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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.
BY SCOTTIE TAYLOR IVERSONCOMMUNITY EDITOR
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.
Retired surgeon Dr. Dennis Law knows no boundaries when it comes to creativity. After a four performance run of his Ms Butterfly at the Robert & Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Denver (DU) campus (covered extensively in The Villager) and the Denver International Festival of Arts & Technology (DIFAT) sponsored by the Joseph & Loretta Law Institute of Arts and Technology at the University of Denver, Dr. Law presented a Symposium as a finale. The third element of the festival was honoring those who received The Denny Awards for International Competition for Electro-Acoustic Music that lasted from July 28-31. Ms Butterfly was the futuristic electro-acoustic adaption of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and much of the behind the scenes production was shared at the Symposium held in Hamilton Hall at the Newman Center.
Dr. Law also has a talent for “gathering” people and being a catalyst in the community. He helped the audience discover what technology can do and what people can do with technology. Who knew about laptop orchestras? Think laptopera! What do we do with artificial intelligence and robots? How does technology creating music benefit health and wellness – therapeutic instruments for those with Down syndrome and others with neurological deficits? Dr. Law mentioned that the mission statement of the Joseph and Loretta Law Institute of Arts and Technology includes a multicultural component. He discovered a street dancer in LA who performed a robotic/popping/animation dance with electro-acoustic music. In a community church in Aurora, he discovered a Congolese choir who performed on stage accompanied by futuristic electro-acoustic music. He brought in Guan Haisen from China to present New Technologies for Antique Appraisals. Haisen has written 100 essays on assessment of Chinese art. Four valuable high school interns received their recognition certificates on stage.
The keynote speaker, after a light supper catered by a favorite downtown restaurant Uncle Joe’s (named after the late Joseph Law), Dr. Ge Wang, a professor of Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, presented a fun and enlightening speech on “The Future of Arts & Technology.” Dr. Wang also encouraged purchase of his book, ARTFUL DESIGN, a comic book for the engineer with an artful soul. “Good design enables us,” he said. Great design understands us.” Ms Butterfly was the first of Dr. Law’s action musicals. He also has Terra Cotta Warriors in 3D and Ode to Nature to his credit.
What began over two decades ago as a picnic has grown to an elegant Sunset in the Country theme, signature event to benefit Anchor Center for Blind Children. There are exquisitely decorated tables to greet guests warmly and show a labor of love. The summer luncheon kickoff for table hosts was held at the same beautiful venue as the actual evening event, J-5 Equestrian Center owned by generous hosts Louisa and Robert Jornayvaz. Footers catered a delectable buffet with parting favor boxes of sweets. Mary Martha’s Floral and Event Rents enhanced the elegant setting. Anchor Center is the philanthropy of Delta Gamma sorority and dozens of members show up in support. The festivities will include a giant silent auction in the barn, and entertainment by The Jakarta Band. For information about being a table host and all the details of decorating your own table or sponsorships or attending the unique event: 303-377-9732 or anchorcenter.org/sunset2019.
A Summer Cocktail Party was hosted by Century Communities’ The Retreat at Ridgegate for Lone Tree Arts Center Guild to promote its annual gala – raising funds for Lone Tree Arts Center (LTAC) including support of its Children’s Programs and Sensory Friendly Programs. After a cocktail hour, live auction and dinner, the opening night show will feature the Mary Louise Lee Orchestra doing a Diana Ross Tribute with an after party of champagne and dessert. Admission is $180. For further information and sponsorship opportunities, Tonya Fallows: 303-489-5533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center (RMMSC) kicked off its fall gala with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the University Club hosted by loyal supporter Mark Johnson. The casino-themed annual gala fundraiser will be Saturday, September 14 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver beginning at 6:00 p.m. Silent and live auctions will complement the fun-filled evening that includes casino gaming, a live band, and a comedian. The gala provides critical funding for promising research and 100% of funds raised stay in Colorado to support MS programs and research. “We’re at a point of pivoting. This is a very hopeful point for MS,” said Dr. John Corboy. “More medicines are approved now to regenerate the nervous system and reboot the immune system. We need grant money for developing a screening tool for early diagnosis.”
For reservations and table purchases, please contact: Sarah at 303-788-4030, ext. 111. Early bird prices apply until August 1.
Denver International Festival of Arts and Technology (DIFAT) will present three components at the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Denver campus July 25-July 31. For authorized admission tickets: newmantix.com or 303-871-7720.
The festival is sponsored and presented by the Joseph & Loretta Law Institute of Arts & Technology (founded by their son Dennis Law, MD). The first component is the world premiere of Ms Butterfly – a combination of ballet and opera with costumes on super steroids. Full rehearsals began on July 15. Instead of a 65-piece orchestra, because of technology – there will be six musicians. Instead of a chorus, there will be 24 dancers. The cast of dancers is from Wonderbound, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company and members of Law Brothers Chinese Performing Arts International. The second component is The Finals for the Denny Award International Competitions for Electronic Music in three categories. The third component is a Festival Symposium on Arts & Technology on July 31 from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. Admission to this symposium is free to the first 250 respondents by contacting Grace Tian (617-816-4850) or e-mail: gtian@
Dr. Larry Chan coordinated a three-course dinner at University Club to feature Dr. Dennis Law’s discussion of his upcoming futuristic adaptation and production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. “It’s a fresh showcase to appeal to broader audiences including young people,” said Dr. Law, a retired surgeon who never lacks for passion and creativity and who is also chairman of the Denver International Festival of Arts and Technology.
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