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August 29, 2006 - Tiny Miracles at The Inverness Golf Course

What: The 6th Annual Tiny Miracles Golf Invitational presented by Metropolitan Homes

Where: The Inverness Golf Course

When: Wednesday August 30th

Time: 7:00 am

Ticket Prices: $700 individual, sponsorships begin at $1,000

Beneficiary: NICU, Cancer Center – Experimental Therapeutics, Special Care Clinic, Heart Institute

Host(s): Peter Kudla, CEO Metropolitan Homes

Master of Ceremonies: Peter Kudla, CEO Metropolitan Homes

Committee Members: Bob Loup (Loup Development), Bonne Ciezynski-Kudla (Interior Creations), Brad Rothhammer (Corporate Benefit Design, LLC), Bruce Mardick (Metropolitan Homes, Inc.), Cassandra Kicklighter (Interior Creations), Chris Waters (Metropolitan Homes, Inc), Chris Walter (TriStar Drywall, Inc.), Dan Haltom (TriStar Drywall, Inc.), Dave Hoffman (Image Corp.), Deborah Green (Metropolitan Homes, Inc.), Donna Houchin (Metropolitan Homes, Inc.), Gary Levine (Merchants Mortgage & Trust Co.), Greg Krause (Metropolitan homes, Inc.), Julie Headley (The Children’s Hospital Foundation), Letty Rosell (Designworks), Peter Kudla (Metropolitan Homes, Inc.), Robin Gates (Metropolitan Homes, Inc.), Rocky Johnson (tuftex), Shelly Brozoski (Interior Creations), Tammy Johnson (Wired), Troy Smith (Bush Development), Wynter Rust (Metropolitan Homes, Inc.)

Catering: Peter Kudla, CEO Metropolitan Homes

Sponsors: (Grand Level, $50,000) Metropolitan Homes, Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson, Front Range Chrysler Jeep Dealers, Designworks, MGM Supply, TriStar Drywall, Images Flooring, Home Lumber, Kephart, Key Bank

Auctioneer: Peter Kudla, CEO Metropolitan Homes

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 Dr. John Kinsella with former patient Ben Egan
Dr. John Kinsella with former patient Ben Egan

Community can be made up of many things; a community may be homes planned and constructed by the same builder or people coming together for a common cause or an interest.

Wednesday the 30th, all three of those elements came together at Metropolitan Homes' 6th Annual Golf Invitational, Tiny Miracles. The physical communities-- Indigo Creek, Park Guell, Whisper Sky, and Vallagio at Inverness; The common cause, The Children’s Hospital, “Improving the health of children through the provision of high-quality, coordinated programs of patient care, education, research and advocacy” and the interest, golf.

The site of the event; Inverness Golf Club, holds a special place in the heart of Metropolitan Homes President and CEO, Peter Kudla. It’s where he had his first date with Bonne Ciezynski-Kudla, now his wife of almost nine years. And Inverness rolls out the red carpet for Peter Kudla as Tiny Miracles may be the biggest event held there each year. The weather for the day arrived on time and perfectly-ordered like a good piece of Azul Cielo marble. Some of the nearly one hundred volunteers greeted golfers enthusiastically at registration. Each was given a wrapped gift of appreciation and a continental breakfast before the scramble start.

The folks at Inverness describe their course this way: “Each shot is, in itself, a life lesson. Armed with this philosophy, our course was conceived. Beautiful, immaculate and playable. Each emerald fairway, with gentle but unforgiving slopes, commands precise, crisp shots. The deep, hungry bunkers defiantly guard the fast, undulating greens, truly challenging skill and mind.” The Golfers at Tiny Miracles seemed to enjoy the challenge, but perhaps Pete Dye said it best, “The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top.”

Thirty-six foursomes filled the links with the crisp ching of a good drive and the click of a nice chip, the occasional thump of a ball hitting a tree and the plop as a ball sinks below the waves of a water hazard. And more then one cigar added a mellow spice to the smell of greens, flowers and trees. As the morning wore on, the golfers experienced the words of Robert Lynd, “It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf."

Back at the clubhouse volunteers and staff had a brief respite and a cup of coffee before preparing for lunch and the next flight of golfers. Bonnie Kudla was often the first smiling face that participants saw and greeted at the registration table but everyone made sure their experience of Tiny Miracle was enjoyable. Meanwhile, Peter Kudla, Master of the Grill, was in the kitchen personally overseeing every detail of the lunch. Later that evening at the live auction one of the items was dinner for 12 at Kudla’s, so the lunch that Peter prepared made sure that the bidding for dinner was enthusiastic.

Second flight golfers got first crack at the two kinds of fresh green salads, seasoned to perfection, giant prawns, so good they became scarce, boneless chicken breasts in a delicate white sauce and of course the choicest of beef from Del Friscos Double Eagle Steakhouse, perfectly prepared by Peter. When the first flight of golfers returned from the links there was plenty left and they had the opportunity to regale the second flight with stories of glory from the morning, making their mouths water to finish the meal and get out on to the green.

As the sun rose to its zenith the temperature began to rise as well, but nobody seemed to mind. At the par 3, 15th tee there was a bit of a traffic jam and duffers lounged in the shade patiently waiting for their turn to shoot, fortunately coolers were place at several locations throughout the course and the refreshment carts made their rounds often with a nice selection of snacks and beer. Also strategically displayed around the golf course were motorcycles from Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson and gleaming automobiles from Front Range Jeep Dealers. A lot of fun was had that day and when it came to an end the team of Doug Moreland, Alex Janicelli, Mike Downe and Carl Dentsan had the best score.

Upstairs the preparations were underway for the silent and live auctions. Since this year was even better attended than last, the silent auction, which was also bigger, had moved to the beautiful patio adjacent to the pool. Nearly seventy donors offered an exciting array of items to be bid on, including casual and fine dining by (among others) Chipotle, Ruth Chris Steak house; jewelry and art from John Atencio, who designed this year's logo; stays at Hotel Monaco, Inverness and The Westin; passes to the Botanic Gardens, Bovine Metropolis, and Impulse Theater; high-end appliances by Jenair and something very special, photographs taken by Peter Kudla on his visit to Israel.

The patio filled at a leisurely pace with the day’s golfers and their wives and husbands as well as people who had come only for the dinner. Many of the sponsors of the event were represented, including Home Lumber, MDC Holdings, Concrete Frame Associates, Creative Touch Interiors, Designworks, Essex Financial and Bill & Cheri Meyn and many more. The center of attention, besides Peter, was Benjamin Egan, a Tiny Miracle in the flesh. Just after Ben was born he suffered a life threatening attack of Pulmonary Hypertension and had to be airlifted to Children’s Hospital. At Children’s, Dr. John Kinsella and a team of dedicated nurses and technicians provided his care. At the event a vibrant and smiling Ben and Dr. Kinsella had a reunion.

As the night settled in everyone was asked to make their last bids and gather in the ballroom for dinner. Again, Peter and the kitchen staff at Inverness outdid themselves in creating a delicious meal for the hungry guests and supporters of Tiny Miracles. When everyone had a chance to fill their plates, Deborah Green, Metropolitan Homes VP of Marketing and Sales, welcomed them and thanked them for attending. Deborah pointed out the slides of another successful event that had everyone at Metropolitan Homes busy in August--The Tiny Miracles Trot, A 5K walk and run held on the 27th of August to raise money for Children’s Hospital.

Before the live auction began the lights were dimmed and a film produced by Dave Hoffman, who has been in charge of media for all the Tiny Miracle events, was shown. The film touchingly portrayed the stories of just two of the many babies whose lives are saved by Children’s Hospital every year, with the support of events like Tiny Miracles and the Tiny Trot. Both these stories showed how close to home a miracle could come. Greg Krouse, a five-year employee of Metropolitan Homes and his wife Lindsay spoke about their daughter Taylor, who was born two months premature and cared for by Children's.

The second story affected Dave Hoffman’s own family, when his grandson Ben Egan was born. The film beautifully told the story of terror and triumph that is a part of daily life at Children’s Hospital. There was a thoughtful silence when the film ended. Tammy Johnson rose and introduced auctioneer Peter Kudla and the excitement began. Peter’s version of an auction removes the hesitation of most auctions, where people begin to feel the pressure as the bids go up. With a Peter Kudla auction, Peter calls on his many friends and associates by name. He says “Who’ll give me two, five or ten thousand dollars," and if the hands don’t go up fast enough, Peter makes it easier by picking someone, asking for a specific bid and getting it.

Peter auctioned off, among other things, a Las Vegas trip for eight at the Wynn Hotel & Golf Club, A Pebble Beach/Olympic Club vacation, The Final Four in Atlanta, a Kohler Blackwolf Run for eight and of course Dinner for 12 at the Kudla’s.

People give to Tiny Miracles to support Children’s Hospital, and it is made fabulously fun and painless because of Peter and Bonnie Kudla. When both the auctions were finished, the count hadn’t been completed but Peter speculated that the numbers for that day’s tournament and auctions alone raised more then a million dollars to serve children like Taylor and Ben. And if that wasn’t enough, the raffle gave away a scooter, a Harley and a Chrysler.

In an uncharacteristically quiet and toned down voice, Peter leaned into the microphone. He said “For those of you who don’t know, our anniversary is December 19th, and I am truly blessed to be married to Bonnie”. He went on, “A lot of my company members have given from day one to day 365”. He finished with, “I look around the room and I can only tell you that after 25 years of being in Denver I have tremendous friends and tremendous associates and I am truly blessed by everyone here".

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