March 15, 2007 - 10th Annual Climb the Peak
What: 10th Annual Climb the Peak Awards Event
Where: Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue
When: Thursday, March 15, 2007
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $75
Beneficiary: Urban Peak Youth & Programs
Honoree(s): 3 Successful Youth: Hannah Yoo, Jeremiah P. Thomas, and Queen, along with Community Leader Jim Polsfut
Presenting Sponsor(s): Gary-Williams Energy Corporation, The Piton Foundation
Committee Members: Elizabeth Hultin, Brooke Johnson, Suzanne Knight, Marlo Naumer, Amber Dawn Schrandt
Staff: Craig Archibald, Leslie Hannon, Anne Harris, Mary Kimball, Wendy Talley, John McIlwee, Becky Saad, Chris Telk, Kendall Rames, Nichole Stephens, Victor Hernandez, Susan Boyle, Carl Knudson, Kameron Holloway, Demetrious Jenkins, Justin Cooper
Welcome: Development Director, Anne Harris
Catering: Bistro Boys Catering
Sponsors: MOUNT ELBERT: Gary-Williams Energy Corporation, The Piton Foundation; MOUNT MASSIVE: First Western Trust Bank; MOUNT HARVARD: Adco General Corporation, Alvarado Development, Caz Matthews, Denver Department of Human Services, Qwest, Republic Financial Corporation, Waring; MOUNT BLANCA: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Carson Foundation, Charlie & Suzanne Knight, Eric Sondermann/SE2, Harvey Economics, Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, Jared Polis Foundation, Jean Scandlyn & Randy Eppler, Leigh Sinclair & Arlan Preblud, Noble Energy, OV Consulting, Rich Rainaldi& Martha Records, Susan & Howard Noble, Trinidad Rodriguez & Sarah Winbourn and George K. Baum & Co.
Quote of the evening: "Even if you can only save a handful of kids on the street, it's worth it, because you never know who will grow up to change the world." Jeremiah P. Thomas
Menu: Bistro Boys Catering: Beef Bourguignon, presented with mashed potatoes; wild rice salad tossed with soy peas, carrot & diced rainbow peppers; platters of roasted vegetable; farfale pasta with sundried tomatoes, basil cream sauce and sliced roasted chicken; warm vegetable strudel prepared with goat cheese, eggplant zucchini and portobello mushrooms
Special Thanks: Jim Polsfut, Dean Prina, Caz Matthews, Greg Kleinert, Daniel Walker, Jim Bye, Federico Pena, Roxane White, Javier Polsfut, Izze Beverage Company, Bistro Boys Catering, Artisan's Center LTD
Hors D'Oeuvres:: Bistro Boys Catering: crab & parmesan stuffed mushroom caps; portobello mushroom, spinach & goat cheese in pastry; artichoke spinach dip, imported & domestic cheese
Information: www.urbanpeak.org; 303-777-9198
Board of Directors: Craig Archibald, CEO; Rich Rainaldi, Board Chair; Ron Barber, Treasurer; Dick Thomas, Secretary; Rob Alvarado, David Banks, Terry Brown, Kathy Cranmer, Suzanne Discenza, Larry Greenwood, Jim Grenfell, Brooke Johnson, Greg Kleinert, Mark Kling, Cecilia Mascarenas, Janet Myers-Colley, Susan Noble, Joanne Reilly, Trinidad Rodriguez, Dave Ryan, Jean Scandlyn, Tom Schilling, Leigh Sinclair, Eric Sondermann
Blacktie Photos by: Stacy Ohlsson
“Even if you can only save a handful, it’s worth it, because you never know who will grow up to change the world,” said youth honoree, Jeremiah P. Thomas.
On March 15, 2007, Urban Peak’s 10th Annual “Climb the Peak” event celebrated the achievements of three formerly homeless individuals, along with community leader, Jim Polsfut, at Mile High Station.
In years past, the youth honorees shared gut-wrenching stories of how and why they ended up on the streets. This year, the drama was in the successes, and the ways these youth are already changing the world.
Making a speech in front of nearly 300 people is difficult for most adults. Imagine what it would be like for a former homeless teen, asked to tell her story to a room full of strangers. Nobody blamed honoree Hannah Yoo for handing the duties over to her case manager Mary Zanotti, who gracefully read Hannah’s notes. Four years ago this month, Hannah found Urban Peak, and found “Real Change” in her life. She was successful at all that the Peak had to offer (apartment housing, education, and employment counseling).
Hannah has successfully exited street life. She’s been employed by the VA Medical Center for two years, and has a promising career ahead of her.
Real Life. Real Change.
The Spot’s Justin Cooper introduced the talented and creative Queen, explaining how her energy and insightfulness were instrumental in the merger between Urban Peak and The Spot. Queen found a creative outlet at The Spot at age 14, and continues to do so in a powerful way.
Queen now inspires and empowers youth at The Spot with her poetry and her new holistic women’s program (while raising her daughter and running her own business). She also wowed the audience with a spur-of-the-moment poem which captured the colors and emotions of the evening.
Real Life. Real Change.
After two years of being drug addicted and living on the streets, Jeremiah P. Thomas discovered Urban Peak through the kindness of a stranger who dropped him off there. Jeremiah said that he showed up, barely able to speak, with “a broken mind, body and soul,” and at 90 lbs., was “tired of my lifestyle, tired of myself.” He met shelter coordinator Nichole Stephens, who has obviously made a tremendous impact his life.
Jeremiah lived at the shelter while attending Urban Peak’s charter school, Academy of Urban Learning. “Academy teachers are more dedicated than any I’ve ever met.” Jeremiah now attends Community College of Denver full time, and has worked at CCD’s Servicio De La Raza for over 15 months.
Real Life. Real Change.
CEO Craig Archibald presented the 3rd Annual Tom Knorr Community Leadership Award to former Urban Peak Board Member, Jim Polsfut, who has been instrumental in forming new liaisons and fortifying programs at Urban Peak over the last decade.
In Polsfut’s video tribute, Roxane White said, “Jim is dedicated, passionate, and the most frugal person I’ve ever met.” Meant as a compliment, but defended by Jim later on, with several humorous references to situations where his “frugality” has saved Urban Peak tons of money.
In celebrating distinguished youth achievement over the last decade, Urban Peak’s “Climb the Peak” event has made tremendous changes. In 1997, the venue was the basement of a church (which doubled as the shelter). $13,000 was raised, and one person (Roxane White) was the CEO as well as event planner.
Real Figures back up the Real Changes that Urban Peak has made in the community. In 2006, 800 youth were served. 50% exited street life. Forty shelter beds and 100 housing units provided shelter. 130 youth earned GEDs.
The leadership and dedication of the current staff at Urban Peak personify the “Real Life, Real Change” motto, and it is embodied by every teen passing through their doors.