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October 06, 2004 - Greased Lightning Strikes for Make-A-Wish

What: Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraising Gala

Where: Marriott City Center

When: October 2, 2004

Time: 6:00 pm

Beneficiary: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado

Mistress of Ceremonies: Marianne Curan

Master of Ceremonies: Bob Goen

Honoree(s): Sawyer Benson, Kelly O'Leary, Teresa Nguyen

Gala Chairperson(s): Jan and Tim Wiens

Corporate Chairperson(s): Mark Bauman

Executive Director: Joan Mazak, President and CEO

Staff: Marilyn Tillery, Patti Murphy, Rebecca Russell, Debby Kirton, Becky Schilling, Judie Jamros, Jennifer Mace, Veronica Rivera

Music: Jerry Barnett Productions Presents Jerry and the Cruisers

Sponsors: Grease Lightening Sponsors: Starz, Ernie Blake & Sharon Magness Blake, Dex, Liquid Compass, Marriott City Center, Richter Scale Productions, Frontier Airlines, Moments Notice Rock Around the Clock Sponsors : Rich & Sue Jones, Holland & Hart, Qwest, Park Meadows, Compass Bank, Oakwood Homes Doo Wah Diddy Sponsors: Baker & Hostetler, LLP, Messner & Reeves, LLC, First Data, Sherman & Howard, LLC, Etkin Johnson, FirsTier Bank, Taylor Kohrs, Graebel, Gathering Poing Networks, Brownstein Hyatt Farber, The Bridges at Black Canyon, Sullivan Hayes, Stonebridge Companies, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, Waller & Mark, P.C., Kaiser Permanente Special Friends: Gunter Toody's Diner, Mister Neat's Formalwear, KOOL 105, Scenographics, Total Beverage, Seams Like Old Times

Menu: Spinach and Strawberry Salad, Herb Seared Filet Mignon with Honey Chipotle Demi Glaze, Strawberry Shortcake Garnished with a Milk Chocolate Jukebox

Attendance: 470 +

Attire: 50's Groove or Black Tie


Event Coordinator: Sue Ellen Goss, Innovative Events

Board of Directors: Chairman :Elizabeth Carney Vice Chairman: Forrest Smith III Treasurer: Charla McClintock Board Members : Gary Aboussie, Mark Bauman, Dr. Kenneth Crichlow, Robert Flynn, Jim Nussbaum, Michael Pennica, Suzanne Phillips-Klein, Edward Pine, John Sadwith, John Schafer, David Thomas III, Karen Tilley, Tim Wiens, Steve Zickefoose

Blacktie Photos by: Janet Woods

 Everything's thumbs up for Mistress of Ceremonies Marianne Curan, Wish-Kids Kelly O'Leary, Teresa Nguyen, Sawyer Benson and Master of Ceremonies Bob Goen.
Everything's thumbs up for Mistress of Ceremonies Marianne Curan, Wish-Kids Kelly O'Leary, Teresa Nguyen, Sawyer Benson and Master of Ceremonies Bob Goen.

Janet Woods

What do a Prom King and Queen, Grace Kelly, Elvis and Marilyn, the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds have in common? They all came out for A Rockin’ 50s Flashback at the Marriott City Center on October 1, 2004. The Fonz was there and even Ward Cleaver stopped to rock-around-the-clock at the sock hop for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado. Over 400 people clad in poodle skirts, saddle shoes, black leather jackets, penny loafers and blue suede shoes jitterbugged the night away for the annual Make-A-Wish benefit gala. Guests entered through giant Wurlitzers and were transported back in time to an era when a hamburger from McDonalds only cost 15 cents, a TV set took five minutes to warm up and kids played with Tinkertoys, Erector Sets and Lincoln Logs. The Greased Lightening theme took over the ballroom where every table was filled with old time Coke bottles, Good N’ Plenty Candy, Beechnut Chewing Gum and Wax Lips, and the checker board floor invited everyone to dance and hoola-hoop the night away. Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado was started in 1983 by current President and CEO Joan Mazak. The Foundation grants about 180 wishes a year, with the average wish costing $4,000. The Colorado Chapter is just one of 75 in the US. Every child under the age of 18 who qualifies for the program has their wish granted. There is no waiting list or expense paid by the child’s family to receive a wish. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is the largest wish-granting charity in the world and has granted over 127,000 wishes since its inception in 1980. Master and Mistress of Ceremonies were “Entertainment Tonight’s” Bob Goen and his new bride Marianne Curan, of “Landscaper’s Challenge” fame. Bob has been involved with Make-A-Wish of Colorado since 1993. He didn’t feel he got the attire right for the evening and jokingly told the crowd, “My outfit is lame. I couldn’t even roll my jeans right, and I forgot to wear white sock.” But his wife more than made up for his lack of attire. “I’m wearing a dress so big it needs it own zip code,” Marianne said. The Hollywood couple crowned another couple King and Queen of the Prom. Gala Chairs Jan and Time Wiens were brought on stage for their coronation ceremony. The couple was crowned with a sparkling tiara for her, and a bejeweled gold for him. Three Wish-Kids were brought on stage to talk about their experience with the Foundation and what their wishes meant to them. Sawyer Benson, sporting a tough-guy black leather jacket, slicked back hair, and temporary stegosaurus tattoo on his arm, is just four years old and has already had numerous surgeries. He has Jeune’s Syndrome, which makes it impossible for his rib cage to keep up with his growing lungs, in the end causing him to suffocate. Twice a year, this tough guy heads to San Antonio to have expandable titanium plates put into his back. He’ll have over thirty more surgeries before his body finally stops growing. He has yet to have his wish fulfilled because he couldn’t decide what he wanted. He announced on stage to emcee Bob Goen that his wish is “to go to Lego Land”. It seems like such a simple request, but this is the stuff dreams are made of. Sixteen year-old Teresa Nguyen has Fragile Bone Syndrome and has broken over 100 bones in her body. A few months ago, she had to have her spine fused. Because she was going to be in the hospital for a long time, her wish was to have a laptop computer, so she could continue to communicate with her friends. Her laptop allowed her to stay in touch with her friends and constantly text-message them, just like any other sixteen year-old girl. Kelly O’leary was just four months old when he had a heart transplant. He has Mitro Stenosis and at eight years old, has already had four heart surgeries. He recently had his wish granted and went to Disney World where he met Boba Fet from Star Wars. “It was cool,” he told the audience. In lieu of a live auction, people bought either a pink French poodle or a classic car for $200. Each poodle and car had a wish. Hanna, age 3, has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her wish is to go to Disney World and see Mickey and Cinderella. Justin, age 15, want to “spend time with his family” in Hawaii and go fishing, horseback riding and see Pearl Harbor. Lillie, age 4, want to see Sea World “up close and personal with all the fish and mammals.” The children and families of Make-A-Wish are dealing with the reality of life-threatening illnesses and the emotional, physical and often financial impact on the entire family. For a short time, the Foundation is able to provide a respite from the daily routine of medications, treatments, doctors and overwhelming fear of their conditions. The Make-A-Wish foundation of Colorado grants wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Since 1983 they have granted more than 2000 wishes to children in Colorado.

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