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Mark your calendars for the LPS Foundation Stride Oct. 25. The Stride is one of the foundation’s biggest events of the year and focuses on bringing together Littleton Public Schools and the local community to focus on health and wellness as well as encourage school spirit. The Stride, presented by Littleton Adventist Hospital, is a 10K and 5K run/walk and offers a Kids Fun Run too. All ages are encouraged to participate. To register or to learn more, visit lpsf.littletonpublicschools.net.
Volunteers from Mission Hills Church overhaul the Field Elementary School garden. Photo courtesy of Littleton Public Schools
Submitted by Littleton Public Schools
Field Elementary School is the recent beneficiary of an incredible donation of time and talent from the “Love in Action” team from Mission Hills Church. More than 200 volunteers logged upwards of 1,300 hours of volunteer work, improving the elementary campus for students the following day.
The “Love in Action” team had an incredible impact on the look and feel of the school’s exterior, completing many significant projects. A professional tree-trimming company and several adult and high school volunteers removed nearly 20 trees that were dead or dying from the property.
One group of volunteers, which set out to replace a few treads and spindles on the deck and ramp that connect Field’s portable classrooms, wound up completely rebuilding it. Working from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., the volunteers had the new deck and ramp ready for students the following day.
Simultaneously, more than 100 other volunteers—from preschool children to grandparents—extricated weeds, trimmed overgrown trees and bushes, planted flowers, raked leaves and cleared the entire fence line of overgrowth and saplings. Others built a wooden planter box and filled it with flowers to freshen up the back entrance where kids come to school each day. Another group of volunteers overhauled the school garden, removing weeds, laying weed paper, mulching and prepping planters so that Field students will be able to participate in fall planting.
“The Field community, staff and students are very grateful for their generous donation of time and talent to Field Elementary School,” Principal Lyn Bajaj said.
Nearly every square inch of Field’s property was touched through this generous donation of time, talent and kindness from the Mission Hills Church volunteers.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships, in partnership with 9NEWS, collected more than $60,000 worth of supplies during the 14th Annual “Stuff for Students” drive.Courtesy photo
Larry H. Miller Dealerships, in partnership with 9NEWS, collected more than $60,000 worth of supplies during the 14th Annual “Stuff for Students” drive. This year, with the addition of the dealerships as partners, Volunteers of America was able to meet all supply requests, while in previous years some requests went unfilled. This year is the first year in the history of the drive that all requests were completely filled.
All seven Larry H. Miller dealerships statewide participated in the month-long project. The supplies donated by the dealerships resulted in more than 3,500 additional students receiving supplies.
“We are grateful to our customers, employees and neighbors for their generosity in supporting Colorado’s students,” said Ray Reilly, senior vice president of operations, Larry H. Miller Dealerships. “Helping students to succeed by providing the tools they need for school, and easing the financial impact families and teachers experience when faced with purchasing these necessary items, is a good way for us to give back to the communities in which we live and work.”
“Volunteers of America is so happy to have partnered with Larry H Miller Dealerships in the 9News Stuff for Students campaign,” said Bradley Gulley, director of volunteer programs. “In addition to the supplies they collected at seven dealership locations, their donation of $5,000 toward the campaign truly helped so many. We were able to reach out to 15 school districts and help more than 3,500 children be prepared for school. Thank you Larry H Miller Dealerships for your strong support of this program.”
Volunteers of America works directly with the school districts to distribute the “Stuff for Students” supplies, including Adams 12, Adams 14, Adams 50 (Westminster), Aurora Public Schools, Boulder Valley & St. Vrain School Districts, Brighton Public Schools, Cherry Creek Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, Douglas County Schools, Elizabeth Public Schools, Englewood Public Schools, Jefferson Public Schools, Littleton Public Schools, and Sheridan Public Schools.
Ride supports Brent’s Place – providing hope and healing for kids with cancer and their families
Sign up now for the 15 Annual Roadless Ride, Oct. 9, to benefit Brent’s Place to be held at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club.Courtesy photo
Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club members and staff will be pedaling hard for a great cause to raise money for Brent’s Place, a local charity that provides housing and support programs for children with cancer and their families. The 15th Annual Roadless Ride is an all day spinathon in which participants can choose to ride in an hour time slot. All proceeds benefit programming for kids with cancer and their families staying at Brent’s Place. The ride is from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, 5801 S. Quebec St., Greenwood Village.
An estimated 600 people will participate in one of the 12 spinning classes for the annual Brent’s Place Roadless Ride.
Barbara Lubbers, Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club’s Assistant general manager, said, “Every year we look forward to partnering with Brent’s Place to help the children and their families who stay there, while in cancer treatment. For every $93 we raise, the needs of one family can be met for one day. It is an amazing event to assist an amazing organization.”
Sean Meyerhoffer, executive director of Brent’s Place, said, “Each and every rider can save a life and make the difference for one family.”
Last year, the Roadless Ride gave 87 children and their families the resources needed to temporarily locate to Denver so their children could receive life-saving medical treatments.
Corey Kish, previous Greenwood Member and Brent’s Place supporter, chose to Ride for Brent’s Place after he heard how his love for riding could benefit a local charity that saves children’s lives. After his third year as a Century Rider, he found out that his niece, Katie, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Corey’s 12-hour ride seemed like nothing in comparison to Katie’s 600+ day fight with cancer and now only seven months from living cancer free.
Kish said, “Come ride with me, sign up for a Century Ride and raise money to help save kids like Katie.”
For more information on how to raise funds as part of the Roadless Ride, or to sign up to take your place in the saddle, visit www.brentsplace.org or contact Katie Cassidy at Brent’s Place at 720-343-2803 or visit www.GreenwoodATC.com.
Georgia Gallagher and Lea VanSchaack of Kentwood Real Estate rappel down 29 stories at Denver Energy Towers.Courtesy photo
Seven broker associates with Kentwood Real Estate recently went “Over the Edge” to raise money for the Cancer League of Colorado by rappelling down 29 stories at Denver Energy Towers on Sept. 18. Each participant needed to raise a minimum of $1,000 for Colorado based cancer research in order to enjoy the thrilling descent down one of Denver’s most prominent skyscrapers.
Helena Buckley, Karen Brinckerhoff, Michele Ciardullo, Georgia Gallagher, Steven Kruse, Brendan Moran, Kara Lorenzen and Lea VanSchaack of Kentwood Real Estate DTC and Kentwood City Properties enjoyed the thrill of a lifetime during the exclusive event for the Cancer League of Colorado. These caring professionals raised a total of $12,305 for cancer research. The league’s mission is to secure the cure or control of cancer by raising funds to support innovative cancer research and cancer-related services in Colorado.
“The Over the Edge event was an awesome experience to benefit a very worthy nonprofit organization,” said VanSchaack. “A friend of mine who serves on the board of directors at the Cancer League of Colorado approached me about participating in the event. We recruited other brokers and rappelled down the tower on Friday the 18th dressed as secret agents. On the way down the skyscraper, the hosts and volunteers played Secret Agent Man and the theme from Mission Impossible. It was truly amazing and was of special significance to me as a 10-year cancer survivor, and the money raised all goes to cancer research right here in Colorado.
“We hope to participate again next year and perhaps have a little competition between Kentwood’s three offices. “I also want to thank all of our Kentwood colleagues who attended the event to show their support.”
Gallagher said, “We were approached about participating in the Over the Edge event and I felt like the Cancer League of Colorado was a great organization. I lost a good friend to cancer and nearly everyone is affected by this devastating disease, so I embraced the opportunity to participate. Before we rappelled, I was asked to sit on the edge of the building, and the city views were amazing. That was truly an ‘Oh Boy’ moment, but I felt safe with those in charge. And since I couldn’t let anyone down, we proceeded, and it was a very thrilling, awesome experience.”
An exclusive event for the Cancer League of Colorado, Over the Edge gives participants a life-changing opportunity to rappel 29 stories while raising money for cancer research. Unique to nonprofits, Cancer League of Colorado has no paid staff and no offices. All operating expenses are covered by membership dues and the league’s 400-plus volunteer staff. Every dollar raised through fundraisers and donations goes directly to cancer research and cancer patient services in Colorado. Since 1985, the league has donated more than $15 million in grants toward cancer research and services. For more information, please visit www.cancerleague.org.
Every penny to stay in Colorado
“Big Bill” Ficke and staff help serve a couple of children at the annual Centennial cancer fundraiser.
By Tom Barry
Sometimes it just takes a special person with a big heart and a positive approach in life to turn things around and make a difference for others.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bill Ficke found his Centennial pizza joint turning into a gathering place for many fellow New Yorkers as they flocked to Big Bill’s New York Pizza, just off County Line Road and Holly Street in the Heritage Greens Shopping Center.
Throngs of people continue to congregate into the popular eatery on 9/11 each year, but now for an additional reason. After losing his wife and lifelong sweetheart JoAnn to cancer, Ficke came up with a way that others could make a positive difference on this most solemn day.
The first year, Ficke and his staff raised $33,000, which was sent to a fund for families of New York City firefighters. This year, a large banner draped above the front counter reads “9/11 ‘Day of Giving’ $115,000, All Because of You!!! Thank You!!!.”
The 2015 funds were raised for the nonprofit JoAnn B. Ficke Cancer Foundation.
“All the money, every penny of it, goes to fight cancer and stays right here in Colorado,” said Ficke, who added that none of the money is spent on administrative costs.
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers Foundation, the Cancer League of Colorado and the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance Foundation were among those who benefitted when more than 1,400 dine-in and takeout customers came to the restaurant throughout the day on Sept. 11. Many donated more than four times the cost of their meal.
More than 40 wait staff, including volunteers, served more than 750 in-house dinners for the annual cancer fundraiser at Big Bill’s New York Pizza in Centennial.Photos by Tom Barry
The prep work was substantial. The staff at Big Bill’s began making the dough a month before the event. On Sept. 11, the staff served in excess of 900 pizzas.
“We had a ton of volunteers and staff. There had to be 40 people working that night,” said Ficke, whose wait staff and volunteers donated their tips and salaries. “Every year, I’m amazed at the generosity of our community. Every year, they have been so outstanding and they are so generous. It’s become an event that at least everybody in our community looks forward to.”
The so-named Day of Giving was established to honor the victims of 9/11.
“Believe me, our community has made a difference in other people’s lives,” said Ficke, noting that food wholesaler Sysco provided a large refrigerated semi trailer and donated other products.
“Sysco has been a huge partner in our Day of Giving,” he said.
The customers were satisfied, to say the least.
“Big Bill” of the Centennial pizza restaurant that bears his name stands with a freshly prepared pizza at the event that raised more than $110,000.
“I just love what Big Bill is doing and I think it’s a great cause,” said Barb Fischer, a Willow Creek resident and school nurse for Cherry Creek Schools who picked up three pizzas that night. “I’ve been here just about every year since he’s been doing it. The pizza’s wonderful, ”
Six-foot-six Big Bill is a former college basketball center for Belmont Abbey who eventually became a Denver Nuggets assistant coach, serving under Larry Brown in the early 1980s. He and his wife JoAnn later opened a restaurant before she died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma on Valentine’s Day 2007.
During October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the staff at Big Bill’s will be wearing pink and continuing to take donations for the ongoing cancer fundraiser.
Donations can be made to cancer organizations at www.bigbills
“Thank you for caring. Thank you for your generosity, and thank you for making a difference in the lives of people that need it,” Ficke said.
Annual event set for Oct. 14
Kay Burke and Cindi Burge
Submitted by Anca Call
Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network hosted its 60th Anniversary celebration inaugural Kick Off Party at the new AMG National Trust building, Sept. 2. Event Co-Chairs Kay Burke and Cindi Burge welcomed 100 guests, including event committee members, board members, as well as current and potential event sponsors. The guests, which included former first lady Frances Owens, Jamie Angelich, Gail and George Johnson, Doug Tisdale, Shelly Rule, Ryan Orrell, Marilynn and Ken Carroll, Trisha Hood, Peggy Larson, Daniel Kopinsky, Steve Edmonds, Louise Richardson, ADMHN Board President John Phillips and Kick Off Committee members: Amber Freed and Susan Troyan, were treated to tasty hors d’oeuvres provided by Epicurean.
ADMHN CEO Joan DiMaria asked the audience for help to put an end to the stigma associated with mental health issues and to support the tireless work of ADMHN. Last year alone the organization helped more than 14,000 people in the community.
Emily Fine and Joan DiMariaPhotos courtesy of Anca Call
Board member Shawn Turner made an impassioned plea to support the organization’s 60th Anniversary celebration, which will raise critical funds to support the often non-reimbursed and underfunded life-saving services that ADMHN provides, such as suicide prevention and awareness, treatment in corrections facilities, and addiction treatment services to name a few.
The 60th Anniversary celebration and dinner will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at the Grand Hyatt Denver and will feature celebrated author Mariel Hemingway. For more information or tickets, visit www.admhn.org.
Rebekah Gregory, survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, will keynote the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, National MS Society’s MS on the Move luncheon on Sept.17 at the Westin DowntownPhoto courtesy of the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, National MS Society
Rebekah Gregory’s life was forever changed as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. As she waited at the finish line for then-boyfriend Pete DiMartino, the first bomb went off. Following the explosion, at the age of 26, she found herself one of 17 amputee survivors of the terror act. Intent on giving back and helping others, Gregory will share her powerful story of courage and strength at the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, National MS Society’s MS on the Move luncheon Sept. 17 at the Westin Downtown Denver.
“Like Rebekah, the more than 100,000 people affected by MS in Colorado must remain resilient and find courage to face the obstacles and challenges presented by this central nervous system disease every day,” said Kristin Gibbs, Chapter vice president of development. “Just as she inspired everyone by running the final three miles of the Boston Marathon earlier this year, her story of courage will inspire others to overcome their struggles and live life to the fullest potential possible.”
During the annual forum of hope and inspiration, the Chapter will present Michael King, corporate and securities attorney, Brownstein, Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, with its annual Spirit Award in recognition of service to the MS community, and contributions to society and the common good.
King been an outstanding, active supporter of the Society and served on the Chapter’s board of trustees for seven years, which included a term as chairman. He championed his firm’s Bike MS team for 12 years. In addition to his support of the Society, King is active in the community where he serves as a commissioner for the Denver Public Library, is president of Stapleton United Neighbors and provides pro bono legal services.
King received his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Denver, New York and American bar associations.
King joins previous recipients who have been honored with the Society’s Spirit Award, including Marc Spritzer, director of CoBiz Advisors; and Dick Kelly, former CEO and board chair of Xcel Energy, and his wife Robin Kelly.
“The funds raised at the luncheon support research, which has led to 12, FDA-approved therapies, and programs and resources that benefit more than 100,000 people affected by MS in Colorado and Wyoming,” Gibbs said. As the cause and cure remain unknown, the Society continues to invest in global research efforts that focus on stopping progression, reversing damage caused by MS and ending this disease forever,” Gibbs said.
The MS On the Move Luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Westin Downtown Denver. Tickets are $125 per person or $65 for young professionals age 40 and under. For more information or to register, visit www.cureMSco-wy.org.
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