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September 15, 2007 - Open to a New Beginning: Children's Hospital 30th Ann. Gala

What: Annual gala for Children's Hospital Foundation

Where: Hyatt Regency Convention Center

When: September 15, 2007

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $350; sponsorships available from $5,000 to $50,000

Beneficiary: The Children's Hospital

EMCEE: Molly Hughes and Jodi Brooks, CBS4

Presenting Sponsor(s): Gerald H. Phipps, Inc., The Gallagher Family, The Reiman Foundation

Gala Chairperson(s): Kelly and Michael Kennedy

Committee Members: CORPORATE CHAIRS: Rachel and Mark Brown, Kelly and K.C. Gallagher, Kimberly and Jon Hauser, Virginia and Scott Reiman, Joanna and Alex Ringsby, Marcia and Adam Schor, Michael Van Gilder. CORPORATE COMMITTEE: Adam Agron, Lisa and Bruce Alexander, Dellie and Mike Arthur, Katy and Greg Bante, Debra and Wayne Berger, Alexis and Andy Boian, Karen Chapman, Robin Chotin, Steve Chotin, Amy and Shane Feiman, Jane and Fred Hamilton, Jody Mathie and John Hoffman, Christie and Walter Isenberg, Mark E. Jones, Bonnie and David Mandarich, Pat Cortez and Manual Martinez, Ilana Steinberg and Ray D. Merenstein, Dana Shepard and Michael Narkewicz, Cindy and Jack Parsons, Kristin and Blair Richardson, Steve Sander, Nicole and Malcolm Seawell, Stephanie and Matt Seebaum, Ellen Steward

President(s): Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, President and CEO

Libations: Meridian Chardonnay and Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

Entertainment: Earth Wind & Fire

Sponsors: MIRACLE IMAGINE SPONSOR: Comcast; IMAGINE SPONSORS: Colorado Volvo Retailers, Crothall Services Group, Hyde Park Jewelers, McDonnell Family Foundation, MDC Holdings/Richmond American Homes, Sage Hospitality, Vallagio @ Inverness; MIRACLE PLATINUM SPONSORS: Debbi and Lee Alpert, EKS&H, Jack Overstreet and Darci Huston, Betsy Searle and Michael Branham, Wells Fargo; PLATINUM SPONSORS: American Airlines, Andrisen Morton, Applejack Wine & Spirits, Balfour Beatty, Marcy and Bruce Benson, Elaine and Steve Berman, BWAB Inc., CoBiz Financial, Community Banks of Colorado, Alex Cranberg, Chairman, Aspect Energy LLC, Delta Petroleum Corporation, Duncan Oil Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Donald M. Elliman, Gary-Williams Energy Corporation/The Piton Foundation, Frederic C. Hamilton Family Foundation, Cannon Y. and Lyndia K. Harvey, Joy S. Johnson and her family, Don and Mary Lou Kortz--Fuller Real Estate, Nancy and Skip Miller, Molson Coors Brewing Company, John and Carrie Morgridge, Neiman Marcus, Kristin and Blair Richardson, Wagner Equipment Co., The Melvin & Elaine Wolf Foundation. SHARED PLATINUM SPONSORS: Wayne and Debra Berger, Perry and Stacy Mattern, Brown & Tedstrom Inc., Ringsby Realty Corporation, Van Gilder Insurance Corporation; MIRACLE GOLD SPONSORS: Joanie and Harvey Alpert, Marsha and Ted Alpert, Mia and Dave Berlin, EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., Richard and Susan Frank, McClain Finlon, The Milias Foundation; GOLD SPONSORS: American National Bank/Sturm Family Foundation, The Anschutz Corporation, Assured Equity Management, Black Creek Capital, Cherokee Investment Partners LLC, The Chotin Foundation--Robin Chotin and Steve Chotin, Clayton Fixed Income Services, CMC Group Inc., John and Mary Cohagen, The Snow Goose Companies, Cordillera Energy Partners, Jan and Miles Cortez, Denver Newspaper Agency/Post News Community, Drake Real Estate Services, FirstBank, Grand Timber Lodge Development Company, Anne and David Hanson, Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Pat Cortez, Manuel Martinez, Mary & Dave Steefel and Holme Roberts & Owen, David P. Kaplan, Randy Karsh Family, Koelbel Family Foundation, Kowalski Family Foundation, KPMG--Amy and Paul Wissmann, L&M Pressworks LLC, Lockton Companies LLC, Tom and Cydney Marsico, Sharon and Lanny Martin, McGraphix Creative Ltd.--Erin McGinnis, Shawn and Kristi McLaughlin, Opus Northwest LLC, The Osborn Foundation, Qwest Communications, Saunders Construction Inc., Dr. Marcia and Mr. Adam Schor, Sperry Properties, Leslie Stanford and Dan Bailey, James M. Sullivan, Tuchman Family Foundation, UMB Bank, Vierra Family Foundation, Laura and Doug Wright, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP; SHARED GOLD SPONSORS: The Chris Aymond Family, The Jeremy Flug Family.

Auctioneer: Scott Goodhue and Bret Wager, Ace in the Hole Auctions

Menu: Macho Salad: chopped greens, corn, diced tomatoes, dates, dried cranberries, smoked almonds, goat cheese and corn bread croutons with Tarragon vinaigrette; coffee-rubbed filet of beef with carmalized shallot port sauce, butternut squash ravioli with sweet corn cream sauce, asparagus and roasted fall vegetables, caramel brownie cheesecake with praline sauce and candied walnuts

Attendance: 1,500+

Attire: Blacktie

Florist: Bouquets

Event Coordinator: Kelli Kindell

Board of Directors: The Children's Hospital: Donald L. Kortz, Chair; Don Elliman, Immediate Past Chair; Craig Ponzio, Vice Chair; Cathey M. Finlon, Secretary; Ann Sperling, Treasurer; James E. Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, President and CEO; Marcy Benson, Mary Gittings Cronin, Peter Durante, MD, JD, Senior Vice President, Medical-Legal Affairs; Russ Dispense, Candy Ergen, Mike Farrell, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer; Daniel J. Feiten MD, Daniel E. Friesen, David L. Hanson, Randy Hertel, Tom Honig, Bob Hortman, Joy Johnson, Maria Guajardo, PhD, Jody Mathie, MD, Stewart "Skip" Miller, Mike Narkewicz, MD, President, Medical Staff; Hal Stein, MD, Mona Stephens, President, Assn. of Volunteers; Tom Strickland, Ronald W. Williams, M. Roy Wilson, MD, MS.; Honorary Lifetime Directors: Jules Amer MD, Nancy Gary, PsyD, Bea Taplin, Frances Welborn
The Children's Hospital Foundation: Joy Johnson, Chair; Marcy Benson, Immediate Past Chair; Peter Culshaw, Vice Chair; Kelly Kennedy, Secretary; Frederick B. Taylor, Treasurer; Molly Broeren, Jan Cortez, Mary Gittings Cronin, Phil Doty, Brad Dusto, Don Elliman, Steve Farber, Shane Feiman, John Fernie, Cal Fulenwider, Caleb F. Gates Jr., Cannon "Cy" Harvey, John Ikard, Walter Isenberg, David P. Kaplan, Donald L. Kortz, Manuel L. Martinez, Tom McGonagle, Mary Osborn, Craig Ponzio, Virginia Reiman, Kristin Richardson, Betsy Searle, Pat Spieles, Richard E. Stoddard, Michelle Kuhn Thatcher, Brian Thomson, Joseph E. Wagner, Sheldon Weinberg, Ronald W. Williams, Steve Winesett, Laura Wright. Trustees Emeritus: James C. Cohig, J.H. Silversmith Jr.

Steering Committee: Dinner Committee: David Alexander, Katy Bante, Barbara Brooks, Susan Cantwell, Jan and Miles Cortez, Mary and Michael Desmond, Kirsten Hamling, Halle Holmes, Bradley Joseph, Kristin and Blair Richardson (co-chairs), Louise Richardson, Nancy and John Sevo, Michelle Thatcher, Amy Wissman. Auction Committee: Brandt Burns, Gretchen Faber, Sue Hamblin, Rhoda Johnson, Margaret Judy, Marilyn Libsack, Pam Lippitt, George Love, Joyce Meyers (co-chair), Michaelle Seeman, Sue Shaffer (co-chair), Diane Whisenhunt

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Corporate chairs K.C. and Kelly Gallagher, left, Mark and Margaret Berzins, Todd and Amy Tantillo
Corporate chairs K.C. and Kelly Gallagher, left, Mark and Margaret Berzins, Todd and Amy Tantillo

Little Cassie is a joyful child, fill of exuberance with laughing eyes and a sparkling personality. She non-chalantly says that she might have to have a kidney and maybe a liver transplant, conveying that life-altering piece of information as if she were talking about her plans for the day. Cassie tells everyone, "I am tough."

Her innocent optimism and unaffected presence is common among the Ambassadors and other children involved with The Children's Hospital, as Cassie helped to greet 1,500 people both in person and on video at the 30th annual Children's Hospital gala at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Saturday night.

To say that this event was over the top would be an understatement. From the myriad of wonderful silent and live auction items to the incredible entertainment (yes Dr. Shmerling and Mr. Winesett, you can be included in that category just for this evening), this event will once again go down in the record books as exciting, memorable, with enough energy in the room to launch a spaceship.

Well-heeled guests spent the first 90 minutes perusing the silent auction and greeting old and new friends. After the dinner bell rang and everyone converged into the dining room, the real fun began. Emcees Molly Hughes and Jodi Brooks from CBS4 did a great job sharing the stage and navigating through the program, first introducing President and CEO of The Children's Hospital Foundation, Steve Winesett and President and CEO of The Children's Hospital, Dr. James Shmerling, who starred in a poignant video about The Children's Hospital and who jokingly admitted that even though their talents were evident in the video, they would not quit their day jobs.

The energy in the room went off the scales as gospel singers took the floor and raised the roof, joined by the Children's Hospital Ambassadors that were showcased in the video and who are star patients at Children's. After gala chairs Kelly and Michael Kennedy joined the crowd on the floor to thank everyone, auctioneers Scott Goodhue and Bret Wager rounded up some enthusiasm for the six incredible live auction items. Bidders clamored to get in on the action for items including a luxury trip to Paris and London, courtesy of Neiman Marcus; an elk hunting and fly-fishing getaway at the Gallagher's Grand River Ranch near Kremmling; a Roberto Coin "Jewels of Italy Experience," courtesy of Hyde Park; a trip to Laguna Beach culminating in a visit to a taping of the Jay Leno show; a 2008 Harley Davidson, purchased by Scott Reiman, who promptly announced he couldn't ride and donated it back to be auctioned again; and a 2008 Volvo C30, which was purchased and then donated back not once, but twice by a generous donor.

As if this crescendo of activity wasn't enough, the evening hadn't even begun yet. Denver's own Philip Bailey and Earth Wind and Fire took the stage, and there was pandemonium in the room, with guests unable to stay in their seats, rushing the dance floor to wave and sing along just like it was 1973 and we were there to enjoy a live concert with our favorite band, who still can deliver charging renditions of favorites like "Sing a Song" and "September." And there, front and center, was Cassie, on her dad's shoulders, purely and simply enjoying life. 

As the opening of the new Children's Hospital is imminent, the decade-long quest for a state of the art facility is nearly complete. And who more deserving than the kids, each instantly endearing, who put their lives in the hands of the team at Children's and whose parents repeatedly say the word "miracle" in the same sentence as Children's Hospital.

Founded in 1908 as a private, not-for-profit pediatric healthcare network, The Children’s Hospital is 100-percent dedicated to caring for kids of all ages and stages of growth. That dedication is evident in more than 1,000 pediatric specialists and more than 2,400 full-time employees.

From medical breakthroughs to late-night fevers, The Children’s Hospital provides complete pediatric care at its main campus and through a network that includes two emergency locations, three community based after-hours care sites, nine specialty care centers and more than 400 outreach clinics held in three states every year. For more information about The Children's Hospital, log on to

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