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September 29, 2007 - Walk of Dreams Gala Helps Restore the Joy of Walking

What: The Operation Walk Foundation's 2nd Annual Walk of Dreams Gala

Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel

When: September 29, 2007

Time: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $150

Beneficiary: Individuals with debilitating arthritis living in developing countries

Mistress of Ceremonies: Stephanie Clements, DPM

Honoree(s): Sebastian Romero and Michaele Henning, Panama residents and patients treated by Operation Walk

Gala Chairperson(s): Laura Fitch

Executive Director: Douglas Dennis, MD

Welcome: Douglas Dennis, MD, Todd Miner, MD and Budd Zuckerman

Speaker: Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, First Lady of Panama followed by Alfredo Maduro, close friend with the President of Panama and First Lady of Panama

Catering: Grand Hyatt Denver

Entertainment: Saks 5th Avenue Fashion Show

Music: Soul X

Sponsors: BIG DREAMER: Douglas and Debra Dennis, Mike Durban & Associates (Exclusive Representative of Depuy (a Johnson and Johnson Company), Porter Adventist Hospital. PLATINUM: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, P.C. Douglas Pruessing, Stryker Orthopaedics. GOLD: Atlas Medical, LLC., George Gillettt, Vista Automotive Partners, Jerry & Carol Overgaard, Porter Center for Joint Replacement, Saeman Family Foundation, Budd Zuckerman. SILVER: Active Motion Physical Therapy, Barbara Allen, MD and Marc Frank, Jim & Darleen Boyle, Andy and Chrissy Fedorowicz, Graebel, Brian Haas, MD and Patricia Hass, Jan E. Helen, Ginger Holt, MD, Lance Little, MD, Todd Miner, MD and Melissa Davidson, Saltzman LLC & Meyer Saltzman, Zimmer Rocky Mountain

Auctioneer: Paul Bear

Menu: Garden greens with goat cheese, candied walnuts, roasted pear and raspberry salad and beef medallion and halibut

Attendance: 320

Attire: Cocktail

Models/Fashions: Saks 5th Avenue

Board of Directors: Douglas Dennis, MD, Todd Miner, MD, Jim Boyle, Jackie Gorman, Peggy Kettler, Mike Murrill

Blacktie Photos by: Becca Barry

 Sandy Daniel and Laura Fitch with the First Lady of Panama (middle), Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos.
Sandy Daniel and Laura Fitch with the First Lady of Panama (middle), Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos.

The Operation Walk Foundation hosted its 2nd Annual Walk of Dreams Gala Saturday evening, September 29 at the Grand Hyatt Denver ballroom. Operation Walk Denver began as the dream of a group of healthcare providers committed to providing free surgical care for individuals with debilitating arthritis living in developing countries.

A team of surgeons, physical therapists and support staff take two trips per year to help hundreds of individuals with debilitating arthritis. The evening began with a cocktail reception and silent auction. The silent auction included medical supplies and kits for joint replacements—most of the team’s surgeries are hip and knee replacements. A total hip replacement instrument costs around $6,500.

Guests then sat down for dinner in the Grand Hyatt ballroom. The center stage was stunning with a long runway for the Saks 5th Avenue fashion show. Dr. Dennis Douglas welcomed guests and told stories of how he and his medical team have treated hundreds of individuals in Panama who have been awaiting treatment for years, some more than 10 years.

Dr. Douglas introduced a very special guest, the First Lady of Panama, Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos. Ms. Torrijos gave her utmost gratitude and emphasized the importance of Operation Walk’s efforts in her country. Following her speech, a video documentary of the 2007 trip to Panama was presented. Following the speeches, a live auction was held. Auctioneer Paul Bear, did a great job auctioning off weekend trips to Vail, Colorado Springs, Napa, sports and spa packages and more. The highlight of the auction was the opportunity for two people to attend the next trip to Panama in November of 2008. This once in a lifetime chance to see doctors and volunteers in action went for $6,000. The auction item was so popular Operation Walk decided on the spot to offer it twice. The unique item raised a total of $12,000.

The live auction ended with a special surprise from Alfredo Maduro. Mr. Maduro offered a week at his own beach house located an hour outside of Panama City with a personal tour of the Panama Canal and a visit to the palace where the First Lady lives. The surprise auction item sold for $20,000. The evening events were concluded with a fashion show by Saks 5th Avenue and dancing.

The proceeds raised at the Walk of Dreams Gala will help transport a team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists and surgical technologists as well as providing the equipment, supplies, and medication needed to complete 50 to 70 joint replacement surgeries in developing countries. In addition to the second trip to Panama in November, Operation Walk is planning a trip to the Dominican Republic in February of 2008.

The Walk of Dreams is a project of the Rocky Mountain Adventist Health Care Foundation. The Foundation  exists to help ensure that Adventist Healthcare Facilities along the front range of Colorado remain at the forefront of patient care and preventive medicine.  For more than 100 years our health system has worked diligently to help people live healthier lives.  For more information, log on to

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