Invisible No More. That’s the goal of Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) founded by Wayne and Sher...
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After enjoying tremendous success in its original Stapleton location, Rare Finds Warehouse, hand-picked and cu...
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Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, even in the midst of renovation, was the venue for the annual MS Gala to benef...
On the darker side of humanity, there are victims of human trafficking around the world, even in America. Annu...
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, even in the midst of renovation, was the venue for the annual MS Gala to benefit the Rocky Mountain MS Center. The multi-faceted program was packed with information and layers of fun and entertainment. With a growing list of loyal supporters, the evening went quickly and raised much-needed funds to make the lives of patients with MS and loved ones easier.
Look for additional coverage and photos in next week’s edition of The Villager.
On the darker side of humanity, there are victims of human trafficking around the world, even in America. Annually, there are 1.2 million children who are victims with horrible conditions. 80 per cent of children in orphan homes have living parents. 70 per cent of the victims are disempowered, illiterate or living in poverty. Katie Hilborn has the energy and resolve to do something about it.During a very secret undercover mission with a videographer, she was able to trace the path of at least one “missing” girl in Nepal and reveal the conditions of victims there. She is called and compelled to complete as many missions as possible and founded a nonprofit named Global Orphan Prevention – where no child is forgotten or separated because of natural disasters or impossible circumstances. The Mission: We strive to keep mothers and children together through economic development, awareness and educational opportunity. From addressing child sex trafficking to the orphan trade, we provide effective and just solutions to keep children with their families.
Currently, the nonprofit’s goal is to build a girls empowerment center and dormitory in the Nepali Himalayas. Hoping to raise $85,000 for this project, the event far exceeded the amount to the delight of Global Orphan Prevention’s team and multiple volunteers. The generosity of sponsors, a silent auction, a live auction of seven exciting items called by Libby Pollack and in-kind donations by the scores, including sponsored cocktail stations, food stations supplied by restaurants, the coffers were filled. The “paddle raise ask” was extremely generous putting the dollar goal over the top.
Katie stood front and center through the evening expressing gratefulness to all who helped and attended. “There was something beautiful about the people in the room,” she said. She also mentioned that the organization is tenacious, dedicated and collaborative and offered the success of its model to those willing to help others. Global Orphan Prevention is a Top-Rated Nonprofit and received that designation in 2018. It also received the Seal of Transparency in 2019 and is a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. For further information, to volunteer or donate: www.globalorphanprevention.org.
BY SCOTTIE TAYLOR IVERSONCOMMUNITY EDITOR
What began Tethered by Letters is now Brink Literacy Project. Founder Dani Hedlund (who is passionate about literacy and had her own novel published when she was 18 years old) promised a night of stories and intrigue to support literacy programs in Colorado. The nonprofit’s 2019 Novel Gala with a masquerade theme was held at the Brown Palace Hotel.The Novel Philanthropic Award was presented to the Daniels Fund, a private charitable foundation established by the late cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, which is dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarships and ethics initiative. Daniels Fund President and CEO, Linda Childears accepted the award. Brink had an amazing year in 2018 according to Hedlund. Four courses of the Frames Prison Program were taught to 52 students at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. Three journals were printed, publishing 53 writers from seven countries and 16 states. A new education initiative was launched for low-literacy youth and a beautiful new website was created and of course, the name change. Funds raised at the Novel Gala allow for expansion of programs for promoting literacy and storytelling in underserved communities across Colorado.
The American diplomat who served under numerous presidents, former Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia and Poland; Christopher Hill and his wife Julie opened their Greenwood Village home to dozens of supporters of Mike Coffman for Aurora Mayor. Aurora is diverse and so were those who came out to endorse and support former U.S.Congressman Coffman.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect evening for a summer garden party and Glenmoor Country Club’s entire main level was all dressed up in purple and white for an intimate and touching fundraiser that even included tiny tissues on the dinner tables for tears after the video. Jim Kennedy’s wife, Diana was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago and he master planned a multi-faceted private event that drew hundreds along with co-hosts Jill and Jim Lorentz. (The concept began in their backyard as Jill has eight family members diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.) During a lovely cocktail hour on the terrace, heavy hors d’oeuvres were passed while the talented Lorentz couple entertained. In addition, a simulator-type “Dream Tour” was offered with headphones and gloves for those wishing to gain some insight as to what an Alzheimer’s patient might experience. On hand was CU Chancellor at the Anschutz Medical Campus, Don Elliman and prominent researcher Huntington Potter, PhD and several doctors representing the Anschutz Medical Campus. After dinner, there was live music and dancing on the west side of the club. Over $100,000 was raised for the University of Colorado Alzheimer’s Research Center at the Anschutz Campus.
Traditionally, Denver Area Panhellenic (DAP) welcomes the incoming president with a late summer President’s Tea hosted by her sorority sisters. Alpha Gamma Delta alumnae hosted a delightful afternoon at The Falls Event Center for Jennifer Morse, marking her fourth year of the five years required to serve on the executive board. (It’s a commitment!) In addition to Alpha Gamma Deltas, past presidents, DAP delegates and other women’s fraternity presidents were invioted at share the celebration and launch the year. Executive Board Members are: Vice President Stacey Cummins – Alpha Xi Delta, Treasurer Maureen Rojas – Phi Mu and Secretary Jill LaCroix – Sigma Sigma Sigma and Delegate-at–Large Clara Tomsula – Alpha Omicron Pi.
Denver Area Panhellenic has been celebrating sisterhood since 1908, currently represents alumnae from 23 fraternities for women and is a member of National Panhellenic Council (NPC) headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. DAP is also proud of its fundraising for student scholarships, philanthropy and programming and has won numerous national awards.
At the Annual Awards Luncheon, Mary Ellen Fitzsimonds – Kappa Alpha Theta (Theta) was named DAP Woman of the Year and Barb Goettleman – Kappa Kappa Gamma (Kappa) received the Alumnae Achievement Award.
Mary Ellen Kutsenda Fitzsimonds is a graduate of Drake University, where she became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and received a B.S. in Pharmacy. As a licensed pharmacist, Mary Ellen worked in Chicago at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Children’s Memorial Hospital and Fujisawa Healthcare. Mary Ellen is a dedicated volunteer in her community. She has been a Girl Scout leader for 13 years and a Gold Award mentor for high school- aged Girl Scouts. She also served on the Chicago Girl Scout Council of 100.She has also been a Boy Scout troop committee member and merit badge counselor. Involved in her children’s schooling, she served in the PTA and community organizations. Mary Ellen has been actively involved in Theta since graduation. She was president of the Chicago North Shore Alumnae Chapter. She served the international fraternity as: Alumnae District Officer, Alumnae District President, 3rd Alternate NPC Delegate, Panhellenic Resource Officer and Fraternity Vice President Alumnae and Kappa Alpha Theta Trustee Vice President. She is currently a member of Denver Alumnae chapter and serves as Theta Foundation Liaison. Her husband of 31 years, Steve, and their boxer puppy, RJ, reside with her in Larkspur. They have two children and four grandchildren with one more on the way. Her hobbies include hiking, skiing and cheering for the Chicago Cubs!
Barb Goettleman graduated from Syracuse University where she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma. with a degree in journalism and continued her education at Colorado State University, where she earned her Early Education Director Certification. Beginning her career in broadcasting, she shifted into various educator roles such as Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher. She has been an active leader in her community and was chosen as CEO/President of Assistance League Denver, Inc. Other offices include: corresponding secretary of Colorado Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, and vice president of PEO International (Chapter DJ of Denver), national district coordinator – National League, Inc. and chapter board member of Volunteers of America.
She is a member of several other organizations. In each of the organizations she currently serves, she has been a long-time volunteer, holding various positions of responsibility.
By her Kappa Chapter, she is described as “the living example of civic and sorority leadership at its best as she constantly seeks ways to do good in Denver, for our Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity and for our National Panhelleninc Conference as a whole.”
Scottie Taylor Iverson is an alumnae member of Kappa Alpha Theta, was Denver Alumnae Chapter’s Woman of the Year in 2005 served as president of Denver Area Panhellenic and was DAP’s Woman of the Year in 2011.
Nationally recognized professional inspirational speaker, author and musician Gail Hamilton wants the public to be aware of and sensitive to the special attention to be paid to service guide dogs. These precious animals go through rigorous training and offer tremendous value and responsibility. Their loyalty and purpose to their masters is unparalleled. Any accident or thoughtless incident could lead to injury to them or their owner or end of service. One such incident was related by Gail Hamilton who is a visionary although blind. She was crowned Ms. Colorado Senior in 2013 and received a standing ovation when she belted out an aria from Puccini’s Nessun Dorma at the national competition, placing in Top 5. “I had to retire my spectacular Seeing Eye dog on April 28, 2019, after only being with him for six months; which breaks my heart,” she said. “Sarge was the best dog I’ve had in over 20 years!” On her way to church one morning, a woman allowed her dog to come in contact with Sarge in the middle of a busy intersection. The woman had said – “It’s okay,” but it wasn’t. Her actions had a devastating repercussion that changed Sarge’s life and Gail’s. Sarge couldn’t resist the temptation of that barking dog inches from his face and they got into a brawl. Since her life was in his eyes and paws, Gail’s safety was at risk. “Unfortunately, he had to return to the Seeing Eye in Morrsitown, New Jersey on May 9 and I’ll never walk the streets, pet his soft ears or play Kong with him again,” said Gail. “After agonizing weeks, I have learned that Sarge has been selected to be trained as a bomb sniffing police dog. I am still crying over the loss of him. I have applied for dog six, but it could take up to six months to a year before I am matched.”
Gail recently learned of another incident on Washington, D.C. A woman and her guide dog were using an escalator and a man decided he absolutely had to pass them. He accidentally stepped on the dog’s foot and the dog yelped. His foot got caught in the device and he had to have surgery. Very possibly, the dog will not be able to work again – physically or emotionally. This is why Gail is so willing to get the word out. It’s a Class 3 misdemeanor to distract a Seeing Eye dog. This includes when approaching a Seeing Eye dog, interact or speak to a Seeing Eye dog or its owner, feeding or looking into the eyes of a Seeing Eye dog. Or, allow your dog to come in contact with a Seeing Eye dog, no matter what! The holder of two Masters Degrees, she is passionate about everything she undertakes and welcomes opportunities from personal, professional, legislative and media outlets to bring to light this obscure issue and insure independence and safety for all guide dog teams.
Please contact her: Gail@SoaringIntoGreatness.com or 720-984-8082.
Karen Allen recently donated three of her horse paintings to The Village Club – a club to which she, her husband Doug and her family belonged for many years while residents of Cherry Hills Village. She is from Virginia and her natural love of horses began as a child. The paintings displayed at the club were created from photos Karen took while riding with the Deep Run Hunt.
She holds a Master of Art and Humanities and was a member of the Arts Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives where she introduced the arts of the world in various embassies to Congress. Many will remember her as an innovative art teacher at Cherry Creek High School and Littleton High School. She has shown her work locally as well as in Botswana, Africa and Europe and was the artist for National Geographic travel for the Copper Canyon, Mexico. She continues to paint various subject matter including landscape, people and wildlife in southern Florida where she maintains a home near the beach. She is very proud of her work on Nazi War Art and starting a national program for high school students to hang a piece of art in our nation’s Capitol for a year. Her creative and entrepreneurial genes were passed along to her children and grandchildren.
The Village Club is a unique, family-oriented, member-owned, non-profit Colorado Corporation with deep history since 1927. The ten-acre property boasting horse stables, an outdoor riding arena, an Olympic-size swimming pool, six tennis courts and a platform tennis court is nestled in the heart of pastoral Cherry Hills Village. The historic stone clubhouse was designed by renowned architect Temple Hoyne Buell.
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