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April 26, 2007 - CWEE Annual Alumni Awards Luncheon

What: Awards Luncheon and 25th Anniversary

Where: Donald R. Seawell Ballroom

When: April 26, 2007

Time: 11:30 a.m.

Beneficiary: CWEE

Mistress of Ceremonies: Laurie A. Harvey, CWEE Executive Director

EMCEE: Anna Alejo, CBS 4 Reporter

Presenting Sponsor(s): Newmont Mining

Executive Director: Laurie A. Harvey

Introductions: Don MacKenzie, Chair, CWEE Board of Directors

Welcome: Laurie A. Harvey, CWEE Exectuive Director

Catering: Occasions by Sandy

Of note: Keynote: Governor Bill Ritter

Sponsors: Presenting: Newmont Mining Platinum: Barbara Grogan, MacKenzie House, Gold: Wells Fargo and Community Banks of Colorado

Quote of the evening: "To pull yourself up by the boot straps you first need to have the boots" Diane Lund, GED Tutor

Menu: Chicken salad and petit four cakes

Attendance: 500

Attire: Business

Event Coordinator: Kristin Miner

Board of Directors: Donald D. MacKenzie, Chair - Robin H. Snidow - Vice Chair, Rita L. McCoy - Secretary, K. Denise Albrecht - Treasurer - Katie Wolfe Agron, Darla Caudel, Kelli Fritts, DaLinda Grimm, Linda Niven

Blacktie Photos by: Lisa Harris

 Don MacKenzie - CWEE Board Chair - left, with Anthony Murphy, Chair of the CWEE Advisory Board
Don MacKenzie - CWEE Board Chair - left, with Anthony Murphy, Chair of the CWEE Advisory Board


CWEE honors and inspires

The party favor was a small, delicate pack of spring green decorated tissues.  Who knew we’d use the entire pack up by the end of the luncheon.

The 25th annual Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) Investing in Success luncheon was held on April 26th at the elegant Donald R. Seawell ballroom.

2007 marks a very special milestone for CWEE because they are celebrating their 25th anniversary.  Founded in 1982, CWEE is dedicated to helping low-income adults, mainly single mothers, to successfully prepare for, find and keep sustainable employment.  Of the invidividuals CWEE serves, 92% are women and 76% are people of color.

Emceed this year by the charming Anna Alejo from media sponsor News 4, Anna announced that this year News 4 has hired a CWEE gradate to work at the station. 

The lunch hosted more than 500 people to include local city elected officials such as keynote speaker, Governor Bill Ritter.

“We all succeed, if we focus on those who live on the margin and participate in their potential,” said Governor Ritter.

Also in attendance was CWEE founder Polly Baca, Paula Frazier from Kelly Financial, a CWEE company supporter, and Volunteer of the Year Award recipient Diane Lund.

The first emotional moment came as Newmont Mining CEO Wayne Murdy not only announced a three year sponsorship commitment to CWEE, but handed CWEE Executive Director, Laurie Harvey, an additional check of $25,000.

CWEE award winner Valerie Binkly inspired the audience with her heartfelt speech as she talked of her past verbal and physical abuse and a life filled with suicidal thoughts.  A mother with no experience and support trained with CWEE educators and secured a worthwhile position of customer service representative at The Warranty Group.  She introduced her loving boyfriend who provides kindness and support and she expressed that she no longer has suicidal thoughts. Wendy Brown also talked of her abusive past and the pressures of raising five young children with no education and no work experience. Through CWEE she got her GED that gave her the confidence to become a supervisor at Swanson Service Corporation (after all, she had supervisory skills raising five kids!)  Lucy Diaz, with her sense of humor and candor, talked of a troubled past and becoming a mother at 15 and a wife at 16.  Her marriage crumbled at 26 and CWEE guided her to learn basic work skills, ethics and how to interview.  She is the invaluable receptionist at MacKenzie House.

As the standing ovations subsided and the last tissues were used and the guests enjoyed the delectable desserts by Occasions by Sandy, the crowd left inspired and looking forward to meeting the CWEE champions at next year’s award luncheon.

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