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August 31, 2005 - Metropolitan Homes Tiny Miracles Invitational

What: Charity Golf Invitational and Live Auction Dinner

Where: The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center

When: August 31, 2005

Time: 7:30 am

Ticket Prices: $700 Individual

Beneficiary: The Children's Hospital NICU - Experimental Therapeutics

Host(s): Peter A. Kudla, President & CEO of Metropolitan Homes

Presenting Sponsor(s): Metropolitan Homes

Gala Chairperson(s): Peter A. Kudla

Founders: Peter and Bonnie Kudla

Co-Chair(s): Deborah Green, Tammy Johnson and Donna Houchin

President(s): Dori Biester, PhD, RN

Sponsors: Platinum Partners -$10,000-$50,000; Concrete Management Corp. Home Lumber, Residential Prime Lending, Denver Drywall, Images Flooring, Inc., Metro Star Cayon, LLC, Designworks, John and Anna Sie Foundation, Thompson & Sitz Construction, Dietrich, Kephart, TriStar Drywall, Inc., Front Range Chrysler Jeep, Key Bank, United States Gypsum, Golden Bear LLC, M.D.C. Holdings INC., Venturi Clean, Henderson Insurance Agency and Merchants Mortgage.

Auctioneer: Peter Kudla

Gala Production: Image Corp.

Quote of the evening: "You know what you should do, just do the right thing," Deborah Green

Attendance: 500

Attire: Golf and cocktail casual

Florist: Tammy Johnson

Board of Directors: Don Elliman, Ron Williams, Charles C. Gates, Marcy Benson, Dori Biester, PhD, RN, M. Douglas Jones, Jr., MD, Steve Winesett, Molly Broeren and Diane G. Wallach

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 Steve Winesett, President & CEO of The Children's Hospital Foundation presents plaque to Peter Kudla (left)
Steve Winesett, President & CEO of The Children's Hospital Foundation presents plaque to Peter Kudla (left)

Marcelo Mainzer

“Take it to the next level,” is the simple message of Metropolitan Homes and their catchword is “extraordinary.”

On August 31st they did just that, the Tiny Miracles Invitational was an extraordinary event that, each year, takes it to the next level for Children’s Hospital. Now in its fifth year; and each year has been bigger and better then the last. The event has grown from raising a few thousand dollars and giving away white tee-shirts with a clip-art design to a major gala that brought in over $1.1 million dollars to Children’s Hospital and gave players several opportunities to take home Chrysler cars, and SUV’s, from Front Range Chrysler/Jeep and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, provided by Rocky Mountain Harley and this even before the silent and live auction.

At 7:30 in the morning, 36 teams of golfers were at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center, known for hosting charity tournaments, to be challenged. The participants were greeted by employees of Metropolitan Homes and volunteers from the company’s vendors; three of who were Shelly Brzozonski and Cassandra Kicklighter of Interior Creations and Brian Prochaska of Custom Floor Concept. Everyone involved put their hearts and souls into supporting the hospital through this event and no one more so then company president and CEO Peter Kudla. Peter, to everyone, is built like a pocket battleship and has a smile and a handshake that make everyone who meet him feel like they have made a new friend.

Metropolitan homes fosters an environment of giving, they support the community by helping organizations like the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver Mental Health Association of Colorado, Shalom Park, Project PAVE, Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, Institute for the Study of Israel in the Middle East, Graduate School of Int’l Studies, University of Denver, University of Denver Bridge Project, Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management, Burns Society, University of Denver and of course The Children’s Hospital.

At The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital, they have taken care to ensure that the “home” for their most delicate babies is softly lit and quiet, a womblike environment that, research shows, improve infants’ outcomes. Some babies are cared for in “pinwheels,” a configuration that allows nurses to carefully monitor them, but gives families appreciated privacy. The Experimental Therapeutics Program takes healing “to the next level,” when kids and teens don't respond to traditional cancer treatment. Sometimes their disease comes back. And sometimes, their particular disease has no reasonable cure. These are the children with few, if any, options.

In 2004, Children's established the Experimental Therapeutics Program to give these patients new hope by expanding their access to brand-new drugs or new combinations of approved drugs. Children's Experimental Therapeutics Program, led by Lia Gore, MD, is already helping families and children look to another day together.

Ben Hogan said, “As you walk down the fairways of life, remember to stop and smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” At the Tiny Miracles Invitational, the first flight of golfers were greeted by another smell as they returned from their drives and putts, and the second flight was preparing for the afternoon’s round. Peter Kudla had exchanged his greeter’s hat for a chef’s outfit and was grilling up his “world renown” steaks. And if that were not enough, to accompany the mouthwatering meat, the noonday meal was rounded out in a surf and turf manner with juicy jumbo shrimps, butter-soaked corn on the cob and fresh coleslaw.

That evening the attire changed, from golf to casual eveningwear but the spirit of service remained the same, as volunteers like Robyn Faye, Wynter Rust, Julie Owens, Cheri Knopinski Rita Anderson, Michelle Bickelhaupt and Lisa Cadwell just to name a few of the dozens, helped to set up the silent auction. While event organizers Donna Houchin, Special Assistant to Peter Kudla, Deborah Green, VP Sales and Marketing, and Tammy Johnson President of Wired Designs were everywhere at once, Julie Headley, Event Manager and Events Intern at Children’s Leah Dickeson anchored the registration table. Peter Kudla circulated among his many friends thanking people for being there to support The Children's Hospital.

The first to rise to the podium after everyone had filled their plates was Deborah Green; she reviewed the history of Tiny Miracles from its humble beginnings at City Park Golf Course to, “The third largest revenue producing event for Children’s Hospital.” Deborah enumerated how the gifts had grown and grown but she said, “ What Tiny Miracles is all about is the kids, we all know that each child is such a special gift.” Deborah then introduced Tammy Johnson who, looking out at the packed room, voiced her gratitude for, “the role you have played in this years event with your love and generosity.”

Tammy said that when she first met Peter and became involved with Tiny Miracles she quickly felt “full and loved.” She went on to say that what she learned from the Kudla’s is, “to give with a full and genuine heart.” Tammy said, “As a former teacher and mother of three amazing beautiful and, most importantly, healthy children getting involved with Tiny Miracles was a, no brainer.” She finished with, “There is nothing tiny about Tiny Miracles, I feel blessed beyond measure to join with all of you and the entire Metropolitan family as we gather together to make a difference for kids.”

Tammy introduce Peter Kudla by saying, “We have all caught the Peter Kudla bug, most bugs lay you down but this bug lifts you up, his contagious energy and passion to make life better for others has rubbed off on us all, and we are all blessed because of it.” Before Peter could take center stage Steve Winesett President & CEO of The Children's Hospital Foundation presented him with a framed floor plan of "the world’s most healing pediatric facility at Fitzsimons" which the Tiny Miracles Invitational will help to make a reality. Peter also received his own “101 Dalmatians” Scrubs.

Peter Kudla is a renaissance man who fills any task he takes on with energy and humor. Earlier Deborah Green had shared a list of words to describe him they included “Passionate, Motivational, Inspirational, Respected, Admired and Generous.” Peter used all these traits and more when he swung into action as the auctioneer. Peter didn’t so much take bids; as sell opportunities to get involved.

Like a great sales man he expected the people would meet him and they did, unlike some auctioneers he never backed down, on some items he guessed what the top bid would be and when right to it and of course got it. When the live bidding was done and many thousands of dollars were raised for the children, it was time for the $100 raffle for a new Chrysler 300 Touring car. The winner was Mitch Martin another old friend of Peter’s. Mr. Martin amazed everyone by giving the car back to Tiny Miracles and it raised another $26,000 in bids for Tiny Miracles.

Leadership like Peter Kudla’s, community involvement like Metropolitan Homes and caring and innovative people and organizations like Children’s Hospital make this a better place for children and for us all.

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