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November 17, 2001 - Ben Vereen Sings Sweetly for CNI Gala

What: CNI 2001 Sweet Charity Gala

Where: Hyatt Regency of Denver

When: November 17, 2001

Beneficiary: Colorado Neuological Institute

Honoree(s): Sue Anschutz-Rodgers and Dr. Don Smith

Gala Chairperson(s): Aimee Sporer of NEWS4 and Dan Caplis of Caplis& Tasker, LLC, Attorneys At Law

Honorary Chairperson(s): Florence Ruston

Corporate Chairperson(s): James D. Motz

Founders: Dr. Gary Vander Ark

Executive Director: Scotti Hutton

Committee Members: Lorraine Smith, Phyllis Vander Ark, Karen Schmidt, Linda Robers, Artemis Khadiwala

Co-President(s): CNI President, Dr. Gary Vanderark; and CNI Volunteers President, Lorraine Smith

Invocation: Pastor Ted Travis of Neighborhood Ministries

Catering: Hyatt Regency

Entertainment: Ben Vereen, Tony Award Winner

Sponsors: Great West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Saunders Construction, HealthONE Swedish Medical Center, Paragon, Centrix Financial, Mohr Partners, Pinnacol Assurance, Copic Insurance, Life Source Services, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Sue Anschutz-Rogers, Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Alliance, Advanced PCS, 5280 Publications, Florence Ruston, Eunice Romano, Kimberly Porterfield, Angela and Joe Alexis, Adrienne Porterfield and Jack Fitzgibbons, Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Boykin Jr., Allergan BOTOX

Menu: Grilled pears over mixed field greens with walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese, grilled filet mignon with gorgonzola stuffing topped with merlot truffle demi-glace, grilled vegetable fan, multi-grain pilaf, and chocolate cappuccino cup with mocha mousse

Attendance: 500

Attire: Blacktie

Special Thanks: To the FOLEY'S Teen Board volunteers who helped sell Mystery Balloons

Information: CNI @ 303.788.4010

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Tony Award winner Ben Vereen
Tony Award winner Ben Vereen

By Blacktie Staff

Talk about an event hitting on all cylinders and you're talking about the CNI Sweet Charity Event. 500 people came to support this worthy cause and in the process raised $90,000.

Along the way they got to see Aimee Sporer and hear Dan Caplis tell jokes (stick to your day job was the message that Dr. Gary Vanderark gave!), bid on some great auction items, honor 2 honorable people and see Ben Vereen. If you don't know, CNI stands for Colorado Neurological Institute . They are a regional center of excellence whose mission is to create and support a program for every neurological disease.

It was particularly touching because Ben Vereen had previously suffered a stroke. There was no evidence of this in his performance and he thanked CNI and groups like it for "saving life."

Sue Anchutz-Rodgers was honored for her contributions to the arts, health and education. She is President, Exectuive Director and Trustee of the Anschutz Family Foundation and has been instrumental in supporting of neighborhood development in Denver's low-income communities as well as expansion ofphilanthropy to rural Colorado.

Dr. Don Smith teaches neurology to medical students and residents at Swedish and the University of Colorado. He is an examiner for the American Board of Neurology & Psychiatry. He has been voted by his peers as among Denver's and America's best doctors. He was a founder and co-chairman of the Colorado Acute Stroke Netowrk, and is a founding member of the Colorado Neurological Institute and has previously served as Board Chairman.

Ben Vereen retraced his "roots" (he starred in the mini-series) including his numerous stins on Broadway and tv. Mr. Vereen has a powerful voice and gave it full throttle. He received an enthusiastic response as he jumped from the stage to sing amidst the audience.

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