the Max this year is geared toward MaxFund’s capital campaign: expanding the shelter to an adjoining property to be able to help even more homeless companion animals. To learn more about MaxFund, please visit:

CNI Spotlight on Hope Awards at Ritz-Carlton


The Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) this year combined its Hope Awards and Gala into one unique event held at the Denver Ritz-Carlton April 15th to honor surviving patients and dedicated advocates representing Denver’s neurological community. The luxury downtown hotel’s front entrance provided a red carpet experience with strobe lights from enthusiastic paparazzi photographers and loud cheers for guests and honorees entering the hotel’s main lobby.

More than 375 guests packed the hotel mezzanine to honor four special honorees affected by organic brain diseases requiring state-of-the-art surgical procedures, chemo therapies and other treatments.

Presenting Sponsor Radiology Imaging Associates made the annual signature event possible with support from Gold Sponsors— Swedish Medical Center, Bill & Leslie Volbracht, Dr. Richard and Mrs. Linda VG Kelley –and Silver Level Sponsors: Triple B, Craig Hospital, TEVA, Rick & Robin Fort, HealthONE and other individual and corporate supporters.

The annual fundraiser raises money to support patients, research, and education for CNI, a 501(c) (3) organization established to enhance the delivery of personalized, comprehensive, and state-of-the- art care through coordinated patient care, education, research, and outreach activities.

This year’s honored guests were:

Exemplary Neuro Patient: Rick Schwartz–afflicted with Parkinson’s–is a former FOX sportscaster who is active in the community through board leadership with Parkinson’s Disease of the Rockies, speaking engagements and the creation of the new statewide “Boxing for Parkinson’s” program.

Exemplary Neuro Patient & Caregiver (inpatient and outpatient): Mandy & Matt Banks were both impacted by brain health issues. At the age of 28 – 8 months pregnant with her first child– Mandy had a hemorrhagic stroke which nearly took her life. After nearly a year of rehab at CNI, Mandy is back at work and busy mothering her infant son. Mandy and Matt have raised more than $50,000 for the American Heart Association, and have been an inspiration to the Denver community.

“Anything Can Happen” Award for a child who has courageously faced a neurological condition: Charlotte Varney is a 9-year-old brain tumor survivor who has undergone numerous procedures and chemo regiments over the past four years to finally reach her current “cancer free” status.

Neuroscientist of the Year: Multiple Sclerosis clinician Allen Bowling, MD, PhD speaks internationally and gives generously of his time and resources to CNI and the National MS Society. He has published extensively in the area of complimentary and alternative medicine for MS patients.

Established in 1988, CNI offers access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art care, support services, clinical trials, outpatient neuro rehab and counseling. CNI is home to 70 physician and research associates who all work to advance clinical trials into new treatments for MS, Parkinson’s and other brain conditions.

Visit, call 303-788-4010 or email for additional information, to volunteer or make a donation.



Groovy Guests Boogie Down At Disco Daze Wine & Dine


Whether they lived it or just watched it in a movie, guests at this year’s Disco Daze Wine & Dine were whisked back to a shiny-polyester, “Saturday Night Fever” time when people were enticed to do the Hustle en masse. Even without a designated area for dancing, classic 1970s club hits inspired spontaneous boogie-oogie moves throughout the evening at Colorado Academy Campus Center.

Tim Wachuta (left) and John Fenley. Move over, John Travolta!

Tim Wachuta (left) and John Fenley. Move over, John Travolta!

The annual, themed Wine & Dine event is the primary fundraiser for Horizons at Colorado Academy, a year-round enrichment program to help disadvantaged kids achieve academic success. On Thursday, Feb. 18, more than 300 mostly costumed supporters were able to spend the evening noshing nonstop on tasty tidbits and scrumptious spirits from Denver’s best chefs, eateries and purveyors.

Thanh Luony is dressed to the nines...and the '70s.

Thanh Luony is dressed to the nines…and the ’70s.

With a sparkling array of niceties, guests placed strategic bids on silent-auction items, and the live auction was led by emcee Tom Kimball, former president of Colorado Academy’s alumni association board. The purpose of the evening wasn’t forgotten, as Horizons student Edith Villalobos spoke to the crowd about her own 17-year journey with Horizons that began in kindergarten and continued on to her college success. She was introduced by Horizons Executive Director Jessie Skipwith.

Horizons at Colorado Academy, part of a national network in 17 states, is a non-profit program that offers student enrichment designed specifically for Denver Public School children from low-income families. The program is committed to the development of the whole child through experiences that enhance self-esteem, foster responsibility, build problem-solving skills, and encourage a life-long interest in learning. It emphasizes academic enrichment, social growth with structured group dynamics, swimming lessons and sports participation, life-skills, cultural experiences and the arts. Horizons students use Colorado Academy facilities, bus transportation, dining services and educational resources, and many student and parent volunteers from the school provide program support.

Horizons is entering its 19th year at Colorado Academy and serves more than 140 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 10. The program has a proven track record providing on average 3-4 months in academic gains over just six weeks in the summer, a time during which children would normally lose up to three months of skills. Horizons can provide two healthy meals per day for each student during the summer program. Through year-round “Super Saturday” programming, students stay connected to their Horizons teachers and peers. The year-to-year retention rate of students is 98 percent.

Colorado Academy’s program is among the first in the country to develop a Horizons high school component. Students in this age group take part in activities such as as college visits, application “boot camps” and interviewing skills. Horizons faculty and staff salaries and program operating costs are provided through generous support from the community and other foundations. For more information, please visit: (select Horizons from the drop-down menu).

TAPS, 11th Annual Colorado Celebrity Classic


TAPS. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Don’t be confused. This organization is for families who find themselves alone to suffer the loss of a military family member. Be it from battle or the results of raging emotions living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). It is real. You can be assured, Bo and Lynne Cottrell, organizers of the event, are guardian angels watching over TAPS. They give tirelessly to TAPS all year and continue to work to the bone for this annual fundraising event.

Every year TAPS brings a heartfelt tribute to our fallen soldiers and, to those left behind – children, spouses, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. TAPS was founded by Bonnie Carroll whose late husband, Brig. Gen Tom Carroll, was killed in a National Guard plane crash. Her story is like every one else’s. Left alone with a huge hole in her heart, no one to understand the trauma of losing a beloved soldier. She had to continue to live and in order to save her family she had to create a new life.

After receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, she said, “Grief tries to make us smaller, to keep us from moving, to restrict our freedom to believe in what matters. As a TAPS family, we show people that when they think there are no more options, there is hope.”

Saturday night’s benefit remained true to character, defined by good music, enthusiastic supporters, lip-sucking, grilled ribeye’s cooked by Coors Chuckwagon Cowboy Club. The band, Wildfire, played everything from Al Green to God Bless America, enhancing a beautiful tribute to all soldiers defending our freedom. Band leader, Tony David received a Volunteer of the Year award.

The western themed event was held at the Ranch of Cherry Creek. Owner Steve & Marla Grove opened their working ranch to over 400 supporters. The state-of-the-art horse stalls and arena were cleared and clean as a whistle as it welcomed the TAPS families to celebrate the 11th year in true red, white & blue patriotic fashion.

Many of us live our daily lives without realizing the effects of war. But for those who live it hourly, daily, and try to continue life without their loved ones, TAPS is their savior. Since its founding, TAPS has assisted more than 55,000 surviving family members, casualty officers and caregivers. The National Military Survivor Helpline 1-800-959-TAPS (8277) receives an average 955 calls per month. Callers talk to a live person who offers compassion, support and assistance to families of America’s fallen military.

T*A*P*S. 3033 Wilson Boulevard, Suit 630, Arlington, VA 22201. 800-959-TAPS, 202-588-8277,




Fiesta on the Plaza


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.

Walk of Dreams Gala

Operation Walk Denver is restoring the joy of walking.  It began with a small team doing a small number of joint replacements and evolved to today’s team of over 100 healthcare volunteers who have cared for over 1,200 patients.  This is the 10th annual Walk of Dreams Gala.  Operation Walk Denver is remembering the hundreds of patients whose lives have been touched during the 16 mission trips to countries such as Panama, Guatemala, and Honduras.  “Operation Walk Denver is the dream of a group of healthcare providers committed to providing free surgical care for those with debilitating arthritis in developing countries. Our missions have provided us with great personal satisfaction and the ability to give back to those in need.” said Dr. Douglas A. Dennis, Executive Director.

“Our biggest reward on these mission trips is the patient’s smiles.  I would say most of the patients have never seen a doctor at all and they are just crippled with a debilitating arthritic disease,”  said Jim Boyle, Medical Coordinator of Operation Walk Denver.

Operation Walk is a not-for-profit volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatments for patients in developing countries and in the United States. These patients suffer from debilitating bone and joint conditions, such as arthritis, and do not have access to medical care. Operation Walk also educates local orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and other health care professionals on the most advanced treatment of hip and knee joint diseases. Founded in 1994, Operation Walk teams have operated on hundreds of patients in Russia, Cuba, Nepal, China, the Philippines, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States.

In addition to giving many people a new hope and ability to walk again in other countries, Operation Walk Denver also strives to help people in the Denver community who have few resources and are in desperate need of joint replacement surgery.  During the last three years, the Denver chapter has performed 47 free hip and knee replacements through the partnership with Operation Walk USA.  Through the generosity of donors, their dreams have come true.

For more information visit


2015 CNI Gala "Home Sweet Home"


This year’s CNI Gala “Home Sweet Home” attracted more than 350 guests who enjoyed a silent auction marketplace, cocktails and a live auction at Stapleton’s DoubleTree Hilton on Saturday, October 3.

CNI Staff Member and actress Debra Bandstra served as emcee while Executive Director Tami Lack and Betsy Mathies reviewed the year’s achievements and thanked donors. Live music was performed by the Rocky Mountain String Band and Auctioneer Jim Berz of Wow Events Denver oversaw live auction duties.

Event Co-Chairs were Dr. Michael and Courtney Pearlman and the CNI “Community Champion” Honorees were Don and Arlene Johnson.

The annual CNI Gala is a celebration of patients and caregivers. Physician and research associates provide coordinated care with wrap-around support systems to neurological patients and caregivers across the region.

The annual event promotes CNI’s efforts to help individuals with neurological conditions such as ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, and hearing disorders. CNI’s mission is to ensure quality of life possible through clinical research, patient services and education.
For more information visit:


"Born To Be Me!" Arc Thrift Stores' Gala Event

“Born To Be Me!” is Arc Thrift Stores’ annual star-studded gala.  The event honors the spirit and individuality of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – as well as the individuals and businesses who support this important community.  This year’s theme is “Starstruck!”  “It’s a fun way to get the word out about the great work that we’re able to get done through our stores and the donations we collect,” said Arc Thrift Stores President and CEO Lloyd Lewis.

Cocktails, an elegant dinner, fashion show, live music, and a silent auction made for an amazing night.  Former Colorado Congressman Bob Beauprez and his wife Claudia are co-chairs of the event and were on hand to MC the live auction.  KUSA’s TaRhonda Thomas is the event’s emcee.

Three “Heroes of the Year” – each with a disability and each nominated by their peers – were honored. This year’s Heroes are:

  • Vicky Kaiser, a fitting room attendant at Arc Thrift Stores’ Hancock store in Colorado Springs.
  • Dusty Lee Miles, a men’s clothing hanger at Arc Thrift Stores’ Pueblo store.
  • Garret Ringie, a donation attendant and unloader at the Green Mountain Arc Thrift Store in Lakewood,

As the major fundraiser for arc Thirft Stores, this event gives the children and adults served by The Arc Chapters an opportunity to lead independent, fulfilled, happy and productive lives in our community.  All of the items sold at the auction were refurbished from items purchased at Arc Thrift Stores. These items are purchased for mere dollars at one of the stores and then up-cycled and given new life and new purpose.

Since 1968, arc Thrift Stores has been the funding arm for thirteen Arc Chapters across the State of Colorado. Arc Thirft Stores currently own 22 thrift stores along the Front Range, and employ more than 200 individuals with disabilities, making it one of the largest integrated employers of people with disabilities in Colorado.  Arc Thirft Stores offer enrichment programs, job training and placement, as well as social activities for our employees with disabilities, known as Arc Ambassadors.




ArtReach 7th Annual Dine & D'Art


The ArtReach 7th Annual Dine & D’Art proved once again that the passion of Denver artists, long-time supporters, volunteers, and donors are more important than a fancy, sophisticated venue. Creative artistry (or wizardry) converted an old, abandoned Walgreen’s on Colfax Avenue in Lakewood into a kaleidoscope of colorful artworks from some of Denver’s most creative painters, mixed-media artists, sculptors and ceramicists, to name a few.

Some 300 guests attended the event for ArtReach, a 41-year old non-profit that provides access to Denver art venues and exhibits with its free ticketing program and arts education through after-school programs and summer art camps.

Established  nearly a decade ago, the Dine & D’art event allows participants to review artworks during a cocktail hour, enjoy dinner and at evening end get called in an auction system to run or “dart” to select their selection.

This year more than 60 artists donated nearly 100 pieces with a minimum value of $400 for auction.

Emcee Lauren Whitney of CBS4 introduced guests to the proceedings while artists Lonnie Hanzon and Brad Ramsey worked throughout the night on live paintings on multiple canvases spread some 30 feet across the back of the room.
Executive Director Karla Johnson-Grimes thanked guests and urged them to be polite as they raced to claim and capture a favorite painting or customized wooden furniture piece, ceramic platters or mosaics.

ArtReach Board Member and Event Chair Jeff Horvorka of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts described the organization’s impact and Board Member Brad Ramsey provided first-hand stories of working with at-risk youth. Auctioneer Tracy Weise lead the live auction and coaxed multiple bids from long-time supporters.

This year’s sponsors included CBS4, 92.5/The Wolf , Mix 100.3, Kool 105, Jay’s Valet, Callahan & Associates, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, The Denver Post, Frame de Art, The Wizard’s Chest, Liberty Waste Management, Table Mountain Inn, Scott and Shannon Pope, Cindy and David Hayes, Swingle, and Mesch Commercial Real Estate.

ArtReach’s unique ticketing program works with local schools and other organizations to access to the visual and performing arts and venues throughout Denver by providing free tickets to various cultural events including theatre, concerts and exhibits. ArtReach also funds and organizes after-school programs, art workshops, and summer camps to increase exposure to the arts for at-risk youth, developmentally disabled, seniors and other groups.

Hovorka announced the return this December of ArtReach’s Festival of Trees, a key signature event and popular citywide Denver attraction in the 1980s and 1990s. On hiatus since 2005, guests cheered their approval for the revival of the December holiday exhibit/fundraiser that auctions off decorative holiday wreaths and Christmas trees created by Denver artists. For more information about the organization visit


15th Annual Men for the Cure Surpasses $2 Million for UCHealth


When guests sat down to dinner at this year’s Men for the Cure, a “gentlemen only” fundraiser, many picked up the daintily-wrapped items on their table and looked positively perplexed. Laughing emcee Ed Greene announced: “Guys, those are bath salts to take home to your significant others.” You could hear the “Oh-hh”s all over the room.

Ed Greene (left) and Joe Theismann take audience questions.

Ed Greene (left) and Joe Theismann take audience questions.

With cigars, steak dinner, adult beverages and an iconic NFL quarterback as keynote speaker, more than 600 supporters made a beeline to XJet at Centennial Airport on Thursday, Sept. 24, to enjoy the ideal guys’ night out. It was made even better as 100 percent of the proceeds went to breast-cancer treatment and research at UCHealth – University of Colorado Hospital. With this year’s event, Men for the Cure has raised more than $2 million in its 15-year history to help fight breast cancer on a local level.

The evening began with a silent auction full of sports memorabilia, trips and restaurant outings, along with a cigars-and-cocktails reception that spilled outside, adjacent to airport runways, with a food truck, cigar bar and whiskey samples. Men had the opportunity to enter a drawing to win either a 2015 BMW R1200 or a 2016 Polaris Slingshot motorcycle, donated by Gail, Dave and event chair Dave Liniger, Jr. The Pink Life Saver, UCHealth’s mobile mammography van was onsite, and event décor plus guest attire were accented with breast-cancer-awareness pink. After a spectacular Colorado sunset, guests made their way inside to chow on sliced tenderloin.

Cigars ruled at the outdoor reception.

Cigars ruled at the outdoor reception.

After dessert, Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth’s president and CEO, spoke briefly and specifically about where and how donations are used, and breast-cancer survivor, radio personality Murphy Houston, told the crowd his story. He also emphasized his mission to spread the word about early detection for men and women alike. After a live auction emceed by Greene, former all-pro Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann took the stage with gusto. His dynamic presentation included a riveting account of his well-known, career-ending injury from a hit by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football in 1985. He also took time to applaud guests for their support of Men for the Cure. Greene, joined onstage by event co-founder Jeff Thompson, told the crowd how the event started and how gratifying it felt when the UCHealth – University of Colorado Hospital Breast Center was renamed the Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center in 2007.

Men for the Cure event founder Jeff Thompson

Men for the Cure event founder Jeff Thompson

Men for the Cure began in 2000 after Diane O’Connor Thompson lost her battle with breast cancer. Greene and Diane’s husband Jeff Thompson, part of a group of men who regularly had dinners together, decided something good should come out of that tragic event. To honor Thompson’s wife, they expanded their dinner concept into a guys’ night out to raise funds for breast cancer treatment and research. Sharon Magness Blake came on board to help facilitate the event, and 15 years later it continues to draw support from men around the metro Denver area. For more information, please visit:

UCHealth's "Pink Life Saver" mobile mammography van

UCHealth’s “Pink Life Saver” mobile mammography van

The Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center, located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, is the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region, and offers the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for breast-cancer treatment. During a single clinic visit, patients receive:
• Review of mammograms and other images by a breast radiologist
• Review of all biopsy and surgical material by a breast pathologist
• Consultation with a surgical oncologist
• Consultation with a medical oncologist
• Consultation with a radiation oncologist

UCH is the only hospital in Colorado where 3-D mammography is the standard of care (every mammogram, every time). The 3-D mammograms can detect invasive breast cancer 40 percent sooner than traditional methods, and reduce the number of false positives.For more information, please visit:

Bridge House's First Annual Farm to Table Dinner


Lone Hawk Farm hosted the 1st Annual Farm to Table Dinner benefitting the Bridge House, a Boulder non-profit seeking pro-active solutions with other organizations to provide solutions and support for the city’s homeless population.

The September 3rd fundraiser was hosted on beautiful farm land located just north of Boulder and accessible via a narrow country road with fantastic Front Range panoramic views.
Admissions P1050765

The Bridge House operates a day shelter and provides case management services for the homeless. The organization’s mission includes creating a culture of opportunity for Boulder’s homeless and working poor that also encompasses food to bus fare to prescription medications.

Emcee and Volunteer Coordinator Scott Medina welcomed the crowd of some 200 people and thanked the dozen or so sponsors including presenting sponsor Clean Tech and Audi of Boulder for sponsoring a car raffle. Guests enjoyed a large buffet featuring grilled chicken, string beans, potatoes and several fresh salads.

Executive Director Isabel McDevitt thanked guests and explained that homelessness “is a circumstance, not an affliction.”

Dave Mason a member of the Ready-to-Work job training initiative described his personal victory over homelessness and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to turn his life around.

The event was organized by the Bridge House’s Community Table Kitchen culinary arts program and social enterprise with partnerships with local farmers. Staff, volunteers, board members, and members of the Ready-to-Work job training program, were all on hand to host the very successful inaugural event, surely to be held again next year.

The organization serves a wide variety of clients from varied circumstances. More than 25% of clients are veterans who have served our country and about 30% of walk-ins are women.

Boulder’s Bridge House is always looking for dedicated volunteers particularly from the late Fall in October through April of each year. To learn more about volunteer opportunities contact Scott Medina at or to make a donation contact Emily Messina at

For more information call 303- 442-8300 or visit

2015 Dinner in White benefiting Colorado Cancer Center


National Geographic photographer and CBS Sunday Morning contributor Joel Sartore provided a lively and entertaining view of his wildlife photographs and the sense of humor that has kept he and his family’s spirits up despite the shadow of cancer in their lives.

Sartore reminded the audience that cancer is a time thief and a wake up call. Sartore, whose wife and son both successfully battled the disease in recent years shared his experiences with some 200 guests at this year’s event held Saturday, August 8 at Sculpture Park between the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Speer Boulevard.

“It’s an opportunity to set things right, to concentrate on living. To pay attention,” says Sartore, keynote speaker for the annual Dinner in White outdoor event benefiting the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

Under a cloudy but rain-free late afternoon the event featured live music, french pastries, preserves and macarons, cotton candy, and dancing till almost midnight. Sartore has spent 20 years photographing endangered species and landscapes around the world. He provided a light-hearted and entertaining slideshow of his career, family life and their unique sense of humor as they have confronted and battled the disease on and off since 2005.

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center serving Colorado, and one of just 41 in the United States. The CU Cancer Center is also one of 25 elite members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, setting the gold standard in terms of national and international guidelines for clinical practice in oncology.



TAPS: Saluting our Fallen Heroes Dinner Concert and Auction


Tears are shed everyday for our brave military members that are no longer with us. While coping with such grief is tremendously difficult, loved ones of those lost should know that they are not alone on this journey.

Since 1994, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) has provided support services to family members of those who served in the military and died due to diverse causes. This unbelievably remarkable organization of caring individuals has already made a significant impact in the lives of over 50,000 surviving kin, casualty officers and caregivers.

To continue serving the families of America’s fallen military, TAPS relies on the ongoing support of generous sponsors and individual donors. On Friday, June 26th, at Steve Grove’s Ranch at Cherry Creek in Centennial, CO, the organization hosted their uplifting annual event, Saluting our Fallen Heroes Dinner Concert and Auction. This country-western barn party was an exceptional display of patriotism, camaraderie and compassion.

The dinner is part of a series of events known as the Colorado Celebrity Classic, which lead up to a golf tournament at the esteemed and exclusive Eisenhower Golf Club at the US Air Force Academy. The Colorado Celebrity Classic is in its 10th year, and proceeds fund the Colorado Good Grief Camp Out near Fort Carson in August. This camp is specifically designed for children, 6-17 years of age, grieving the loss of a parent or sibling in the Armed Forces. Since 2006, this established fundraising event has raised more than $3 million, thanks to volunteers, celebrities and supporters.

Guests enjoyed delicious comfort food prepared by the Coors Cowboy Club “Chuckwagon Crew.” For eight years, these hospitable cowboys have come from Amarillo, Texas to serve their famous pit-roasted prime rib dinner and divine banana creme pudding. The mouthwatering spread always entices people to come back for seconds and thirds.

The evening’s entertainment included a number of talented artists: WildFire, John Adams and his critically acclaimed John Denver Tribute Band, country singing sensation, Carin Mari, as well as Nashville songwriters, Billy Montana and Frank Myers.

In addition to the unbelievable lineup of talented musical artists, celebrities involved in the Colorado Celebrity Classic included Bubba Gilliam (Blazing Saddles), Billy Van Heusen (Broncos player), Gen. Gene Renuart, USAF (Ret), Mike Rosen (850KOA Radio Talk Show Host), and many other well-known individuals.

To support TAPS, call 303-696-0450 or contact Lynne Cottrell at Learn more about the organization and upcoming events at

2015 Horizons Wine & Dine @ Colorado Academy


Kicks & Grins Abound

It’s been said it takes a village to raise a child. The folks at Colorado Academy take that statement to heart.

Last week the annual fundraiser at Colorado Academy for the Horizons program shot out of the gate with a bang. Over 300 supporters, teachers, parents and friends put on their best cowboy boots and hats to show support for this delicious event and, most important, the wonderful reason for the fundraiser.

Denver’s finest chefs and restaurants donated their time and ingredients to rustle up the tastiest grub on this Thursday, winter night in Lakewood.

The following restaurants put their best boot forward.

Mad Greens – Don Quixote Salad – Baby Greens, Roasted Corn, Jack Cheese, Mango, Avocado with MAD Spice and Creamy Ginger Dressing AND Quinoa Superfood Salad – Quinoa, Farro, Kale, Oranges, Craisins, Green Onion, Feta Cheese, Edamame with an Orange Vinaigrette. Blake Street Tavern – Buffalo Red Chili and Jalapeno Corn Bread.  CA Chef’s Paul Worley & Alex Porter – Mini Navajo Tacos, Navajo Fry Bread, Braised Buffalo Short Ribs, Hominy Corn Slaw, Mountain Berry Salsa, Queso Fresco and Southwest Bacon Smoked Chex Mix. Gourmet To Go – Braised Colorado Lamb Shanks in Adobo Sauce. Personal Chef Rebecca Caro – Meatballs and Alfajores. Ace, Vesta Dipping Grill & Steuben’s – Pork Green Chili, Picnic Style Fried Chicken Bao Sliders with Green Tomato Jam and Sriracha Barbeque Sauce, Peanut Butter Cups. Colt & Gray, Ste. Ellie’s – Oyster on the Half Shell, “BBQ” Mignonette & Chicharrone Crisps paired with Strange Brew’s Specialty Stout. Horizon’s Families Faudoa, Rios & Ramirez – Authentic Tamales. Strange Craft Beer Company – Cherry Kriek, Belgian Farmhouse Ale, and Breakfast Grapefruit IPA. Dazbog Coffee. 

The Academy lunch room was transformed into a stage set out from the old West. The auction items donated included everything from sports event tickets, to concerts with the Dave Matthews Band, and Big Head Todd & the Monsters. There were theater tickets, art, jewelry, fine wine, a Margarita Party for 20, to week long stays at a Dude Ranch or a house on the beach. No guest left empty-handed nor hungry. They all found something to take home while insuring the continuation of the Horizons Program.

The Horizons program at Colorado Academy is a student enrichment program providing academic, cultural and recreational experiences designed to empower students from low-income families. The Horizons Program affords opportunities designed to inspire individual dreams and accomplishments.

For more information go to their website:

Located at 3800 S. Pierce Street, Denver. 303-914-2537.






Voices of Love


Big Voices, Big Personalities, Deep Devotion

Here’s the trivia question of the day. What do Season 6 of “The Voice,” contenders Biff Gore, Noah Lis and Brothers Walker have in common besides talent? The four have a strong, undeniable faith in the Lord.  The four competitors forged a Christian bond during Season 6.

On Friday night in Littleton, the four singing celebrities traveled from around the country to mix and mingle at the pre-concert ticket-only dinner for Love INC. At this stage of their careers, each are seasoned presenters & performers, and revel in telling their stories, and answering questions such as how did you pick your songs to sing? Where did you audition? What was it like being on national tv? What was Adam, or Blake or Gwen like?

What the tv audience sees, which is every performer’s dream come true, and what happens behind the stage are two different types of euphoria. The contestants are under constant scrutiny during rehearsals, interviews, and performing. The stress and excitement is real. The way these four friends found peace came through worship and prayer in the studio back rooms. They organized weekly gatherings where the contestants shared christianity and brotherhood through prayer.

Biff Gore, Denver’s own local minister, invited his friends from Connecticut and Missouri, for a night of ministry and entertainment to benefit the Gap Ministry, Love INC of South Metro Area. The event kicked off the 2015, Valentine’s Day celebration.

The Gap Ministry, Love INC, provides clients with products and services through a partner-church or, through a team from Love INC. The resources provided are there to help fill a void or, a need during a person’s journey to self-sufficiency. The Love concert generated funds to support those who might need a little help (fill in a gap) when things get rough.

The guests at Southern Gables Church, before and after the concert, were enticed to purchase one-day-early Valentine gifts of chocolates and roses and, were given the gift of music that touched on gospel, country, soul and romance. The concert began with the Brothers Walker, then Noah Lis and Denver’s soulful, singing Biff Gore.

Littleton’s Southern Gables Church organized the event. Church members and volunteers gave to the fundraiser by cooking and serving dinner to specially purchased ticket holders and to the 7:00 p.m. concert audience. After the performances guests were treated to an array of beautiful, decadently sweets desserts.

Voices of Love benefitted Love INC,  at Southern Gables Church.     Visit their website for more details at, or call us at 303-798-0037.


The Adoption Exchange 27th Annual Fantasy Ball


On November 22nd, the 27th Annual Fantasy Ball, benefiting The Adoption Exchange, drew the who’s who of Denver to the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. It was evident that guests were passionate about supporting the cause, as the room exuded a feeling of eagerness to make a difference.

Governor John Hickenlooper addressed the crowd, recognizing National Adoption Day and commending The Adoption Exchange for its work to connect children in foster care with loving families. His positive words affirmed the critical role the organization plays in Colorado.

This year’s honoree was the Regal Entertainment Group. Since 1998, Regal Entertainment Group has made a difference in the lives of children waiting in foster care for homes. Ray Nutt, Regal’s Senior VP of Business Relations, accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

As the silent auction closed, bidders kept a close eye on their favorite items. There were over 150 items, including jewelry, get away packages and sports memorabilia. Popular items included a bib autographed by Lindsay Vonn and a stunning 14k gold, peal and diamond ring by William Crow Jewelers.

The live auction was led by Auctioneer Sean Allen. Allen animated the crowd with enticing packages like a one week stay in the village of Seillans in Provence, France and a fireside chat at The Fort Restaurant with Dr. Jonathan Kedrowski, a legendary mountaineer.

The Adoption Exchange recruits families for children who have survived abuse and neglect, supports adoptive families throughout every phase of the adoption process, and trains child welfare professionals. To learn more, please visit

34th Annual Heart of Hearts Gala


It’s not often you attend a charity event that transports you to Venice, Italy. With the help of vivacious circus performers and elaborate Venetian carnivals masks, the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel was dramatically transformed for an evening of fundraising and frivolity.

As guests entered the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation’s 34th Heart of Hearts Gala, they were warmly greeted by volunteers and eccentric performers from Bella Luna Cirque. Instantly, Denver’s chilly weather was forgotten. Dancers twirled around the room, entertaining the guests with their whimsical charm. A gondolier manned his rowing boat, while couples and friends posed for photos. And a stunning masked lady stood tall above everyone, balancing on stilts and waving to the crowd.

After cocktail hour and the silent auction, guests were invited to enter the main ballroom. The room was jaw dropping gorgeous. Everywhere you turned there were captivating performers and decor. Near the stage, dancers were suspended on hula hoops. Their grace was mesmerizing. White birds flew around the room on the tall sticks carried by masked Venetians. The atmosphere was simply magical, and guests couldn’t help but pull out their phones to capture the scene.

The Henry M. Porter Award was given to Jim Boyle, President and CEO of Summit Leadership Solutions and former CEO of Porter Adventist Hospital. Boyle received this award for his continuous generosity to the hospital foundations and the community. He specializes in leadership development, board development and executive coaching. The Henry M. Porter Award is named for Henry M. Porter, the original philanthropic donor to Porter Hospital.

Proceeds from the Heart of Hearts Gala support women’s breast cancer departments within Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals. Over $66,000 was raised with the evening’s paddle raiser. This total will  be used to provide free  mammograms and breast cancer care for under served individuals in the community.

The generosity of sponsors and individual donors is greatly appreciated, as one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and one in 1,000 men will face a diagnosis. Donations will fuel support groups, treatment options and integrative therapies.

If you would like to learn more about Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation and make a donation, please visit

A Touch of France in Fantastic White

A luscious blue Colorado sky never meant so much to someone as it did for Megan Peddycord, chair of Dinner in White, a premier fundraising event for the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Last year, the event was rained out even before it began. This year was not to be a repeat poor-weather performance.

“Look at all these blue skies,” Sara Peddycord, Megan’s mom and faithful supporter, gleefully reported.

“The committee was incredible, so enthusiastic,” said Megan with pride. “It was so important that it happen this year so we could get the momentum going again.” Although once slightly dampened, the event is solidly set in Denver’s social scene. In 2010, the Association of Fundraising Professionals named it “Best Special Fundraising Event”. The gathering, organized by a committee of young professionals, models Paris’s annual Diner Blanc.

This year, more than 250 people found their way to the party’s whereabouts. The location was kept under wraps until one hour before start time. Dot and Dan Bonnel enjoyed the anticipation.

“It was exciting and mysterious; such a clever idea,” said the giddy couple as they came through the entrance gate. They found their way perfectly to the towering white Eiffel Tower, a signature piece of the event, placed on Larimer Street between 32nd and 33rd.

An array of vendors lined the street from Le Central, with its outlay of inviting, delicious French pastries to the sweet, clean smells from MIG Soap & Body Co to the knock out coolness of everything in the Denver Fashion Truck. The mobile boutique owner Desiree Gallegos gratefully acknowledged the gift of a clear evening.

“The temperature is perfect. It’s just a gorgeous night,” she said. “I love that they have it later in the summer when the air is cooler. We’ll be back again and again.”

Founder of the urban winery Infinite Monkey Theorem Ben Parsons shared his heart when he spoke about his support for cause. He lost his father to colon cancer one year after the diagnosis.

“I started this business inspired by my father. We had always talked about creating a winery together.” He is an incredible supporter of the center, donating thousands of dollars and contributing an abundance of wine to the center’s events.

In short: Pour la beauté de la France à Denver, la simplicité magnifique de blanc viennent dîner en blanc. Rendez-vous l’année prochaine mon ami!

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is a consortium of three state universities, including the University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Colorado Denver and Colorado State University, and six institutions (University of Colorado Health, a network comprised of University of Colorado Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and Memorial Hospital; Children’s Hospital Colorado; Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Colorado and National Jewish Health).