The Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation 25th Anniversary Gala was a great success.  More than 600 attended CIHAD’s biggest annual event at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Convention Center. The Alvarado family was honored with the McHugh Award.  The McHugh Award, established in 2010, honors individuals for their exemplary efforts to level the playing field in education, as exhibited by Jerome and Anabel McHugh.

Robert Alvarado is the principal of Alvarado Holdings, LLC, a family owned business that operates Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in Colorado and other states.  Linda Alvarado is president and chief executive officer of Alvarado Construction Inc.

Through their tireless contributions – including Rob Alvarado’s commitment as a long-time board member of the organization – the family gives of their time, talents and treasures which enables CIHAD to continue providing a multi-year program of mentoring, academic assistance, life-skills development, cultural enrichment and scholarships to hundreds of students.

Alvarado Holdings, LLC was a presenting sponsor of the event.

The gala began with a cocktail reception and seated dinner. Thousands of dollars were raised by both silent and live auctions. The proceeds will benefit the Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation (CIHAD).

Since its founding in 1988, CIHAD has impacted the lives of 630 Dreamers through mentoring, academic enrichment services, social-emotional supports, global cultural exploration activities, experiential learning, community service projects, internship and corporate networking experiences, collegiate coaching, and tuition assistance for higher education. Dreamers are selected and adopted in the third grade and are provided these services up and through post-secondary pursuits. CIHAD envision Denver as a place that boasts a 100 percent high school graduation rate.

Major sponsors for CIHAD’s 25th Anniversary Gala include Alvarado Holdings, LLC, The IMA Financial Group, Inc., the Rob and Molly Cohen Family Foundation, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, Steven and Faye Demby, DaVita, Piton Foundation, Taco Bell Foundation, Byron and Lisa Haselden and Richard and Judy Weill.

Prudence Flores and Corey Wilson were CIHAD Summit Awards recipients. CIHAD Summit Awards presented to participants who have overcome even more obstacles than most of the Dreamers to achieve success.

Prudence Flores has been a member of the Helen M. McLoraine class of Dreamers since its inception in 2004 and will be graduating from CEC Middle College of Denver in May 2014. Flores’ dream since she was a young girl is to be a member of the armed forces and she has always hoped to attend the United States Air Force Academy – where she will be applying this fall.

A scholar and athlete, Corey Wilson has been a valued member of the McHugh Class since 2004.  Through the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Work IS Success summer internship program, Wilson earned an internship at Guaranty Bank, where his supervisors noted his professionalism and maturity.

The evening was full of entertainment, music, and stage performance by CIHAD Dreamers. Vocal performance was by Mary Louise Lee. Belen De Leon, 9News anchor was the emcee. Reggie Rivers, a former Denver Bronco, was the auctioneer.

Rachael Gazdick, CIHAD executive director thanked everyone for coming to the event and for their contribution and help.

“Every Child in city of Denver deserves access to high quality education. We should educate every student in our country to speak four or five languages.  Every child has this absolute potential,” said Rachael Gazdick. For more information, please visit:  www.cihadf.org