Drew Hill, Jennifer Leong, Dani Hedlund, Amanda Rose Santos and Zach Howard
BY SCOTTIE IVERSON
Tethered by Letters Founder Dani Hedlund is not only a talented writer with a big heart, but a gifted speaker as well. The Novel Gala 2018, held at the beautiful Baldoria on the Water venue in Lakewood, (with cuisine by A Perfect Bite Catering) gave her an opportunity to share 10 years of progress and introduce the latest innovative concept her nonprofit is undertaking – The Brink Literacy Program implemented for prisons. Hedlund wrote her first novel at the age of 18 and is passionate about sharing reading and writing skills. “We are helping anyone who can be empowered by storytelling,” she said. “People have valuable things to say and we help them tell it.” She founded Tethered by Letters 10 years ago. It functions with a staff of less than five and a dedicated group of 35 volunteers. She also referred to honoree Carrie Morgridge’s award-winning book Every Gift Matters as further an inspiration for her work.
University of Denver Vice Chancellor Armin Afsahi gave a brief introduction of DU Trustee Carrie Morgridge and announced a scholarship will be awarded in her name. She was acknowledged for her energy, friendship and love. “Students, faculty and staff respect and cherish Carrie. Congratulations on everything you continue to do for our world.” Carrie, with her husband John, founded MindSpark Learning – for which she currently serves as chairman of the board and created Student Support Foundation, a youth philanthropy club designed to cultivate high school and college philanthropists. She speaks nationally to education advocacy and technology-focused forums, programs supporting women and at poverty-alleviation conferences.
Since 2007, Tethered by Letters has used the power of storytelling to change the lives of millions of people. From its home base in Denver, it has coordinated global efforts with K-12 schools, universities, humanitarian organizations and the prison system to foster a love of literature, increase literacy rates and empower underserved communities through storytelling.
Gala committee member Suzanne Hickox and husband Steve with Tethered by Letters Founder Dani Hedlund and Asa Garber.
Honoree Carrie Morgridge with Dr. Karen Riley, Dean of the Morgridge College of Education at DU.
John Farnam, Carrie Morgridge – VP Mortgridge Family Foundation, Gloria Dittus and Paul Heitzenrater
Emcee Ed Greene with Stephanie DeGraff Bender and Doug Tisdale
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