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May 12, 2006 - What a Waiter Will Do for a Good Cause

What: Celebrity Waiter Dinner: A Hollywood Premiere

Where: The Westin Tabor Center

When: May 12, 2006

Time: 5:30 - 6:30pm Open Bar and Silent Auction, 6:30-8:30, Dinner & Entertainment

Ticket Prices: $2,000 for a waiter's table + tips

Beneficiary: Metro Volunteers

Master of Ceremonies: Jake Schroeder, lead singer of Opie Gone Bad

Gala Chairperson(s): Matt Smith

Honorary Chairperson(s): Charlie Walling and Carrie Besnette

Executive Director: Jackie Norris

Staff: Joy Criminger, Kathi Conner, Gary Renville, Barrett Wolfersperger, Martina Torres

Libations: Stone Cellars Chardonnay and Merlot

Entertainment: The Waiters

Of note: 2005 recipient of the El Pomar Foundation Award of Excellence; Since their inception they have helped to mobilize over 200,000 volunteers at community organizations throughout the metro Denver area.

Sponsors: ABC Bank; Aiello Public Relations; Campus Compact; Denver Department of Human Services; Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Elway's Restaurant; First Data Western Union Foundation;; Holland and Hart; Johnson & Wales University; Kaiser Permanente; Kamlet and Shephard; KCNC CBS4 Denver; Mark Berzins; Mountain States Employers Council; Pure Brand; Robinson Dairy; The Westin Tabor Center

Menu: Wild mixed greens, herb roasted chicken with tarragon jus, sun-dried tomato and asparagus Polenta cake, spring vegetables, chocolate truffle cake

Attendance: 350

Attire: Anything goes

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Chicken quesadillas, miniature beef Wellington, sundried tomato and fresh mozzarella in a Phyllo cup

Board of Directors: Phil Nash, Chair, Rose Community Foundation; Deborah Dale Brackney, Vice Chair, Mountain States Employers Council; Darren Lemkau,Treasurer, LaSalle Bank; Cindy Willard, Secretary, Helen K. & Arthur Johnson Foundation; Directors: Frederick Antwi, CHB Capital Partners; Julie Miller, National Cattleman's Beef Assoc.; Pamela Kenney Basey, Community Volunteer; Carrie Ripes, KMGH-TV; Christine Benero, American Red Cross, Mile High Chapter; Carol Shearon, Xcel Energy; Greg Geissler, MaryCrest Franciscan Ministries; Matt Smith, Johnson and Wales University; Sarah Harrison, The Denver Foundation; Tony Tapia, First Data Western Union Foundation; Carolyn Love, Kebaya Coaching & Consulting; Peg Thompson, Community Volunteer; Maureen McDonald, Metro Denver Chamber Foundation; Carey Wirtzfeld, Qwest Foundation

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Daniels Fund's Carrie Besnette with board member Maureen McDonald and Robinson Dairy's Charlie Walling
Daniels Fund's Carrie Besnette with board member Maureen McDonald and Robinson Dairy's Charlie Walling

Pam Cress

If you attended the Metro Volunteers' Celebrity Waiter Dinner Friday night, you undoubtedly had sore facial muscles from smiling so much. The antics of the waiters and the crowd surpassed all expectations as participants from around the city did their best to outdo one another in an effort to be the winning tip collectors, all to benefit the Metro Volunteers "Hollywood Premiere" gala at the Westin Tabor Center.

It was karaoke heaven as well-known waiters were not shy about taking the stage to swivel, sing (term used loosely in some cases) and sashay for a minimum donation of $100. The crowd came ready to party as they arrived in outfits, which were a cross between Halloween and Mardi Gras. From Kaiser Permanente Donna Lynne's performance as a piece of celery to Robinson Dairy's Charlie Walling decked out in western garb, it was an eclectic mixture ready to serve in exchange for tips to benefit Denver's premier volunteer organization.

Cheers, flashbulbs and a red carpet greeted guests as they entered the Westin reception foyer. Glasses clinked and laugher abounded while the waiters primed everyone to make sure they had loose pockets for the tip collection contest. Everyone moved into dinner and delighted in paying the celebs for extra services including massages, fetching drinks and requesting songs.

Opie Gone Bad lead singer Jake Schroeder did a great job as emcee and kicked off the program by singing the national anthem in exchange for a $20 donation from each table. Honorary co-chairs Carrie Besnette of the Daniels Fund and Charlie Walling of Robinson Dairy took the stage to thank everyone for their support.

The crowd was treated to several memorable performances including board chair Phil Nash in his tropical outfit singing "These Boots are Made For Walking," Adrien Miller providing an enticing rendition of Prince's "You Don't Have to Be Rich," and Jamie Van Leeuwen and Mike Pritchard as Hall and Oates who actually took money to STOP singing.

Lucy Allen and Andrew Chapman of Elway's fame danced on stage, and board member Frederick Antwi brought out an obviously talented alter ego as a professional dancer as he did a spectacular salsa number with partner Lety. CBS4's Walt DeHaven was busy manning the putting green and collecting $10 donations, while Wendy Aiello kept busy fetching drinks for tips.

Dressed as Wonder Woman, Stephanie Ohnmacht fulfilled her costume persona by emerging as the tip winner for the evening, raising $10,000 for Metro Volunteers by her table's efforts.

A really good time was had by all, and all were thankful that some of the song birds had daytime jobs. Metro Volunteers is very lucky to have so much talent working for a good cause.

Metro Volunteers is the expert resource center on volunteerism in the metro Denver area. Since their inception in 1994, they have helped transform over 200,000 people and countless communities by matching individuals and groups with meaningful and enriching volunteer experiences.

With the largest collaborative network of nonprofits and volunteers, Metro Volunteers offers the widest range of volunteer impact in the metro Denver area.

Thanks to Metro Volunteers, 22,000 prospective volunteers were provided with information on volunteer opportunities at over 500 community organizations in the metro Denver area; 16,000 youth were connected with individual and group volunteer opportunities; 2,000 active volunteers gave approximately 10,000 hours of service to area nonprofits through the Impact Program.

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