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October 21, 2006 - Raise a Toast to the Arthritis Foundation

What: 14th Annual Jewels of the Vine Wine Tasting

Where: Antlers Hilton, Colorado Springs

When: October 21, 2006

Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $55 in advance; $60 at the door

Beneficiary: Arthritis Foundation, Rocky Mountain Chapter, Southern CO branch

Master of Ceremonies: Brian Bledsoe, KKTV 11 News

Committee Members: Tinka Piper, Chair; Kit and Chris Abrams, Sharon Clarkson, Gail Craig, Harmony Cummings, Pam Davis, Ellen DeAustin, B.J. Dempsey, Steve and Nancy Dodder, John and Gloria Gardner, Carole Guentert, Mary Hammel, Steve Kandrach, Gina Lovejoy, Cheryl Ricklefs, Marsha Sherry, Andrea Sherry, Ross Ullrich, Sarah Yount

Libations: Wines, liquers and beer from local distributors, Colorado Premium Vodka martini bar

Catering: Antlers Hilton

Entertainment: The New Century Big Band

Sponsors: Diamond Presenting Sponsor: Mercedes Benz of Colorado Springs; Emerald Sponsors: Front Range Orthopaedics, Premier Orthopedics; Ruby Sponsors: Abbott Immunology, Family Home Health; Sapphire Sponsors: Classic Companies, Norwood Development, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Colorado Springs, Memorial Hospital, The Gazette; Pearl Sponsors: Pepsi Cola, Ent Federal Credit Union, ePhit--Nancy Dodder, La Plata, US Bank, Winslow BMW, Richard Mertens, Mike Jones, Doug Veitch, Martha D'Ambrosio M.D., Colorado Springs Health Partners--Lawrence Zyskowski M.D.; Donors: Tom Kelly, Michael Sayers M.D., Melissa Hocate, M.D., Shepfield Foundation, Michael Baker M.D., North Springs Family Medical Group, Queen Liquor, KKTV 11 News

Auctioneer: Jeff Vaughn

Menu: Arborio risotto station, wild mushrooms cooked to order with reggianno-parmesan finished creamy with olive oil and basil; baron roast pork carving station with foccaccia and ciabatta bread, caper mayonnaise and seeded mustard; bruschetta station with basil, tomato, olive tapenade, roast garlic, roast tomato confit, whipped herb goat cheese; grilled vegetable station, Italian pastry and chocolate station with biscotti, Italian macaroons, almond puff in pinwheels, amaretto cheesecake, Italian cookies and hand-made chocolate

Attendance: 600

Attire: '20s

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Jim Goddard, left, president of the Arthritis Foundation, with Dr. Michael Sayers of Arthritis Associates
Jim Goddard, left, president of the Arthritis Foundation, with Dr. Michael Sayers of Arthritis Associates

Back in the 1920s, they knew how to party. Good food, good wine and good music were abundant. Well-heeled aristocrats squired beautiful ladies in sparkling jewels and feathered hats. Those times were revisted Saturday evening, October 21, at the Arthritis Foundation's 14th annual Jewels of the Vine Wine Tasting event.

Guests couldn't help but feel elegant as they walked into the ambient lighting of the Antlers Hilton ballroom to the tunes of songs like "Moon River" being played by the New Century Big Band. Tables bordered the perimeter of the room, each boasting wines, liquers and beers from local distributors and sponsored by generous donors. To make tasters feel even more special, celebrities from around the area participated in the pouring of the libations, including Matt Meister, John Karroll, Marshall Zelinger, Tak Landrock, Zach Thaxton and Nina Sparano of News13 and Katherine Cook, Laurie Martin and Brian Bledsoe from News11, as well as Colorado Springs Chamber CEO Will Temby and Kyle Troxel of News Radio 105.5. If that didn't suit the tastebuds, there were tasty vodka martinis available from Colorado Premium Vodka. By purchasing a $10 martini, partygoers were able to enter a drawing for a matching his and hers gold watch, donated by Luisa Graff Diamonds and Jewelers and co-sponsored by Le Gourmet Chef.

Of course, the libations required some gourmet food to accompany the tasting experience, and the Antlers Hilton filled the bill with several tasting stations located around the room including an Arborio Risotto station, a baron of roast pork carving station, a bruschetta station, a grilled vegetable station, and last but certainly not least, the Italian pastry and chocolate station.

Guests mingled and compared notes about the hundreds of silent auction items, then got a chance to bid on some eclectic live auction packages presented to the crowd by auctioneer Jeff Vaughn, including: an African safari for two, donated by African Eyes Travel; an 18-inch string of pearls with a 14K white gold clasp; an original oil painting by Laura Riley; a six-litre bottle of Cennatoio Innominto from Italy; a Mexican cruise for two, donated by Cruise Holidays of Brockville; a 1920s collector's physician's prescription for alcohol and a '20s federal bank note; a pair of Bronco tickets; and a scholarship to JA camp.

All of these special indulgences were for a good cause, with proceeds going toward efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases, through the network of 50 chapters across the country. The Rocky Mountain chapter of the Arthritis Foundation serves Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, where more than 1.3 million people are personally affected by arthritis. Some other startling statistics:

  • In 2006 – 42.7 million have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and 23.2 million people live with chronic joint symptoms, but have not been diagnosed by a doctor
  • Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15.
  • Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability.
  • Arthritis affects people in all age groups including nearly 300,000 children.

    Statistics show that more than half of people afflicted with arthrtits don't think anything can be done to help them. The Arthritis Foundation, Rocky Mountain Chapter, has something different to say about that. As a whole, the Arthritis Foundation has invested more than $272 million on research to support more than 2,100 scientists, physicians and health professionals involved in cutting-edge arthritis research. This has grown from $10,000 devoted to research in 1948.

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