Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation definitely knows how to generate some basketball “madness” in May with its annual Hoops Fest, a 3-on-3 tournament fundraiser. Organizers could have stopped there with a fast-paced, round-robin contest, but instead also added niceties such as pre-game Denver Nuggets Dancers entertainment, a silent auction geared to b-ball fans and a DJ cranking out tunes nonstop. Add in the awards ceremony and post-tournament pizza-with-Left Hand Beer mixer, and it’s no wonder that the third annual event continues to grow.

Going for two!

On Friday, May 12, about 20 teams of six players took to the courts at Gold Crown Fieldhouse in Lakewood for a half-court tournament that crowned champs in both a competitive and a co-ed amateur division. The competition was fierce but friendly, and friends and family were able to attend to cheer on their favorite players and teams. A short pre-game program featured remarks from Sheri Muilenburg, director of special events, as well as from Peter Calamari, who co-chaired the event with his wife Cristen. Children’s Colorado ambassadors Joe Wren and Tyler Crawford were on hand as well—Tyler spoke to the crowd and Joe sang the national anthem. The four-hour event ended with tournament awards and a happy hour celebration.

Event co-chairs Peter and Cristen Calamari

In 1978, Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation was formally established as a separate charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated solely to advancing the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Children’s Colorado Foundation has three purposes: to educate and engage with the community on the hospital’s behalf, to fund-raise for the hospital, and to steward funds raised for children and families who need Children’s Colorado. The Foundation operates on the belief that all children should have the chance for a healthy future, and is committed to community engagement and facilitating philanthropic support on behalf of the children and families Children’s Colorado serves. To learn more, go to: http://www.childrenscoloradofoundation.org/.

(l to r): Jens Goebel, M.D.; Joe Wren and Gil Peri, senior VP at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Goebel is Joe’s doc at the Children’s Colorado kidney center.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is an extraordinary place. “Here, it’s different,” is the message delivered on its website. “With an optimist’s outlook, a pioneer’s hunger and a celebrated history, it is creating the future of child health … There’s magic in our energy, our spaces, our people and our discoveries. There’s even magic in our motivation: our unblinking belief that we can eradicate childhood disease — so that one day, like magic, children will no longer need us.” For more information about what makes Children’s Hospital Colorado different, please visit: https://www.childrenscolorado.org/.