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September 10, 2005 - Crooning and Croaking benefit National Jewish

What: 4th Annual Cocktails and Karaoke

Where: Mile High Station

When: September 10, 2005

Time: 6:30 pm

Beneficiary: National Jewish Medical and Research Center

Host(s): Denver A.I.R. Society

EMCEE: Les Shapiro

Gala Chairperson(s): Rachel Kodanaz, Janice Silver

Committee Members: Monica Gelfond Freedberg, Barb Gallagher, Wendy Glazer; Social Chair, Rachel Kodanaz, Taner Kodanaz; Committee Chair, Kim Gelfond Laycob, Craig Mills, William Mutch, Zach Pashel, Michael Pasquarella, Sandra Rojas;Education Chair,Tammy Schiff, Adam Schrager, Cathy Schrager, Gary Schwartz, Janice Silver, Krystal Woodbury

President(s): Dr. Lynn Taussig

Sponsors: Platinum: Comsys Solid Gold Society of Fellows:Gallagher Family Foundation, King Kolor Music Legends: Event Networks, Inc./Gail & Rob Sadler Superstars: CODA, Patten MacPhee & Associates, Anuschka & Zach Pashel, Pyramix Interactive, Qwest Communications, Three Tomatoes Catering, UMB Bank Media Sponsor: 9News Other Donations:, Brad Brooks, Chotin Foundation, Coors Distributing Company, Family Traditions Flooring LLC, FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Center, Flirt Salon, Shari Foster, Monica & Jay Freedberg, Jim Griffin, Guaranty Bank & Trust Company, Arlene & Barry Hirschfeld, Interface Communication, Jerry Jarmillo, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, Loews Denver Hotel, Craig Mills & Nancy Willerton, John Perkins, Lisa & Jonathan Perlmutter, Barry Schwartz & Deborah Baker, Mike Shaw Buick Chevrolet Saab Pontiac GMC Subaru, Doug Smooke, Third Sector Innovations, Inc., Three Tomatoes Catering, Evan & Meghan Zucker

Attendance: Over 300

Attire: Cocktail


Blacktie Photos by: Janet Woods

 Performing for a cause
Performing for a cause

Janet Woods

The thing to remember about Cocktails and Karaoke, the annual amateur songfest benefiting National Jewish Medical and Research Center, is that cocktails come first, then karaoke. It usually takes a few cocktails to get up on stage and make a fool out of your self, and it definitely takes a few cocktails for the crowd to make-believe you sound good. While most of the singing is generally bad, the event is truly a breath of fresh air for National Jewish Medical and Research Center. The annual event is put on by the Denver A.I.R. Society (Asthma, Immunology and Respiratory medicine), a group of community leaders dedicated to supporting and increasing awareness of National Jewish Medical and Research Center, and was created as an alternative to the traditional fundraising dinner. The A.I.R. Society gathered over 300 friends, family and co-workers as well as a group of local celebrity singers at Mile High Station to support the organization that has been named America’s Best Hospital for treatment of respiratory diseases for eight consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Typically, guests “bid” on their friends, co-workers and sometimes themselves, to sing their favorite tunes, but once in awhile, someone pays to hear the singing stop. This year guests could pay to be a Karaoke Idol judge and do their best imitation of Simon, Paula or Randy and either praise or heckle singers on their performances. Celebrity singer 9News sportsman Drew Soicher turned out a surprisingly good rendition of Barry White’s "Can’t Get Enough of Your Love," but other local celeb singers seemed to hit more sour notes. Steve Chotin paid $100 to hear the NFL Network’s Adam Schefter sing Billy Joel’s "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." Schefter was assisted by a “team” that consisted of Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly and Julie and Bill Pearson. While Schefter may not be the next American Idol, he did have the courage to get up on the stage and sing, unlike celeb singer 9News reporter Adam Schrager, who opted out of the croaking and crooning by purchasing a laryngitis pass for $20. No matter how good or bad of a singer you are, when you’re the President and CEO of National Jewish, everyone gives you a standing ovation, which is exactly what happened when head honcho Dr. Lynn Taussig took over the mic. He belted out Neil Diamond’s "Sweet Caroline" with his bevy of beautiful back-up singers, the “Spice Girls”, otherwise know as Lisa Taussig, Event Committee member Tammy Schiff and Board Member Blanca Lerman. As painful as the singing was, the performance still generated a round of applause that got people out of their seats. Not all of the singing at the fourth annual event was bad. One of Denver’s favorite singers, Hazel Miller, who had been performing the past week for victims of Hurricane Katrina, came to the rescue of those sitting in the audience by singing a great version of Bonnie Raitt’s "Nick of Time." Even though the singing was sometimes better, and other times worse, the crowd just couldn’t keep from moving to the tunes and so tables were taken away to open up a make-shift dance floor to give the group more room to groove. Through singing that can only be described as anything but harmonious, those who lent their voices to the cause helped raise well over $47,000 for National Jewish.

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