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:

Children's Hospital Gala Celebrates 40 Years of Success, Raises $2.4 Million


In 1977, “Three’s Company” was a hit TV show, smart phones were unheard of…and the first Children’s Hospital Colorado Gala was held in Denver. Fast-forward to September 2017, where the 40th anniversary celebration blended black-tie glam with down-home, boot-stompin’ entertainment by country-western duo Big & Rich. The evening’s program included skits and chats by three engaging Children’s Hospital patients-ambassadors, and a live auction allowed some big-hearted donors to make generous, on-the-spot contributions to the mission. Overall the event raised $2.4 million. Yee-haw!

The Bonicello group at the reception

On Sept. 23, around 1,300 Children’s Colorado supporters put on their fanciest Saturday-night duds and headed downtown to the Hyatt Regency Denver At Colorado Convention Center for an evening of food, fun and philanthropy. The evening began with a reception that offered appetizers galore, as well as a Love & Libations wall that allowed guests to make a donation and not only receive a mystery-prize envelope, but also have the opportunity to write a personal note to young patients at the hospital.

The program began with a welcome from the hospital’s president and CEO, Jena Hausmann, and Children’s foundation president and CEO, Steve Winesett, who introduced this year’s hosts, the Freyer Family: John, Sr., and wife Ginny, and John, Jr., and wife Andi. They were presented with a Children’s Hospital signature red wagon, dedicated with their family’s name as well as business Land Title Guarantee Company.

Commemorating the Freyer Family and Land Title Guarantee Company with a signature Children’s Colorado red wagon.

Emcee Steve Thomas talked about his tour at Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Anschutz campus location and led a spirited live auction that netted $150,000. Thomas was aided by three Children’s Ambassadors who are also patients: Carter, Savannah and Kaley. He told guests that the Ambassadors’ own fundraising efforts for the hospital are on track to total $20,000 in 2017. The three introduced fun-focused Big & Rich, who “Did It For The Party,” storming the stage with loud exuberance. Guests had to opportunity to kick up their heels, as well as indulge in after-dinner niceties at a reception outside the ballroom.

The crowd is wowed by Big & Rich. (Photo by Jensen Sutta)

Children’s Hospital Colorado sees more, treats more and heals more kids than any hospital in our seven-state region. Its medical professionals are experienced and forward-thinking when it comes to the latest methods for diagnosis and treatment. This translates into less invasive treatment, less time and less stress on children and families. The hospital’s specially trained pediatric experts recognize that families are partners as they deliver family-centered care. With a very family-friendly facility, it’s easier for parents and siblings to be involved in the day-to-day medical, emotional and social needs of their child. From 100 percent private patient rooms to healing color therapy and views of nature, every detail of Children’s Hospital Colorado was built to help kids get better faster and reduce stress on the whole family. To learn more, please visit:

Children’s Ambassadors Carter, Savannah and Kaley

Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation was established in 1978 and is dedicated solely to advancing the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado. Every dollar received is used to further the Children’s Hospital mission of caring for and curing children through the provision of high-quality care, education, research and advocacy. Donor support helps expand the hospital’s reach nationally and internationally and makes Children’s Colorado one of the world’s preeminent institutions of medicine and science. A donation of $150 can provide a guitar for The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at the Pediatric Mental Health Institute to help kids cope and express themselves. And $250 can provide two weeks’ worth of meals and transportation services for a family while in the hospital. For more information, please visit:

SAVE THE DATE: 2018 Children’s Colorado Gala is Sept. 29. Tickets generally sell out a month before the event.

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:


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:

Beaux Arts Ball Celebrates 20 Years With Revolutionary Flair


When you’re one of the most prolific fundraising events in town—one that typically raises $2 million—how do you celebrate your own 20th anniversary? This year’s Beaux Arts Freedom Ball rose to the occasion, infusing its annual big, bold bash with American Revolution spirit, to the delight of 1,200 guests—all supporters of the programs and services of beneficiary National Jewish Health. The evening included Broadway-worthy performances drawn from “Hamilton,” including costumed dancers, singers, rappers and flag-wavers, along with a dance-inducing live band. And that was just the call to dinner.

Spirit of ’76

On Saturday, Feb. 25, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum was transformed into a Colonial village for a cocktail reception full of period décor, live characters from “Hamilton,” servers in Paul Revere hats … all with red, white and blue touches, of course. One side of the room was bordered by a floor-to-ceiling tarp, hiding the dining area. Just after 7 p.m., it was dramatically lowered after a song-and-dance presentation, and guests followed performers to their seats. Several partygoers hit the dance floor with the Bobby Attiko Band blaring out a musical invitation, even as dinner service was beginning.

John and Carrie Morgridge, recipients of this year’s Arthur B. Lorber Award for Distinguished Service

Board chair Blair Richardson began the program singling out well-known people in the audience, including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Ken Salazar. Honorary chair Barry Hirschfeld was recognized onstage, and Michael Salem, M.D., president and CEO, talked about National Jewish Health’s singular programs and services. Carrie and John Morgridge were recognized as recipients of the 2017 Arthur B. Lorber Award for Distinguished Service. The couple are vice president and president, respectively, of the Morgridge Family Foundation, which has supported major projects at NJH, as well as other noted Denver institutions. The award is the highest honor bestowed by National Jewish Health, and recognizes individuals who show leadership that has impacted the reputation, service science or mission of the institution. This year’s grand marshals were recognized from the stage: Debbie and Michael Feiner, Cathey and Richard Finlon, Mary Lou Blackledge Kortz and Donald Kortz, and Julie and Brent Morse.

The Bobby Attiko Band kept everyone dancing before and after the dinner program.

A live auction segment with auctioneer Christian Kolberg included a trio of package experiences: Bon Jovi and Faith Hill/Tim McGraw concerts, a trip to the CMA Awards in Nashville and an ultra-luxe excursion to Napa Valley. At the program’s conclusion, guests had the opportunity to once again take over the dance floor to kick up their heels, urged on by the Bobby Attiko until the building had to lock its doors.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, NJH today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and a treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and their families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge comprehensive, coordinated care.

Salem writes: “Through your participation in this event, you share in (NJH) success, ensuring that important programs continue to transform lives, our scientists make groundbreaking discoveries to cure diseases and our physicians can care for all patients regardless of ability to pay. At National Jewish Health, we are focused on innovation and the future. The work we do today will shape health care tomorrow. And the future of patient care lies with the kinds of teamwork for which we are known. Pulmonologists consult with rheumatologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists and allergists to make the right diagnoses and to develop a complete picture and plan for their patients. As a result, we diagnose diseases earlier and we also focus on prevention and precision medicine.

“We would appreciate the opportunity to show you in person what makes National Jewish Health the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Please let us know if you are interested in a Behind the Scenes visit.” For more information, please visit

Colorado Ballet Firebird Gala Features Vivid Performances


Like the song says, “everything is beautiful at the ballet,” and it was epitomized by this year’s Colorado Ballet Firebird Gala. Moving dance performances, colorful décor, a sincere tribute to artistic director Gil Boggs, sumptuous food and beverages, and after-dinner dancing onstage at Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Each is a distinctive experience on its own. But everything combined into one evening? It was a fundraiser to remember.

Ballet mistress/choreographer Sandra Brown, with husband Gil Boggs, artistic director

The evening began with a cocktail reception at Chambers Grant Salon, before guests took their seats inside the theatre. There, after a short welcome from Boggs and Mayor Michael Hancock, they were treated to the dancing talent of Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov with Firebird Pas de Deux. Their lyrical performance was a bittersweet moment, as both confirmed onstage afterward that this is their last year. The anticipated debut of ARROW Five Years Out followed, as 10 dynamic dancers performed the work choreographed by Sandra Brown.

Maria Mosina

Gala chair Denise Sanderson presided over a tribute to Boggs, honoring his first 10 years of guiding the success and growth of the Colorado Ballet as artistic director. Boggs was surprised onstage by family members from Atlanta, who traveled to Denver for the gala. A live auction, run by Doug Tisdale, included unique items such as a private dinner for 10 prepared by renowned Denver chef Frank Bonanno, as well as a stunning portrait of Maria Mosina, created by Darrell Anderson. After a paddle raise featuring generous donors, guests adjourned outside for a sumptuous dinner prepared by Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House. The evening ended with dancing on the Ellie stage with DJ Larry.

Reps from presenting sponsor ARROW Electronics

Gala chair Sanderson wrote: “Many of our dancers’ careers have been made possible through scholarship opportunities that allowed them to pursue their dreams to become professional dancers. Increased support of our Academy Scholarship Fund will help the next generation of dancers reach their potential as well.

With the mission of Every.Body.Dance, Colorado Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement department is our hidden gem. Far-ranging programs serve in-need students, teachers, families, people with disabilities and lifelong learners in Colorado. Student matinees have always been one of my favorites – imagine the Ellie Caulkins Opera House filled with 2,000 energetic and excited students, many of whom are experiencing their first live performance. One first-grade student commented to his teacher: “This is way better than TV!”

For schools that lack funds for transportation or that are located in rural areas precluding a field trip to Denver, Colorado Ballet has begun an innovative program to live stream performances directly to the classroom, thereby removing barriers to experiencing the arts.

Increasing the capacity of community engagement and opportunities for Academy students to be supported by scholarships are two ways Colorado Ballet is planning for the future – Five Years Out, as ARROW says. I hope you will reach deep and support these outstanding programs…” For more information on the Colorado Ballet, its programs and donor opportunities, please visit:

17th Annual Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala


When USTA Colorado honors its own, the event goes beyond an awards ceremony and live auction. It’s all about the tennis family sharing a great meal, along with stories of athleticism, integrity and generosity … and it concludes with a kick-up-your-heels party to cap off the evening. Anyone who still thinks tennis is an elitist sport should consider the guests at this year’s Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala, who represented the continuing growth of the game’s participants, spanning age, gender, ethnicity and physical ability. Throughout the event, guests and speakers expressed that in participating in tennis, they learn more than sports skill sets, but also acquire positive life skills. Game. Set. Match.

Hall of Fame inductees, Class of 2016 (l to r): Don Willsie, Dennis Ralston and Dave Benson

On Friday, Jan. 20, more than 400 tennis aficionados gathered at the Marriott Denver Tech Center to celebrate the induction of four luminaries into its Hall of Fame: Dave Benson, Mary Jane Metcalf Donnalley (whose posthumous award was accepted by her granddaughter Eryn), Dennis Ralston and Don Willsie. Others were honored for their feats on the court, from winning a national title to exhibiting sportsmanship and grace during competition. Off-the-court good deeds were singled out as well, from coaching underserved youth to promoting the game. Vicky Matarazzo received special recognition for her work coaching Special Olympics athletes.

USTA Colorado board member Angela Finan, with Lew Sowell

Andy Zodin and Christine Chang served as co-emcees for the awards program, and auctioneer Shelly St. John revved up the crowd during a live auction that included an opening and a closing weekend at the 2017 U.S. Open. Two high bidders were able to jump on the special opportunity. The evening ended with a lively after-party to the sounds of Saddle Rock.

Dollars raised at the annual gala benefit the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation (a fundraising arm of USTA Colorado), which promotes the physical, emotional and social development of all youth to aspire to become active, productive and responsible citizens. The organization strives to put a tennis racket into the hands of any child who wants to learn and participate in the game. USTA Intermountain Colorado has been promoting the growth and development of tennis since 1955, and support of the CYTF enables USTA Colorado help create the next generation of tennis players in the state. The Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame display is permanently housed on the first floor of Gates Tennis Center in Cherry Creek, in Denver, and is open to the public during normal hours of operation for the center. For more information, and to read bios of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, please visit:

JFS Celebrates 38 Years With Iconic Yana, Raises $1.1 Million


You have to be extra-special to be known by one name—and to earn an exclamation point…well, that’s reserved for only a revered few. Over the span of a five-hour period during her farewell gala, retiring Jewish Family Service President and CEO Yana Vishnitsky heard Gov. John Hickenlooper declare Dec. 10, 2016 as Yana Vishnitsky Day in Colorado, and received the proclamation and the flag that flew over the State Capitol. She also was presented with an exquisite, custom award from JFS, received a standing ovation from 600 supporters and was told that the local headquarters will now be called the Yana Vishnitsky Administration Center. The celebration began in earnest after she was hoisted onto the chair prior to dancing the Hora with celebrating guests.

This scene was repeated throughout the reception as guests flocked to greet honoree Yana Vishnitsky.

This scene was repeated throughout the reception as guests flocked to greet honoree Yana Vishnitsky.

A must-attend event that took the place of the organization’s annual Real Hope holiday fundraiser, Yana! A Farewell Celebration was held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. The gala, full of warmth, sincerity and fun, not only celebrated Yana’s 38 years of service to JFS, but also became the organization’s first million-dollar fundraiser, with a $1.1 million tally.

Yana’s retirement tribute began with a cocktail reception and red-carpet entrance, plus lively strings sounds by Spinphony. Guests had the opportunity for their own red-carpet photo experience before the Cossack Men dancers led everyone into the Centennial Ballroom for a casually elegant dinner setting served family style. Those who spoke onstage included: board chair Jane E. Rosenbaum, Rabbi Steven Foster, new JFS president and CEO Shepard Nevel, event co-chairs Geri and Meyer Saltzman, co-chair Andy Miller who took the mic to describe Gov. Hickenlooper’s “Yana Day” proclamation, and a short talk by Yana’s cousin Robyn Tsesarksy.

The Cossack Men performance had everyone grabbing their phone for photos.

The Cossack Men performance had everyone grabbing their phone for photos.

Yana urged the crowd to donate freely, especially with a matching-funds gift to $100,000 donated by Elaine and Max Appel. After Yana accepted the JFS award and spoke to the crowd, she was hoisted onto the chair before a spirited Hora dance. The evening ended with dancing and desserts, and guests were each given a bottle of Russian vodka to take home as a memento.

Jewish Family Service of Colorado believes in strengthening the community by providing vital services to people in need. Every day, JFS helps people overcome life’s challenges to live fuller, more meaningful lives. Founded in 1872, JFS is a nonsectarian, nonprofit human services agency serving metro Denver and Boulder. The organization helps seniors live independently at home, provides quality mental health counseling, offers training and job placement to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other people with barriers to employment, and provides food and financial aid to people in crisis. Every year, the agency benefits nearly 25,000 people of all ages, faiths and incomes. Its mission: To enhance well-being to those in need throughout the greater Denver community by delivering services based on Jewish values.

Yana Vishnitsky and granddaughter Zoe

Yana Vishnitsky and granddaughter Zoe

Jewish Family Service is recognized as a premier human services agency serving metro Denver and Boulder by providing innovative and professionally delivered services that empower participants to overcome difficult challenges and live fuller, more meaningful lives. JFS exists to fulfill one of the most important Jewish values: that of Tikkun Olam, the obligation to make the world a better place. For more information, please visit:

Yana was interviewed by KOA Radio about her incredible story immigrating from the former Soviet Union to Denver via JFS. For the link to that broadcast, please visit JFS on Facebook:

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:

Susan Ford Bales Highlights SSF's 40th Anniversary Gala


In 1976, the United States was celebrating its bicentennial year with patriotic pride (and some disco fever), led by President Gerald Ford and the nation’s First Family. At the same time in Denver, Stout Street Foundation, a comprehensive addiction-treatment center, was opening its doors to serve the recovery community. For Stout Street Foundation’s 40th anniversary gala, there was no better choice for a keynote speaker than Susan Ford Bales.

There were lots of hugs at the VIP reception.

There were lots of hugs at the VIP reception.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, nearly 400 supporters, all dressed to the nines, headed to Infinity Park Event Center for an uplifting evening displaying the reality, courage and successes of recovery from addiction. The evening began with a VIP reception with Susan Ford Bales, and as people continued to arrive, hugs and warm greetings multiplied all over the building. Guests had the opportunity to bid on an array of niceties at a silent auction table that remained busy from open till close.

An uplifting dinner program emceed by Joe Bevilacqua featured a short video covering 40 years of history and personal success stories at Stout Street Foundation, followed by one program graduate who spoke to the crowd summing up his own experience. Board chair Joe Girardi addressed the crowd and President/CEO Christopher Conway read two letters of hope and gratitude from a program resident’s 9-year-old daughter—one to her dad, the second to the venue.

Margaret McConnellogue (left) and Sara James

Margaret McConnellogue (left) and Sara James

Susan Ford Bales had the crowd riveted as she spoke with emotion about her beloved mother Betty Ford’s battles with both breast cancer as well as addiction, along with its impact on the family. She detailed Ford’s journey of addiction recovery, beginning with the family’s initial intervention. Bales told the crowd her mom (who passed on in 2011 from natural causes) would expect nothing less than a completely candid account of the experience, and she was happy to comply, especially if it would help even one person. Bales has gone on to numerous philanthropic and community-service endeavors, including work as ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and serving on the board of directors for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Teri Smith, vice president of development, vividly showed the audience an exercise in the infectious, positive power of recovery that had everyone on their feet. A group of lucky guests won prizes in on-stage drawings, and the evening ended with guests kicking up their heels to dance music and catching up with friends.

(l to r): Dave Spieth, Father Tom Dowd and Derek Espinosa

(l to r): Dave Spieth, Father Tom Dowd and Derek Espinosa

Stout Street Foundation was incorporated in 1976 by Bradley R. Lucero Jr., Lillian Potter and Jim Doyle. Lucero was in a halfway house in Denver when his good friend, Father Tom Dowd, recommended he visit a long-term drug and alcohol therapeutic community in California called Delancy Street. Impressed by what the program offered, Lucero set out to open his own version of a therapeutic community. From the start, Stout Street adopted the motto of “People Helping People Help Themselves.” Over the years SSF has grown and expanded from a small house in Denver on Stout Street with just a handful of residents to a newly refurbished hotel in Commerce City accommodating more than 125 residents in a self-contained community. Stout Street Foundation’s mission is to provide a supportive therapeutic community for addicts and alcoholics to help them help themselves so they may return to society as recovering, productive and responsible citizens. For more information on Stout Street’s array of programs and services, please visit, or call 303-321-2533.

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:

2016 Children's Gala Raises $1.9 Million


Big Head Todd and the Monsters may have drawn in some of the guests, but an inspiring program featuring an engaging family turned the focus squarely on Children’s Hospital Colorado. Since it began 39 years ago, Children’s Gala has been known for outstanding entertainment, thoughtful insights and generous hearts, and this year was no exception. 9News anchor Cheryl Preheim and her family shared their positive experiences at Children’s Colorado, describing with grace and gratitude son Josh’s open-heart surgery and baby Joseph’s week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There were laughs, too, as Joseph grabbed the mic and continually marveled at balloons on the ceiling. Men around the room could relate as three-point basketball shooter Josh sheepishly admitted that maybe tux-wearing was a tad uncomfortable.

Big Head Todd, a photo opp and a big smile say it all.

Big Head Todd, a photo opp and a big smile say it all.

At the Hyatt Regency Denver (Colorado Convention Center), 1,400 guests began the evening with an elaborate reception that featured a silent auction, martini bar, appetizers galore and musical entertainment by The Beaus. Guests had the opportunity to donate a Bummer Bear to Children’s Colorado patients, and for a $100 donation could also select an envelope with a hidden surprise and the added bonus of sending an encouraging personal message to youngsters treated at the hospital. After a sit-down dinner, Children’s Colorado president and CEO, Jena Hausmann, and Steve Winesett, the foundation’s president and CEO, told guests about the praiseworthy work of the hospital. They were followed by event co-hosts Denise O’Leary and Kent Thiry, who spoke about their own personal experiences with Children’s Colorado. Preheim’s family charmed the entire building with their real-life success stories at the hospital, and Cheryl showed guests son Josh’s “Brave Conquers Fear” t-shirts, which the family plans to deliver to Children’s Colorado patients.

2016 gala co-hosts Kent Thiry and Denise O'Leary

2016 gala co-hosts Kent Thiry and Denise O’Leary

Karen Sorbo presided over a live auction that featured four coveted merchandise and entertainment enticements, and bountiful bids on those packages spilled over into more on-the-spot, high-dollar donations. All in all, the 2016 fundraiser garnered about $1.9 million for Children’s Hospital Colorado, adding to the previous $34 million total raised at galas over the past 39 years. Guests celebrated with a spirited concert by Colorado’s own Big Head Todd and the Monsters, followed up with tunes by DJ LO. Coffee, after-dinner drinks and sweet treats were served just outside the ballroom at evening’s end.

Children’s Hospital Colorado has defined and delivered pediatric health care excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually acknowledged as one of the nation’s outstanding pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and ranked on its Best Children’s Hospitals 2016-17 Honor Roll, Children’s Colorado is known for both its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research, education and advocacy programs, as well as comprehensive everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. The hospital’s family-centered, collaborative approach combines the nation’s top pediatric doctors, nurses and researchers to pioneer new approaches to pediatric medicine, providing treatment for a full spectrum of pediatric specialties. For more information, please visit and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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

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


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


CNI Spotlight on Hope Awards at Ritz-Carlton


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

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

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

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

This year’s honored guests were:

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

One Great Evening: Gatsby and Kenny G

Volunteers Lupe Reyther and Julie Collett cooed over the opportunity to see Kenny G. And tonight was their night! The artist would soon take the stage as the headline performer at Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation’s 35th annual Heart of Hearts Gala. Wings Over the Rockies proved the perfect venue for the Gatsby-themed celebration. Indeed, it was a party that could have been thrown by Gatsby himself.

“It’s all exciting,” said Laura Fitch, Director of Events for RMAHF/Centura Health, who was celebrating her 12th gala. “Every year it gets better and better. There is so much open space here. It’s a huge canvas on which to design the event.”

Go big is easily done at Wings, providing ample room to mix, mingle and decorate. Dramatically tall centerpieces and palm trees filled in the dining area, while the large stage fit the big sound that came from Spinphony, a band of four super-model beautiful virtuosic string players and their DJ. The women rocked violins and a cello, thus earning their description of offering an “elegant, high energy, rock, classical, pop” mix of music. Guests enjoyed naming the artists the band took on: Britney Spears, Pharell Williams, Pachelbel’s Canon, and Led Zeppelin, to name only a few. The Hewit Charitable Trust generously signed on as the evening’s Double Platinum Heart Sponsor and Entertainment Sponsor.

Prior to music there was mystery. The Mystery Boxes proved a popular fundraising draw as guest paid $50, $125 or $250 to pick a box tied to a hidden surprise.

“Sometimes we give people clues, which is fun for all of us,” said RMAHF Director of Annual Giving Cheryl Torres with a playful grin. “If someone hints they’d really like to find jewelry I casually say, ‘Maybe you want to pick from over there,’” referencing a particular spot amongst the nearly 100 boxes. Along with the mystery boxes, the silent auction table beckoned bidders with options on spa days, an array of tools, and other personal high-end items. After individuals claimed their reward, they could “Gift Check” it so they didn’t need to find room around their seat. “This is a great perk,” said one smiling patron handing over an enormous bundled basket.

Lynn and Dr. David Ehrenberger were honored with The Henry M. Porter Award. They are a dynamic duo in medicine. For more than a decade, the pair worked with the Centura Global Health Initiative (GHI) and established “Medicine in Motion,” a mobile clinic providing primary care services to homeless families in Westminster. Their work with GHI has focused on yearly medical mission trips to the Peruvian Amazon basin with teams of Centura associates, nurses and providers. Lynn continues to work at Avista, in both pre-surgical testing and as an employee health nurse, and is on the Avista Adventist Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Over the past 15 years David has gradually transitioned from private practice to various leadership roles within Centura and, since 2004, he has been the Chief Medical Officer at both Avista and Integrated Physician Network.

The funds raised at the gala support the continued development of the unique breast cancer programs at Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals. The funds also will be used to provide continued access to all men and women for high quality breast cancer screenings as well as diagnosis and treatment. Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and one in 1,000 men will be diagnosed. Nearly 40,000 of those people will die from the disease. Next to lung cancer, breast cancer is the most deadly form of cancer for women.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation is to raise funds, manage assets, invest endowment funds to maximize their value and administer gift fund accounts in accordance with the donors’ wishes for Avista, Littleton, Parker, & Porter Hospitals and for Porter Hospice.




Spreading Wings Gala 2015: Honoring the Legacy of Apollo 13


This 2015 Spreading Wings Gala honored the Apollo 13 astronauts and Flight Director Gene Kranz and recognized several other astronauts and aviators at the annual signature event held November 14 at Wings Over the Rockies Museum at Lowry.

Emcee and Aviatrix Amelia Earhart of 9News welcomed some 800 guests and oversaw a live auction during the evening with music provided by Spinphony, a 5-member pop fusion string group. Guests heard the story of NASA’s finest hours in overcoming challenges and reaffirming America’s destiny to explore space.

Wings Over the Rockies President/CEO Greg Anderson and board member John Barry, CEO of Denver Metro Boys & Girls Clubs, thanked the crowd for their support and provided an update of new construction of the Exploration of Flight facility to be built at the Centennial Airport in Englewood and have experience- and flight-based activities, including a “tower of flight” and four levels of observation decks.

Jeppesen CEO Mark Van Tine introduced aerobatics pilot Sean Tucker, who later in the evening oversaw a question and answer session with Apollo 13 Flight Director Gene Kranz and Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise. Near the stage stood a replica statue of their Apollo 13 comrade Jack Swigert, who passed away of cancer in 1982.

The Apollo 13 mission was commanded by James Lovell with Jack Swigert serving as Command Module Pilot and Fred Haise as Lunar Module Pilot. It was intended to be the third moon landing for the US. The spacecraft launched on April 11, 1970, at 1:13 Central Time from Kennedy Space Center but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later making a moon landing impossible. Thanks to the training, quick thinking, ingenuity and perseverance of those in Houston and in space, the astronauts returned to earth safely on April 17, 1970.

Gene Kranz’s infamous words of “Failure is not an option” pretty much exemplified Houston mission control’s efforts to rescue the astronauts who were losing oxygen after an oxygen canister exploded well into the spaceflight. As told in books and a popular movie the three astronauts used the lunar module as a lifeboat and improvised objects within the spacecraft to help filter carbon dioxide and maintain a dwindling supply of battery life to function.

Guests were shown movie clip moments from the 1995 “Apollo 13” movie with astronauts Lovell and Haines and Kranz recounting their thoughts and feelings during those stressful days.

Through Saturday, February 13, 2016, Wings Over the Rockies will be hosting the Apollo XIII exhibit which honors the legacy of the Apollo XIII mission through a vivid, historic journey of artifacts and pictures selected by curator Matthew Burchette and research librarians. Items include a battery charger and a 70mm Hasselblad film magazine flown on the Apollo XIII mission and many artifacts from the Apollo XIII movie starring Tom Hanks. The exhibit is free for Wings Members but General admission rates apply for non-members.

For more information visit

Bright by 3 - Goodnight Moon


Over the Moon

For twenty years Bright by Three (formerly Colorado Bright Beginnings) has been helping parents and other loving caregivers of babies and toddlers ages 0-3.

This year’s 20th Anniversary Goodnight Moon Gala was a celebration to recognize the success in the community and the on-going efforts of Denver’s bright babies who benefit from Bright by Three. The Denver organization has strived to make parenting less stressful and small children happy since 1995.

Thanks to many in the last 25 years, especially Brad Butler and Roy & Bea Romer, who believed that learning begins on the first day of life. Children throughout Colorado have been set on a path to successful learning and living as their parents learn the importance of good nutrition, health care, developmental stages and language development; talking and reading, beginning at day one.  The funds raised through donations have reached nearly 250,000 families annually. Bright by Three works through visits bringing parents books, resources and support to succeed in the most important job they will ever have.

Dr. Christopher Ott received the Community Leadership Award for his dedicated goal of working with at-risk families

Dr. Stephen Berman, known for his contributions to pediatric education, has been an integral cog in the wheel of Bright by Three since its beginnings, formerly known as Colorado Bright Beginnings.

The evening was a dreamy event for the hundreds of supporters who gathered at the Seawell Ballroom. The ballroom created a Peter Pan moment with twinkling stars, a full moon backdrop with subtle lighting to recreate a time-for-bed closeness for a little one’s sweet dreams.

Auctioneer Don Martin lead the live auction while guests planned their next vacations and outings with exciting auction items such as the Dr. Scott Dinosaur Tour, Weekend at Bernie’s, Italian Evening of Eight, the Wine Cellar (stocked with wine from the Board of Directors), A night at the Four Seasons Hotel with Colorado Symphony tickets, Nuggets Tickets, Aspen Weekend Package, Log Home Retreat, Vail Summer Escape and many more.

The evening wrapped with music and dancing by Homeslice – after all the children were put to bed.

Bright by Three is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization that provides parents and caregivers of children aged 0-3, with the tools needed to promote a child’s readiness for lifelong learning and success. To learn more about BB3, visit their website,