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November 12, 2005 - Channing Cheers on CNI

What: 8th Annual Dinner

Where: Hyatt Regency Tech Center

When: November 12, 2005

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $175 per person; $3,000-$10,000 corporate sponsorships

Beneficiary: Colorado Neurological Institute

Honoree(s): Dan Weyland

Honorary Chairperson(s): Joy Burns

Corporate Chairperson(s): Douglas Tisdale

Founders: Dr. Gary Vanderark

Co-Chair(s): Louis and Ginny Messina and Richard and Jean Watt

Executive Director: Luanne M. Williams, CFRE

Committee Members: Cindy Acree, Lynn Bunnell, Liz Breuer, Robert and Sandie Eichberg, Marjorie Guard, Pam Johnson, Donald and Henny Kaufmann, Artemis Khadiwala, Deb McVicker, Mary McNicholas, Charleen Merlo, Barbara Parks, Frand and Debra Piazza, Deborah Pushchak, Janie Prendergast, Jeanne Shannon, Mark and Leslie Sidell, Jane Smedley, Judith Stucky, Sandy Walling, Gaile Weisbly

Staff: Scott Barnes, Roz Davis, Melissa Francis, Carol Greenwald, M.D., Lorre Gibson, Huong Hoang, Peggy Hugger, Jan Jerome, Jena Kelly, Charlotte Larue, Kim Martin, Stacey Per, Josette Pressler, Natalie Pyle, Judith Stucky, Luanne Williams

Introductions: Don Johnson, Dr. John McVicker

Libations: Glass Mountain Chardonnay, Stimson Estates Merlot

Catering: Hyatt Regency Tech Center

Entertainment: Carol Channing impersonator

Music: Sudden Impact

Sponsors: $10,000 "Standing Ovation" sponsors: Judd, Kaufmann, Sidell Family; David & Bonnie Mandarich; M.D.C. Holdings, Inc.; Swedish Medical Center--HealthONE; Dan Weyland; G.A. Wright Marketing; $5,000 "Bravo" sponsors: Pat and Annabel Bowlen; R. Don Johnson and Arlene Mohler; Johnson Storage and Moving; Radiology Imaging Associates, P.C.; Swedish Medical Center Auxiliary; Douglas Tisdale, Esq. $3,000 "Round of Applause" sponsors: Calcon Constructors, Compass Insurance Agency Inc., Olson & Olson Division; Craig Hospital; Empire Electric, Inc.; Greiner Electric; Leigh Norgren; Robinson Management, Richard and Edward Robinson; Rocky Mountain MS Center; Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Alliance, P.C.

Auctioneer: "Carol Channing"

Quote of the evening: "I've never been congratulated so much for something I had absolutely nothing to do with."-- Honoree Dan Weyland, on the recent birth of his grandson

Menu: Red wine braised boneless beef short ribs; herb roasted salmon, scallion mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash, asparagus, blister tomatoes, chocolate Kahlua cake/white chocolare pistachio cheesecake

Attendance: 350

Attire: 1920's or cocktail

Florist: Littleton Florists

Information: www.thecni.org

Donors: Peter Bugbee, Nancy Markham Bugbee, Gerald & Patricia Brown, Brown Family Foundation, Cliff & Mary Carol Cryer, Eatherton Masonry, Inc., Charles & Elsie Hawes, Steve & Lynn Hinkle, Art & Kathy Judd, Burt & Lee Levy, Littleton Florists, Edie Marks, Jay Schneiders, PhD., Charles & Mary Siebert, Simpson Company LLC, Total Plumbing, Inc., Richard & Jean Watt

Event Coordinator: Natalie Pyle

Board of Directors: Chairman of the Board: R. Donald Johnson; President of the CNI Medical Advisory Board and Vice Chairman: John H. McVicker, MD; Treasurer: Walter R. Berger; Secretary: Peter E. Ricci, MD; CNI Board Members: Cynthia (Cindy) Acree, Theron Bell, Walter R Berger, Norman Dyer, Barbara Farley, Lucille "Lucky" A. Gallagher, ARM, Lynda T. Gumeson, R. Donald Johnson, Richard R. Kelley, MD, David C. Kelsall, MD, Douglas D. Kerbs, Artemis Khadiwala Donian, Bonnie Mandarich, John H. McVicker, MD, Charleen Merlo, President of CNI Volunteers Dennis O'Malley; Barbara Lynne Phillips, MD, Peter E. Ricci, MD, Roselyn Saunders, Richard E. Schaler, MD, FACS, Michael M. Schmidt, Esq, Douglas M. Tisdale, Esq., Dan Weyland; Past Chairman Mary White, Luanne M. Williams, CFRE

Steering Committee: Corporate Committee: Robert & Cindy Acree, Theron & Sonya Bell, Walter & Gloria Berger, Norm Dyer, Bill & Barbara Farley, Joe & Kathy Gallion, Tucker & Denise Grills, Don Johnson & Arlene Mohler, David & Tammie Kelsall, Douglas Kerbs, Mark Levine, John & Debra McVicker, George & Charleen Merlo, Barbara Lynn Phillips, Peter & Florence Ricci, Eddie & Susan Robinson, Larry & Marlene Rosenberg, Roselyn Saunders, Rick & Lisa Schaler, Michael & Jill Schmidt, Richard Steig & Lucky Gallagher, Douglas Tisdale, Esq.

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress


 Co-chair Ginny Messina, left, with CNI Executive Director Luanne Williams and event chair Kathy Judd
Co-chair Ginny Messina, left, with CNI Executive Director Luanne Williams and event chair Kathy Judd

Pamela Cress

The single most impactful realization that came out of the eighth annual gala for the Colorado Neurological Institute is this: People with brain tumors and neurological disorders are now having celebratory reunion parties. Dr. John McVicker, President of the Medical Advisory Board for CNI, reminded attendees of this optimistic fact, saying this is miraculous compared with an average prognosis not long ago of only 12-14 months.

At least 350 well-heeled guests came to the Hyatt Regency Tech Center to support these great advances. As attendees perused the 75 silent auction items while being serenaded by a trio subset of the band Sudden Impact, there were smiles and handshakes galore.

There was so much good conversation and camaraderie that the dinner bell had to sound at least six times to get people in to partake of the delicious meal, including herb roasted salmon and red wine-braised boneless beef short ribs.

Chairman of the CNI Board Don Johnson began the evening's tributes, thanking honorary chair Joy Burns, chairs Arthur and Kathy Judd, and co-chairs Ginny Messina and Jean Watt, presenting them with rose bouquets.

President of the Medical Advisory Board, Dr. John McVickers then took the stage and thanked everyone for their support. "I am constantly amazed at the level of genius and talent we work with," said McVickers. "Every month, I'm surprised at the way CNI has helped someone with a neurological disease." He relayed some success stories and shared his optimism for the future of neurological medicine.

McVickers introduced Charlene Merlo, president of the volunteer corps, who gave an emotional testimonial to CNI and thanked them for successfully treating her daughter Kim, who was a guest at the gala.

Then came time to introduce honoree A. Daniel Weyland, who took the stage and talked with the audience like old friends (many of whom were.) Weyland is president and CEO of Weyland Enterprises and the president of Medpro Management. He is involved on a grand scale in medical real estate development in Denver and Texas. "I'm not known for my modesty," joked Weyland, "but I really appreciate this honor tonight." Having served as the "most charming and witty Chairman of the CNI Board of Directors," Weyland was honored for his "exceedingly generous contributions of time, talents and financial support" to CNI. In addition to his tireless support of CNI, every year Weyland sponsors three or four families at holiday time, supplying them with gifts, food, clothing and even microwaves and dining room furniture. In accepting the honor, Weyland spoke of his love for CNI and his hobby of Formula Mazda Series racing, his friends and colleagues in business, but it was obvious the shining focus of this remarkable man was the arrival of his first grandchild, Avery Danielle, last August.

As the entertainment portion of the evening began, in swooped "Carol Channing," impeccably portrayed by Richard Skipper. Sporting the trademark platinum hair, a glitzy forest green gown, and baubles on her fingers the size of small buildings, the pseudo Channing wowed the audience from the first song.

She got members of the audience to come up and dance with her, and at one point when a cell phone rang at one of the front tables, she jiggled over and took it out of the hand of owner Will Wagnon. "Oh good, maybe this is my agent," she gushed. She had a nice "private" conversation with Wagnon's wife and then did not give the phone back, saying, "This one is nicer than the one we got last week." She then held the phone as ransom until Wagnon came up and did a duet with her. When he finally did get the phone back, Wagnon quickly hid it in his pocket away from the diva.

In between songs and jokes, Channing doubled as auctioneer, bringing donors and guests up on stage with her to help raise bids. Exciting auction items included a weekend stay and Swedish massage at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa; a one-week timeshare ownership at Eagle Point Resort in Vail donated by Dan Weyland; beautiful 14K gold heart shaped diamond earrings donated by Trice Jewelers; a one-week stay at St. James Place in Beaver Creek donated by Larry and Marlene Rosenberg; and a special wining and dining experience for 12 people at the home of Don Johnson and Arlene Mohler.

Guests finished off the evening with entertainment and dancing to Sudden Impact. The future of neurology and the Colorado Neurological Institute is promising and optimistic, and guests "brought down the house" to prove it.

The Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) is the largest, most comprehensive neuroscience center in the Rocky Mountain region. Integrated, multi-disciplinary teams of neuroscientists provide comprehensive care for adults with neurological disorders and adults and children with hearing loss and ear disease.

CNI's talented professionals are involved in exciting new research and treatments for Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and other movement disorders, epilepsy, brain tumors, spinal cord injuries, hearing disorders, stroke, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), sleep disorders, migraines, neuromuscular disorders, and many more illnesses.

State of the art treatments available at CNI include: The latest techniques in neurosurgery, radiation and chemotherapy for malignant brain tumors; the vagal nerve stimulator for epilepsy; Botulinum toxin (Botox™) injections for dystonia, spasticity and migraines; Cochlear implants for both adults and children.

CNI sends out a newsletter, IN TOUCH with CNI, that provides facts about neurological disorders including descriptions of causes and symptoms; up-to-date information on treatments; patient experiences and insights; as well as news about what is happening at the Institute.

CNI also has educational seminars for patients, caregivers and families and sends out notices regarding events and happenings at CNI; scholarship awards available, newly established programs, etc.

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