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September 29, 2007 - Third Way True Grit: All in For Kids

What: Third Way Center's Annual Western Themed Fundraising Gala

Where: Invesco Field at Mile High, East Club Level

When: Saturday, September 29, 2007

Time: 6:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $175; Young Professionals (35 and younger) $100

Beneficiary: Third Way Centers

EMCEE: Jayson Luber, Channel 7 News

Founders: Hildegard Messenbaugh

Executive Director: David Eisner

Committee Members: Brian Stafford, Sarah Eisner, Ryan Pattie, Carol Downs, Keri Call, Allison Sager, Kay Nigbur, Tami Schlagel, Jacque Williams, Karla Johnson Grimes; silent auction co-chairs: Tacy Wagner, Whitney Levine; live auction & sponsorship chair: Tami Lack; volunteer chair: Kristine Coates

Speaker: Colorado's Fisrt Lady, Jeannie Ritter

Libations: Svedka Vodka, Orchid Liqueurs, Steamworks Brewing Company, Cline Vineyards Wine

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Music: Woodie Procell & the Snowy River Band with Kate Sansing

Sponsors: King of Diamonds: Joel Farkas, JF Companies; The Anna & John Sie Foundation; Queen of Hearts: Merchants Mortgage & Trust; Anonymous Family Foundation; Morse Family Foundation, The Erlich Family, Sharon Magness Blake; Jack of Spades: Marilyn Dana, Coldwell Banker Devonshire Realty; Multifinancial Securities Corporation; ING; Wells Fargo; Evergreen Oil, Inc; TecHomeConnect; Jerry Karnell, Gary Gray; Wild Cards: Gelt & Grassgreen, P.C.; Stoorman & Associates, P.C.; The Koenigsberg Family in honor of Jody; Gary & Connie Levine; John & Lynn Grigsby; Richard & Mary Pat McCormick; Paul & Sally Johnston; David & Renee Eisner; Robert & Hildegard Messenbaugh; Mark & Courtney Messenbaugh;Gerald & Lorna Gray; Sally Lowe; GHP Growth; Jones Heartz Lime Co, Inc.; Metropolitan Homes; Mutual of America

Auctioneer: Gary Corbett - Auctioneer

Attendance: 500

Attire: Western

Florist: Nicole Segink & Carol Howard provided the flower arrangements


Event Coordinator: Tami Lack, Whitney Levine, Erin Martin

Board of Directors: William Matthews, President; Marilyn Dana, Secretary; Mark Messenbaugh, Treasurer; David Eisne, Executive Director; Joel Farkas; Robert Fanch; Gary Gray; Sally Johnston; Hildegard Messenbaugh, MD, Billy VanHeusen

Blacktie Photos by: Stacy Ohlsson

 Colorado's First Lady, Jeannie RItter with Third Way founder, Hildegard Messenbaugh
Colorado's First Lady, Jeannie RItter with Third Way founder, Hildegard Messenbaugh

Borrowing from gambling terminology, “All in for Kids” was the theme for Third Way’s 2007 Gala, True Grit, held Saturday, September 29, 2007 at Invesco Field.

Patrons were transported from the parking lot via golf cart up to the East Level inside at Invesco, where they were greeted by Third Way employees decked out in western wear. Inside, Epicurean had elaborate food stations set up with super jumbo shrimp, beef tenderloin and a risotto bar. Strolling musicians kept the crowd humming as they perused the dozens of silent auction items.

The open bar was stocked with martinis made with Orchid Liqueurs in exotic flavors like mango, lychee and pomegranate. Svedka Vodka, beer from Steamworks Brewing, and Cline Vineyards Wine rounded out the libations.

Patrons gathered near the main stage to hear the latest news of Third Way’s programs. There have been many successes at Third Way this year. An anonymous donor wrote a check for $400,000. The first of four buildings at the Lowry Campus is open, and the beds are full. Hildegard Messenbaugh was profiled on E-Town. Third Way Centers were nominated for nonprofit of the year. Over 30 youth graduated with GEDs or diplomas. Over 150 kids were discharged …healthy. Third Way provides the rules of the game, basic tips, and strategies to help youth at risk to be successful in their “roll of the dice,” and they have some of the highest success rates of any Therapeutic Residential Child Care Facilities in the state.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeannie Ritter dropped by the Teen Mother Program, expecting to stay for 30 minutes or so, but ended up staying for half the day, as she was enamored with Hildegard Messenbaugh and everything that the program had to offer. On Saturday night, Jeannie addressed the blue-jean-clad crowd at True Grit, saying, “Wow, this is a different crowd than I’m used to!” She expressed her appreciation for the programs and said, “The statement you’re making tonight is that everybody counts.”

The live auction brought in several thousand dollars, with a Vespa, an Arabian horse, and ski and travel packages. The special appeal brought in nearly $30,000 for playground and other outdoor equipment at the new Lowry Campus.

As the band, Woodie Porcell and the Snowy River Band, along with Nashville recording artist Kate Sansing, started up, patrons were turned loose to hit the gaming tables, which filled up quickly, along with the dance floor.

Third Way Center provides a full continuum of residential treatment services within a community-based and deinstitutionalized setting. These comprehensive programs include: individual, group and family therapy; drug and alcohol abuse treatment; redirecting sexual aggression treatment; transitional housing; independent living skills training; nutritional counseling; an alternative school for residents with intensive testing and tutoring, GED preparation classes; vocational guidance and recreational activities.

“A gambler is nothing but a man who makes his living out of hope.”  ~William Bolitho   

And that’s what this night was about. Hope for the children and families who need intensive services, to help them learn how to create a “winning hand.”

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