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August 21, 2006 - Bonfils: Chip In For Life

What: Bonfils Blood Center’s Annual Golf Benefit

Where: Glenmoor Country Club

When: Monday, August 21, 2006

Time: 8:00 am Shotgun Start

Ticket Prices: $1,500 per foursome

Beneficiary: Bonfils Blood Center

Presenting Sponsor(s): KeyBank

President(s): Thomas C. Puckett, President/CEO

Staff: Suzi Stolte, Director of Community Development and Communications, Christopher Stengle, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Shauna Levinson, Director of Individual Gifts

Welcome: David Gilman, chair, Bonfils Blood Center Foundation; Board of Directors

Speaker: Megan Goutell, blood recipient

Catering: Glenmoor Country Club

Sponsors: Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, First National Bank of Colorado Saunders Construction, Kiewit Western Co., AlloSource H+L Architecture, Holme Roberts & Owen, Merrill Lynch, St. Anthony Health Foundation, Stericycle, Sunshine Building Maintenance, Therapack, Tolin Mechanical Systems Co., BD Diagnostic Systems, bioMerieux, FedEx, Galloway Group, Henry Wurst, Honnen Equipment Co, John Elway Pontiac Buick GMC West, Larson Distributing Co., Micro Motion a division of Emerson Process Management, Platte Valley Medical Center, Quick International Courier, VWR International, Merrill Lynch, Kaiser Permanente, Hemophilia Health Services, AirNet, Fisher HealthCare Hotchkiss, Inc., and Commercial Printing

Attendance: 144

Attire: Golf

Event Coordinator: Suzi Stolte

Board of Directors: David M. Gilman, Ben Galloway, M.D, Nanine Odell, Thomas C. Puckett, L. William Schmidt, Jr. and Michael J. Wright,

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 John Goutell, Hanna Goutell and Megan VanPutten Goutell, grateful for Bonfils
John Goutell, Hanna Goutell and Megan VanPutten Goutell, grateful for Bonfils

In the world of golf some of the big winners are names like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. On Monday the 21st of August, the winners who played the game had names like Michael Hobbs, Tom Puckett, Nick Sweeney, Jim Dierker, Nan Odell, Ben Galloway, Chris Nordling and Harvey Swan, just to name a very few of the 144 winners on the links at Glenmoor Country Club. The big difference, however, between a professional tournament and Bonfils Blood Center “Chip in for Life” is that at Chip In, everyone involved is a winner as well as the wider community.

For more than 60 years, Bonfils Blood Center has supported the community blood supply and has played an instrumental role in the lives of patients in need throughout Colorado and beyond. Bonfils Blood Center supplies blood and blood products to more than 200 hospitals and healthcare facilities and needs to collect 4,350 blood donations weekly to meet the needs of the community and to be prepared for any unexpected events.

As the golfers arrived at the exclusive Glenmoor Country Club they were greeted by the smiling faces of the many Bonfils volunteers and were given a token of appreciation: an elegant wine tote filled with golf goodies, sponsored by Fisher HealthCare. At 8 a.m, the contestants took to the green rolling hills of this course, designed by Pete Dye, (it's been said, “To play well here, you have to hit the ball straight.") Playing well is one thing, but maybe the words of Babe Didrikson Zaharias would be well worth heeding: “Winning has always meant much to me, but winning friends has meant the most.”

Players negotiated the immaculate greens, they traversed the roller coaster paths, and maybe some strayed onto the fairways. Golfers shot from hidden niches and sometimes had to wait for some of their fellow duffers to tackle the challenge of this beautiful course, but the day was warm and several coolers of soft drinks were provided strategically along the way. More than one team took advantage of the open air to enjoy a cigar. The hole in one car, provided by John Elway Pontiac, Buick, GMC West, was almost won twice, despite the blocking pond filled with huge carp.

At the end of the day they returned to the clubhouse and were welcomed with a sumptuous meal of London broil, poached salmon, mashed potatoes, garden salad and double chocolate cake. They also had the opportunity of taking home more then memories of a terrific day on the links. At the silent auction they could bid on a stay at the Grand Hyatt Denver or golf at Sonnenalp of Vail. Other items included Jewelry Pizazz, golf at Indian Tree and several impressive collectables from other sports besides golf from Mike Munns Autographs and Sports Collectibles.

After the golfers had filled their plates and settled down, David Gilman, chair of the Bonfils Blood Center Foundation board of directors welcomed them and asked that they recognize board members Jim Dierker, Harvey Swan, Dr. Ben Galloway and Nan O’Dell. and asked that they recognize the sponsors so integral to supporting Bonfils. Silver sponsors included Saunders Construction, First National Bank of Colorado and Kiewit Western Co. Keybank was the event's title sponsor and their president, Michael Hobbs voiced his gratitude, saying “Its such an honor to be hosting this event, its been a fabulous day and Bonfils always does such a great job, so thank you for coming out.”

Tom Puckett, President/CEO of Bonfils Blood Center, added his thanks to the sponsors and players and “to all the wonderful staff here at Glenmoor, we’ve had a terrific day and we know they did a lot of work for us.” He then joked "for all you who were in front of our team, I just want to say, oops, and all of you who were behind us, I just want to say sorry!”.On a more serious note he added  “All of us in this room have something in common, and its more than just that we enjoy playing golf; it's that we understand and appreciate and know what it takes to have safe, adequate and affordable blood supply for our community and I want to thank all of you for helping to do that.”

In a poignant demonstration of how Bonfils saves lives, Megan Goutell rose to the podium to share her story. When she entered the hospital on March 30th 2005 to deliver her daughter Hanna, who was present, she was relieved when the delivery was routine and Hanna was healthy. Megan related that “twenty minutes after Hanna’s birth, I had a lot of complications, I ended up hemorrhaging” she said, “I began to feel terribly cold.” Megan received eight units of blood in the emergency room and spent the next 48 hours in the intensive care unit. John Goutell, Megan’s husband, came to the microphone with their daughter Hanna, a very solemn young lady. John said he was “deeply, deeply grateful to Bonfils and that he now realizes that Bonfils not only collects the blood but “they have to move it around, store it and test it” he added “there’s a lot to making sure that blood is available to people who need it like Megan.

Gratitude was expressed in many ways at Chip In For Life; trophies and gifts were given to those who exceeded in the game, but when it comes to giving blood everyone is a winner because its the best, easiest gift one human being can give to another, safely and anonymously.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was right again when she said, "You can't win them all -- but you can try."

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