CNI 2018 Spotlight on Hope 30th Anniversary Gala


The Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) 2018 Spotlight on Hope 30th Anniversary Gala honored the founders, physicians, medical professionals and other community advocates who have supported and sustained the organization for three decades. Long-time community speaker and volunteer Scottie Iverson served as mistress of ceremonies with comments made by CNI Executive Director Tami Lack Crawford and CEO Ryan Simpson, representing Swedish Medical Center who with HealthONE were Presenting Sponsors.
To be eligible for nationwide grants and sponsorships CNI has adopted a 2nd working name–“Center for Neurological Innovation”–to reflect its continued research efforts and initiatives.

More than 400 guests attended the April 21st Gala at CU South Denver which emphasized the Past, Present and Future. Staff recognition went to Ellen Belle, Debra Bandstra, Judith Stuckey, and Lorre Gibson. Special recognition went to more than three dozen individuals who have contributed to medical advances, research and community outreach during CNI’s 30 years of existence. Among founders and primary supporters recognized were:

Past Founders and Early Supporters:
Dr. Gary VanderArk
Mr. Nick Hilger
Dr. Peter Ricci
Dr. Paul Levisohn
Ms. Kay Phillips
Ms. Mary White
Charlie Ferguson
Don Johnson
Don Smith
Carol Greenwald
Chuck Siebert
Chris O’Brien
Trish Leavitt
LuAnne Williams
Dr. Rajeev Kumar

Present physicians, medical professionals and supporters:
LaFawn Biddle
Dr. Richard and Mrs. Linda VG Kelley
Dr. Cori Millen
Bill and Leslie Vollbracht
Drs. Allen and Diana Bowling
Dr. David Kelsall
ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter
Rick and Robin Fort
Dan Weyland

Future Innovators:
Dr. Alex Dietz
Suzanne Douthat Birkans
Kevin Schmidt, John Carlin, and Tom Palizzi
Dr. Charles Livsey
Dr. Lotta Granholm-Bentley
Jameson Smith
Kelly Corey
Dr. Adam Hebb
Dr. Eric Luppo

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, works to advance clinical trials into new treatments for MS, Parkinson’s and other brain and spinal conditions. Visit or call 303-788-4010 or email for more information or to volunteer or make a donation.

2018 Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala


“Tennis is mostly mental. You win or lose the match before you even go out there.”
– Venus Williams

Ask any tennis player and they will tell you that the game can be a challenging and demanding sport—but also exhilarating and fun. Unlike team sports, in tennis there are no coaches on the sidelines, timeouts, player substitutions or a 2-minute warning. You’re all alone—like boxing. So many environmental factors. Various court surfaces (asphalt, clay, grass), indoor or outdoor venues, mental distractions, and injuries. And, there’s no fixed period. The longest-ever pro tennis match was a grueling 11 hours; the shortest, 23 minutes. With all these variables, probably the worst scenario is an injury.

So, when Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the No 1 women’s doubles champ in 2017, suffered a knee injury at Wimbledon last spring, she immediately began strength training and a workout regimen for her goal of making a come back this year. Meanwhile, she serves as an ESPN commentator.

As the keynote speaker at the 18th annual Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala, held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, she recognized three Hall of Fame inductees, league champs and youth scholarship winners.

Mattek-Sands, 32, described her own story of setbacks and recovery over an 18-year pro career. “You’ll learn a lot about yourself on the court, and a lot of what I learned I’ve taken to my personal life,” said the 7-time Grand Slam champion.

The gala, held Friday, February 2, 2018, benefits the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation (CYTF), founded in 1961 by the USTA to develop the next generation of American tennis players. Mattek-Sands urged guest athletes to pursue physical and mental toughness, and to carry their sportsmanship, discipline, and self-motivation off the court.

USTA Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame inductees distinguished themselves through their dedication and contributions to the sport. Inductees are: Kellen Damico, Scott Davidoff, and Nancy Rudd Popof. Also recognized were Colorado high school state champions and USTA league teams that advanced to 2017 national championships.

Shelly St. John of the Auction Divas managed the live auction including a competitive bid for a customized racket used personally by Mattek-Sands for a match played at the French Open. Live music entertainment was provided by The Saddle Rockers.

Special thanks went to year-round support from: Subaru, Orthopedic Associates, Chipotle, MidFirst Bank, KIND, and Sprouts.

To learn more about the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame and download an application for the CYTF scholarships due March 1, 2018 visit:


Wings Over The Rockies' 2017 Spreading Wings Gala Honoring Flight For Life Colorado


This Veteran’s Day on Saturday, November 11th Wings Over The Rockies’ 2017 Spreading Wings Gala honored the courage, determination and sacrifice shown by the men and women of Flight For Life Colorado, celebrating its 45th anniversary of service through St. Anthony’s Hospital. This year’s Signature Sponsors were: Air Methods and Centura Health.

Lisa Wolf, James Reeman, Julie Schroeder

The evening– emceed by aviators Sean Tucker and Amelia Earhart–featured special stories of the rescuers and the rescued, guests representing first-responders, military, the aviation industry, and a showcase of the military’s relationship with Flight For Life. Wings also showcased two vintage helicopters—specifically the Huey and the Alouette–which were both vital to the formation and early success of Flight For Life Colorado.

President/CEO John Barry thanked donors and provided an overview of education programs and the history of Flight For Life Colorado. Originally founded in 1972, Flight For Life Colorado is the nation’s original air ambulance service and to-date they have transported more than 114,000 infants, children and adults.  Premier Sponsors this year were: Children’s Hospital Colorado, El Pomar Foundation, Craig Hospital, Gogo Business Aviation, and Textron Aviation.

Entertainment was provided by The Silhouettes, a unique entertainment company featured on “America’s Got Talent” TV show, which performed several dance and acrobatic routines to pay tribute to Flight For Life and veterans. For more information please visit the Wings web site:

Aurora Education Foundation Annual Gala


The 2017 Aurora Public Schools Foundation Annual Gala celebrated its 30th Anniversary this year to support the more than 50 Aurora public schools in a district comprised of multicultural APS students representing 130 countries.

The APS Foundation’s annual fundraiser was held Friday, Sept 22 at the Stanley Marketplace in northwest Aurora. The Foundation, originally established to collect school supplies and donations from the Aurora community, today raises scholarship funds and builds public-private partnerships to support high school students pursuing college degrees. Since its inception in 1987, the Aurora Public Schools Foundation has served to foster support of education within the Aurora Public School District by bringing together teachers, business-people, parents, alumni and community leaders.

Emcee Rick Crandall led the proceedings with comments from Board Chair Derek Rushing, Foundation Director Jay Grimm along with Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn, corporate sponsor representatives and scholarship recipients Veronica Lobatos and Andres Marquez.

“We are gratified to play a part in driving innovation and excellence for the students of Aurora Public Schools,” said APS Foundation Board Chair Derek Rushing. “We are thankful that CSU-Global is continuing to demonstrate one of its core values of collaboration by being a strong partner for our Foundation and school district through its title sponsorship of this event.”

Special thanks went to Title Sponsor Colorado State University Global Campus; Presenting Sponsor Kaiser Permanente; and National Honor Society Sponsors: Comcast, Delta Dental, Conoco Phillips, and UC Health.

“We are proud to partner with the Aurora Public Schools Foundation in support of their mission of providing students with the tools they need to pursue their goals after graduation,” said Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker, president and CEO of CSU-Global.

Since its founding 30 years ago the Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, assisted the district to access millions in philanthropic support, and now helps students through College and Career Centers set up to ensure that all students have access to the resources and guidance they need to plan for a successful future after high school. For more information visit:


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:



Chelsea Hutchison Foundation's Casino Royale Fundraiser


The Casino Royale Gala is the 8th Annual event benefiting the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation (CHF), a non-profit supporting individuals and families living with epilepsy, a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions.

The annual fundraiser was held Saturday, April 22 at the The Marriott Denver South in Lone Tree with emcee Deb Sheppard welcoming guests to the program followed by live auctioneer, Adam Kevil, and comments from Executive Director/Founder Julie Hutchison and board member Toni New. Speaker Jennifer Pressey thanked guests for their support and described how the organization guided and helped she and her husband cope directly with epilepsy in their family.

CHF is named after Chelsea Hutchison, who passed away April 19, 2009, at the age of 16 after suffering an epileptic seizure. Parents Julie and Doug Hutchison founded the organization to raise awareness of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) and use it to provide comfort and hope to individuals and families living with epilepsy. The organization helps provide monitoring devices to kids living with epilepsy and also funds response dogs which provide vital support such as calling for help, bringing emergency medication to the patient & bracing a fall.

Special thanks went to the gala committee: Lindsay Armstrong, Ashlee Baldwin, Stacie Bowman, Sam Dudley, Shellie Jacobucci; and to event volunteers: Doreen Christian, Kathy Erdman, Sara Foster, Michelle Gorbatjuk, Paula Padavic, Michelle Smith, and Mary Stone.

An estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide currently live with epilepsy. It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from prolonged seizures, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
To volunteer, make a donation or support CHF please visit or by email:

ArtReach 8th Annual Dine & D'Art Fundraiser


Thanks to hosts Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village, the 8th Annual ArtReach Dine & D’art held Friday, April 7 was a huge success in generating funds for the ArtReach mission of sharing visual and performing arts with youth, seniors and underserved Denver populations.

The mission of ArtReach is to “change lives through the arts” by providing access to arts and cultural experiences for underserved and at-risk people of all ages.

Executive Director Karla Johnson-Grimes and her team organized an exciting signature event featuring artworks donated by two dozen generous local Colorado artists. The auctioneer for the evening was Libby Pollack of The Auction Divas who inspired many donations for ArtReach programs including this year’s Summer Camp arts programs.

This year’s event featured various singers and belly dancers who performed individually and together as part of the evening entertainment. During the cocktail reception guests reviewed various artworks donated by local artists and then are given a limited time to select their favorite piece, including drawings, paintings, mixed media pieces and sometimes jewelry and sculptures.

Among the artists featured this year are: Julio Alejandro, Diana Andersen, Jonathan Applegate, Susan Bell, Christine Blackburn, Lynn Burnes, J. Michael Carr, D. Todd Clough, Lindsey Dechant, Connie Dines, Amy Dixon, Michael J. Dowling, Dan Ericson, Deb Mueller Hruza, Jack Estensoro, Julie Federico, Michelle Follett, Sherry Helmstaedter, Bronwen Jones, Lynda Knowles, Andrea Mallen, Ivadell Marie, Kelle Moder, Louise Nett, Kay Ray, Lyndsey Rosenberg, Chris Schranck, and Bruce Zander.

Johnson-Grimes thanked this year’s sponsors including: Jay’s Valet Parking, Peggy Brannick/Equity-Colorado Real Estate, Jackalope Artisan Fair, Prestige Estate Services, Frame de Art II, Design-A-Palooza, Source Four Interior Elements and  RayCreative Digital Design.

For more than four decades the non-profit ArtReach has provided art programming through its ticketing system to provide arts/cultural access to several underserved communities including senior citizens,  after-school art classes for Denver Public Schools as well as Camp ArtReach summer programs for kids. Each year ArtReach serves an opportunity for 35,000 individuals and families in the Denver metro community to experience Visual and Performing Arts.
For more information on how to volunteer, donate and support ArtReach please visit the web site at, call 303-4333-2882, ext. 752 or email Karla directly at





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

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:

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:

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:

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:


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:

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

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:

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:

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


"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 .

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


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

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: 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

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:, 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


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:

"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

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