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October 02, 2005 - Inner City Health Center, Makes A Dramatic Difference

What: A benefit performance of West Side Story

Where: Littleton Town Hall Arts Center

When: October 2 and 5, 2005

Time: 6pm-10pm

Ticket Prices: Free admission

Beneficiary: Contributions benefit Inner City Health Center

Honoree(s): Kim Feehs, MD, Sharon Begley, RN, UBS Financial Services, Inc., St. Mary Land & Exploration

EMCEE: Paul Dunne

Founders: Bob & Jan Williams and Duane Claassen

Executive Director: Kraig Burleson

Catering: Tony Rosacci's

Of note: A video produced by Adam Schrager 9News Reporter

Sponsors: Harper Design

Menu: The freshest fruit of the season served with Jarlsberg swiss, dill Havarti, and Brie wedge. Accompanied by gourmet cracker selection and sliced baguette. Tender artichoke hearts stuffed with Boursin cheese, breaded and lightly fried. Tender chicken appetizers baked with spicy sweet orange chipotle sauce and an incredible medley of chocolate covered strawberries, mini chocolate mousse cups, mini fruit tarts, caramel covered crème puffs, éclairs and macaroons

Attendance: 500

Attire: Cocktail Attire

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Savory Mediterranean Pastry Squares; Puff pastry topped with sun dried tomato pesto, artichoke heart, olives and feta, Shrimp and Brie Potato Crisp

Event Coordinator: Chandra Al-Khafaji

Board of Directors: Jim Shira, MD, Will Barnes, Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, Hunt Holsomback, John Forney, DDS, Edward Ho, MD, Sharry McCorkle, Sandra Theissen, Robert Williams, MD

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer


 Tony and a girl named Maria
Tony and a girl named Maria

“I got a feeling there's a miracle due, gonna come true, coming to me. Could it be? Yes it could, something's coming, something good. If I can wait, something's coming, I don't know what it is, but it is gonna be great...” Tony from West Side Story

Inner City Health has been:” something great” in the Five Points Neighborhood since 1983, when Bob & Jan Williams and Duane Claassen, two physicians and a counselor, decided to address the needs of the medically indigent of Denver. To keep overhead costs low, Inner City Health Center focuses on being a volunteer driven organization. A majority of the clinical staff are volunteers, committed to the goal of providing a continuity of quality care to anyone in need in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. Volunteers also assist in non-clinical roles including computer specialists, marketing, graphic design, gardening, repair and renovation, and office and records management and fundraising events.

At Inner City, fundraising has taken many forms including Banquets, Golf Tournaments, last year's Salsa & Soul event and on Sunday a performance of West Side Story at the Town Hall Arts Center in downtown Littleton. West Side Story is the tale of inner city kids struggling with each other and their environment. Set in New York in the late fifties the film was released in 1961. It’s a story of identity, camaraderie, and immigration and of course love, it is a loose re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet tragedy.

The Town Hall Arts Center was built in the early 1920's as a new center for civic activities, by the late 1970's there was a new City Hall on Berry Street, some visionary citizens began to think what should be done with the old building in the center of Main Street, and in 1983, it opened as a performing arts center and art gallery. There are more than 300 performances presented each year plus individual art shows in the Stanton Gallery, and many community meetings in its facilities. The theatre is managed by a not-for-profit organization, The Littleton Center for Cultural Arts Foundation, Inc., so it is no wonder that Inner City Health Center chose Town Hall to host a fundraising event.

As guests arrived they were welcomed by Paul Dunne, ICHC Executive Director of Development as well as volunteers and staff from Inner City. They were treated to a wealth of delicious food, at three separate buffets, provided by Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering and while dining were entertained by piano player Scott Shively. Some attendees took advantage of the balmy weather and the comfortable atmosphere of Main Street to go back outside and chat on the wide sidewalk. At around seven-thirty the lights in the lobby flashed indicating the show was about to start and everyone trooped upstairs to the performance hall.

Once seated, Kraig Burleson, CEO of Inner City Health Center, offered up an invocation of gratitude. After thanking the divine, Kraig took a moment to thank some of the people involved with Inner City including Dr. Elsa Castro, Director of Dental Services, Nurse Practitioner Sue Lehman, Operations Manager Cindy Kihorany, Board President Jim Shira M.D., William Barnes J.D., and his wife Jane Barnes, Dr. John Forney and his wife Eleanor, and Dr. Edward Ho and his wife Julie. Kraig then took a moment to recognize one of the corporations that help support ICHC. UBS Financial Services, Inc., Keith Robinson , accepted on their behalf. The other person to come on stage to receive an award was Kim Feehs, MD, who was recognized for her volunteer efforts.

Paul Dunne then bounded to center stage and with his usual enthusiasm and introduced a film produced and donated by Adam Schrager, 9News Political Reporter. The film portrayed the everyday miracles of Inner City Health Center and the people who’s lives it touches both as clients and providers. Paul then returned and in the straightforward manner that characterizes Inner City Health Center, he explained how each person present could use the envelopes and pens provided to show their support for the crucial work of Inner City Health Center. He explained that the extra name on each person’s nametag represented a person that has been helped by ICHC, and will continue to be supported in the future with their help.

The show started, immortal songs like “When you’re a Jet”, “Something’s Coming”, “Maria”, “Tonight, “America”, “Cool” and “One Hand, One Heart” were sung, the performers spun, whirled and stomped across the stage, the audience felt joy and sadness, they laughed and applauded and maybe shed a tear or two, and all this in the first act that ended with the tragic fight under the bridge. At intermission, Paul returned and with the help of event coordinator Chandra Al-Khafaji and several other volunteers they awarded door prizes of autographed posters of the show, tickets to future Town Hall performances and a special Cherry Creek shopping card, that included valet parking. Act Two began, with “I feel pretty, the unforgettable “Somewhere”, the hilarious “Gee Officer Krupke”, “A boy like that” and “I have a love”. True to the original form the dancing is exhilarating, inventive, a visual ballet of pirouettes, vigorous athletic moves, and running jumps.

The story, of course, ends in tragedy but the organization the performance benefited is a triumph of community, dedication and faith.

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