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Mary, Kevin, Brendan and Sean McNicholas celebrated early. Photo by Mary McNicholas
It might have been icy, snowy, windy and a virtual whiteout, but that didn’t deter Mary and Kevin McNicholas from opening their Cherry Hills Village Home for a St. Patrick’s Day Party that raised funds for the Fine Arts Foundation for which Mary serves as president. The very Irish family had snow removal at the ready from early morning and evening festivities included Irish dancing in a parquet- floored tent.
METRO CLUB decided to postpone what became the Shamrock Shuffle due to the unkind weather from Mother Nature. A decorated private area at Slattery’s Irish Pub was filled with members and guest revelers who didn’t have to be Irish to celebrate. Server Jazzy was full of personality and exceptional in pleasing patrons while tending to drinks and a variety of hearty fun food. Gerri and Bob Sweeney were there, of course and son Patrick dropped by saying he couldn’t miss a party that included his name. Irish door prizes were won by Honorary Consul of Sweden
Don Peterson, a former Metropolitan Club member; Dr. Robert Dragoo of Greenwood Village and Gary Ray, husband of Advisory Council member Gayle Ray. Each winner also received a pair of lottery tickets. Wonder if luck of the Irish prevailed…
Aralilia McNicholas danced the part of the Irish Fairy. Photo by Mary McNicholas
Petite Mieko Nakamura, not Irish, but in the spirit with her leprechaun shirt
Marly Dragoo is surrounded by door prize winners Don Peterson and hubby Dr. Robert Dragoo.
Members Cory Drake (could be English or Irish…) with his mom Lyn (board member) and Sherry Huntsinger. Photos by Scottie Taylor Iverson
Vanessa Williams. Photos by Scottie Iverson
Nearly four decades old, Saturday Night Alive (SNA) took place on several levels in the performing arts complex. Cocktails were in the Helen G. Bonfils Theatre Complex and during the reception, BOK Financial sponsored a silent auction. Kudos were also extended to longtime partners United Airlines and Westin Denver Downtown. The auction is especially well-known for its selection of fine art. This year’s tremendous undertaking was chaired by Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons and Jack Fitzgibbons. Exceptional items were included, many priceless – a walk-on role in Wicked, as well as April Snow by the late Larry Fanning contributed by Fascination Street and a commissioned Vanessa Williams portrait by Darrell Anderson.
Executive Director of DCPA Education Allison Watrous with performing students. Photo by Amanda Tipton
Transform TODAY Ignite Tomorrow was the theme for the multi-faceted party raising funds for youth. Over the past 39 years over $20 million has been contributed to Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) toward arts education opportunities for 2.7 million students. Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous shared that children as young as the age of four are introduced to the arts and next year Good Night Moon will be featured.
Threatening weather forecasts kept some guests away including Dan Ritchie who was to receive the inaugural Daniel L. Ritchie Spotlight Award. The award was established to recognize those people and organizations advancing the DCPA mission through extraordinary leadership in philanthropy, advocacy and service.
Isaac Dechtman with his Denver Center Alliance president mom Jennifer, dad Evan and Jennifer’s sister Marnie Klein
Those hundreds determined to brave the familiar Colorado storm were treated to an evening of abundant tradition. Trice Jewelers was sponsor of the surprise boxes – another popular, much-anticipated SNA tradition. After dinner in the Seawell Ballroom catered by Epicurean with a carved Angus tenderloin entrée, guests descended to the Stage Theatre for the last time. This venue will be dramatically renovated and be called The Wolf Theatre in honor of Marvin and Judi Wolf. Onstage was gorgeous Vanessa Williams, a multi-talented performer who has taken Broadway by storm, and been nominated for Tony, Emmy and Grammy Awards. The mother of four was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is now an author. With her mother, Helen Williams, she co-wrote her autobiography You Have No Idea which was a New York Times best-seller in 2012. Her vocal performance was nothing short of …Wow!
The After Party was back up to the converted-to-nightclub Seawell Ballroom. Works-of-art dessert stations, more bars and dancing to the band Wash Park complemented the revelry.
From CBS4 Aaron Inman and master of ceremonies Jim Benemann
DCPA President/CEO Janice Sinden, board chair Martin Semple and wife Jo
John Ekeberg, Steve Edmonds, Daniel Kopnisky
Emerald sponsors Roger and Meredith Hutson and Mark Sexton
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and former Denver DA Mitch Morrissey
J Madden who spoke on behalf of his dad and the Madden Family, Nanelle Wehmann, Cynthia Madden Leitner and Roger Leitner, honoree John Madden, Tom Dinwoodie and John’s son, Scott Madden
It was an evening of multiple celebrations – University of Denver (DU) is 155 years old, Dr. Rebecca Chopp has been the 18th Chancellor at DU for the past five years and the university’s highest honor was bestowed upon John W. Madden, Jr. and Anna and John J. Sie. Many previous honorees were in attendance to enjoy the spring theme of foliage backdrops, water features and entertainment from Lamont School of Music.
The honorees are inspirational – leaving legacies through bricks and mortar and vast unparalleled opportunities for students and other causes in the community. Not only are they givers but engaged partners. Through transformational and visionary leadership and philanthropy, they represent the university’s mission and values. All three have set the bar high through founding, generosity, support, making legacy commitments and have been frequently honored in numerous ways by other institutions.
The Sies became acquainted with Dan Ritchie in New York City. They are described as an amazing couple and an amazing family who have contributed to many causes including founding donors of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Known as “The father of digital television” John Sie is a lifetime emeritus board member of DU. They established the Anna and John Sie International Relations Complex at DU and honored their individual heritage on the campus as well with the Anna Maglione Sie Endowment in Italian Culture and the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. Showing her sense of humor and delight, Anna Sie turned to the audience for a quick display of the huge medal around her neck during the ceremony.
Bob and Judi Newman – 2016 honorees
Chopp called the pioneer commercial real estate developer, John Madden, a Renaissance Man. He became a patron of the arts at a very early age. “The road less traveled was the one most comfortable for my dad,” said J Madden who spoke on behalf of his dad and family. In a video, daughter Cynthia Madden Leitner talked about the Museum of Outdoor Arts that they founded together. Also, in the video renowned architect Curt Fentress described how Madden created spaces that transformed people starting with a piece of art around which Fentress designed.
The finale – John Madden with his larger-than-Olympic Founders Medal
John and his late wife Marjorie amassed a personal art collection housed in the Madden Museum of Art in Greenwood Village – the community where he made an indelible, award-winning mark. (His buildings and grounds are complemented with sculpture and art.) That art collection, a treasure in the community, has been donated to DU and he looks forward to being a partner with the university. To help art students at DU, he is funding “Madden Fellows” on scholarship to have closer access to the arts. He inspires the entrepreneurial spirit.
“Our students are paying attention and seeing possibilities and vision. Both the Sies and John Madden set their sights higher, deeper and brighter and help us see the good in the world,” said Chopp.
Donald Sturm – 2016 honoree (and wife Susan) attended with son Stephen
Schnitzer’s Doug Zabel and Dan Ivanoff
Honorees John J. Sie and wife Anna surround Chancellor Chopp
DU’s Interim Vice Chancellor of Marketing Lea Cadieux and Vice Chancellor of AdvancementArmin Afsahi
Board of Trustees Chair Denise O’Leary
Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie, Joy Burns and Ralph Nagel – all previous Founders honorees
John and Anna Sie with daughter Michelle Sie Whitten and husband Tom Whitten, grandchildren Sophia and Patrick Whitten
Presenting sponsors Doug and Mary Scrivner
Gold sponsors Rita and Navin Dimond
James Landis Martin (1991 honoree) and his wife – Woman of the Hour Sharon Martin and FAF President Mary McNicholas
The theme was French and mostly Monet at the Seawell Ballroom when community treasure Sharon Martin was honored as Citizen of the Arts at the Fine Arts Foundation (FAF) Jubilee. She hails from Illinois and received tributes locally as well as from the Midwest. Via video, The Lakeside Singers of Chicago serenaded her with A Call to Healing. The life trustee of her alma mater, Denison University, has also had a lifelong interest in education. She is co-chair of its current capital campaign and there’s a hall named in her honor. At Denison she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma and master of ceremonies Ed Greene quipped that he attended Monmouth where the sorority was founded. She also held positions for St. Anne’s Episcopal School and Graland Country Day School including a capital campaign (that seems to be her forte.) Sharon serves on the board of trustees for St. Elizabeth’s School and helped with its endowment fund. Passionate collectors of contemporary art, she and husband Lanny are heavily involved in the Denver Art Museum (DAM). She is chairing the capital campaign for the renovation of DAM’s North Building which will be named the Lanny and Sharon Martin Building. They were honored at the museum’s gala Collector’s Choice in 2016. A book could be written about the gracious and generous Sharon Martin and her contributions to the arts and community at large. A few of the many organizations in which she has been active include Central City Opera, the Denver Debutante Ball and Denver Botanic Gardens. She thanked the Fine Arts Foundation, the all-volunteer organization that raises funds for grants and stated that “The arts stir my emotions!”
Mezzo soprano Jennifer DeDominci from Central City Opera
Arlene Mohler Johnson (2011 honoree), Stephanie Whittelsey and Amy Frederick – FAF Ball chairs, Gail Nash and FAF President-elect Steve Edmonds
Jeremy Reger at the piano with a Central City Opera’s baritone Matthew Peterson
University of Denver String Quartet during the reception
Former honorees (2016) Christopher and Joy Dinsdale
Rhondda Hartman and Margo Schlup
Guests at Crazy Merchant Bronze Sponsor table – Susie Hotz, Connie Genova, store managerJan Niemela, Meredith Hotz and Elizabeth Hotz Hubbard
Chairs Suzy Nelson and Valerie Wassill Rudolph
Board Member Lisa Corley, CEO and founder Carina Martin, Gwenivere Snyder who established the Women’s Guild and Maura Johnson, vice president of the Women’s Guild.
Women’s Guild Breakfast chairs Meredith Coors and Ashley Moses filled the ballroom at Glenmoor Country Club with guests who were already members as well as prospects eager to learn about the nonprofit that was founded 10 years ago in the garage of CEO and founder Carina Martin and is growing exponentially. The Women’s Guild is a powerhouse of influential women, sharing a powerful commitment to A Precious Child and embraces its platform to lead effective and meaningful change for Colorado children in need. Sponsors for the day’s event were Lisa Corley and Noble Energy. It was a precious moment when client Amber Talley shared her incredible journey and how A Precious Child has been a gift and blessing in her life and the lives of her children. Unfortunate circumstances can strike any of us.
Debbie Brown, Dayle Cedars and Lisa Bryan
Ashley Moses, Meredith Coors, Anna Cutler and Jen Boyle
Gina Abou-Jaoude and A Precious Child client Amber Talley
Since 2008, A Precious Child has been collaborating, connecting, serving and empowering the community. The organization listened to the community and its needs and created programming to fill the gaps in services not provided by other nonprofits or other organizations to empower children in need to achieve their full potential. A Precious Child supports and collaborates with 440 agency partners across eight counties including Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, Adams, Broomfield, Boulder, Jefferson and Weld. Agency partners consist of schools, human services, mental health and foster care organizations, churches, hospitals, safe houses, fire and police departments, at-risk youth centers and homeless shelters. There are 289,000 children currently living in poverty and living below the Colorado self-sufficiency standard. A Precious Child is not duplicating what other nonprofits contribute to our communities, it is collaborating and supporting those organizations empowering them to magnify their impact. Together, teaming up with agency partners, A Precious Child was able to support 48,000 children and 5,000 adults living in poverty in 2018. It provided 17,126 backpacks filled with the appropriate school supplies and provided over 11,979 Christmas gifts from specific wish lists. In addition, the nonprofit is resource-oriented and provides opportunities for children’s extracurricular activities including sports equipment. Upcoming events include a tea and gala. For further information call 303-466-4272 or visit APreciousChild.org.
Isobel Kuchinsky, Jordan Cole and Melissa Landeskog
Ms. Senior America Gayle Novak, Nancy Markham Bugbee, LaFawn Biddle, Jimmy and Linda Yip
Last Friday, beginning with news anchors – seen locally and nationally, one noticed it must be a day for wearing red. It was. Traditionally, American Heart Association designates the kickoff for Heart Month as the first Friday in February and calls it National Wear RED Day. Several events were planned around town in recognition. One group of women and men attended a luncheon at Chinook Tavern in Greenwood Village similar to one that was held for years at the former Metropolitan Club to receive the iconic Red Dress Pin and be reminded of preventative measures for avoiding heart disease.
Mieko Nakamura, Gayle Ray, Aldona and Rick Seymour, Nathalia Faribault
Lynnette Morrison, Jackie Rotole, Kris Lamers, Beverly Day, Lani Hood, Dr. Bonita Carson
The CCU group in Washington, D.C. with the capitol in the background. (Courtesy of CCU)
The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University (CCU) works to enhance public understanding of the most important issues relating to faith, family and freedom. As part of this endeavor, the institute focuses its efforts on conducting research, analyzing public policy options and sponsoring seminars, conferences, and other activities that involve students, faculty, staff and outside experts. CCU sent a record number of 27 students to the January March for Life held at the nation’s capital. These students along with tens of thousands of others marched from the White House to the Supreme Court to support the sanctity of life and demand an overturning of Roe v. Wade. “These students represent the active, bright and intelligent who make up the student body at CCU,” said Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute. “They are taking a bold stand on behalf of the sanctity of human life. We are proud of them for putting the values they learn at CCU into action.”
AnnieLaurie Anton, student staff member at CCU
Antonette DeLauro Smith, marketing director at Centennial Institute/CCU Photo by Scottie Taylor Iverson
One of the students – AnnieLaurie Anton is a junior psychology major from Prescott, Ariz. and president of CCU for Life that holds events twice per month. The programs address various issues including abortion. She chose CCU because no others that she considered felt right and CCU did feel right. This was her third year of going to the March for Life. She felt compelled. Even in middle school, she wanted to become involved and was interested in the right to life team and wanted to impact students. “This year’s march was largely the same as in years past only many more people this year,” she commented. In addition to meeting various assistants and representatives of legislators, even with the government shutdown, the group visited the Holocaust Museum that made quite an horrific impression especially in light of the abortion issue. During the four days in D.C., there were exhibits with various Pro Life merchandise and the Rose Dinner Friday night after the March day. “I came away with a sense of hope that students developed there, while becoming more passionate and wanting to see justice.”
One of the six chaperones, Antonette DeLauro Smith said: “I was honored to attend the March for Life and meet such a diverse and loving group of people from around the country who want to provide more and better support for women and their babies.”
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