17th Annual Soup for the Soul: A Recipe for Caring


Like a favorite recipe, each year Soup for the Soul organizers add a dash and a dollop to cook up a new-and-improved version of its annual warm-and-wonderful event. In its 17th year, soup-focused comfort food in the hands of innovative chefs created a myriad of culinary delights for guests at Porter Hospice Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The result: Guests and those involved in very personal, emotional, life-and-death situations were able to support Porter Hospice programs and services during a delightful, uplifting evening.

Johnny Ballen, of The Squeaky Bean (left), greets Tom Martino.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, nearly 600 Porter Hospice supporters landed at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum for an event that began with cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres and a comprehensive silent auction. Guests had the opportunity to climb up and sit in an open jet cockpit, as harpist Barbara Lepke-Sims entertained throughout the lively reception. Polite Jazz Quartet took over during the dinner hour, as partygoers strolled among the grab-and-go food stations that lined the area. If people thought they would dine only on standard fare, instead they were treated to delicious soups and appetizers with intriguing twists, along with an assortment of deliciously crafted breads and desserts. One smiling diner was overheard saying, “I’m full of comfort food.”

A big smile from this Mercantile chef

The evening’s program focused on the programs and services of Porter Hospice and The Butterfly Program, emceed by noted food blogger and cookbook author Lee Roper. Morre Dean, CEO of South Denver Operating Group and Porter Adventist hospital and Nancy Stokes, Home Health and Hospice vice president spoke to the crowd before a video presentation. Shellylynne Jaynes-Heideman, senior clinical manager of Porter Hospice Residence; Stephanie Ortiz-Grabe, executive director of Clinical & Operational Services, Home Health and Hospice; and Katie Kilbane, clinical supervisor at Porter Hospice presented the Recognition Award to the hard-working Soup for the Soul committee. Karin Dolph, clinical manager of The Butterfly Program, and Karen Aalund, development officer at Porter Hospice Foundation, introduced the Appreciation Award that went to Mountain Range High School/DECA students. The evening concluded with remarks from Christopher Carey, president of the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation.

Proceeds from this year’s event support hospice patients who are nearing the end of life’s journey, and children and their families who are facing a serious illness. Thousands of patients and their families have been supported by the compassionate, expert care of Porter Hospice and The Butterfly Program.

The Healing Arts team (l to r): Barbara Lepke-Sims, Karen Aalund, Heather Dean and Gayle Pottle

Porter Hospice Foundation has provided compassionate, end-of-life care and bereavement services to the Denver-metro community for over 30 years. Hospice care is offered in the patient’s home, hospital, senior living community or the 17-bed residential center, Porter Hospice Residence. Public support has a positive impact on providing end-of-life services for patients and bereavement support to their families. Investing in Porter Hospice Foundation allows enables caregivers to help those with limited or no medical coverage, or are unable to pay for care themselves. For more information, please visit http://www.centurahealthathome.org/chh/our-specialties/porter-hospice/.

The Butterfly Program, originally founded by Children’s Hospital Colorado and Porter Hospice of Centura Health at Home, has filled a unique and relatively empty niche in the Denver metropolitan community since 1999. The program was initially designed to provide comprehensive pediatric palliative care, serving children and their families who had been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Since then, medical science and technology has enhanced the life of children with chronic and terminal diseases. The program, once aimed to help children primarily at the end of life, is now inclusive of children and their families who are contending with serious illnesses.

Children and their families enrolled in The Butterfly Program are able to access supportive services including nursing, social work, chaplaincy and expressive therapy while receiving curative and therapeutic medical interventions aligned with their goals of care. The focus of the program is solely on the quality of life for the child and their families. Members of the program’s interdisciplinary team work with children and their family to identify specific goals in physical, psychiatric/psychological, social, spiritual, cultural, ethical and legal aspects of care. The interdisciplinary team includes the medical director, nurses, social workers, non-denominational chaplains, expressive therapists, bereavement counselors and volunteers. To learn more, please go to: https://www.centurahealthathome.org/chh/our-specialties/the-butterfly-program/.

2016 Heart of Hearts Gala: Crusade Against Cancer


The 2016 Heart of Hearts Gala: Crusade Against Cancer welcomed more than 600 guests to the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum to benefit programs provided by the Rocky Mt. Healthcare Foundation (RMAH) which encompasses five hospitals in the Denver metro region.

The annual Gala raises funds for Cancer Care Center programs at Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals.

This year’s theme and dress attire featured the Indiana Jones adventure movies full of around-the-world exploration in exotic locales in Latin America, India, Egypt and other faraway places. Reflected in the menu buffet were a diverse selections of culinary favorites from South America, Egypt, China, India and Italy.

RMAH Director Christopher Carey and Parker Adventist Hospital President/CEO Morre Dean thanked guests for their continued support of the Foundation work. Later in the evening Sam Huenergardt, CEO of Parker Adventist Hospital, and  Leanne Hartford, COO of Parker Adventist Hospital, presented the annual award for the a pioneering physician named after Henry M. Porter who arrived in Denver in the 1860s and built telegraph and railroad lines to connect Denver to the East Coast. Porter also provided funding to build what would become Porter Memorial Hospital.

Honored this year with the Henry M. Porter Award was Dr. Christine Rogness, a general surgeon practicing at Parker Adventist Hospital.

Adventist hospitals strive to identify cancer symptoms early and provide awareness to post-treatment and care and compassion to those who live with a cancer diagnosis.  For more information visit: www.rmahf.org

Spreading Wings Gala Honoring American Fighter Aces


More than 500 guests turned out for the 2016 Spreading Wings Gala Saturday, November 5 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Lowry to honor more than a dozen American Fighter Aces, extraordinary veterans who have distinguished themselves among the elite in aerial combat.

The event honored veteran aviators from all primary branches of the U.S armed forces. Throughout aviation history during World War II, Korea and Vietnam these heroic pilots possessed the skill, fortitude and courage to survive combat missions and return home.

Emcee Amelia Rose Earhart introduced the honorees who were presented with their awards by Wings CEO Greg Anderson. Their heroic stories are told in “Wings of Valor” a book that immortalizes the individual stories of the nation’s top aviators.
Among those honored were:
Col. Bud Anderson
Col. Abner Aust
Lt. Col. Henry Buttelmann
Col. Richard Candelaria
Col. Dean Caswell
Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland
Capt. Richard Fleischer
LCDR Fred “Buck” Dungan
Brig. Gen. Frank Gailer
Cmdr. Lester Gray
Cmdr. Willis Hardy
1st Lt. James Luma
Ens. Donald McPherson
LCDR Billy Watts
Capt. David Wilhelm

For more information visit: www.wingsmuseum.org

Aurora Public Schools Foundation Gala


The inaugural opening of Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace was launched with the Aurora Public Schools Foundation Gala held Saturday, October 22, with more than 300 in attendance.

Educators, students and supporters gathered at The Stanley Marketplace, in the former Stanley Aviation headquarter, a beautiful mixed use facility located along the Aurora-Stapleton neighborhood border at 2501 N. Dallas Street.

The APS Foundation was established in 1987 to support Aurora area students pursue college and higher educational opportunities. The Foundation meets its goals through College and Career Centers for high school students, initiating direct philanthropic support throughout the Aurora Schools district, and administrating and generating support for scholarship programs.

The annual Gala featured an open-air cocktail reception with music by the Aurora Symphony String Quartet, live/silent auctions and a three- course meal by Kevin Taylor Catering. Aurora Superintendent Rico Munn and APS Executive Director Jay Grimm welcomed guests and supporters while remarks were made by CSU Global President/CEO Dr. Takeda-Tinker followed by comments by teacher/mentors and top college-bound students. The Rangeview High School Chromatics provided a lively singing performance during dinner.

The Title Sponsor was CSU Global Campus with National Honor Society Sponsors: Comcast, Kaiser Permanente, Northrop Grumman, University of Colorado Hospital and Nurgan Palani. Special thanks went to Kevin Taylor Catering and The Stanley Marketplace for hosting at their spacious new venue in Aurora.

The mission of the Aurora Public Schools Foundation is to cultivate community investment to enrich student opportunity. For more information visit: www.educateaurora.org


12th Annual Mapleton Education Foundation Gala


More than 500 guests attended the 12th Annual Mapleton Education Foundation Gala “Opportunity Knocks!” on Friday, October 21st at the Westin Westminster.
Special thanks went to Presenting Sponsor Mountain States Toyota and Media Sponsor Telemundo Denver as well as Lead Sponsors, Colorado Lighting and Crescent Point.

This year’s event featured a silent and live auction, dinner and inspirational stories from top Mapleton students. Emcee Neal Browne kept things moving with several speakers including Co Executive Directors Channing Puchino and Hilary Sontag and presentations by Board President Beth Yohe and Superintendent Charlotte Ciancio. Doctoral Candidate and Speaker Rebecca Vartuli described her educational path in high school with the help of mentors and teachers who helped her reach her PhD degree expected this Fall.

Event proceeds support Mapleton Education Foundation programs including awards merit-based post-secondary scholarships to high-need Mapleton students; ensuring exceptional classroom instruction for all students; mini-grants to teachers with a plan to inspire students awards grants to students and programs ranging from eye exams for uninsured student athletes to entrance fee waivers at games and performances.

The Mapleton Education Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of business and community leaders, parents, teachers, staff and alumni who generously dedicate their time and talent to ensure that every Mapleton student has the resources and opportunities essential for success. 

For more information visit: mapletonfoundation.org

5th Annual Expressions of KINDness Gala


The Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND) 5th Annual Expressions of KINDness Gala was held Friday, Sept 16 at the The Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver. This year’s event was called “Denim and Diamonds” and included bolo ties, fancy leather vests, stylish cowboy boots and other western wear.

KIND is the oldest dental charity in the United States and the recognized leader in promoting the oral health of Colorado’s children. The evening featured auctioneer Gary Corbett and live music by the Narrow Gauge band with key Sponsors: UMB, Henry Schein, Dr. Jennifer Thompson, Commerce Bank, and Patterson Dental. Guests enjoyed a silent auction and an engaging cocktail hour before the event’s festivities.

Executive Director Julie Collett and Board President Kerrie Bunce– VP/Relationship Officer at sponsor UMB Bank thanked guests and sponsors for their support. The evening of celebration was dedicated to honoring individuals who have supported KIND’s mission through volunteerism, providing services, financial support and partnerships. The annual Gala also recognizes families who have benefited from KIND services in the communities the organization serves.

This year’s Award Honorees are:
Randy and Alexa Kowalczyk
Dr. Nellie Barr & Dr. Sean Whalen
Mental Health Center of Denver
MHCD-Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being
• KIND Family Award Winner Isaiah Alfonso with parents, Pete & Dawn

KIND is always looking for volunteers. Whether you’re a dentist that would like to spend a day in one of our clinics or a supporter that wants to give their time to helping with an event, please contact the KIND office at 303-733-3710 or visit the web site at www.kindsmiles.org

Peyton Manning Scores Big at 16th Annual Men for the Cure


No question about it. Pey-ton Man-ning is a star. (You’re singing that last sentence like the Nationwide Insurance jingle, right?) On Thursday, Sept. 15, more than 800 guys of all ages had the chance to hear about Manning’s post-NFL life at this year’s Men for the Cure. In a question-and-answer format with sportscaster Vic Lombardi, the sellout crowd heard all about a spectrum of Peyton-focused subjects…and hung on every word. But no one forgot the true reason for the event itself: supporting and advancing the life-saving work of University of Colorado Hospital and specifically the Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center. Every dollar raised at this event stays home.

(l to r): Derrick Whiting, Jonathan Gill and Hayden Byer

(l to r): Derrick Whiting, Jonathan Gill and Hayden Byer

The evening began with an energetic reception with enticements inside and outdoors. A silent auction was center stage for strategic bidding as talented trio Bad Candy entertained. Meanwhile, The Robusto Room rolled free cigars, adult beverage stations stayed busy and partygoers popped bite-sized appetizers from Catering By Design as they dished about manly topics. Spotted in the crowd: Joe Ellis, Denver Broncos president and CEO, as well as Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Almost 200 men donated a C-note for the chance to win a 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse Motorcycle donated by Gail, Dave and event co-chair Dave Liniger Jr., and Grand Prix Motorsports.

Event co-founder Jeff Thompson (left), with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

Event co-founder Jeff Thompson (left), with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

After a welcome from event co-founder and emcee Ed Greene, University of Colorado Hospital’s president and CEO Will Cook told the crowd that past proceeds have been used for projects such as The Pink Life Saver mobile mammography van, as well as recruiting the nation’s best and brightest medical professionals. This year’s proceeds are targeted to help patients cover DigniCap treatments, a scalp cooling system that can reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss in women with breast cancer. A live auction featured high bids, with one guest donating $40,000 for 100 of his employees to play 18 holes at coveted Sanctuary Golf Club.

Peyton Manning greets the crowd, with Vic Lombardi (left).

Peyton Manning greets the crowd, with Vic Lombardi (left).

Manning was greeted with a standing ovation and Lombardi quickly began to delve into topics ranging from Peyton’s slew of TV commercials (Manning apologized to the crowd, saying, “sorry, I haven’t retired from commercials”) to his current kindergarten-carpooling duties and even a Saturday Night Live appearance that featured Manning’s classic United Way “commercial.” They heard his most dreaded pass-rusher was Ray Lewis, and Manning joked that he always wanted the NFL to ban the tipped-ball interception. What’s next? He told the crowd he’s not ready to rush into anything on a whim. Manning ended his stage presentation with a serious note about wife Ashley’s mother, Marsha, and her fight against breast cancer.

The "Pink Life Saver," UCHealth's mobile mammography van, has traveled a lot of miles and saved lives.

The “Pink Life Saver,” UCHealth’s mobile mammography van, has traveled a lot of miles and saved lives.

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 Diane, 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 public event, and Men for the Cure grows every year. For more information, please visit: UCH.thankyou4caring.org/menforthecure.

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, offering the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for breast-cancer treatment. During a single clinic visit, patients receive reviews of mammograms by a breast radiologist, review of all biopsy and surgical material by a breast pathologist and individual consultations with a surgical, medical and radiation oncologist.

University of Colorado Hospital is the only place in the state 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: UCHealth.org.

Rocky Mt. MS Center 2016 Gala


The Rocky Mt. Multiple Sclerosis Center 2016 Gala attracted more than 400 guests at the Denver Sheraton Downtown on Sept 10 with Keynote Speaker Kim Ball, who described her challenges with the disease that afflicts about half a million people in the U.S. alone.

RMMSC CEO Gina Berg, Event Chair Adrienne Fitzgibbons, Board Chair Brett Hanselman thanked sponsors and guests for a strong turnout with Presenting SponsorDenver Life Magazine– Publisher Kristin Miller and husband, Shawn, both on hand to enjoy the celebration.

MS is a progressive and unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body. The cause of MS is unknown and there is no known cure. The severity of MS varies from person to person and various treatments are available to slow disease progression.

Keynote Speaker Kim Ball was diagnosed with MS just as she was starting her family. Although she was warned by doctors that going through with a pregnancy could worsen her MS, she was determined to live her life as she had planned. Today, her daughter Sienna, 10, is by her side and together they share their story of living with the challenges of the disease day by day.

Special Thanks went to this year’s sponsors and supporters:
Title Sponsors
• University of Colorado Hospital & Rocky Mountain MS Center at University of Colorado
• Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
Platinum Sponsors
• Biogen
• Colorado State Bank and Trust
•The Denver Post
• Genzyme
• The Johnson Family

For more information about programs, volunteering or making a donation, please visit www.mscenter.org


"Dinner in White" Pop-Up Party: Magnifique!


On Saturday, Aug. 20, Dinner in White attendees eagerly awaited a mass text answering the annual question du jour: Où est la fête? This year, the popular pop-up party and fundraiser was held at Infinity Park Event Center, and almost 200 white-clad guests made a beeline for Glendale and the 7 p.m. start. Inspired by Diner en Blanc in Paris, for the third consecutive year Dinner in White continues the mystery and intrigue in Denver, following only two basic rules: 1) Guests are surprised with the party site on the day of the event; and 2) Everyone dresses in white … with dancing shoes strongly encouraged. The result? A fun experience for all that supports the CU Cancer Center.

At sunset, the reception winds down and guests make their way to the dinner tent.

At sunset, the reception winds down and guests make their way to the dinner tent.

Guests at the annual white delight can enjoy a sit-down dinner with unlimited beverages or bring a picnic supper for the outdoor party. The evening began with an open Parisian market and the chance to check out pétanque, a French target-toss game. Partygoers could also mark the evening at a photo area, with the added opportunity to dedicate that photo to loved ones not present. Members of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts entertained with smooth sounds, and after dinner DJ St. Patty was on hand to crank up the energy with dance tunes.

Dr. Ross Camidge, Director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical and Clinical Research Programs at the CU Cancer Center, with patient Kimberly Ringen, DVM. Both spoke to guests during the dinner program.

Dr. Ross Camidge, Director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical and Clinical Research Programs at the CU Cancer Center, with patient Kimberly Ringen, DVM. Both spoke to guests during the dinner program.

Steve Peckar served as emcee for the short dinner program. Ross Camidge, M.D., CU Cancer Center’s chair of lung cancer research, told guests about the Center’s success and introduced keynote speaker Kim Ringen, D.V.M., his patient. Ringen was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer in June, 2013. As an athletic, 36-year-old non-smoker in her second trimester of pregnancy, she never thought she would hear those words: “You have lung cancer.” As a patient advocate, she shares her story to inform others that “anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.”

The University of Colorado Cancer Center in Denver is one of just 45 elite Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the entire country and the only one in Colorado, known worldwide for developing and setting new standards in the treatment of many types of cancer. Patients gain the benefit of groundbreaking research and clinical trials and, of course, it means they get exemplary patient care. The Center’s five-year cancer outcomes far outpace state averages as well as those of many other cancer centers in the U.S. For more information, please call 720-848-0300 or visit https://www.uchealth.org/pages/services/colorado-cancer-center.aspx .

National Repertory Orchestra Gala: Carnaval Night in Rio


This year’s benefit Gala for the acclaimed National Repertory Orchestra titled “Carnaval Night in Rio” was held June 25 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel with nearly 300 music-loving guests in attendance.


NRO Guests enjoy the Carnaval in Rio event held Saturday, June 25 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver

In recognition of the 2016 Olympics to be hosted in August in Rio de Janeiro, the dining and reception area featured a tropical theme executed by John Tobey Design and provided a colorful neon pastel spectrum of lights with palm trees and Rio’s legendary beachfront. Dancing entertainment was provided by Samba Colorado featuring Kebrina DeJesus and Jontae Piper.

Based in Breckenridge, Colorado, the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) is an intensive fellowship that attracts the best of the best from leading conservatories and music schools. Among this year’s sponsors are: MDC – Richmond American Foundation, Breckenridge Grand Vacations, Climax Molybdenum, First Western Trust.

Carnaval Event Chair Wendy King and Julie Chandler, NRO Director of Marketing and Development, were on hand with staff and volunteers as were NRO Music Director Carl Topilow, wife Shirley, and daughter Emily.

Reception P1070275 Reception

Guests enjoyed the silent auction

Welcoming guests were Orchestra CEO Doug Adams and wife, Pam, and several Board Members including President Patrice Lara, Nancy French, Janice Ward Parrish, Pam Wiegand, and Pam Piper Yeung. Also attending were long-time NRO supporters  Ernie and Sharon Magness Blake, Bonnie and David Mandarich, Lynn and Lisa Taussig, Karen Frisone, Steve and Carmen Wiest and many others.

Every year the NRO provides an opportunity for bright, young musicians to perfect their craft. Auditions are held for nearly 1,000 musicians between the ages of 18 and 29 in about 25 different cities across the country to fill the 88 tuition-free spots of the orchestra. Although few of the musicians have met or played together previously they quickly adapt and learn to play together in outstanding synchronicity as an orchestra.

During the eight-week season, NRO musicians perform more than two dozen concerts which is about the same as a full-time orchestra performs in a nine-month season. To review the this year’s season, purchase tickets, volunteer or to get more information visit the NRO web site at www.nromusic.com


Hoops & Hoopla

Hoops & Hoopla was the perfect way for any basketball fan to watch the Final Four.  The Infinity Park Event Center featured 1600 square feet of monster screens for the Men’s NCAA Basketball Semifinals.  Guests watched both games, Villanova vs. Oklahoma followed by North Carolina vs. Syracuse, on full room wrap-around screens.  There were unobstructed views of the game no matter where you were in the room.

Presenting Sponsor Greiner Electric raised $60,000 for the event and received the annual MVP trophy.  Greiner Electric has been the title sponsor for ten years.  Tom Tarver, Business Development Director, Greiner Electric, was one of the ten Hoops & Hoopla 2016 coaches who worked hard to make this event a success.  “We look forward to sponsoring this event every year.  It’s very important, especially for the kids (at Morgridge Academy)” said Tom Tarver.  The 2016 Hoops & Hoopla coaches were Denise Cito (CED), Patrick Fairfield (UMB Bank), Peter Fox (Trautman & Shreve, Inc.), Craig Gallogly (CED), William Gregor (Mortenson Construction), Jerry Laflen (BKD, LLP), Elliot Rosenberg, Tom Tarver (Greiner Electric), Ryan Wilson (GE Johnson Construction Company), and Kris Wintroub (Greiner Electric).

450 guests enjoyed a gourmet buffet and open bar.  Forty items were up for bid in the silent auction including: a retreat to Mexico, a first-class ticket with United Airlines, best of Denver experience, tickets the Nuggets, Rockies, and Avalanche games and many more.  When they were’t watching the Final Four games, guests took part in activities including basketball pop-a-shot, air hockey, and arcade games.

The 2016 HOOPS & Hoopla benefits Morgridge Academy for chronically ill children on the campus of National Jewish Health in Denver.

  • Morgridge Academy is a unique, day school program for approximately 90 students in grades K-8 who require medical assistance during the normal school day. The school is approved by the Colorado Department of Education and is located on the grounds of National Jewish Health in Denver. Children who attend the school have medical problems, which have caused frequent absences from regular school.
  • The children at Morgridge Academy suffer from serious respiratory diseases, including asthma. Others have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, sickle cell anemia and heart problems. Because of their serious illnesses, these children require immediate access to medical attention. The majority of the children are from low-income and minority neighborhoods in Denver’s inner city.

For more information visit njhealth.org

Soup for the Soul Benefits Hospice Programs


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.




8th Annual Dinner in the Dark


The 8th Annual Dinner in the Dark held Easter Weekend on Saturday, March 27, attracted a dedicated guest list who enjoyed a quiet and entertaining evening at The Dome at AMG–an elegant venue in Greenwood Village.

Formerly known as the The American Council of the Blind of Colorado (ACBCO) today the organization has changed its public name to A3, which represents its clients ability to ADAPT, ADJUST to vision loss and to ACHIEVE maximum independence. Despite the name change, A3’s mission remains the same: To empower people with vision loss and support those who are blind or visually impaired.

Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with silent and live auctions and gathered to support a great organization and celebrate the contributions of long-time and dedicated volunteer,  Board Chair and songstress Karen Karsh, who thanked the crowd with several wonderful tunes.  This year’s event included a “Dig for a Diamond” courtesy Ray and Elaine Musselman of Mussleman Jewelers and a special dinner with emcee Reggie Rivers.

The seemingly ubiquitous Rivers always provides an entertaining evening with Broncos football stories, personal stories and ad lib comments that always generate high bids for the live auction.

Guests were given the option to eat while blindfolded to partially experience one of many challenges that visually impaired clients meet on a daily basis.

New partnerships with Kaiser Permanente, Tri County Health Department and the Denver Regional Council of Government (DRCOG) Area Agency on Aging have helped A3 expand its outreach and services from Boulder County to Douglas County, Arapahoe County to Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties on the east and west. A3 also provides limited services throughout the state.

For more information, to donate and/or volunteer visit the A3 web site at: a3colorado.org or call 303-831-0117.



MCPN 12th Annual Green Tie Gala


The Metro Community Provider Network 12th Annual Green Tie Gala attracted more than 500 to the Hyatt Regency DTC, Saturday, March 12.

The evening started with a silent auction and cocktail reception in the Hyatt atrium. Later, Denver Broncos player Ebenezer Ekuban and John Reid, VP of Fund Development, welcomed guests and recognized MCPN’s continued health service to under-served individuals throughout the Denver metro region. Emcee Karl Mecklenburg, a popular speaker and 12-year veteran of the Denver Broncos, introduced guests to the evening’s festivities.

President and CEO Dave Myers thanked sponsors, presented awards and recognized the commitment and dedication of the MCPN board including Barbara Shannon-Bannister, Janis De Baca, Lynn Ramey, Carrie Reid, Jean Sisneros, Frank Taylor and Marion Walls.

Reid spoke about how he was grateful for the decades of support from individual donors and more than 30 corporate sponsors including title sponsors– Quest Diagnostics and Lutheran Medical Center, and premier sponsors: Community First Foundation, Cigna, CoBiz Insurance, Colorado Community Health Alliance, Colorado State Bank and Trust, CBS-Complete Business Systems.

In March the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded about $1.75 million to five Colorado health centers to expand the delivery of substance-abuse services, with an emphasis on Colorado’s prescription drug and heroin crisis.  As part of those federal funds, the Metro Community Provider Network received $310,000.

“As our family of supporters grows, so does our outreach to thousands of individuals, children, and families,” said Reid. “Today, we have grown to 24 health center locations and are slated to expand to four new locations in 2016.”

The evening ended with a boost of evening energy and with guests staying late into the night to enjoy one of Colorado’s best-known rock bands, Chris Daniels and the Kings.

Founded in 1989, MCPN partners with the community to provide medical and health education services to the under-served members of society. the organization provides medical, health-related services and health education services to residents of Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams and Park counties and the cities of Lakewood and Aurora.

For more information please visit www.mcpn.org

Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame

Each year, members of the Colorado tennis community gather to commemorate the induction of a new class to the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame, as well as to celebrate the achievements of players, organizations, volunteers and others who have distinguished themselves through their dedication and commitment to the sport of tennis.  The 16th annual Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala was held on Friday, January 22, 2016.

Four inductions were made into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame and USTA Colorado presented its 2015 annual awards to to those who have distinguished themselves through their dedication and contributions to the sport.  The 2015 Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Indutees included Rich Berman, Bob Curtis, Andy Potter and Susan Mehmedbasic Wright.

A special moment happened before the event when Rich Berman was surprised by David Hall, International Tennis Hall of Famer.  Hall traveled from Australia to Denver to be here for Berman.  In 1993, Berman began teaching and coaching wheelchair tennis.  He served as a coach to Hall, and while working together, Hall dominated wheelchair tennis across the globe, finishing No.1 in world singles rankings for six years.  With Berman’s coaching, Hall amassed an unmatched nine Australian Opens, eight US Opens, seven British Opens, and won gold in Sydney at the 2000 Paralympics. You can see the surprise reunion in the video.

USTA Colorado Annual Award Winners: High School Players – Casey Ross & Amber Shen; College Players – Hayden Sabatka & Kelli Woodman; Players – Chris Cooprider & Simona Breutting; Senior Players – Mike Lammens & Martha Gulbenkian; Wheelchair Players – Colby Kortum; High School Teams – Kent Denver (boys) & Cheyenne Mountain (girls); Organization – Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs; Family – Dr. Tarek Arja; Volunteer – Jim Scott; Media Excellence – Telemuno Denver; Sportsmanship – Mavis Edwards, Kosta Garger, Samantha Matinelli, Ignatius Castelino, Atsadang Deebunmee Na Chumphae; Contributions – Bill Trubey, Gonzo Garcia, Randy Ross; Umpire of the Year: Deborah Weinstein.

Dollars raised on event night benefit the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation.  Through the lifetime sport of tennis, the CYTF promotes the physical, emotional and social development of all youth to aspire to become active, productive and responsible citizens. The Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation is a fundraising arm of USTA Colorado.

Premier Men's Event Defies Weather, Supports CU Cancer Center


Even as cold rain showers were turning to snow and a dire blizzard warning loomed over the evening, guests at the 42nd annual Men’s Event rallied. Man’s game, people. On Monday, Nov. 16, nearly 175 men arrived at Elway’s looking positively dapper and festive, ready for a terrific evening to support the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Hearty handshakes, conversation and good cheer remained constant throughout the casual, sophisticated event.

The evening began with an informative cancer briefing by a panel of experts: Thomas Flaig, M.D.; Paul Maroni, M.D.; Scott Cramer, Ph.D.; and Thomas J. Pugh, M.D. An hour-and-a-half cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres primed guests for a sumptuous steak-and-lobster dinner created by Elway’s chefs. Emcee Les Shapiro, also a committee member, kept his eye on the clock and the weather forecast, presiding over prize giveaways for lucky recipients and a live auction of competitive bidders.

The Men’s Event has become an institution in the philanthropic community and increased awareness of cancers specific to men, while supporting research to increase quality of life and survival rates. Funds raised through the event remain local, benefiting cancer research programs at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

The University of Colorado Cancer Center at the Anschutz Medical Campus is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, a distinction recognizing its outstanding contributions to research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. CU Cancer Center’s clinical partner, University of Colorado Hospital, is ranked 15th by US News and World Report for cancer, and the CU Cancer Center is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network®, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers working to establish and deliver the gold standard in cancer clinical guidelines.

CU Cancer Center is a consortium of more than 400 researchers and physicians at three state universities and three institutions, all working toward one goal: Translating science into life. Its consortium structure has made a significant impact on cancer treatment and survivorship locally, such as higher five-year survival rates than statewide and national averages for several cancer types–including cancers of the prostate, breast and lung. For more information, please visit: ColoradoCancerCenter.org, and follow CU Cancer Center on Facebook and Twitter.

Mile High Academy Auction


An Old Timey Sunday Social….

Or, just another Sunday night at Comedy Works at Landmark center, in Greenwood Village. Or was it? Without a doubt it was not the traditional, colorful comedy evening in anywhere U.S.A.

In the adjoining Curtis Ballroom the crow appeared to be a gathering of PTA volunteers, teachers, parents, grandparents and, one gangly, bearded, out of pocket comedian wearing jeans, leather sneakers, and a plaid untucked shirt checking his phone constantly. He was lingering on the sidelines observing the pretty women in heels, their husbands in blue oxford shirts, dress pants and navy blue blazers discussing this year’s business at Mile High Christian Academy. Not exactly a martini-swigging audience at Comedy Works.

However, most everyone was in agreement, the event was far better than swigging martinis or noshing on a cup of honey roasted cashews. This was a night about children. The audiences’s children. And there is no better audience or live auction audience than parents who have the future of their children at heart.

After Mexican style appetizers the MHA supporters had a meal of spicy tacos, creamy mac & cheese, plenty of salad greens and M&M’s. Nothing like a handful of M&M’s.

Morre Dean, father, alumni, and long time supporter of MHA, did his schtick as emcee/auctioneer and was quite entertaining and pretty darn good considering he was able to wrangle a good bit of money out of parents for the evening. Live auction items were loving works of art created by students from Kindergarten to Seventh Grade. Art included a Colorado Flag made by the Preschoolers, a handmade quilt by First Graders, diverse art works, a beautiful cookie jar by 5th garders, a weekend golf package at Ridge at Castle Pines, professional photography and $10 – $100 games that upped the ante. Everyone joined in and with each item reaching close to or, over a $1,00, it looked as though Mile High Academy would indeed continue to prosper for years at their new location in Highlands Ranch.

After raising money for the beloved school, the evening took advantage of the Comedy Works downstairs. John Crist, a former Denverite, now a Los Angeles stand-up comic took the microphone and kept the audience laughing and covering their mouths at his sort-of-edgy monologue. Crist, who grew up in a family of eight children with a preacher father had funny quips about being the worse behaved child, his Christian home-schooling and giggled in awe at his totally suburban, white collar audience. He said, “Oh, I get it, you’re all rich, right?” He also threw in a couple of Trump jokes and laughed at himself when he felt he had gone over the top for a Christian school function. He was delightful, hilarious and professional.

The evening was a rousing success with an amazing amount of money raised for the school’s scholarships and various funds needed to keep the exceptionally high standards of MHA growing.

Mile High Christian Academy has a staff of devoted teachers, parents, and students. The proud Alumni continue to enroll their children and, as well, continue to support its goals – giving children roots and wings.

For more information please contact the Mile High Academy, 1733 Dad Clark Dr, Highlands Ranch CO 80126, 303-744-1069  www.milehighacademy.org


Mile High Academy Annual Auction

Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM
Silent Auction and Dinner 5:00-6:30 Program and Live Auction 6:30-8:00

Curtis Ballroom

5345 Landmark Pl, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Attire: Business Casual

– See more at: https://www.blacktie-colorado.com/calendar/event-details.cfm?id=264970#sthash.oh9e56sx.dpuf

"Be Beautiful Be Yourself" Fashion Show Gala

Celebrated actor/musician Jamie Foxx joined a host of celebrities at the nation’s single largest fundraiser for Down syndrome in Denver.  Foxx and his sister DeOndra Dixon, who happens to have Down syndrome, joined actors Beau Bridges (Masters of Sex), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), John C. McGinley (Scrubs), Terrence Howard (Empire), Jamie Brewer (American Horror Story), Supermodel Beverly Johnson, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, players & cheerleaders from the Denver Broncos and Nuggets teams, and several other VIPs as they escorted brilliant and beautiful models with Down syndrome on the runway. 

Howard with DeOndra Dixon, Global Down Syndrome Foundation Ambassador

Howard with DeOndra Dixon, Global Down Syndrome Foundation Ambassador

Emceeing the evening’s festivities was EXTRA correspondent and syndicated DAYTIME host Jerry Penacoli and Kim Christiansen of Denver’s 9News. Other stars who have supported the gala include Quincy Jones, Alec Baldwin, Helen Hunt, Laura Dern, Kyra Phillips, Tim Shriver, Patrick Kennedy, and Jeff Probst, among many others.

The 7th annual “Be Beautiful Be Yourself” fashion show gala is a fundraiser for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, benefitting the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome on the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  1,300 attendees enjoyed dinner, a star-studded fashion show, red carpet interviews, and a live auction boasting a trip to the Super Bowl, an OMEGA Ryder Experience, a Viennese Getaway and many more.

Each year, Global presents the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award to an individual who has tirelessly advocated for the rights of the differently-abled. This year’s recipient was American Horror Story actress and Down syndrome self-advocate, Jamie Brewer. Past self-advocate award recipients include Luke Zimmerman, Karen Gaffney, Tim Harris, Sujett Desai, and Brad Hennefer.  And other past award recipients have included Quincy Jones, Jamie Foxx, John C. McGinley, Beverly Johnson, Kyra Phillips, Tim Shriver, and Patrick Kennedy.

Jamie Brewer accepting the 2015 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award

Jamie Brewer accepting the 2015 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award

Global’s self-advocates who strutted their stuff on the runway included: 2015 Ambassador Clarissa Capuano, Jamie Foxx’s sister, aspiring dancer and former Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy recipient  DeOndra Dixon, aspiring model and internet sensation Gigi Cunningham, and 18-year-old Devon Adelman who attended First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Beating the Odds” summit at the White House earlier this year, among several others.

Celebrity Escorts & Models on the runway at the end

Celebrity Escorts & Models on the runway at the end

Down syndrome is the least-funded genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health. The Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, the largest single fundraiser benefiting people with Down syndrome, aims to change this statistic. Last year’s event raised $1.9 million, and the funds help support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home focused on improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research and medical care.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself fashion show is the single largest fundraiser for Down syndrome in the nation. Held annually each October in observation of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the celebrity gala attracts over 1,200 guests each year, and has raised nearly $10M since launching six years ago. For additional information, visit www.BeBeautifulBeYourself.org.

Follow Global Down Syndrome Foundation on Facebook & Twitter @GDSFoundation.

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


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


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

"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 artreachdenver.org.


8th Annual Grapes Against Wrath benefiting F.A.C.E.S.


More than 200 guests attended the Family Advocacy, Care, Education, Support nonprofit or F.A.C.E.S. 8th Annual Grapes Against Wrath signature event September 17 at the regal Magnolia Hotel in downtown Denver.

A silent auction, appetizers and cocktails provided a back drop for enthusiastic supporters with music provided by solo musician Jimmi Nasi and a live auction led by Doug Tisdale.

Executive Director Rita Harding and Development Director Kendell Aitchison circulated throughout the night with support from board members and staff.

Among the highlights of the event was the live auction of an autographed hockey stick from Colorado Avalanche Forward Nathan MacKinnon‘s with the winning bid by Board Member and long-time supporter Sarah Stoneking.

F.A.C.E.S was developed to provide parenting education, support and advocacy services for the prevention of child abuse, neglect and family violence nearly 40 years ago.

The mission of F.A.C.E.S. is to prevent child abuse, neglect, and family violence. Since its founding in 1974 the organization has served more than 6,000 families in the Denver metro region through its home visitation program, community-based parenting classes and professional family counseling.

For more information visit www.facesonline.org


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 lcottrell@TAPS.org. Learn more about the organization and upcoming events at www.taps.org.