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September 22, 2001 - Children's Hospital Gala Cures Disco Fever

What: 2001 Children's Hospital Gala

Where: Adam's Mark Hotel

When: September 22, 2001

Beneficiary: The Children's Hospital

EMCEE: Ed Greene, NEWS4

Gala Chairperson(s): Charlene Dunn

Corporate Chairperson(s): Wayne Berger

Co-Chair(s): Diane Sweat, Pam Ignat, Debbie McCarty, Juan Solano, Ellen Stewart, Jim Thomas

Music: Hazel Miller, J.T. Tayor of Kool & the Gang

Sponsors: Berger-Solano Foundation, Gallagher Family Foundation, United Airlines, Adam's Mark Hotel, Arthur Andersen LLP, Hyde Park Jewelers, Mutual of America, Anschutz Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Benson, The Considine Family, Copper Mountain Resort, The Denver Newspaper Agency, Gary Williams Energy Corp./Piton Foundation, Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Great-West Life, Anne and David Hanson, James Co., Joy Johnson, MDC/Richmond American Homes, Mr. and Mrs. Craig Ponzio, Kent and Caroline Rickenbaugh, Rutt Bridges Family Foundation, Stevenson Family Foundation, Wagner Equipment Co.

Gala Production: Innovative Events, Sue Ellen Goss

Menu: Roma Tomato Vase, Roasted Seabass, Grilled Medallion Tenderloian of Beef, Heirloom Vegetables, Soda Cone

Attendance: 1,100

Attire: Blacktie and disco chic

Decor/Rental Company: TDA - Design and Production

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Disco chics Joy Johnson, left, and Andi Smith
Disco chics Joy Johnson, left, and Andi Smith

By Blacktie Staff

Polyester met black tie in the ballroom of the Adam's Mark Hotel September 22, and the result was an interesting marriage of go-go boots, gold medallions on hairy chests, four-inch collars, classic cummerbunds, satin gowns and diamond tiaras.

The occasion was the 2001 Children's Hospital Gala, a celebration of the 1970s disco era featuring music by J.T. Taylor from Kool & the Gang and Hazel Miller.

"Oh, I stole your outfit, didn't I?" deadpanned Martha Kelce, a former gala chairman whose gold, knee-high boots, polyester short set and Debbie Reynolds hairdo made her one of the evening's most admired women.

The gala, a perennial favorite in Denver, grossed $750,000 this year, said Tonya Everist, director of corporate giving for the Children's Hospital Foundation.

The top draw at the auction was an 18-karat white gold necklace with 5.87 karats of diamonds, crafted by Damiani Jewelers of Valenza, Italy. Donated by Hyde Park Jewelers in Cherry Creek, the necklace was snapped up for $8,000 by an executive of Wells Fargo Business Credit.

A four-night stay for two at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz., brought $3,500.

A highlight of the evening was emcee Ed Greene's introduction of six Children's Hospital Ambassadors, children who have been or are patients.

Scores of volunteers work months to stage the huge gala. Wayne Berger, founder of Berger & Co., who has served as the event's corporate chair for three years, said Children's Hospital is a special place that does special work. "It's just one of thoses causes that's close to my heart," he said.

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