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September 28, 2004 - LFS' 11th Annual Innkeeper Dinner Lights Up Colorado Springs

What: 11th Annual Innkeeper Dinner

Where: The Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs

When: September 28, 2004

Beneficiary: Lutheran Family Services (LFS) of Southern Colorado

EMCEE: Gene Warrington

Speaker: Dr. Joseph Michelli, PhD

Attendance: 400


Event Coordinator: Lynn Peterson, LFS Special Events Coordinator

Blacktie Photos by: Tim Harris

 LFS Events Director Lynn Peterson and her husband Norm enjoy the Innkeeper Dinner Fundraiser festivities
LFS Events Director Lynn Peterson and her husband Norm enjoy the Innkeeper Dinner Fundraiser festivities

Story by Tim Harris Lutheran Family Services held their 11th Annual Innkeeper Dinner Fundraiser & Silent Auction on September 28th at The Wyndham Hotel in Colorado Springs. Approximately 400 esteemed supporters and guests of Lutheran Family Services were in attendance for the elegant and uplifting occasion. Coordinated by LFS Special Event Coordinator Lynn Peterson, the annual event consisted of an elaborate dinner, silent auction, inspirational entertainment, and dynamic speakers. This purpose-driven affair benefits LFS programs through adoption, counseling, foster care, refugee resettlement, senior outreach and disaster response. Inspired by the compassionate love of Christ, Lutheran Family Services is an “Innkeeper” to whom abused and neglected children and refugees - in need of healing, strengthening and hope - can be brought. This agency is a place where they will be welcome regardless of race, religion, gender or age. Platinum Sponsors for the event were First Lutheran Church and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – Garden of the Gods Chapter. Bronze Sponsors included: Arlene and Ray Avischious, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, The Gazette, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – Pikes Peak Chapter, and Gene and Sally Warrington. Brass Sponsors for the event were Black Forest Lutheran Church, Bethel Lutheran Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Gustafson, Crandall, and Christensen, C.P.A., Terry and Judy Hjelkrem, Pat Miller, and Monarch Printing. Distinguished attendees also included the Friends of Lutheran Family Services – Southern Colorado: Chairperson Diana Keys, Assistant Chairperson Sue Currey, Nancy Albertson, Arlene Avischious, Susan Curtis, Lynn Deye, Ruth Fetler, Vanda Franowicz, Nola Gosch, Sandy Harkins, Tom Janecek, Karen Kolseth, Pastor DuWayne Kirkeide, Linda McIlnay, and Jane Pope Meehan. TheTable Hosts included: Ascension Lutheran Church, Ray and Arlene Avischious, Bethany Lutheran Church, Bethel Lutheran Church, Gary and Jackie Brookshire, Dick and Sue Currey, Bob and Susan Curtis, Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Faith Lutheran Church – Security, First Congregational Church, First Lutheran Church, Barbara Gieck, Tom and Gina Hains, Troy and Betty Hanson, Jerry and Sandy Harkins, Holy Cross Lutheran Church Choir, Tom and Rebecca Janecek, Dan and Jan Joslin, Lyman and Carolyn Kaiser, Diana and Bob Keys, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Mary and Bill Montie, Lane and LaVon Pinnow, Norm and Lynn Peterson, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Donna Skovgaard, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans - Garden of the Gods Chapter, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans - Pikes Peak Chapter, Trinity Lutheran Church, and Gene and Sally Warrington. The ballroom was filled with over 125 donated auction items - from exquisite paintings and unique artwork, to fun-filled evening entertainment. The delicious dinner was followed by emcee extraordinaire, Gene Warrington, whose humor and timely observations kept the program rolling along at an entertaining pace. Gwendolyn White, Foster Care Program Director, presented the “Volunteer of the Year Award” to Foster Parent and Adoptee Cindy Ellis for her dedication, spirit and tireless efforts. Through her willingness to serve on various projects and programs, she truly represents the mission of LFS. Pastor Keith Knoff of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church communicated his “thoughts on Refugee Services,” and provided a poignant perspective on the Sudanese refugees’ plight. And how, when they needed encouragement and comfort, LFS welcomed them with open arms. Dr. Joseph Michelli, PhD, clinical psychologist and local radio talk show host, entertained the attendees with his wit, charisma and sincere appreciation of LFS’ contribution to society. Entitled, “Foster the Future of Children” his presentation provided a snapshot into his personal life that profoundly influenced his passion to “walk with the vulnerable.” This multi-faceted pillar in our community not only shared stories from his professional and home life, but revealed awe-inspiring tales of his overseas travels with Dr. Patch Adams. His Godly commitment of “sharing joy” with others and earnest dedication to children’s well-being resonated throughout the banquet hall. He later took time to meet folks and graciously autograph copies of his new book, When Fish Fly. President and CEO James Barclay recognized the event sponsors and volunteers who made the memorable night possible. He conveyed the “Lutheran Family Services Story,” thanked the LFS staff, and relayed relevant statistics – which included alarming numbers of child abuse in Colorado. Barclay reminded the supporters that in the midst of the challenging obstacles and seemingly hopeless situations, “we all have the ability to transform the lives of others.” As the benediction ensued, Pastor Wesley Dunbar of Pueblo West Mission Church presented “The Ask” and the Holy Cross Lutheran Choir (LCMS) , directed by Gregg Brandon, culminated the evening with worshipful hymns.

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