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9News Meteorologist and Winner of 2015 “Dancing with the Anchors” Mirror Ball Trophy Danielle Grant and her Arthur Murray partner Michael. Photo courtesy of From the Hip Photo
Submitted by Murri Bishop
The Highlands Ranch Mansion was the setting, Oct. 24, for the 2015 Anchor Center for Blind Children’s “Dancing with the Anchors” competition. Guests enjoyed cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres prior to the glitzy opening of the show. Heather Cameron, new executive director, welcomed the capacity crowd and in return was warmly welcomed in her new role by staff and new and seasoned supporters of Anchor Center.
Marty Coniglio, 9News Meteorologist and 2011 “Dancing with the Anchors” grand champion, emceed the event. Eight news and media personalities and their professional Arthur Murray dance partners spent months choreographing, practicing and polishing routines that spanned various dances, including tango, waltz, cha-cha and hip hop.
Dance teams included private pilot and former news anchor Amelia Earhart and Patrick, CBS4 morning anchor Britt Moreno and Michael, 9News meteorologist Danielle Grant and Michael, 7News anchor Dayle Cedars and Morris, CBS4 meteorologist Dave Aguilera and Sarah, 7News anchor Eric Kahnert and Sari, 9News reporter Johnathon Gonzalez and Nicki, and 9News Steve Staeger and Megan.
To amp up the competition each team accepted the challenge to set a fundraising goal. For weeks teams utilized all means to drum up support. Individual donations counted as votes. Friends, family and colleagues were asked to support a team’s participation and invited to attend to watch the spirited dance performances. The audience also casted votes for their favorites.
While the votes were being tallied, special guest speakers Megan and Scot McMorris delivered a moving account of their journey as Anchor parents. Their infant daughter Louise is loved, cherished and nurtured by the capable and skilled staff of Anchor Center. Next, the professional Arthur Murray dancers provided entertainment with several dance exhibitions to the delight of the audience.
Finally, Coniglio took the stage once more to announce the winners. There was a drumroll and many held their breath. 9News Meteorologist and Anchor Danielle Grant and her dance partner Michael won the coveted mirror ball trophy and bragging rights with the highest overall fundraising total. Grant’s beautiful dance gown, winning smile and excellent dance technique complemented her grand champion title. “Most Entertaining” awards were presented to the top two teams. Winning first place was 7News Anchor Dayle Cedars and her dance partner with an “Elvis” inspired dance. Dave Aquilera, CBS4 meteorologist, and his dance partner took second place with an M.C. Hammer routine. It might have also been the gold lame harem pants that clinched it.
Mary Naslund was the lucky winner of two VIP tickets to the upcoming live Season 21 finale of Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles. This once-in-a lifetime experience was generously donated by 7News. Vebo was the presenting sponsor. EKS&H, Arthur Murray, Poppy and Pine, Gigi’s Cupcakes and Professional Touch Laundry Service were also Anchor partners for the event.
All monies raised support Anchor Center’s mission of providing early intervention, educational and therapeutic services for children with visual impairments from birth to five years. Anchor provides a nurturing, teaching environment for families, enabling visually impaired children to reach their highest potential. Anchor was founded in 1982 by a librarian from the Colorado Library for the Blind and the local Delta Gamma Alumnae chapter. The first group of children included four preschoolers and six homebound infants. Today more than 400 children are served each year.
Kerry Musfeld, Board president; Curt Brown, “Dancing with the Anchors” event chair; and Heather Cameron, Anchor Center for Blind Children executive director. Photo courtesy of From the Hip Photo
Private pilot and former anchor Amelia Earhart and her Arthur Murray partner Patrick. Photo courtesy of Julie McCready
7News Anchor and 1st place winner of “Most Entertaining Award” Dayle Cedars and her Arthur Murray partner Morris. Photo courtesy of From the Hip Photo
Michelle Reeb, and Anchor Board members Marlo Naumer and Doug Reeb. Photo courtesy of Murri Bishop
CBS4 Meteorologist and 2nd place winner of “Most Entertaining Award” Dave Aguilera and his Arthur Murray partner Sarah. Photo courtesy of Murri Bishop
The lights will twinkle, Christmas trees will sparkle, wreaths will adorn doors, and tables will be set with holiday dinnerware, when the 39th L’Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour opens the doors in Denver’s Country Club neighborhood on Nov. 20 and 21. This fundraising event, organized by the Central City Opera Guild, signals the start of the holiday season for Denverites. The two-day walking tour will feature five homes decorated for the holidays by Denver’s florists and table designers. Homes will be open each day of the tour from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The historic Denver Country Club neighborhood was developed in the early 1900s by the Denver Realty Company on 240 acres between the already established Capitol Hill area and the town of Harmon, now known as Cherry Creek North. The company hired one of Denver’s prominent architects, William Ellsworth Fisher, to create a plan for the establishment of a country club and nearby grand homes. Country Club Place was the first area to be developed, with Fisher-designed Spanish style gates marking the entrances on Fourth Avenue at High, Gilpin and Franklin streets. Each property faced a wide median with heavy landscaping, and homes were to be built on a grand scale.
Participating designers and florists include Celebrated Gatherings, City Floral, Flower Power, The Twisted Tulip, Swank Stems, Hutch & Fig, The Lark and The Stationery Company.
Attendees at the annual Patron Party will have the only opportunity to view the homes in the evening hours. On Friday, Nov. 20, Patron Party guests will tour the homes, 6 – 7:30 p.m., and then will enjoy cocktails and a buffet at the Denver Country Club. Tickets for the Patron Party are $250 for benefactors, $150 for patrons and $90 for junior patrons (age 35 and younger) and are available through invitation or may be purchased through Central City Opera by calling Alicia Holt Corliss at 303-331-7014.
Coldwell Banker Devonshire is the presenting sponsor for the home tour and is joined by media sponsors The Denver Post, The Villager, Colorado Expression Magazine and Country Club Neighborhood Living magazine.
All the funds raised by L’Esprit de Noël support Central City Opera’s programs, including the Summer Festival, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, the historic preservation of the properties in Central City, and its education and community engagement programs.
This tour is a lovely way to kick off the holiday season, and perhaps it will inspire you to refresh your holiday décor. For more information or to purchase discounted ($23) tour tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org/lesprit. Tickets will also be available at all area King Soopers stores for $25 or at the homes on tour dates for $25. For a preview of the homes on the tour, links to the sponsors and participating florists and table designers, visit www.lesprithometour.com.
Selian Hospice Director Elizabeth Makule shares a laugh with John Horan at “An Evening for Selian: A Tribute to John Horan” event, Oct. 2. Courtesy photo
BY TOM BARRY
John Horan, a Denver native, talks the talk and walks the walk.
“Gentleman John” has now attained public recognition for his plentiful efforts in the metropolitan area and in a country more than 9,000 nautical miles away, Tanzania.
On Oct. 2, a packed room filled Bogey’s in City Park for “An Evening for Selian: A Tribute to John Horan.”
The event raised $50,000 to support the Selian Hospice in Tanzania.
“Namayani Loiloile, a physician’s assistant visiting from the Selian Hospice in Africa, was addressing the gathering, and then suddenly she broke down and she was unable to speak, unable to say anything more.” said Horan, president and CEO of Horan & McConaty Funeral and Cremation Services. “It was so powerful for her to see, to experience the open hearts and the generosity of the guests in attendance,”
Horan is also the volunteer board chairman of The Denver Hospice.
“The most memorable part of the evening were the words shared by the two nurses about their daily efforts and challenges with their incredibly small staff and hundreds of volunteers, caring for over 5,000 patients every day— and this support will help them to continue to serve these people in need,” Horan said.
Loiloile and Elizabeth Makule, Selian’s director, brought Maasai robes, a beaded staff and other accessories, including sandals for Horan and dressed him and his wife Andrea as honorary Maasai to receive the Friend of Selian Award.
Most of Gentleman John’s family was there, including his children Laura, Sarah and John Luke. His brother Mike from Chicago surprised him.
Bev Sloan, the recently retired CEO of The Denver Hospice, provided a moving tribute to Horan and honored guests and friends shared their gratitude for his ongoing efforts.
“It was just an amazing night. I’m humbled by this honor and so delighted that this produced funds that will help sustain Selian Hospice into the year to come,” Horan said. “In the grand scheme of things, helping somebody cope with the end of their life, what could be more important?”
The Selian Hospice assists more than 5,000 clients each day with a small staff and 300 trained volunteers who provide the primary care. The African hospice also works with the family members of its clients, which include orphans and vulnerable children needing support.
The fundraiser was timely as the Selian Hospice was recently advised that the U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides 90 percent of the hospice’s funding, is being cut by two-thirds. The hospice had been preparing for a 25 percent reduction.
Contributions to the nonprofit Selian Lutheran Hospice can be made throughout the year at TheDenverHospice.org.
Celebrates boldness, beauty of life, family & friends
Lyle Sheeder, Regina Huerter, Jenny Stith, Mary Katherine Bywaters, John Bywaters and Ellen Bywaters
SUBMITTED BY KATHY WELLS PHOTOGRAPHY
Denise Nalen, Cici Petersen and David Petersen
On Oct. 8, the Denver community was introduced to a “hidden gem” of an organization, WINGS, that has deep roots in our state and is also poised to lead the nation on one of the most pressing and least discussed public health issues: child sexual abuse recovery for adults.
Chaired by Greenwood Village resident Ellen Bywaters, “2880 Meets 5280 – An Evening of Wine, Wishes and WINGS” provided guests an evening of Napa Valley wines via the delicious blends of 2880 winery, while enjoying the unique setting of Cableland, the official home of the mayor of Denver. Regina Huerter, executive director of the Office of Behavioral Health, welcomed guests on behalf of Mayor Michael B. Hancock and applauded WINGS’ strong roots in our state and also its progressive vision for growth. Guests learned more about the legacy of hope and healing that has been championed by WINGS, a nonprofit organization that is one of the only of its kind throughout Colorado and also the nation.
Ellen Bywaters, her husband John and their daughter Mary Katherine played special roles in the event, bravely sharing their experience of utilizing WINGS’ services to help Mary Katherine heal from being sexually abused by her paternal step-grandfather.
WINGS’ mission is to break the cycle and heal the wounds of child sexual abuse by providing education, advocacy and direct support to adult survivors, their loved ones, providers and the community. Guests were stunned to learn that unresolved child sexual abuse trauma is a public health issue that affects one in four women and one in six men, and that, with those statistics, affects far more people than more widely recognized health issues, like breast cancer (which affects one in eight women).
John and Betsy Kane-Hartnett
WINGS Executive Director Jenny Stith said, “Unfortunately, unlike health issues like breast cancer, in which family and friends rally behind the person going through the health challenge, for the vast majority of victims of child sexual abuse, their family does not support them. This is because in the majority of cases, the abuse happened by a trusted adult, often a family member. That is a reality many families choose not to acknowledge, which leaves the survivor suffering, not only from the abuse and trauma they experienced, but also the silence, denial and victim-blaming by those closest to them.”
WINGS supports survivors of child sexual abuse aged 18 years or older. To learn more or to find out how you can help, visit www.wingsfound.org.
Gail Kassan, Tricia Campbell and Laura Dirks
Stephen and Susan Struna with Kari and Daryl Stewart
Tails of the Painted Cats Gala Dinner and Auction passes $100K
Jane McFadden Dorsey and Patron Linda Lakin Robinson
SUBMITTED BY MAGGIE HOLBEN
Africat was the People’s Choice and top bid at $13,000 – twice
Cat Care Society’s Tails of the Painted Cats committee members orchestrated the organization’s first benefit dinner raising more than $100,000, Oct. 10, at Pinehurst Country Club.
Denver’s Auctioneer Extraordinaire Doug Tisdale returned for a third year to run the live auction, serving as a Siamese Savior event sponsor. Joining him on stage was 9News Reporter (and life-long cat lover) Steve Staeger as master of ceremonies.
Topping the winning bids for live auction painted cats was Africat by Jane McFadden Dorsey.
After a bidding war of the highest order, TOPC reached a new high for a single painted cat at an amazing $13,000. With the agreement of the winner and Dorsey, the runner up bidder is also going to be able to purchase their own Africat for $13,000 as well.
This is the second year in a row that Dorsey created a duplicate painted cat as top bid live auction artist. Last year, the top bid on a painted cat was $5,000 for Richard Parker, also created by Dorsey.
In addition, Africat received the People’s Choice Award (based on voting by the People of Denver during the 2015 TOPC Summer Tour). As the artist, Dorsey, received a gift card to Piatti Ristorante in Cherry Creek.
The remaining live auction painted cats yielded the following top bids: Route 66 by Wendy M. Luck, $7,000; La Catrina by Amanda S. R. Salazar, $4,000; Lil Ms. Sunshine by Ella Buchholz, $2,500; and Botani-Cat by Jody Rigsby, $2,100.
The Live Auction also awarded two trips for a South African Photo Safari at the Zulu Nyala luxury resort and a demo painting by Botani-Cat Artist Jody Rigsby.
The committee of volunteers included Marsha Crest, Clyde Dawson, Jane McFadden Dorsey, Helen Hanks, Maggie Holben, Kathy Husband, Jeannie Menor, Carla Pawlewicz, Suellen Scott and Jane Young.
Wendy Luck/Route 66 was the next highest at $7,000
Tails of the Painted Cats Gala raised more than $100,000.Courtesy photos
Help2Heal, an innovative first aid company providing families and retailers with a socially responsible option in the first aid category with its “buy one, give one” model, announced the exclusive launch of its adhesive bandage product line in Whole Foods Market throughout the Denver/Boulder metro region. Help2Heal also donated 100,000 adhesive bandages in advance of future sales to Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment), a Centennial-based nonprofit delivering health and hope to the world with mission-critical first aid supplies through programs such as Kits for Kids and C.U.R.E. Cargo.
Inspired by Mason Israel, an entrepreneurial 9-year-old who brings first aid supplies to school every day to help friends who get hurt, Help2Heal’s inaugural product line includes 20-unit boxes of high-quality, sterile non latex, adhesive bandages, as well as an 8-unit travel pack. For every adhesive bandage customers buy, Help2Heal donates one to resource-limited communities around the world through its partnership with Project C.U.R.E.
“Project C.U.R.E. is thrilled to partner with Help2Heal in caring for kids and families in need around the world,” said Douglas Jackson, President and CEO of Project C.U.R.E. “Something as simple as a sterile bandage can make the difference between healing and a life threatening infection. This program is a much needed addition to help us continue our work in touching lives all over the world in a very tangible way.”
Stephen Goode, Drew Tsokatos, Austin Becker and two additional unidentified Fidelity Investments employees work on the new landscaping for Fairview Elementary School.
BY JAN WONDRA
There’s a playground of happy kids at Fairview Elementary School in Denver, and they have Fidelity Investments, in partnership with HandsOn Network affiliate Metro Volunteers and the Denver Public Schools Foundation, to thank for the playground and the school’s dynamic, new learning environment.
Some 250 employees from Fidelity Investments’ Greenwood Village and Denver offices provided the manpower and womanpower for a Sept. 26 workday that transformed the playground, located at 2715 W. 11th Ave. in Denver.
“One of our core values is taking pride in our people and our community,” said Randy Winters, senior director of Fidelity Investments. “I am proud of our people for their support and it’s a privilege to be able to give back to our community by helping to improve the learning environment.”
The project goal was to create a dynamic and functional learning environment for students and teachers. Among the projects accomplished by the volunteers in a single morning were building a community food garden, putting in new landscaping around the school and enhancing playground areas, updating library rooms, painting walls and murals, and assembling soccer goals and installing benches. Research has shown that the physical condition of a school is a stronger predictor of academic achievement than many family background factors and socio-economic conditions.
“Partnerships like the one we have with Fidelity Investments and the Denver Public Schools Foundation are critical supports in our efforts to ensure all students are successful,” said Fairview Principal Antoinette Hudson. “I am deeply grateful to all the volunteers, organizers and coordinators for the time and commitment they are investing into the Fairview community.”
Volunteering is considered a Fidelity Investments value.
“It’s about taking the time to help make a difference, however small, in somebody else’s life, it’s about caring,” said Liz Rohrman, a Fidelity Investments’ investment consultant. “This past Saturday, Fidelity employees showed just how much we care by truly helping to transform Fairview Elementary into a place where students will be excited to come and learn. I’m proud to be part of a company that not only invests in our client’s futures, but in the futures of our youth as well.”
This School Transformation Day event represents one of 14 Fidelity-led events taking place across the country through October in partnership with HandsOn Network. Fidelity’s annual School Transformation Day program is in its sixth year. The company says it is part of its goal to ensure students in communities in which it has offices receive a quality, foundational education delivered in an environment that helps them thrive. This year between June and October, more than 2,800 Fidelity employees will volunteer at School Transformation Day events in all of Fidelity’s regional locations and company headquarters. Its employees enthusiastically support the corporate effort.
“Volunteering brings me a sense of joy and fulfillment that is a unique result of doing good service for others,” said Kevin Kaltenbacher, central relationship manager. “When Fidelity volunteers can come together and collectively help to change the lives of the children and families of our local community, it serves as testament to what we stand for, not only at work, but also in spirit.”
Craig Hospital and the Kelly Brush Foundation have announced a new partnership to provide much needed scholarship funds to help Craig Hospital graduates with spinal-cord injuries continue to lead an active lifestyle. The scholarships will provide funding for adaptive sports and recreational equipment.
Craig Hospital is a nationally renowned rehabilitation hospital for people with spinal cord and brain injury. The Kelly Brush Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to incorporating sports and recreation into the lives of people with spinal-cord injury, as well as preventing injuries in ski racing.
Kelly Brush Davisson, for whom the foundation is named, is a Craig Hospital graduate and has dedicated her life to helping others get back into active lifestyles after discovering the benefit of adaptive sports.
“Kelly has always been an athlete, and getting back to sports after her injury helped her feel like herself again,” said Zeke Davisson, executive director of the Brush Foundation. “She wanted to help others get back to doing what they love.”
The “Granting Independence” SCI Adaptive Equipment Scholarship was introduced this year. Craig Hospital and the Brush Foundation are proud to announce six recipients will receive scholarships for adaptive equipment this October. The total scholarship amount is $10,000.
“Sport and recreation can help develop confidence, independence and strength—both physical and emotional. At Craig Hospital we often see the barrier to participation is the ability to afford the piece of equipment,” said Tom Carr, director of therapeutic recreation for the hospital.
Adaptive sports equipment, like hand cycles or monoskis, is often too expensive for someone facing medical bills after a catastrophic injury. Costs for adaptive equipment typically starts at $3,000, yet recreation is an important part of daily life and helps many people adjust to their “new normal.”
Craig also offers an adaptive equipment scholarship for graduates with traumatic brain injury. All interested in incorporating sports and recreation into their daily lives are encouraged to apply. Applications deadlines for the next scholarship period end Sept. 15, 2016.
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