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April 09, 2005 - "Steppin' Out for Others Strides to Success"

What: 11th Annual Lutheran Family Services Benefit Gala

Where: The Plaza at the Merchandise Mart

When: April 9, 2005

Beneficiary: Lutheran Family Services

Honoree(s): Nancy Iiams, Hedy Witte, The Denver Rescue Mission, and Peak Creative Services

EMCEE: Greg Bennett

Committee Members: Betty Atwood, Rosemary Bennett, Lisa Bickle, Mary Lou Brown, Deb Coates, Gayle DeMasse, lana Farrington, Kim FitzRandolph, Steve FitzRandolph, Lisa Grell, Debbie Horning, Christopher martinez, Lori Mitchell, Cathy Nixon, Michelle Utley, Sara Winkler

President(s): James Barclay

Speaker: Jerry Paul, LFS Board Member, Earle Solomonson, LFS Chairman of the Board, and James Barclay, LFS CEO and President

Entertainment: The Hot Tomatoes and local swing dancing instructors

Sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: Bethany Lutheran Church, Mike and Nancy Iiams, Robert and Judy Newman; Blended Gold sponsor (gala and golf tournament): First Bank; Gold Sponsors: Augustana Foundatio, CoBank and Doug and nancy Sims, Redeemer Lutheran Church; Silver Sponsors: Abiding Hope Lutheran Church, Ice Energy, LLC, Our Father Lutheran Church, Quixote Partners, LLC, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, The Publishing House and Wilbur and Marilyn Flachman; Brass Sponsors: Dr. Jane Kercher, EKS&H, PC; In-Kind Donations and Special Gifts: Mike and Joy Aden, Forest Oil, Del and Millie Hock, Peak Creative media, Albert and Elaine Strauch; Underwriting Sponsor: Tim and Kim Monson

Quote of the evening: LFS "Seek(s) out the lost and marginalized among us and responds with services that provide hope"

Menu: Boston Bibb Lettuce with Mandarin Oranges, Almonds and Vinaigarette dressing, followed by individual Beef Wellington, Truffle Smashed Potato and Matchstick Vegetables, and then the dessert, Chocalate Fondu treats for dipping

Attendance: 400+

Attire: Cocktail attire, Blacktie optional

Information: Please call Michelle Livermont at 303-217-5860

Event Coordinator: Michelle Livermont and fellow volunteers

Board of Directors: Arlene Avischious, Dan Bacon, Rev. Rick Barger, Betty Boyd, Rev. Joyce Dennison, Wilbur Flachman, Rev. Don Hinchey, Nancy Liams, greg Johnson, Dr. Jane Kercher, Judi Newman, Jerry Paul, Rev. Tim Runtsch, John Samuelson, Rev. Wayne Weissenbuehler, Terry Weverstad, Les Woodward

Blacktie Photos by: Chelsea Wyatt

The "Three Musketeers", RIchard Meehan, Bill Fell, and Bob Capstick

The evening of April 9, 2005 marked the biggest success yet for the Lutheran Family Services 11th Annual Gala. The “Steppin’ Out for Others” Gala, which celebrated “57 years of ministry to vulnerable children and families.” This evening also marked the largest turn out the event has ever had, with over 400 in attendance.

Since 1948, Lutheran Family Services for Colorado has been an agency to provide a ministry link between caring people, congregations and community. They believe that all people, from the newborn infant to the most elderly person, deserve to be valued in our community. Lutheran Family Services is committed to offering care and support to all vulnerable people, regardless of race, religion, gender or age, to help equip them to live full and whole lives.

Lutheran Family Services not only ministers to the community, but also provides adoption services, including education and counseling to help clients build their families through domestic open adoptions or international adoptions.

The evening featured one family that had been connected through Lutheran Family Services 35 years ago, Evelyn Johnson, Alana Hankins and Carolyn Snell. Alana shared with the audience that, “I felt a step above with adoption because it meant I was really wanted.” Her sister joined in saying that, “The biological factor has nothing to do with how great a family is.” This was just one of the thousands of families that LFS has helped since 1948.

In addition to its adoption programs, LFS provides a Pregnancy and Counseling Center, Foster Care, Care Management Solutions for Older Adults, and it is the largest center in Colorado for Refugee and Asylee Programs.

After the silent auction, featuring everything from a motorcycle to a Carmelo Anthony jersey, the President and CEO of LFS, Jim Barclay, presented the 2005 Awards.

Nancy Iiams was the recipient of the 2005 Light of Hope Award, the highest honor bestowed by Lutheran Family Services of Colorado. She adopted herself through LFS, and then decided to further champion their cause by volunteering. She is currently the chair of the resource development committee and motivated the evenings LMC Endowment matching grant.

The grant was also the highest ever, with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Mike and Nancy Iiams and Robert and Judi Newman matching the first $50,000 donated. In addition, the first $5,000 donated during the gala was also matched, creating quite a stir and much potential for LFS!

Hedy Witte was also honored as the Distinguished Volunteer of 2004, after mentoring Nelly, an 82-year-old woman, for the past nine years. The Denver Rescue Mission received the Distinguished Congregational Partner for 2004 Award for its aid with the ministry of refugee families. Last year alone they helped 125 families secure housing. Last but not least, Peak Creative Services was honored as the Distinguished Corporate Partner for 2004. Peak Creative Services created an amazing video that highlighted each of the program areas at LFS. The video has been key in introducing the community to the work that LFS does.

After an amazing dinner and the award presentations, everyone was encouraged to fill out the “Gifts of Caring” centerpieces. These are a part of a special program, which contributes directly to the lives of a foster child or family. With the addition of the matching grant program, the “Steppin’ Out for Others” Gala was definitely a step forward for Lutheran Family Services.

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