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Alex Shankle gets ready to model. Photos courtesy of Jensen Sutta
Approximately 200 people gathered Aug. 12 at the home of Carla Shankle in Cherry Hills Village for the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Kick Off Party, organized by Debrah McKenney and emceed by Kyle Dyer of 9News.
Guests of the kick off party, which included Anna and John J. Sie; Michelle, Tom, Patrick and Sophia Whitten; Crnic Scientists Tom Blumenthal, Joaquin Espinosa, and Hunt Potter, Sie Center for Down Syndrome Clinical Director Fran Hickey, Dave and Ricki Rest, Cookie Gold, Maureen and Ren Cannon, Sharon and Ernie Blake, Debrah McKenney, were treated to great wine provided by Kovacs Nimrod Winery, tasty treats by Three Tomatoes and, the highlight of the evening, a fashion show preview presented by beautiful individuals with Down syndrome.
The Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Colorado Convention Center (new location) and will feature ambassador Clarissa Joann Capuano, and Hollywood stars including Empire’s Terrence Howard.
For more information about the event, visit www.BeBeautifulBeYourself.org.
Maureen and Ren Reagan and Nancy Sevo
The Sie and Whitten families
Casey Perry, Dave Rest, Cookie Gold, Ricki Rest and Chase Perry
HOPE, a nonprofit food pantry at 3940 S. Broadway in Englewood, will host HOPE’s Bazaar, a benefit, on Saturday, Aug. 29. Photo by Peter Jones
BY PETER JONES
It is always a bad sign when business is good at the local nonprofit food pantry.
“We’re building quite a clientele in the Englewood area,” said Fred McHenry, who chairs the board of directors for the
HOPE hunger-relief organization. “We’re starting to see more children and a lot more middle-class people who have full-time jobs. They can afford their mortgage, but they can’t feed their families.”
Every Monday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in partnership with Trader Joe’s, HOPE – or Helping Our People Excel – provides free groceries to anyone who needs them. The stock includes everything from meat and produce to veggie burgers
“It’s actually good healthy food,” McHenry said. “We really have to thank Trader Joe’s for that.”
In addition to the pantry and its staff nutritionist, HOPE, which is located at 3940 S. Broadway in Englewood, houses a job-resource center and a thrift store that helps raise money for the organization, but is not above offering free clothing to those who cannot afford to pay.
“We want everyone to be able to maintain their dignity,” McHenry said. “We’re not going to send anyone out in the cold without a coat.”
To help support such efforts, the organization is hosting HOPE’s Bazaar on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The onsite event will include food, drinks, microbrew beer and entertainment. Admission will be free, but vendors will be sharing their proceeds with HOPE, which will also be the beneficiary of a raffle and a silent auction that is expected to offer sports memorabilia, among other items.
Step 13 is launching Driven to Donate, LLC, a vehicle donation program serving other area nonprofits and churches.Courtesy photo
For 11 years, Step 13 has operated a highly-successful vehicle donation program that provides an important source of revenue and offers meaningful work opportunities for men seeking to overcome alcohol and/or drug addiction. Building on that model, Step 13 is launching Driven to Donate, LLC, a vehicle donation program serving other area nonprofits and churches.
Step 13 was founded in 1983 by Bob Cote, a former homeless alcoholic who had a genius for helping men overcome addiction. The program has served more than 2,500 men through a tough-love model guided by the principle of a “Hand up, not a Handout.” Step 13 accepts no government funding and generates support through its vehicle donation program that not only generates revenue, but offers men in the program the opportunity for meaning work.
“Step 13’s car donation program is so successful we want to share our expertise with other nonprofits who don’t have the resources to have this program,” explained Peter Droege, executive director of Step 13 and of Driven to Donate. “By partnering with Driven to Donate we handle all the details and then split the net proceeds of the sale of any vehicle donated to a nonprofit in the program.”
A website – www.DrivenToDonate.org – is interfaced with a SalesForce database to drive all aspects of the program. The program is being managed by Carrie Agnew, a professional with a strong background in the automotive industry.
“There is no charge for a nonprofit to enroll with Driven to Donate,” said Agnew. “All donated vehicles are processed by the men of Step 13, providing them with even more work opportunities, while they strive to maximize the resale value of each vehicle.”
Driven to Donate works with nonprofits to take the donation from concept to completion, including:
• Designing a custom online form for the nonprofit’s website
• Taking phone calls and processing online donations
• Scheduling towing
• Making repairs or enhancements where appropriate
• Selling the vehicle
• Sending all required forms to the IRS and the person donating the vehicle so they may receive their tax deduction.
• Sending a check for the split of the net proceeds to the nonprofit designated by the donor
Supporters are encouraged to continue donating cars, trucks, and motorcycles to Step 13 as 100 percent of the proceeds benefit its program helping men overcome addiction through sobriety, work, and accountability. But if you have other favorite charities please tell them about Driven to Donate. It’s a great way to generate revenue. We look forward to helping nonprofits benefit from establishing a vehicle donation program for their organizations.
For more information on Driven to Donate, call 303-296-9020 or visit www.DriventoDonate.org and click on Contact Us.
Headliner for the evening John Adams is known as the most authentic John Denver Tribute artist in the world. He was born in Holland (has no accent when he sings), moved to America in 2000 and formed his John Denver Tribute Band. Before his death, Denver and Adams had been collaborating on a recording project. Photo by Dave Gill, Gill Photography
For the tenth year, Bo and Lynne Cottrell have directed and grown a series of exciting and unique events called the TAPS Colorado Celebrity Classic that has raised over $3 million for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Jake Jabs’ American Furniture Warehouse was title sponsor for 2015. The “Saluting Our Fallen Heroes Dinner Concert” was packed with celebrities, sports figures, media personalities, elected officials, entertainers (including the popular Wildefire with Tony David, Pam Hughes, Kerry Edwards and Lindsay Solonycze), members and officers of the military, survivors and a host of patriots who enjoyed the hospitality of Steve and Marla Grove who graciously opened their Ranch of Cherry Creek for the festivities.
Live auction items included a meet up and photo op with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that sold for $10,000 and a coveted Behind The Scenes in Nashville package from the Songwriters. The 24/7/365 TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline at 1-800-959 TAPS (8277) receives an average of 31 calls per day with a live person offering compassion, support and assistance. All programs including the children’s grief camp of the 501(c)(3) are free of charge and there is no government funding.
Bob Schaffer and Congressman Mike Coffman
TAPS president and founder Bonnie Carroll in front of the “Remembering Our Fallen From Colorado” display. She received the heartbreaking knock on her door in 1992. By 1994 and is Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors was born now marking 21 years as America’s frontline resource for help, hope and healing.
Bo and Lynn Cotrell, TAPS event directors
Those presented with the 2015 Tony David Volunteer of the Year Awards were Joan Beninati, Anne and Dave Gill and Jennifer and David Lee
Part of the elite Coors Cowboy Club “Chuckwagon Crew” that prepared the Western heritage hearty buffet meal of prime rib and all the trimmings
BY GLORY WEISBERG
Brews and chews greeted 2,500 animal lovers to the 26th Do at the Zoo with 60 food and drink vendors serving the warm, intoxicating party, and adding to the eats was a steady stream of entertainment scattered from the Toyota Elephant Passage to the sea lion pools. VIP partiers walked the red carpet to sip and sup with Rioja, Euclid Hall Bar & Grill, Bistro Vendome and Stoic & Genuine.
Do chairs Mike Long and Dick Monfort and their family members mingled with Zoo CEO and President Shannon Block.
Long is chairman, president and CEO of Arrow Electronics and Monfort owns and chairs the Colorado Rockies.
Upscale animal enclosures are bringing humans safely closer to giraffes, swimming sea lions and even a pacific vulture. Genetic diversity drives this zoo and arranged marriages, if you will, are making progress in cooperation with global cultures, saving some species and ensuring their healthy future.
These Zoo Do events provide more than 200,000 people with formal and informal programs and outreach activities.
An intoxicating sunset drew supporters’ selfies who eagerly recorded the memorable evening.
Among the easily identified VIPs was Eddie Robinson, whose wife Susan started the Do at the Zoo which was initially black tie but gave way to those wanting to compete with animals for elegant and clever attire.
This is as good as it gets and it was great.
This cinereous vulture with a broken wing came from Mongolia to the zoo for care.
Todd Sedbrook, Ruth Benton and Denny O’Malley
Joe Plothier and Missy Ihli of Bistro Vendome serve up champagne vinegar fries.
Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown, wife Suzanne and son Nick. Photos by Glory Weisberg
Laurie Williams, Dick Monfort, and Mike and Karen Long
Denver Zoo volunteer Kelly Peters serves cupcakes.
Angie Battillo, Ben Kaplan and Patrick Noel of Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
Laurie Galbreath and Kevin Fitzgerald
Sue and Lou Clinton, and Stacey and Joel Mecklenberg
Aniedra Nichols of Elway’s Cherry Creek was serving up smoked barbecue sliders with grilled cabbage slaw and bean salad.
It was hot, hot, hot at Elway’s Cherry Creek when top local chefs grilled mini-sliders for the Denver Health Foundation’s Griller Challenge.
“If you Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen” was the headline in the fire-inspired invitation for this annual affair that attracts millennials by the busload. Well, in reality, no one came by bus, instead rolling up to the valet stand in Maseratis, Ferraris and a lot of BMWs.
This annual barbecue presents local culinary royalty who compete to win the competition for best sliders, each guest shelling out $100 to $250 to come. The best time to celebrity gawk is the hour VIPs get before admitting others and those in yellow wristbands sampled and supped with the likes of Mike Shanahan, Bill Owens, Charley Brown and other local glitterati.
Rollie Jordan, Don Daboub and Zach Wolfel chaired the party, welcoming charity icons to the VIP tent, voting chips in hand to use to select fav sliders while in comfy seated and cabaret tables.
Mini burgers were made with octopus, lamb, pork belly with apricot compote and camembert on sourdough; scallop-corn burgers with bacon and ancho chile mayo and even a mini chicken and waffle slider that raised finger licking to a new height, with nary a French fry but lots of suds and more upscale drinks instead.
Hot Griller Sales ladies on stilts commanded attention.
The intense competition among Colorado’s best chefs drew more than 1,000 attendees who sampled a wide range of grilled delicacies while raising a record $115,000 for men’s health programs at Denver Health.
Heating up the competition were some of Denver’s popular recipe-inventing icons such as Troy Guard of TAG/Guard & Grace, Goose Sorensen of Solera, Darrel Truett of Barolo Grill and bakery king Michael Bortz of City Bakery. Judged as Most Unusual by Penny Parker was a slider from Jorel Pierce of Stoic & Genuine at Union Station and Barolo Grill.
There were two types of votes, one by attendees, the second by chefs themselves.
Taking Attendees’ top honors were Troy Guard, second place was Austin Green from Elway’s Downtown and third place was Jorel Pierce with Stoic and Genuine.
Winning the Chef’s Votes were first place Jorel, second place Mike Winston from Table 6, third place Troy Guard and fourth place Austin Green.
Kent and Kathleen Thompson
Steve Ballas with his BLT Angel Dog from Steve Ballas of Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs for nonprofit Angel Heart.
Bill Owens and Steve Farber
Dr. Fernando Kim, MD, FACS, chief of urology, Denver Health Medical Center Director of Minimally Invasive Urological Oncology, Paula Herzmark and Ana Kim. Photos by Glory Weisberg
Maureen Shul, center, shares a moment with her brother Brian, a pilot, and his former navigator Walter Watson at last week’s Wings of Hope benefit. Shul founded Wings of Hope to support pancreatic-cancer research after her mother and younger brother died from the disease. Watson’s father was also lost to pancreatic cancer. Photo by Peter Jones
Pilot Brian Shul and navigator Walter Watson may have been among the select few to fly the Air Force’s high-speed SR-71 Blackbird – but they are also among the many whose families have been ravaged by pancreatic cancer.
Shul’s sister, Maureen, the former mayor of Castle Pines, founded Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research after both their mother and younger brother died from one of the most fatal and least understood forms of cancer.
“Maureen, we’re really proud of you,” the pilot said during the fourth annual Wings of Hope benefit May 28 at the Lone Tree Arts Center.
After other speakers had told stories of losing family members shortly after their diagnoses, Watson relayed his added connection to the pilot-partner with whom he once flew a wide range of death-defying missions around the world.
“I’ve never shared this. My father died of pancreatic cancer,” the retired navigator said. “On Nov. 6, he was in the hospital. The diagnosis came about three days later and he was gone before Thanksgiving.
Shul and Watson were the keynote speakers at last week’s annual benefit, which raises funds for pancreatic-cancer research at the University of Colorado.
The two were partners in a variety of flights on the SR-71, a once highly classified strategic reconnaissance aircraft – a near rocket that among other claims to fame remains the world’s fastest air-breathing manned aircraft.
“You could bake cookies on that window,” Shul told the audience. “If you fired a high-power hunting rifle, the bullet exits the muzzle at 3,100 feet per second. The aircraft would cruise with ease on a climb at 3,200 feet per second. We moved faster than a speeding bullet. Occasionally, we would leap tall buildings in a single bound.”
The SR-71 crew may have been “supermen” of a sort, but they were almost more like space explorers when it came down to those comic-book comparisons.
“We didn’t wear capes, but we did wear spacesuits,” Watson added, “essentially the same spacesuit the shuttle [astronauts] wore. … This suit is fitted to you at your best. I will tell you, it becomes a challenge somewhere around the fifth of January after Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Only 93 Air Force pilots flew the nation’s premier unarmed spy plane. Considered the most remarkable aircraft of the 20th century, the SR-71s were hand-constructed and made of titanium that was designed to withstand 900-degree heat. The craft used its own unique nonflammable fuel.
“Keep in mind, you had to invent technology to build an airplane that nobody could build,” Shul said. “… You could throw a match at that bucket of fuel and it would extinguish the match.”
Training to operate the aircraft could be as demanding as the plane itself.
“It’s like having a root canal every other day,” Watson said.
The team’s 1980s-era missions ran the gamut from surveying an international conference in North Korea to providing reconnaissance during the 1986 Libyan crisis to searching for Soviet missiles at the North Pole. By happenstance, Shul and Watson would become the only SR-71 pilots to fly three missions in three days.
“We could do things satellites couldn’t do,” Shul said. “We could look underwater. We could track submarines. We could look through weather. We found a man in the Pacific Ocean one time. He was sailing around the world by himself. He got lost.”
Perhaps most amazing was the fact that Shul was able to fly a plane at all in the ‘80s, much less an aircraft as demanding as the SR-71. During the Vietnam War, the then-fighter pilot had been shot down along the Cambodian border. Unable to eject, he was severely burned and underwent numerous surgeries and physical therapy.
In the hospital, Shul was told he would never fly again.
“I wanted to get back into life, basically,” he said. “When I finally did get out of the hospital, I had a second chance. … I felt like I was starting over. I was like a 2-year-old. It made commanders pretty nervous to have a 2-year-old [in the cockpit].”
Shul and Watson eventually collaborated on the bestselling book The Untouchables.
Of all their adventures, the takeoff, itself, could be the most exciting.
“The airplane was literally transitioning from being a moving piece of titanium to being the rocket that it really is,” Watson said.
A continent separates Nepal from Ethiopia, though both nations have experienced their share of turmoil. Dol Bhattarai, left, of Nepal, owner of Yak & Yeti restaurant, has teamed up with Ethiopian-born Mel Tewahade and Denver Lions to present a benefit this Sunday for survivors of last month’s earthquake in Nepal.Photo by Peter Jones
This Sunday’s event at south Denver’s Yak & Yeti restaurant
By Glory Weisberg
It is a long flight from Nepal to Ethiopia, but when it comes to humanitarianism, what is a few thousand miles between friends?
“Nepal is a different culture, but they are the same kind of people. They are very peaceful,” said Mel Tewahade, an Ethiopian American and frequent world traveler. “They’ve been challenged with their internal turmoil. Their economy hasn’t really done great. Now on top of this, the earthquake. It’s really, really challenging.”
Tewahade, a Greenwood Village investment advisor and documentary filmmaker, has teamed with Nepalese restaurateur Dol Bhattarai and the Lions clubs of Denver and Katmandu to organize a fundraiser Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. at Bhattarai’s Yak & Yeti restaurant and event center in southeast Denver.
The evening will begin with a traditional Nepalese dinner buffet followed by a presentation about the recent earthquake and a screening of Tewahade’s Peace Corps in Ethiopia, which chronicles the organization’s efforts to improve schools in the eastern African nation during the 1960s and ‘70s. Ethiopia had over the years been subject to politically tied famine and drought and itself was the subject of considerable charitable outreach in the early 1980s.
Admission to the Nepal fundraiser is $10 and includes dinner. In addition, a tax-deductible donation of $25 or more is suggested.
Last month’s earthquake was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal in more than 80 years, killing more than 8,000 people, injuring countless others, and triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest, making it the deadliest day in the mountain’s history. Hundreds of thousands of survivors were made homeless.
Bhattarai, who immigrated to the United States 18 years ago, says his relatives in western Nepal were among the luckier ones.
“The family’s OK, but a lot of the houses got a problem,” he said. “We’re still hearing from friends about how many people are missing.”
Although the chef’s family has survived, many have been displaced and are living in tents and temporary bamboo huts. When the earthquake hit on April 25, Bhattarai spent hours trying to learn the fate of his family.
“We tried to call and we couldn’t reach them. There was no phone, no electricity,” he said. “That was really stressful to everybody.”
Bhattarai, who owns three Yak & Yeti restaurants in metro Denver, has donated half of the food cost for the benefit.
Nepal Earthquake Relief Fundraiser
Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m.
Yak & Yeti Restaurant and Event Center
9755 E. Hampden Ave. in Denver
Sponsored by Denver Lions Foundation
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