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Dr. Lynn Taussig in his creative black-tie Mickey Mouse shirt, and wife, Lisa Taussig on his left
By Glory Weisberg
Central City Opera set a new standard for local nonprofit event fundraisers when they had their Theatre of Dreams Gala, featuring FORTE performers.
The three first appeared on last year’s America’s Got Talent and many viewers and critics think they should have won the talent contest. FORTE members Sean Panikkar, Josh Page and Fernando Varela have already performed at Carnegie Hall and for the president at the White House.
At the gala they sang opera pieces as well as memorable tunes from the Top 40 recorded by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and Paul Anka.
FORTE performers Fernando Varela, Sean Panikkar and Josh Page
Sean Panikkar is a former Central City Opera Apprentice. The threesome acknowledged the importance of serious music and support for Central City Opera.
At this gala there was a refreshing cadre of young supporters who lingered after the concert and dinner to have their own after-party complete with a live band pumping out numbers that filled the dance floor.
The Central City Opera Guild 40th Anniversary celebration saluted present Central City Opera Guild President Denise Sanderson, past presidents and specifically honoring Barbara Ferguson for her dedication to CCO from day one.
In her words to the seated guests, she credited Junior League and Sally Rippey for helping get Central City Opera going.
Credit for the successful anniversary gala goes to gala chair, Anne McGonagle and her extensive committee members saluting past CCO Guild presidents. Posing for formal and informal photos, the group had a hard time standing still, so eager to be together recalling great memories. Their smiles and chatter were infectious as onlookers got into the action and took their own photos. It was a photographers’ dream collection including Sandy Wischmeyer, Sharon Martin, Nancy Parker, Susan Stiff, Georgeann Victor, Trish Millice, Pam Bansbach, Barbara Danos, Christina Dinegar, Chris Bearman Von Wald, Julia Secor, Kathy Flores and of course, Mrs. Ferguson and Mrs. McGonagle.
The dress code was creative black tie. Great idea as men got into it by wearing colorful socks, and perhaps the greatest, Dr. Lynn Taussig, in a Mickey Mouse print shirt.
This was a three-story success at the McNichols event sight, using every inch of the bare bones facility for cocktails, dinner, entertainment and post-party. Credit here should be shared with Heather Brecl, assistant director of marketing.
Gala chairman Anne McGonacle, back row, left and presidents, informally pose for photos.
Barbara Ferguson, center with FORTE members Josh Page, Sean Panikkar and Fernando Varela
Steve Edmonds, Steve Seifert and Davol Tedder
Logo courtesy of www.nrpa.org
South Suburban Parks and Recreation encourages people to shop at Macy’s at The Streets at SouthGlenn in Centennial. That’s because the district’s DeKoevend Park joins more than 550 parks nationwide that are benefiting from Macy’s “Heart Your Park” program, part of the store’s “Secret Garden” campaign that aims to raise awareness and dollars for local parks across the country.
For the month of March, Macy’s customers can donate $1 or more at the register with 100 percent of the donations benefiting DeKoevend Park. No purchase is necessary. Macy’s will match total customer donations across all stores, dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 in total.
Donations will go toward making improvements at DeKoevend, such as maintaining trails, playgrounds and ball fields.
“We are delighted to partner with Macy’s and the National Recreation and Park Association for ‘Heart Your Park,’ said David Lorenz, South Suburban’s executive director. “Through this program and donations by Macy’s customers, we are excited about the increased awareness and additional funding for DeKoevend Park.”
DeKoevend Park is located at 6301 S. University Blvd., adjacent to South Suburban’s Goodson Recreation Center in Centennial. The park features six lighted tennis courts, a lighted ball field, a multi-purpose field, a multi-purpose court, playground and three park shelters.
Lotte Bowman, Tangy Buchanan and Carolyn McFarland
By Glory Weisberg
Love was in the air, Feb. 10, when the Children’s Diabetes Foundation Guild had its Membership Tea at the Madden Museum of Art.
Guild President Dalya Creaghe loved the turnout, 73 women, many new to the guild, thanks to loyal long-term members who brought guests.
Jamie Angelich won the honor of bringing the most guests, a tableful.
One bit of news that brought gasps of joy was the announcement that the Jewels for Hope made a whopping $40,000 last year, part of the $250,000 the jewelry resale program has made to date. Women donate genuine and costume jewelry to CDF, which is then appraised and sold at the Brass Ring Luncheon and other CDF events throughout the year. It’s a bauble bargain recycling frenzy benefitting the Type I diabetic children served every year at the Barbara Davis Center. No children are turned away for lack of ability to pay.
The Brass Ring Luncheon drew more than 800 guests last year and the 2014 luncheon is slated for Nov. 6.
Among tea (and coffee) sippers were CDF Golf Tournament chair, Tangy Buchanan, Barbara Feeney, Betsey Fuller, Auna Jornayvaz, Jane Kranich, Barbara Lea, Pat Lansing, Shelley Lucas, Louise Richardson, Susan Squyer, Lori Visciano, Jody Phelps, Christy Alberts, Bea Bugelli, Judy Chiodo, Gail Haddad and Ellie Ludvigsen.
To find out more about this charity, visit www.childrensdiabetesfoundation.org.
Marolyn Vroman and Kindall Pope. Photos by Glory Weisberg
CDF Executive Director Bertha Lynn and Paula Spruell
“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince”
Susie Hummell and Dalya Creaghe
Honoree Jim Steinberg with Carole and Ted Krumland
The Fine Arts Foundation Citizen of the Arts Jubilee honored photographer Jim Steinberg, and the event was wonderful!
Steinberg literally focuses on zebras and truckers alike. His photography awards testify to his love of capturing the world at work and at rest.
This Steamboat Springs-based photographer is on the board of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Helen Bonfils Foundation. He is also director of his parents’ Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Kent Thompson, Denver Center Theatre Company artistic director, was the Jubilee’s entertainment emcee. He testified that through the family trust, Steinberg has donated “hundreds of thousands of dollars” not only to the Denver Center but to other groups in Colorado as well.
The Jubilee dinner entertainment included performances by Curious Theatre Company stars and others who won outbursts of applause from the audience.
That audience included past Citizens of the Arts honorees Shirley Smith, Judi Wolf, Margaret Cunningham, Dr. Gary and Phyllis VanderArk, Jean Watt and Sherrye Berger.
Susan Stiff chaired the Jubilee and Steve Edmonds was co-char. He will thus chair the 2015 Jubilee. On their committee were Toni Oakes Sexton, Jane Wiltshire, Lynn Wong, Lynn Cahen, Claudette Erek, Nancy Koontz, Lynn Hinkle, Adrienne Fitzgibbons, Kathy Roberts and Lorraine Salazar. As is often the case, committee members’ spouses and other loved ones were with them. Also there: Lauri Speich. Caroline Simpson, Randy Weeks, Rick and Margot Acosta, Gully Stanford and Dorothy Denny. Also there were several tables of 2014 Summer Debutante Ball debutantes.
Held during a near-blizzard, some suburbanites and other in-state residents who’d planned to attend found themselves unable to negotiate the trip to The Westin Hotel, downtown. Those fortunate enough to make it were richly rewarded.
Susan Stiff with Steve and Rosalie Edmonds
Past “Citizens of the Arts” Shirley Smith, Jean Watt, Margaret Cunningham and Judi Wolf
The Aspen Academy community strongly believes that who we are as individuals is always more important than what we know. It strives to facilitate opportunities for students and families to make a positive and lasting impact on the world. Every year during the last week of school before winter break, Aspen Academy holds its annual Spirit of Service Week. During the week of Dec. 16-20, teachers, students and families focus on reaching out to the local community and serving others in areas where it is most needed.
Part of Spirit of Service Week includes students giving donations to a variety of local organizations. This year students donated pajamas to Families First, sports equipment to the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, art supplies and food to Champa House, and household items to ARC Thrift Stores. The organizations were chosen by the student government, and donations were dropped off by volunteer parents and student government members.
Many other moments of service took place throughout the week. Aspen Academy students and their parents volunteered at The Boys and Girls Club’s Annual Holiday Party. They organized and ran a craft table for the Boys and Girls Club members to enjoy, as well as spent time interacting through ping-pong and other games. Junior Kindergarten students put gift boxes together for troops serving overseas and included handmade holiday cards. Kindergarten students and their fifth grade mentor students put together corn bread, berry crisp, and bean soup jars for the women and children who live at Denver Rescue Mission’s Champa House. Second grade students spent time making scarves they donated to CASA, an organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Denver Juvenile Court. On Dec. 20th, students wore black and gold in support of their neighbor, Arapahoe High School.
Sixth grade students commit themselves to a year-long service learning project that involves a partnership with ARC Thrift Stores. During Spirit of Service Week, sixth graders spent time at ARC Thrift Stores. Students were trained by the employees of ARC with developmental disabilities and spent the morning working alongside them. The sixth graders also helped plan and promote the donation drive for household items, and helped load a truck with more than 200 bags of items.
Anna and John J. Sie
Some of the University of Colorado Boulder’s most promising musicians will receive scholarships thanks to Anna and John J. Sie, who have committed $2 million to establish the Daniel and Boyce Sher Distinguished Musicians Endowment.
Beginning in fall 2014, these Sher Distinguished Scholars (either undergraduate or graduate students) will be awarded full-ride scholarships to the College of Music based on their demonstrated exceptional ability and potential to excel at a national and international level.
The endowment honors a former dean and continuing faculty member whose efforts have transformed the college for the better more than 20 years.
“Anna and I have greatly valued Dan and Boyce Sher’s leadership and friendship as they have led the CU-Boulder College of Music to its current stature as one of the nation’s top 25 music conservatories,” said John J. Sie, co-trustee of the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation. “We believe this endowment will continue the college’s ascent and is a well-deserved honor for Dan and Boyce.”
During Daniel Sher’s tenure as dean from 1993 through June of this year, the College of Music established the Entrepreneurship Center for Music (the nation’s first of its kind) and Thompson Jazz Studies Program, and added new graduate programs in music theory and collaborative piano. Sher’s own collaborative piano acumen was on frequent display with his wife, Boyce Reid Sher, as they played duo piano recitals in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
“Boyce and I are humbled by—and deeply grateful for—the support from community leaders and philanthropists such as Anna and John J. Sie,” Sher said. “I am confident this new endowment will have a major impact on our ability to recruit and retain outstanding musicians, from Colorado and around the world.”
The College of Music gift is only the latest generous commitment the Sie family has made to the University of Colorado. They are the founding donors of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the Anschutz Medical Campus, the first medical and research institute with the mission to provide the best clinical care to people with Down syndrome, and the Anna & John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Crnic Institute’s medical care center and the largest multidisciplinary team of medical professionals helping people with Down syndrome in the U.S.
Earlier gifts to CU Denver established the Anna and John J. Sie Film Studies Program. They also are longtime supporters of CU-Boulder’s opera program and helped fund the BioFrontiers Institute.
John J. Sie is the founder and former chairman of Starz Entertainment, a leading integrated global media and entertainment company based in Englewood, and is considered the father of digital television. Anna M. Sie is involved in many Italian-related endeavors in Colorado, including endowing the Anna Maglione-Sie Chair in Italian Language and Culture at the University of Denver, and establishing the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award at the Starz Denver Film Festival.
Maren Stewart, Tom Clark and Donna Alengi
Pink ties, pink hats, pink gowns and pink hair had people in the pink at the Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Affair, the place to be Nov. 9.
The Affair was sold out to the back of the Sheraton Hotel’s biggest ballroom, underscoring the success of the Komen mission to save lives and end breast cancer. It also served to honor the survivors at the benefit and when asked to stand if you are a breast cancer survivor hundreds
of women stood up and got a rousing wave of applause.
TV anchors Kim Christiansen and Mark Koebrich emceed the annual Affair and Kim always brings a strong endorsement for the Komen cause, acknowledging that her sister Keri is a breast cancer survivor.
Recent breast cancer survivor Tamra Ward was chairman, Sarah Jumps was auction committee chair and Lauren Lamb was Young Pros chair. Jumps did a terrific job, supplying the foyer space with a wide range of tempting items, from “good” jewelry to a mini-convertible to put under the Christmas tree for a future Indy 500 winner.
The Denver Metro Affiliate honored John DellaSalle with the Ambassador Award. DellaSalle is CEO of the Tennison Group and TG Staffing. He qualified for the award by continually giving financial help and by being a recognized leader. He’s headed the Fund Development Committee and became a beacon of support through some tough financial years.
There were seven Pink Tie Guys this year: Dean Wilhite, Operations veep for Safeway; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver board chairman Mike Ferrufino; P2 Energy Solutions board chairman Bret Bolin; Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Oakwood Homes CEO Pat Hamill; KOSI Morning Show icon Murphy Huston and Program Coordinator for the Department of Aviation at Denver International Airport, City and County of Denver Marcus Robinson.
Three quarters of the funds the local affiliate raises stay in the state and the rest goes to Komen nationwide research grants.
Upcoming Komen events include the Romp to Stomp, March 1, 2014, the 2014 Race for the Cure on Sept. 28, 2014, and the next Pink Tie Affair, Nov. 15, 2014.
Pink Tie Guy, Murphy Huston and wife, Carol Huston, an 18-year breast cancer survivor
Angela, Julia and John DellaSalle. Photos by Glory Weisberg
Pilar Cook, Israel Samsimoes and Amarilis Viera
Tamra Ward, Sarah Jumps and Lauren Lamb
Be a Santa to a senior
This season, holiday shoppers in the south Denver metro, including the cities of Denver, Cherry Hills Village, Centennial, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Englewood, Aurora can give cheer to area seniors by participating in the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
The program – run by the local Home Instead Senior Care office in partnership with area retailers, volunteers and members of the community – helps ensure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship during the holidays. This can be a difficult time for many, especially those who live alone or have lost spouses and loved ones.
An estimated 27 percent of people 65 and older (10.8 million people) are widowed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, the Administration on Aging reports about 28 percent (11.8 million) non-institutionalized people 65 and older live alone.
Retailers participating in Be a Santa to a Senior will display Christmas trees from Nov. 18 to Dec. 13 that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick an ornament from these trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped to the store, with the ornament attached.
Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at Romano’s Restaurant at 5666 S. Windermere St., Littleton and Home Instead Office, 2095 S. Pontiac Way, Denver, 80224.
The local Home Instead Senior Care office will enlist volunteers from its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.
For more information visit www.BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 303-389-5700.
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