Steven was asked to sit on the Oncology Board of Children’s Hospital and discovered that funding for research into the causes and better treatments for pediatric cancer was extremely under funded. He approached Joan and they decided to do a fundraiser. With that in mind, they called four or five friends and coordinated the first ARTMA art auction, which was held in February of 2001 with around 600 people attending. Because of the wonderful success, Joan and Steve decided to do it again and recruited more volunteers. This year, ARTMA, will be hold its 5th “every other year” event on February 23, at the Denver Studio Complex on Cherokee, from 6-10pm.
The success of ARTMA led to another milestone in their lives. In May of 2003, they held the first Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance Event, showcasing an array of incredible cars and planes. The event always draws great attendance and is highly successful as a fund-raiser.
They continued to act as volunteers in producing fund raising events but realized in 2005 that it was time to move forward and formalized plans for the Morgan Adams Foundation. In a few short years, Joan and Steven, with the help of their many friends and volunteers have been able to help Children’s Hospital in the fight to cure children’s cancer. They are an amazing couple filled with spirit and determination and they always maintain a sense of humor and joy as they continue their journey in Morgan’s name.
Tell me a little about your career.
J. I haven’t had much of one. I had Morgan shortly after college and stayed home for awhile. Then I worked at First Data Corp on a special projects team that was put together to sell a subsidiary company. I worked until Morgan got sick. Now, I work to raise money and awareness for kids with cancer. S. I’ve been a photographer for 24 yeas and spent five years in NYC. I worked for two large companies, Joslins and Quark, opening their first in-house studios. I love film; not in love with digital photography. I’m a little burned out and now I’m looking for my second career.
What’s important in your life?
J. Family, extended family and friends. All of the people in our lives. We are so incredibly blessed to be part of an amazing family and to have so many wonderful people surrounding us and our children. I can tell you that after the loss of a child, there is a lot of time spent trying to find the good that could ever come from such a thing. We have found strength, seriously, in the good that comes from the people we know and have gotten to know. It really reaffirms my belief in the goodness of humanity…except of course when driving on the highway!!!! (laughs) S. Health, my wife and kids and trying to make a difference
What’s in your future?
J. I don’t really know. We’ll continue to work and advocate for kids with cancer for as long as we have voices. But other than that? I hope travel and more…”experiential living.” How’s that? S. Not really sure
What are your volunteer activities?
J. (Laughs) What? Besides my 60 hour weeks at MAF? I serve on a few boards, but they’re all childhood cancer related too. It’s a bit of a passion, you might say. S. I help with every aspect of the foundation and I help Joan wherever I’m needed.
Which social event is your favorite?
J. The MAF events. We really do put on some fabulous parties. S. The Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance
J. Do I have to choose just one? Strings is our all time favorite; the food is great, but it’s really based on our love for Noel and his team. They were so utterly incredible when Morgan was sick and she loved that restaurant so much. When Noel heard she was in the hospital over Christmas, he sent over some food (including his fabulous chocolate mousse!) and Morgan ate every last bite! She literally hadn’t eaten since her surgery. From that point on, we were regulars at Strings. S. Japon…Got Sushi?
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met?
J. I lead a pretty boring life – I don’t get to rub elbows with celebrities. S. Most of the “celebrities” I’ve met aren’t really celebrities…but politicians or sports people. I photographed Bob Hope and Vincent Price but those shoots were so quick that you can’t tell if they are interesting or not.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part?
J. I have no idea! S. Daniel Craig
Do you have any pets?
J. Cats. We temporarily adopted two German Short –haired pointers for three years (yep, three years) and they nearly killed me, so I’ve banned dogs for the short term. My kids are dying for another crack at it, but I’m dogged out. S. Two cats and some fish…would like a dog, but the boss says no!
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you?
J. (laughs) It will say, “Thank God they’re gone!” S. Thank God they’re gone.
What word describes you best?
J. Two words. Slightly insane. S. Determined
How would you like others to describe you?
J. Compassionate, honest, friendly and approachable S. Not sure; something good, I hope
What was your first job?
J. I worked at a golf club near our house S. I mowed lawns when I was eleven years old
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
J. I am overly critical of myself S. right now…lack of enthusiasm
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
J. Dishonesty S. Lack of work ethic
What is your greatest indulgence?
J. Books, books and more books S. Flying airplanes
What type of clothes do you like?
J. Shoes. I never worry about the size of my foot…and jeans S. faded Levis and a black shirt
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
J. A pair of diamond earrings from Steven – but really because they were a surprise from him (although I do LOVE those kinds of surprises!). S. Friendship from my friend who lives in Logan, Utah, who I’ve known since the 4th grade
What is your current state of mind?
J. Determined S. A little drained. Going from one event to another and trying to keep my kids active/busy and making a living all at the same time.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
J. My kids. Saying it out loud makes it sound like a “pat” answer, but I think parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so having good kids (so far!) is pretty rewarding to me personally. S. Stayed married for 15 years…LOL
What is your most treasured possession?
J. Again, my kids S. My kids
J. Jane Austen. Dickens. I love Victorian literature S. I don’t have time for reading books. I read a lot of magazines because the articles take just a few minutes to read at any one time.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
J. “Proceed as the way opens.” I get in my own way a lot of the time. S. “You can eat an elephant, if you eat it one bite at a time.” Never give up.
Do you have a motto?
J. Breathe, breathe, breathe S. No
If you could come back in another lifetime, what/who would you like to be? And why?
J. I don’t really know S. A multi-millionaire…trying to figure out why people with a lot of money seem to still have a hard life and be unhappy. I would like to give it a try.
What are your hobbies? Other interests?
J. I run a little. Mostly, I like to read S. Flying, road-bike races, bowling
What would you most like to be remembered for?
J. Making a difference S. Trying to make a difference
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?
J. I would like to take a year off and travel. S. Go to Italy and live
Oh my dear, life sure does bring surprises! When I knew you we both worked at a sporting goods store and life was crazy. Remember when you left a present for the mailman???? I'm glad to see you're doing such great things with your never ending energy. Let's get back in touch!