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May 10, 2007 - Inner City Health dishes up some Salsa and Soul

Where: Belmar Center

When: May 10, 2007

Time: 6 p.m.

Mistress of Ceremonies: Anne Trujillo, 7News

Honoree(s): Dr. Major Tappan

Honorary Chairperson(s): Dan Caplis and Aimee Sporer Caplis

Founders: Dr. Duane Claassen, Dr. Bob and Jan Williams

Executive Director: CEO: Kraig Burleson

Introductions: Paul Dunne

Catering: Tony Rosacci's

Entertainment: Kizumba

Music: Hazel Miller Band

Of note: ICHC was awarded Nonprofit of the Year by Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and a Charity of Choice by Denver Broncos Charities in 2006.

Sponsors: Carmel Partners, The Kenneth King Foundation, Don and Arlene Mohler Johnson, Cruises, Tours & More, Post-News Season to Share, MCPN, Scenographics, Stu Wyatt Productions

Auctioneer: Norm Early

Quote of the evening: "We can't dance salsa very well, but we are good at eating mashed potatoes." --Aimee Sporer Caplis, joking about the popular mashed potato bar

Menu: Several buffet stations, serving BBQ sliced brisket, crabcakes, creamy coleslaw, jerk chicken and mango skewers, Paeila, Caribbean mashed potato bar, key lime bites, fruit kabobs

Attire: Cocktail or salsa and soul

Special Thanks: Hazel Miller, Dan Caplis and Aimee Sporer Caplis, Joanne Davidson/The Denver Post, Anne Trujillo, Colorado Expression, Norm Early, KMGH-TV, Darrell Anderson, Denver Woman, Blacktie-Colorado, KUSA-TV, jazz98 KUVO, Funjet, Keena Bonella, Rev. Susan Kiely, Brian Moore/Frederick Wildman & Sons, MCPN, Kenneth King Foundation, Carmel Partners, Cruises, Tours & More, Dan and Arlene Mohler Johnson, Post-News Community, Always Valet, John Garber, Terry Trieu, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Comedy Works, Dr. Jim Shira, Kris Hakanson, Roselyn Saunders, Ron Montoya, Al Stapleton, Kizumba, Dana Abdelnour, Joyce Paloma, Dr. Dean Prina, Don Peterson, Regina Nickels, Kelly Spencer, Inner City Health Center Development Team, Scottie Taylor Iverson/Swan Taylor Denver, Kevin Iverson/Reed Mortgage, Dave Barnes/Scenographics, Stu Wyatt Productions, Tony Rosacci's Fine Catering, Belmar Event Center, Auction Donors, Volunteers

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Chorizo & manchego empanadas, quesadilla torta

Event Coordinator: Scottie Iverson

Board of Directors: Christine Bess – President; Hunt Holsomback – Vice President; Dr. John Forney; Dr. Ed Ho; Brinda Herron; Julissa Molina-Soto; Sandra Thiessen; Dr. Robert Williams

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Honorary chairs Dan Caplis, left, and Aimee Sporer Caplis with Jan Blankennagel and John Godzac
Honorary chairs Dan Caplis, left, and Aimee Sporer Caplis with Jan Blankennagel and John Godzac

The party was dubbed "Shades of Blue at the Copacabana," but it more aptly should have been called "Shades of Success."

A few hundred well-heeled salsa-dressed patrons converged on the Belmar Center on May 10, which turned out to be a nice balmy Spring evening to celebrate the programs of the Inner City Health Center. Not only were guests treated to some great music, food, silent auction items, good company and gracious hosts, but the highlight was the Founder's Award, presented to Major Tappan, DDS.

Dr. Major Tappan is an unassuming man, quietly greeting supporters and shaking hands before the program. But he has accomplished monumental things as president of Dental Access Centers. Chosen for the award by the founders of Inner City Health Center, Dr. Tappan "has fought long and hard for the dental needs of the underserved in our community and truly deserves this recognition," said founder Jan Williams. Dr. Tappan was Director of Community Dental services for Denver Department of Health & Hospitals from 1968-1994, and has given his time and talent to a myriad of community projects, including several Governor's Commissions.

Mistress of Ceremonies Anne Trujillo of Channel 7 did a great job of navigating through the program, introducing and thanking sponsors and supporters, welcoming Inner City CEO Kraig Burleson and Board Chair Christine Bess and honorary chairs Dan Caplis and Aimee Sporer Caplis, all of whom expressed their sincere thanks for those who help those in need through Inner City Health Center.

"We help people who work hard every day but can't afford health insurance," explained Burleson. "It used to be called 'the working poor,' today they're average Americans."

The crowd was more than happy to get up and dance to the salsa music of the Kizumba Band and the soul music of the Hazel Miller Band, but much of the unexpected entertainment came from former district attorney-turned-auctioneer Norm Early, who got in the spirit with his special sombrero and brought high bids on some great auction items. When a party for 100 with Hazel Miller and her band brought more than $4,000, Early quipped "I don't know when you're going to have this, but I'm not doing anything that night."

It was a "cha cha cha" evening, and because of those dance steps, someone in need of health care can receive it that might not have otherwise.

Inner City Health was founded a quarter of a century ago by Jan and Bob Williams, together with Dr. Duane Claassen. After identifying the Five Points area in Denver as having the highest infant mortality rate, the lowest income level and the least access to affordable health care, the clinic at 34th and Downing was born in 1983.  For information about Inner City Health Center, log on to

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