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December 02, 2005 - Funnyman Foxworthy Gets Girls and Guys to Giggle

What: Annual Girts and Guys Night Out

Where: Marriott City Center

When: December 2, 2005

Beneficiary: Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver, Denver Nuggets Community Fund and WB2 Gives, Funds of the McCormick Tribune Foundation

Host(s): Girls Inc. Alliance

Honoree(s): Burke Luerssen, 2005 Girls Inc. Alliance Teen Scholarship Recipient

EMCEE: Asha Blake, WB2 News Anchor and Will Jones, Altitude Sports & Entertainment

Presenting Sponsor(s): Marsico Capital Management

Gala Chairperson(s): Hilary Johnson and Karen Hannah Wheeler

Corporate Chairperson(s): John and Bobbi Jo Beeble, Dick Saunders; Committee: Christie Austin, Amy Burkett, Bob Deibel, Steve Federico, Debbie Jessup, Ann Jones, John Kilrow, Mashenka Lundberg, Chuck McDaniel, Scott McLean, Wendy Mitchell, Nancy Shea, Linda Sparn

President(s): Girls Inc. Alliance Co-Presidents: Jenny Austin and Robyn Roggensack

Entertainment: Comedian Jeff Foxworthy

Sponsors: Event: 3tSystems, Saunders Construction, Margot and Allan Frank, Tiffany & Co.; Underwriters: The Cyndey and Tom Marsico Family Foundation; Corporate: Lockton, Sun Microsystems, Community Bankshares, Key Bank, Margot and Allan Frank, Scot Smith and Susan Blake-Smith

Auctioneer: Joe Priddy

Menu: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, mac 'n cheese, and assorted pies - all served family style

Attendance: 850

Attire: Cool Casual - jeans welcome!

Information: Girls Inc. @ 303.893.4363

Planning Committee: 2006 Chairs: Cydney Marsico and Cindy Schultz; 2004 Chairs: Linda Goto and Gail Johnson; Caroline Ahbe, Heather Anderson, Kelly Grady, Emily Haddadi, Wendy Lee, Stacy Saurey, Lyn Schaffer, Josett Valdez, Susan Blake-Smith, Nanette Fishman, Dr. Dean Prina, Michelle Hanley, Denise McClard, Beth Anderson, Jane Hoselton, Trisha Lee, Cathryn McCloskey, Caroline Lofgren, Sara Grace, Dee Dee Parker, Linda Smith, Hollie Lubchenco, Kelly Millen, Bobbin Holtvluwer, Cindy Halaby, Kimi Porterfield, Josett Valdez, Hillary Adams, Melinda Dark, Polly Gleichenhaus, Lauren Naylor, Wendy Lee

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes Crony

 “Girls Inc. is a wonderful organization and I support them – I am surrounded by girls, my wife and our three daughters,” said Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the entertainment at the 2005 Girls and Guys Night Out event.
“Girls Inc. is a wonderful organization and I support them – I am surrounded by girls, my wife and our three daughters,” said Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the entertainment at the 2005 Girls and Guys Night Out event.

Elizabeth Byrnes Crony

The Girls Inc. Alliance celebrated their tenth year of supporting Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver’s on December 2nd at the annual “Night Out” event, a fundraising tradition for over a decade and a half. Traditionally a “girls only” night out, the event, Co-Chaired this year by Karen Wheeler and Hilary Johnson, has grown to include the “guys” for the second year in a row and benefits Girls Inc., Denver Nuggets Community Fund and WB2 Gives, funds of the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

“Girls Inc. is a wonderful organization and I support them – I love girls and am surrounded by them, my wife of 20 years and our three daughters,” said Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the entertainment at the 2005 Girls and Guys Night Out event. “Plus my brother and wife, with their three girls live next door to us.” Funnyman Foxworthy packed the Marriott City Center, where dinner included fried chicken, buckets of beer and chocolate, and had the audience in stitches for over an hour telling jokes and stories.

Through the Girls (& now Guys) Night Out annual dinner and other events throughout the year, the Girls Inc. Alliance has been able to support Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver and make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of girls between the ages of 6 and 18. The organization reaches out to girls in at-risk communities by helping them to overcome the barriers of poverty, economic illiteracy, teen pregnancy and attendance at schools where drop out rates are 40 to 55 percent.

Jenny Austin and Robyn Roggensack, Girls Inc. Alliance Co-Presidents introduced Burke Luerssen, 2005 Girls Inc. Alliance Teen Scholarship Recipient. “Girls Inc. taught me to be assertive and to think outside of the box," said Burke. "Plus," she said smiling; "I meet my best friends Ginny, Sophia and Tassia there.”

Burke, an accomplished and well-rounded girl, attends Denver School of the Arts where she maintains a 4.267 GPA. “I am an only child, brought up by a single mom who was on welfare and studying for her dissertation,” she told the audience. “My mom jokes that she gave birth to me and then to her dissertation. By age six, we moved into our home.” She has worked hard to maintain an immaculate academic record and at the same time remains committed to social justice and animal rights. Her latest leadership role featured her directing talents in a documentary about homeless.

“I never questioned that I would go to college,” Burke said, regarding the scholarship, “I questioned how I was going to pay for it.” She is exploring careers and is not sure about 1. Finding an herbal cure for AIDS, 2. Becoming a Marine Biologist, or 3. Becoming a Director/Actor. “Going to college is going to expand my knowledge of the world and give me new and exciting ways of thinking about things.”

The Girls Inc. Alliance was founded in 1994 to support Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver. It was composed of dedicated, community-minded individuals who seek to improve the lives of girls and young women by giving their time and support to Alliance fundraising activities and Girls Inc. programs. "At Girls Inc., I acquired all the tools that I need to be a better woman, inspiring me to live their motto ‘be strong, smart and bold!’”

Marsico Capital Management was the Premier Event Sponsor and the Corporate Co-Chairs were Dick Saunders, along with Bobbi Jo and John Beeble. Asha Blake of WB2 and Will Jones, an Altitude Sports Commentator, emceed the event. Tiffany & Co., one of the event sponsors, donated a beautiful diamond pendant for the holiday ornament fundraiser, chaired by Girls Inc. Board Member Cindy Schulz.

Each guest had the opportunity, for a $50 donation per ornament, for chance to take home the lovely necklace. The numbered red tree balls decorated a festive tree in the lobby, and during dinner, Chad McKeehan, Director of Denver Tiffany & Co., drew the lucky #245.

Funnyman Foxworthy had the audience rolling with laughter from the moment he stepped onto the stage. Jeff is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country. A family man, he is known for his redneck jokes however, his act goes well beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature. "If you want to be a comedian," he advised, "it is best to have kids - they are the best source for a stand up!"

Jeff was up right after the live auction, which quickly raised an additional $31,000 for Girls Inc. As he hopped up onto the stage, shielding his eyes, he called out for the item he had brought along with him, an autographed poster of his hit show "Blue Collar TV." The bidding went quickly and was sold to Cindy Schulz, Girls Inc. Board Member, for $2,300. Along with the poster, she got a big hug and a kiss from Jeff. "Jeez, I hope this was not televised," he joked as he wiped off Cindy's lipstick with a napkin that an audience member tossed to him.

The audience tired to sit back and relax but it was pointless, as most of them were bent over, holding their stomachs and wiping their eyes from laughing so hard. Jeff is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy Award nominee and best selling author of eleven books. He stars in and executive produces the television series “Blue Collar TV,” which was created out of back-to-back successful films of the same name. Jeff has also been the voice for characters in the films Racing Stripes and the Fox and the Hound II. "Girls are smarter than us, especially in communications and they use a whole lot more and bigger words than we do," he joked, referring to the difference in response between a man and a woman on the basic question, 'how was your day'? “Women will go on and on, going off in tangents and speaking for ten to twenty minutes straight, without a breath. And when she is done, and gives the man a look to ask how his day was – will only get a look and a grunt, ‘I’m hungry.’” From the audience, many hoots and hollers were heard and many shared glances were passed among couples.

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