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Peggy Rudden. File photo by Glory Weisberg
Peggy Rudden has been elected to the National CASA Association, sharing her skills with 945 other CASA programs throughout the U.S.
The National CASA Association began operating in 1977 in Seattle.
Rudden helped put Arapahoe County’s Advocates for Children CASA program together, starting in 1981. In 1985, she and community volunteers brought the volunteer CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program to the county’s 18th Judicial District and the next year the nonprofit began operating, eventually leading Rudden to complete a degree in criminal justice.
Fast forward to 1991 when she became a caseworker and then in 2000 she became the Advocates for Children executive director.
“Peg has been an inspiration to all who know her. She is truly one of the premier child advocates in the country,” said longtime co-worker Valerie Lunka.
Rudden is a visionary, understanding just how frightening it can be for a young child to have to face strange grownups in a courtroom and perhaps other settings as well, just to tell her/his tale of abuse.
How would your own young offspring have faced this situation?
But the CASA program uses well-trained representatives to attend the court hearing for a child. According to the website www.casaforchildren.org, no special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. Each person gets 30 hours of training “in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children.”
We have heard over the years how hard it is to avoid bonding with a child, then when the case is completed, not see the child again. These are very special people who know how to handle this task and in Arapahoe County, as well as throughout the nation, be able to keep doing this for perhaps years. Empty nesters and others find this rewarding and fulfilling.
Rudden now oversees the 400 volunteers working at the address, which also now has a paid staff of 14.
Through the years since 1985 when we met, Rudden’s always been on hand for brainstorming benefits and this ongoing leadership means continuity and that means not having to “re-invent the wheel” so to speak.
Rudden is now set to add her experience and expertise to the CASA program beyond the borders of Arapahoe County, strengthening the cause.
We congratulate this mother of six, a born leader.
Interested parties can visit adv4children.org.
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver notes that Denver was selected as one of only three cities in the U.S. to participate in the 30th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. They plan to improve Denver’s Globeville neighborhood, but to make this happen, Habitat Metro Denver needs more than 350 volunteers a day from Oct. 6-11. Details about President and Mrs. Carter’s visit to Denver are available from Habitat Metro Denver. Contact Robyn Burns, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver at 720-496-2712 or by cell at 303-726-1793.
Denver Health Foundation events
The Denver Health Foundation has three upcoming events, starting with the April 27 NightShine Sparkle, Shine & Celebrate Another Electric Year. The National Western Events Center is the ongoing host for the annual benefit that attracts an arena full of supporters. Train is the featured performer and the event is black tie. Pat Hamill is gala chair and James and Pamela Crowe are 2013 Denver Health Stars. Email Candice.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-602-2978.
On May 4 Open Your Hearts to Newborns in Need has its annual drop off event, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Volunteers will be stationed at the Denver Health Medical Center at 301 W. 6th Ave, which is near Bannock Street. They are collecting items for a Warm Welcome Bag for the more than 3,000 babies born each year at Denver Health who need basic items to help them care for their new babies.
Among suggested items are disposable diapers and baby wipes, baby wash and shampoo, convertible car seats, blankets, clothing that is easy to wash and newborn size socks and booties. For more details on this citywide collection effort, visit www.denverhealthfoundation.org.
May 8 is the date for the Newborns in Need Program Baby Shower at the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and reservations are required. This is a heart-warming event with several volunteer agencies and individuals helping supply the hospital with needed items such as those listed above. Boy Scouts help unload guests’ autos. All items must be new.
We hate them, yet find them indispensible at certain events. We’re talking about nametags. They come in various forms from hanging lanyards to clips, pin on with and without plastic covers and peel offs. None are welcome by tuxedoed or gowned guests and for good reason. Here we quote from the back of Post-It Super Sticky adhesive name badges, PVC-Free. “Not recommended for use on leather, suede, silk, velvet, corduroy, vinyl or delicate fabrics.” Trying to use them gracefully, more than one woman has stuck nametags on her purse. Bad idea as they may damage them.
One avid reader said the lanyards just don’t go with luscious and delicate gowns because that’s where the “good” jewelry goes. Pins of any kind snag fabric.
In defense of these pesky little things, they are invaluable for conversing with total strangers, especially when you’re name retention challenged. In one ear, out the other without stopping to memorize even a first name and there to bail you out is the clear-as-day nametag.
We’ve even seen creative guests put the things on their actual skin, be it chest or arm and wow, is that a bad place to put one as it can leave its shadow behind or takes your body hair when ripped off and it looks dorky.
Then what about the way names are printed on them, especially those hand written by the guest at check-in? I can’t read those tiny scrawled names no matter how hard I squint and forget it if you think I’m taking out my granny glasses just to decipher your name.
As noted in a previous etiquette piece, it’s just good manners to use the new person’s name several times to help you remember it and also required for introducing your new acquaintance to a friend who saunters over while you’re in mid-conversation.
Personal opinion is to avoid using nametags at galas or other formal attire benefits.
Circle the date, June 15, for the Two Topless Miles benefit for breast cancer. Yes, it’s topless and for real. Organizers note, “The event promises a unique fun and safe way to go topless while raising money for breast cancer research and awareness.
The event is at the Mountain Air Ranch, billed as Colorado’s Family Nudist Resort, near Littleton. It’s a private property so “women will not have to worry about legal repercussions for being topless as in other more public venues,” the information says.
Organizers further quote www.breastcancer.org that in the U.S. alone, there are more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors whom Amy Bathrick, a director of the Two Topless Miles nonprofit, notes that “because of the accepting nature of nudists we’ve seen that our survivor members have far fewer body image issues.”
They also note the event was “inspired by censorship activities on Facebook” and the press release goes on more about that.
Knowing that Denver is notoriously late in RSVPing for events, even showing up without a reservation, this agency is requiring advance registration at www.ttm2013.myevent.com.
The Two Topless Miles event is so named because participants can be part of an actual 2-mile long chain of “smiling, top-free women and men and/or a 5K topless hike.” Body painting is encouraged as a type of “creative costuming.”
Organizers state that 80 percent of proceeds go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering breast cancer research. The rest goes to education programs for survivors and their families.
Two Topless Miles formed in January and has applied for 501(c)3 status. Reach them at the Web address above or call Carla Gurovich at 303-324-0247 or email her at email@example.com.
Dining Out for Life Day
On April 25, about 90,000 Coloradans will participate in Dining Out for Life Day, an event that since 1991 has supported HIV/AIDS research. This year they expect to raise about $350,000 to support Project Angel Heart. Restaurants participating in the one-day eat out effort are donating 25 percent of food sales to the nonprofit. Throughout the U.S. about 250,000 folks in 60 market areas are involved. Locally, Project Angel Heart assisted in delivering 445,000 free meals to about 2,000 people in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs. Visit www.diningoutforlife.com/denver or www.projectangelheart.org/events/dining-out-for-life.html.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Up With People and on April 20, they have their 2013 Reaching Beyond Gala to support their global scholarship fund. The event is at the Marriott City Center. Up With People is based in Denver and part of their mission is to “bring the world together, building bridges of understanding as a foundation for world peace.” Student volunteers get an education in leadership and the performing arts. On the gala host committee are John Peterson and Jill Pedicord Peterson, Sary Garcia, David Goldberg, Tim and Charlotte Lane, Jill and Eric Lentz, Laurie and Eric Roster, Amy Jordan Russ, Michael and Suzanne Shaw and Tom Valdez and Karen Isaak Valdez.
Former NASA astronaut Capt. Eugene Cernan is keynote speaker and NBC correspondent Tom Costello is emcee. For info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-215-3219.
Mother Daughter Tea
The Cherokee Castle is hosting the Denver Ballet Guild Le Bal de Ballet Mother Daughter Tea, April 14 for debutantes and moms while the guild’s Les Demoiselles has a Mother Daughter Fashion Show and Brunch dubbed Hooray for Hollywood! April 21 at Pinehurst Country Club. The young women who are senior members of Les Demoiselles will be escorted by the University of Denver Men’s Swim and Dive Team members. Lisa Stennes is in charge of reservations for this group’s members.
Child care volunteers needed
Warren Village needs volunteers for evening child care, help with family nights, special holiday activities, life skills classes, mentoring opportunities with business professionals, tutoring for school-age children and a health care clinic hosted by medical professionals. Reach them at www.warrenvillage.org or 303-321-2345.
Advocates for Children is seeking CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children who have open cases in the judicial system. Former volunteers have said this was a deeply meaningful task. It’s a hands-on way to really make a difficult situation less threatening to these children and it’s emotionally fulfilling. Open house is April 18, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and a volunteer training class starts April 29. Call Valerie Lunka at 303-695-1882, ext. 29. They are located at 3000 S. Jamaica Court in Aurora.
Fond of Fondue?
The American Lung Association has Fondue Fundraisers throughout April. The Melting Pot restaurants in Littleton and Louisville are participating.
This isn’t just fondue, this is a four-course dinner, including wine, with funds earmarked for the association’s Champ Camp’s scholarships. Champ Camp is Colorado’s only camp for children with asthma.
The four-course menu starts with a garlic and herb cheese fondue with rustic artisan breads, veggies and apples for dipping. Next up is a choice of salads; third course is a choice of entrée, from filet mignon to shrimp, sirloin, chicken, salmon and more veggies to choose from.
The last course is a “Cookies and Cream Chocolate Fondue.”
For reservations at the Littleton Melting Pot, call 303-794-5666 or the Louisville location, 303-666-7777.
Hope Ball, May 4
Cancer League of Colorado has its Hope Ball, Dedicated to the Ones We Love, May 4 at our DTC Hyatt with mega-Realtor Edie Marks at the helm again. This woman seems to be a money magnet, attracting top-notch auction items with help from daughter, Elise Marks-Gruitch, who is donations chair. Kathleen Bennett is overall auction chair. Barb Reece is sponsorship chair and her hubby Gary Reece is CLC president. Diane Brandon is League treasurer. The Hope Ball has a large army on the committee.
On the live auction are a $46,000 Makk painting titled “Love and Hope;” an all expense paid trip to Beijing, a Marianne Caroselli life size bronze titled “Girl Reading a Book;” a $20,000 Larry Fanning painting; $20,000 Carrie Fell painting coupled with a catered art dinner; a C Lazy U family vacation, and a live puppy.
The late Linda James Goto is the Champion of Hope. Linda chaired the gala twice and was indeed a CLC champion. She waged a decade-long battle against and succumbed to leukemia earlier this year.
Visit cancerleague.org or call Edie at 303-905-0744. Louise Richardson is also a contact source and can be reached at email@example.com.
Having addressed benefit table topics that touch off tension between tablemates at a nonprofit event, here are some ideas on what is OK to say to start a conversation.
Never leave the house without scanning The Wall Street Journal’s front page column shaded in cream. Surely there’s something there that won’t get you in trouble.
Hoping your nearest tablemate reads The Villager, ask what recent article they found that they enjoyed reading.
The Etiquette pieces are now the most popular ongoing part of this column so ask, “How do you feel about…” one of those entries and see where that takes you.
Local cultural events such as benefits are another safe topic. Start by asking what charities they support/belong to and ask why they are involved. Denver is a hotbed of local theater activities or productions making the national tour circuit. Start by asking what they went to recently and did they like it and if so, why.
Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, University of Denver hockey and other sports events are safe fodder and it seems that even off-season there’s something in the news about it all so ask if the other person likes one or many sports such as golf or tennis. If they have kids, ask if they are involved in little league, hockey, a basketball league or martial arts and ask for details.
12 Children’s Hospital Heart Institute Little Hearts Luncheon & Fashion Show, 720-777-1700
12 Seeds of Hope Charitable Trust Hope Springs Eternal, 303-715-3186
12 Gathering Place Gala Global Getaway, 303-996-9048
13 Project Education South Sudan Arts & Artifacts, 303-316-4528
13 Regis Jesuit Lark, 303-246-7342
13 Dani’s Foundation 13 Steps With Pets Walk, www.danisfoundation.org
13 Zarlengo Foundation Evening of Comedy featuring Billy Gardell, 303-718-7220
13 Denver Art Museum DAM Uncorked, 720-913-2763
13 Colorado Ballet Auxiliary Balletto Di Gala Dancing With Our Stars, 303-339-1618
16 Colorado UpLift Guild Evening at Canvas and Cocktails, 303-794-6696
16 Hospice of Saint John Healthcare Decisions Day Event, 303-790-2020
17 Fine Arts Foundation Spring Luncheon, 303-697-8653
18 Central City Opera Party for Preservation, www.centralcityopera.org/pfp
18 Smart-Girl Smart-Guy Smart-Girl Luncheon, 303-815-1921
18 Dani’s Foundation A Night of Pun & Games, 303-601-1881
18 Goodwill Power of Work Luncheon, www.goodwilldenver.org
19 Children’s Law Center Annual Dinner, www.childlawcenter.org
19 -21: Sense of Security and Two White Feet Dressage for the Cure at the Peak, 719-287-2040
19 -21: Morgan Adams Foundation Race Against Kids’ Cancer, www.morganadams.org
20 CNI 2013 Cindy Acree Hope Awards Celebration, 303-597-1525
20 Epilepsy Foundation Pearls at the Palace, 303-377-9774
20 Up with People Reaching Beyond Gala, 720-215-3219
20 Kempe Takes Venice, www.kempe.org
24 Sue Miller Day of Caring Fostering Health & Hope Breakfast, firstname.lastname@example.org
24 Advocates For Children Rally For Kinds Breakfast, 303-695-0803
24 Sense of Security Fostering Health & Hope, www.senseofsecurity.org
24 Jewish Family Service JFS Executive Luncheon, email@example.com
24 The Denver Hospice Heart of Hospice Tribute Dinner
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado is now accepting applications for its 2013 Girls’ Leadership Council, which is expanded this year to include 20 participants. Sophomore high school girls from across Colorado may apply for a weeklong leadership program to be held at the University of Denver in late July.
Girls’ Leadership Council, a program created by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, is partnering with Girls Inc. of Metro Denver this year. Applications are available online at www.wfco.org/GLC and due Friday, March 29, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Wells Fargo invests $4.3M
Wells Fargo notes it “invested” $4.3 million to in-state nonprofits last year. Among charities listed are The Boys & Girls Clubs, Children’s Health Foundation, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition and Food Bank of the Rockies. For a full list, visit www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr.
Nominations for Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for women who made lasting contributions to their business fields and inspired others, among other qualities they are looking for. Visit www.cogreatwomen.org/nominate2013. Deadline for nominations is Aug. 13.
Coming Up Down the Road
The Seeds of Hope Charitable Trust has its Party Peeps & Poker June 14. The Central City Opera Guild Music & Martinis is June 13; The Cherry Creek Arts Festival is July 5, 6 and 7. The Denver Health Foundation Hot Rocks Griller Challenge is June 12 and the usual charity supporting chefs include Brandon Biederman of Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben’s. The National Repertory Orchestra “Fifty Shades of Fabulous!” gala is June 21. The Sept. 20 Arapahoe House Luncheon stars Meredith Baxter, best known as a sitcom fixture. She is also sober for 23 years and has a book out. For event info visit www.arapahoehouse.org.
According to a Facebook poll from a few months back, the most common reason friends de-friend someone are postings regarding politics. Such postings assume that every friend feels the same as you do about your political leanings and that assumption is made without sufficient personal knowledge of this sensitivity. Even within political parties there are deep chasms from one extreme to the other and lots in between. Those who do post political leanings on Facebook reveal more about themselves than their friends ever knew.
Some also assume that members of a same ethnic or religious group share their political party loyalty. Not so fast! Preaching about politics from a pulpit can reduce church/synagogue membership as fast as a member can go from being seated to diving for the door. We personally became offended when this happened to us. Their replacement knows better. America is still a melting pot and to avoid a meltdown among your social groups, avoid politics.
The same caution applies even among close family members. Raised in one political party, offspring often distance themselves from their elders by switching party. If you remember the 1970s, remember too the drastic societal norms changes. Send your kid off to college around Labor Day of freshman year and in walks someone entirely different for Thanksgiving.
One other political etiquette problem is with a rude reporter. We’ve all known John Hickenlooper for a long time and he’s a friendly guy, ducking the slings and arrows that have brought down other politicians. But Gov. Hick, as we call him, had answered one reporter’s question regarding an alleged killer’s father and the guv’s friendship with him. He replied that he would never give special attention to a friend just because he was a friend. When asked the same question again, nagging for the kind of reply the reporter still wasn’t satisfied with, the guv let loose.
I agree with his reaction, hinting that perhaps the reporter and his local TV channel’s access to him could be affected. There is a risk to being a nagging pest.
Skip Miller is being honored April 24 with the Denver Hospice Heart of Hospice Award.
Skip helped with the hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry with his focus on the Caring for the Future Campaign. Miller, Steve Farber and Walt Isenberg co-chaired the campaign that helps fund the $15 million facility that opened in January, 2011. Miller is known as a commercial real estate developer, focusing on shopping centers and is married to Nancy Lustig Miller.
Louann Miller is the hospice’s longest serving volunteer and she inspired the Heart of Hospice Award, and was its first honoree. For information on the event call 303-398-6319.
Hoops for Hope
Cherry Creek High School hosted Adam’s Camp Hoops for Hope, bringing out more than 700 people to cheer on the Adam’s Camp Pipsters and meet Olympian and Centennial resident, Missy Franklin.
Dr. Nancy Lataitis and Sandee Walling co-chaired the benefit that raised over $50,000. The event was supported by Partners in Pediatrics and Game Sponsors Larry, Debbie and Greg Hauserman. Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children was a Player Sponsor. TV news anchors Jim Benemann and Theresa Marchetta and former Denver Bronco Tom Nalen were among Hoops participants. Bill Hanzlik was the team coach. Referees included Dr. Dean Prina, Steve “Buzzer Beater” Buckley and Emily “Gunner” Granath.
On the Hoops committee were Jane Buckley, Cathy Fleischmann, Jane Gwin, Pam Klibbe, Sharon Link, Terry Rubin, Shyun Yong, Sarah Hartway, Pam Klibbe and Cindy Wells. Visit www.adamscamp.org for information.
Hot News from the Colorado Symphony
The Colorado Symphony has a special concert with Josh Groban at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, July 7. His latest album, All That Echoes, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album Chart making it his first No. 1 debut of his career. In 2007, he became the best-selling recording artist of the year.
Tickets go on sale March 22 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com or www.coloradosymphony.org.
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Home Reed donation
Gregory Sargowicki and Lawrence French left a recent Cancer League Hope Ball planning meeting and went directly to Homer Reed, and got a $1,700 custom sports coat donated for the silent auction. Tell your friends who buy quality clothing and would bid on this item at the May 4 Hope Ball at the Denver Tech Center Hyatt. Visit www.cancerleague.org.
Komen announces new board members
Ann Trakimas, chief operating officer at CoBank in Greenwood Village, Raymond Mencini, M.D., medical director at the Colorado Breast Imaging Center at St. Anthony Hospital; and Lauren Schwartz, marketing director at the Denver Athletic Club, are the newest board members of the Susan G. Komen Denver Affiliate.
Denver Cycle for ALS, March 30
The Blazeman Foundation is named for the late Jonathan “Blazeman” Blais. It benefits ALS, (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). They have their annual Denver Cycle for ALS, March 30, at the Pura Vida Club in Cherry Creek. Great idea to have an indoor sporting fundraiser since March is the snowiest month of the year here.
The info is sent from Marla and Dick Gentry’s daughter, Lisa Gentry Decker. For information, call 720-771-7931 or visit www.cycleforals.com.
Dancing With Our Stars
The Colorado Ballet Auxiliary Balletto di Gala, Dancing With Our Stars is April 13 and they’ve lined up their volunteer dancers with professionals. The volunteers include Cherry Hills Village Mayor Doug Tisdale. Holly Baroway, florist B.J. Dyer, Amelia Earhart, Kathy Konopka, Terri Lombardi, Joe Maslowski and Scott Sax round out the roster.
The evening is a lot of fun, judging from their last one where ballot stuffing was prominent. Last year’s winner, Kyle Keefe is emcee. Get in on the fun evening by visiting www.coloradoballet.org. You can also call 303-339-1630.
‘God of Carnage’
The volunteer arm of the Rose Community Foundation has a fundraising night at the Curious Theatre’s production of God of Carnage on April 24. This is a Tony Award-winning comedy. For information visit www.rcfdenver.org/rwo.
Copacabana Night April 25
Bessie’s Hope has its next Copacabana Night April 25 at the Grand Hyatt Denver. It’s being chaired by Louise Richardson. Sue and Rich Jones are sponsorship chairs, Kay Ray and Kathy Ford are committee chairs as well.
Dr. Sandra Arkin, LaFawn Biddle, Beverly Black, Nancy Boldiszar, Rosalina Diecidue, Claudette Erek, Wendy Evangelista, Cathy Felling, David Geres, Courtney McDonough, Jim Medford, Dr. Patty Meek, Julia Peay, Pat Robinson, Lou Rogers, Marlene Siegel, Anne Stotts, Sandee Walling, Lou Walters and Dianne Zarlengo are on the roster of helpers.
The Four Lads are the entertainment. For details call Linda Holloway, 303-830-9037.
Following up on the wedding topic, this time let’s chat about thank you notes. Start an Excel spread sheet or other app that allows you to record the first and last name(s) of the sending couple or person, the name of the gift, the date it arrived, whether it was from your bridal registry and the date you mailed the thank you. If the sender took the time to select a gift for you the least you can do is say what gift you got. Doing less than this can be easily interpreted as not caring what they got you or not even knowing what you, the sender actually sent. And even if you used a store registry with the gift receipt electronically printed out, the sender may never know if the “gift” ever arrived.
Don’t wait to send this thank you out six months after the wedding but perhaps wait to mail it after the wedding when the couple may or may not now have the same last name, and personalized thank you stationery. Use Mr. and Mrs. if you like but if you don’t go by Mr. and Mrs. using the first and last name as John and Mary Doe is perfectly fine.
Now a few words about penmanship. Even in this electronic age, a personal, handwritten thank you is appreciated. In some schools cursive/script isn’t being taught anymore, gone the way of the dodo bird but here’s a practical point: script writing is faster than printing each letter separately. It just seems juvenile that adults can’t write this way and also, without learning to write in script you may not even be able to read script either. Big problem and not sure if there’s an app for that. If you have a program that will write monotype Corsiva or other script font and print it out in the correctly configured size note and envelope, I’m fine with it as long as, mentioned above, the actual gift is mentioned.
Emailed thank yous are fine for every day, minor gifts but not for ceremonial gifts. And that goes for religious celebrations such as confirmations, bar and bat mitzvahs too. Don’t ask mom to write those for you.
The Denver Lyric Opera Guild Preliminary Competition has three Arapahoe County finalists, Thomas Kittle and Meredith “Maggie” Sczekan from Centennial and Nadya Hill from Littleton, joining 12 others from around the metro Denver area. They are singing again for the DLOG’s Final Competition, March 16. These singers will compete for to win more than $34,000 worth of prizes.
The judges are mezzo-soprano Dr. Linda DiFiore, from the University of North Texas, soprano Dr. Lynn Eustis, a native of Long Island, N.Y., and conductor and pianist Mark Morash, director of Musical Studies for the San Francisco Opera Center.
Among donors supporting the competition are the Fine Arts Foundation, Marlis and Shirley Smith and the Galen and Ada Belle Spencer Foundation. One other foundation prefers not to be listed publicly so you can tell the DLOG is well known and respected, bringing forward into the professional limelight in Colorado the budding opera singers whose names we may see in coming years. The guild members will be saying, “I was there when this person was first recognized.” This year the combined total of awards will be well over $1,000,000, according to Jane Gibson.
Bill Maclay chairs the competition committee with help from Mary Bahde, Linda Young and Zoraide Scordo. The competition is free and open to the public. Call 303-680-8190 for information.
Jewish people celebrate Passover beginning sundown, March 25. Most formal seders are the first or second night. Palm Sunday is March 24 and Easter is March 31.
The recent Excelsior Youth Center Triumphant Faces Gala netted $290,000.
We now have a page where readers can do a fun birthday, baby, anniversary, etc. announcement at no charge.
We got a lot of comments on the first “Celebrations” page with the Goldy anniversary story. Let us know if a couple or person is having a milestone birthday or special anniversary. Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Villager office at 303-773-8313.
The Women’s Bean Project sent us information that Walmart.com will connect shoppers with small women-owned businesses around the world. Empowering Women Together will offer shoppers more than 200 items from 19 businesses in nine countries. Empowering Women Together will be part of Store for Good.
In the words of Joy Ndungutse, an entrepreneur in Rwanda, “From a humble beginning under a tree in a remote village in Rwanda, my sister and I founded Gahaya Links after the devastating 1994 Rwanda Genocide that left over 1 million dead. We organized about 20 women with a vision of empowering them to enhance their weaving skills, to be able to earn an income, and live adequately by community standards. Today we are a growing network of over 4,000 women, the majority of whom are genocide survivors and are organized in cooperatives throughout Rwanda. Through our partnership with Full Circle Exchange and opportunities such as Empowering Women Together, this platform gives hope to many families in Rwanda and we are so grateful.”
In addition to merchandise from Gahaya Links and the Women’s Bean Project, the inaugural Empowering Women Together collection also includes jewelry from Peru, Rwanda, Kenya and the U.S.; home accessories from Rwanda and Haiti; paper mache from Haiti, apparel and accessories from Rwanda; iPad and laptop cases from Cambodia and Nepal; coffee and tea sets sourced globally and made in America; and specialty foods made in America and Canada.
The full collection can be viewed online at www.walmart.com/empoweringwomentogether.
Let’s talk about wedding gift registries. With many of Denver’s population coming from other parts of the country, couples today have a gift themselves: the Internet. Online registries enable guests to access and select items without leaving their laptop, smartphone or other gizmo. We suggest the couple register at more than one store and at a varying price range of stores. From Target to Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Nordstrom, the selections enable you decide on your budget and be sure you are giving the couple what they’ve selected at each retailer. But don’t leave out the locally owned store, please. We love Compleat Gourmet, lose track of time in there and the bride and groom would have a ball meandering through the aisles there. Also consider the other strip mall shops that appreciate your business.
We see few gifts being brought to weddings today. Why lug it there when you can order and pay for shipping and free the couple from having to rent a U-Haul truck to take it home, especially if the couple’s flying off on their honeymoon directly after the ceremony and celebration? Have the gift sent to the bride’s home or wherever the registry says.
Another gift is the monetary one and it’s fun to see the bride getting money at the reception tucked into the garter but don’t make that the sole gift unless that’s the couple’s culture to do so. Put a check in an envelope with a card denoting the name of the giver, of course and perhaps even put it in a nice gift box.
If you decide to ignore the registries make the gift one an average couple would actually use such as kitchen gear, linen napkins, napkin rings and place mats or neutral color tablecloth.
Hardbound cookbooks still line the shelves of brick and mortar book stores and other shops but keep them practical and don’t assume the couple with full-time jobs has time to perform complicated tasks.
No matter how desperate you are as a marrying couple to get specifically needed gifts such as that one above, consider the obvious budget of the asking guest or their ability to either use the Web or have access to stores on your registry.
Next up: thanking wedding gift givers, especially in this rapidly growing Internet, texting, emailing society.
Project Angel Heart’s Dining Out for Life event stars Denver native and Project Runway All-Star winner Mondo Guerra.
The April 25 event “is our opportunity to celebrate friends, food and being truly fabulous in helping others,” said Guerra who revealed his HIV-positive status on Runway and has since become a forerunner in HIV/AIDS advocacy.
There are 300 restaurants in the Denver area participating and more than 25 have supported the event for more than 10 years, including Gaetano’s, Racine’s, The Cherry Cricket, Bonnie Brae Tavern, Parallel 17, Potager, and Taste of Thailand. New restaurants include all Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta locations and Mizuna, Luca d’Italia, Bones, Osteria Marco and Russell’s Smokehouse.
Since 1991, Project Angel Heart has delivered meals to men, women and children coping with life-threatening illness. They make and deliver more than 485,000 meals to an estimated 2,200 people a year. For more information about Project Angel Heart visit www.ProjectAngelHeart.org or call 303-830-0202 x 417.
Advocates for Children needs members
Advocates for Children wants new committee members to help with their largest annual fundraising event, The Red Wagon Ball, which is a fun affair. If you’re interested call Val Lunka, at 303-695-0803.
2013 Opera Teaser
The Central City Opera Guild has its 2013 Opera Teaser, Summer Festival Preview, March 14, at the Denver Country Club. Dinner is 6:45 p.m. For info, call 303-292-6700 or visit www.centralcityopera.org.
Columbine Classic is May 4
The Columbine Women’s Running Club is resurrecting the Columbine Classic, a race that was best known during the 1980s and 1990s as one of the largest women’s road races in the country.
The Classic revival is scheduled for May 4 at the Aurora Reservoir and will include a four-mile and eight-mile road race that’s open to women and men. Both race courses are USA Track & Field certified. For younger runners, there will also be a sprouts kids’ fun run. The eight-mile race begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be followed by the four-mile race at 9 a.m.
Net proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Mountain Peace Shelter, a women and children’s domestic violence safe house that serves central Colorado. This nonprofit provides a safe house, counseling, a 24-hour hotline for families in need, and a space for families fleeing violent situations to bring their pets. The Classic has historically raised money for domestic violence shelters and race organizers plan to continue raising funds for this cause at future races.
For more information about the race or to register online, visit www.columbineclassic.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Tate is new Friends of Nursing president
Jan Jurasic will turn over her duties as president of Friends of Nursing to Juanita Tate. On her board will be Sharon Kent, Pam Spry, Judith Igoe, Kathleen Whalen and Ruth O’Brien.
Goodwill CEO to resign
Denver Goodwill Industries CEO and President Jesse Wolff is resigning after a successful three-years. Included in his announcement were figures stating that under his tenure “donations have grown rapidly and revenues increased over 40 percent, financials are strong” and nearly 500 new jobs were added. “I look forward to staying involved as a donor and volunteer,” he said.
Hoops for Hope March 10
Adam’s Camp is teaming up with Partners in Pediatrics to host a game between the Adam’s Camp PIPsters and the Harlem Ambassadors to raise funds for the children, youth and families of Adam’s Camp.
The event is March 10 at Cherry Creek High School. The PIPsters, coached by former Denver Nugget Bill Hanzlik, will include Theresa Marchetta and Jim Benemann as well as pediatricians from PIP and other surprise players. Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin will make a special appearance to get the festivities started.
To purchase tickets or to learn more visit www.adamscamp.org, call 303-563-8290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve been asked to suggest a suitable gift for a party host. With our increasingly multicultural community be sure the host drinks alcohol before buying a good bottle of wine they have to regift.
Now more on regifting. Never pass along a charity goodie bag item. Never. I once got a bottle of perfume in a bent up box that had obviously been around a while. It was a goodie bag item I too had gotten and the regift was insulting, never mind that I’m allergic to perfume anyway.
We asked some readers for ideas on host gifts and as soon as I asked, here came answers such as car wash gift cards, gift certificates to good restaurants such as the Summit and other locally-owned spots. Who doesn’t shop at the Park Meadows Retail Resort or Cherry Creek Shopping Center? A gift card from there is manna from heaven and available at the customer service counters and it may even come with a shopping bag.
Some of our favorite and frequent party hosts suggested some of the following: an art glass platter, potted plant or personalized stationery with matching envelopes, personalized Post It Notes, candles or a Christmas tree ornament for a Christmas party host.
Does the host collect certain trinkets like butterflies or giraffes? Fashion accessories can be tricky
but a scarf is easy. Remember Pete Coors accenting his tux with a white silk scarf in a recent charity event photo? It was pure class! And speaking of class, no trademarked knockoffs, please.
Homemade foods such as cookies or preserves are precious, cocktail table books such as John Fielder’s that transcend time and taste are also great gifts.
Never walk into a private home empty handed unless the event is for a nonprofit and you’ve paid to cross the host’s threshold. Still, a small token of thanks is always welcome.
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