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April 20, 2005 - Berry Gets Badgered at CIHAD Annual Roast

What: Colorado

Where: Adam's Mark

When: April 20, 2005

Time: 6:00 pm

Beneficiary: Colorado "I Have a Dream" Foundation

Mistress of Ceremonies: Tamara Banks, WB2

Master of Ceremonies: Steve Farber, Brownstein Hyatt & Farber PC

Honoree(s): Maria Garcia Berry

Honorary Chairperson(s): U.S. Senator Wayne Allard, Congressman Bob Beauprez, Steve Farber, Mayor John Hickenlooper, Richard D. Lamm, Paul Sandoval, Wellington Webb

Co-Chair(s): Marcy & Bruce Benson, Mark Falcone & Ellen Bruss, Rus & Linda Heise, Tracy Huggins, John J. Huggins, Steve Kaplan, Gregory & Carla Lucero Kolomitz, Greg Vilkin & Elizabeth Vail Woodward

Executive Director: Mary Hanewall

Committee Members: Ticket Committee: Joseph Ahearn, Katie Agron, Linda & Robert Alverado, Steve Bachar, Ferd Belz, Dawn Bookhardt, Bruce Berger, Holly Brown & Randy Nichols, Rob Cohen, Pat Cortez, Steve Farber, Geoge Flanders, Lori Fox, Jean Galloway, Jerry Glick, Pat Grant, Josh Hanfling, Michael Hobbs, Robert Hochstadt, Steve Kaufmann, Joan McDermott, Carrie Mesch, Courtney A.E. Messenbaugh, Bill Mosher & Molly Broeren, Jim Mulligan, Richard Scharf, Alan Seiver, Ted Trimpa, Steve Wenner Auction Committee: Beth Hornstein, Kellee Johnson, Devany McNeill, Sue & Kevin Townsend, Emily Walker, TIAA-CREF Volunteers

Speaker: Roasters: Susan Powers & Cathy Reynolds, Greg Vilkin & Elizabeth Vail Woodward, Mayor John Hickenlooper Roasters Via Video: Richard D. Lamm, Senator Wayne Allard, Governor Bill Owens

Attendance: Record-breaking 940 people

Special Thanks: Adams Mark Denver; Tamara Banks, WB2; Kenny Be, Westword; Bev Berg,Blue Sky Promotions; Chip Bromfield, Pro-Motion; CRL Associates, Inc.; Denver Tech Center Rotary, Steve Farber, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, PC; Cathie Greig; Little Voice; Devra Ochs


Board of Directors: President:Gary Mitchell VP: Ann Cisneros Secretary: Allan Cohen, Psy.D. Treasurer: Stephen Wener Board Members:Tracy Huggins, Douglas Andrews, Tamara Banks, Jacqueline Berardini, Lark Birdsong, Tammy Booth, Juan Botero, Ryan Charp, Robert Cohen, Cole Finegan, Michael Hobbs, Robert Hochstadt, Sonny Jackson, Grant Jones, Stephen Kaplan, Steven Kaufmann, Gregory Kolomitz, John Lanning, Robert Loeb, Jr., Lawrence Manzanares, Anabel McHugh, Anita Padilla Fitgerald, Laurence Price, Rich Rainaldi, Chris Romer, Justin Roth DDS, Alan Seiver, Philip Anthony Washington, Rusty Wehner, Rochelle Williams

Blacktie Photos by: Janet Woods

 Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, last year's Roastee turned Roaster this year for Maria Garcia Berry, this year's Roastee. Maria beat the Mayor's recordbreaking roast attendance last year, bringing 940 people to watch her be roasted and toasted.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, last year's Roastee turned Roaster this year for Maria Garcia Berry, this year's Roastee. Maria beat the Mayor's recordbreaking roast attendance last year, bringing 940 people to watch her be roasted and toasted.

Janet Woods

“Most of you would be seated if you knew that Maria was on time,” emcee Steve Farber told the dinner gathering, in reference to the not-so-punctual political consultant, Maria Garcia Berry, who was also the Roastee for the annual Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation Roast. Berry runs CRL Associates, a political consulting firm, and Farber jokingly told the crowd that CRL stands for “Cocktails, Receptions and Luncheons”. This taunting and teasing was the theme for the night. While the evening was all in good fun, Berry’s work around town has been serious. Everywhere you look around Denver, Maria Garcia Berry’s handiwork stands out. From sports venues like Coors Field, the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field at Mile High, to the redevelopment of Stapleton and the old Gates Rubber Factory to shopping areas like Belmar and Clayton Lane, and FasTracks, the nation’s largest successful effort to expand transit, Maria has been making Denver business dreams come true. It’s an impressive resume for a Cuban refugee who came to the US when she was just nine years old, and didn’t speak any English. From the way her friends talk about her wardrobe, her closet sounds pretty impressive as well. Friend Elizabeth Vail Woodward told the full house; Maria never met a label she didn’t like. “She likes any designer whose name ends in a vowel, and has purses more expensive than a small car.” Her good fashion taste was evident and she was stunning in a gold suit dress and dainty Manolo Blahnik sandals on her feet. While some were there to roast her live, others came via video. One such video roaster was former Mayor Wellington Webb who taunted the political powerhouse about her punctuality. “She’ll be 30-40 minutes late for breakfast, 15 minutes late for lunch and for dinner, if cocktails are involved she’ll be 12-14 minutes late,” he explained. Regarding her ego, he remarked, “While Maria has always maintained that she doesn’t have a God complex, she does admit that God has a Maria complex.” Senator Wayne Allard, via video said, “ People get smarter as they get older, by this point, Maria is really, really smart. I feel bad saying these things about Maria, but I’ve been saying them behind her back for years.” Other video roasters included former Governor Dick Lamm, Congressman Bob Beauprez, and a special “Man on the Street” interview segment with random, but obviously planted, people on the 16th Street Mall. When asked, “Who is Maria Garcia Berry?” the responses came back: “Isn’t that a Ben & Jerry’s flavor” “Isn’t she that hot chick that was engaged to Ben Affleck” and the crowd favorite, “Oh, with a body like hers, she gives new meaning to ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’.” Sister’s Cathy Reynolds and Susan Powers, of the Sisterhood of Perpetual Politics, came to reveal secrets of their “sister”. While the two donned habits, they told the crowd, “The only habit Maria ever got into was shopping.” “Maria doesn’t work for her clients, they work for her,” Reynolds said. “She’s never turned down a client. And as I look around the room, I see that’s true. I salute the 940 people here too scared not to show up." Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was the “heated meat” last year, joined in on the roasting, but it was Maria that got the better of him in the end. She beat the Mayor’s previously record-breaking fundraising total by $12,000, raising a total of $187,000 for the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation. Founded in 1998, the award-winning Colorado “I Have a Dream Foundation’s” mission is to help at-risk Denver youth graduate from high school. CIHAD adopts classes of students, called “Dreamers” that consist of entire grade levels from elementary schools, or entire age groups of public housing developments. When the Dreamers graduate, they receive a partial scholarship to the college or vocational school of their choice. CIHAD’s long-term dropout prevention program has proven to change lives for the better. They have worked with over 450 Dreamers from some of Denver’s most at-risk neighborhoods.

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