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March 13, 2008 - Goodwill's Power of Work Luncheon 2008

What: Goodwill Industries of Denver POWER of Work Lunch

Where: Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom

When: Thursday, March 13, 2008

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $25 per person $200 for table of 9

Beneficiary: at Risk Youth

Host(s): Goodwill Industries of Denver

Honoree(s): Terri Cossel, Trisha Maki, Lucretia Lee, Christopher T. VanDegrift-Kram, Niishia Hysaw, Nayeli Retana, Robert Clam & Othello Nyema, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, State Farm Insurance

EMCEE: Kim Christiansen, 9NEWS anchor

President(s): Tim Welker

Introductions: Tim Welker, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Denver

Welcome: Kim Christiansen

Speaker: Jeff Evans

Catering: Bistro Boys Catering

Sponsors: Luncheon Sponsor: Qwest

Quote of the evening: "I want to be the Moon. The Sun can be too hot and everyone complains. The snow comes and everyone complains. But no one complains about the moon." --from awardee, Othello Nyema, speaking of how he wants to be able to give back to the community.

Menu: Early spring greens salad with citrus vingairette, chicken breast stuffed with broccoli & cheese, new potatoes tossed in dill butter and orange buttered green beans & glazed carrots, savory vegetable strudel, birthday cupcake “tier”

Attendance: 600

Attire: Business casual


Board of Directors: Nelson Alston - Alston Law Firm, LLC, Tom Athenour - StarQuest Learning, George Bogdewiecz - Vice Chair, Great-West Life, Mary Davis - McGlothin Davis, Inc., Brent Drever - QPM Solutions, LLC, Richard Dutkiewicz - Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Bill Elsner - Secretary, Senior Executive, C. Dale Flowers - Flowers & Associates, Sam Freeman - Retired Executive, Harold Klausner - Chair, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Tamela Lee - City of Denver Division of Small Business Opportunity, David Leonard - WildBlue Communications, David Majcen - Insight Financial, Scott Maierhofer - Green Manning & Bunch, Carrie Mesch - MESCH Commercial Real Estate, James R. Meurer - Asset Valuation Advisors, LLC, Todd Munson - JPMorgan Chase, Jason Romero - Wells Fargo Bank, NA, W. Dean Salter - Holme Roberts & Owen, Bill Schmidt - Schmidt & Horen, Van Schoales - Piton Foundation, Greg Sherrill - Circa 65, John Shunk - Messner & Reeves, Erin Smyth - Denver Auxiliary, Gully Stanford - College in Colorado, Steven Swain - Treasurer, Qwest Communications, Dorothy Walker - Ball Corporation, Cliff Young - Univ. of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 Niishia Hysaw receives the Power of Youth Award at the Goodwill Power of Work lunch from Joyce Schlose
Niishia Hysaw receives the Power of Youth Award at the Goodwill Power of Work lunch from Joyce Schlose

Goodwill Industries has been serving the needs of Denver for 90 years. On Thursday, March 13th, they celebrated with 600 of their friends at the 2008 Power of Work Luncheon, held at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. But this celebration was all about giving, as they gave honor to eight outstanding individuals and two of their community partners.

Each year, Goodwill selects a group of people who have used their programs and resources to better their lives. This year's honorees were once again an inspiring group with heart-warming stories of overcoming difficulties and challenges and moving forward to accomplish great things. The 2008 honorees and awards are as follows:

  • Terri Cossel: Terri received the Inspiration Award for her inspiration and motivation of others with her calm and quiet demeanor and her intense focus on her work. Terri has been an employee with Goodwill for 22 years.
  • Trisha Maki: Trisha received the Family Strengthening Award for her ability to overcome a difficult personal history, and with the help of a Goodwill partnership program, has gone on to become a certified addictions counselor. Through her determination and hard work, she now has created a brighter future for herself and her three daughters.
  • Lucretia Lee: Luctetia also received the Family Strengthening Award. She is a single mother of five, she attends college full-time and works part-time to support her family. Amidst the challenges she has faced in life, Lucretia has been able to maintain focus on her goals and aspirations. She is also receiving a full scholarship from the Daniel’s Fund and has publisher interest in a book she’s writing largely based on her own life.
  • Christopher T. VanDegrift-Kram: Christopher received the Power of Youth Award for his amazing energy and presence in giving back what was given to him, as he has over 200 hours of community service. With encouragement from his Goodwill advisor, Chris has moved past a difficult upbringing and will be going on to a university in the fall. Not only is he a positive role model, holds a 3.8 g.p.a. and is a member of a thespian club, but he has great aspirations to move into the world of acting.
  • Niishia Hysaw: Niishia received the Power of Youth Award also. Niishia has seen her share of difficult times as a young child and also lost her mother early in life. She was matched up with a Goodwill facilitator and mentor and now has a long list of involvements at her high school as well as a gift of poetry and the spoken word, which she uses to inspire others. Niishia continues to move forward and will be soon moving toward college.
  • Nayeli Retana: Nayeli received the Power of Youth Award. She is a leader with a quiet presence, dependable, and an incredible motivator who will definitely impact the community. She too has a long list of involvements with Goodwill programs, making her one of their most active participants. Nayeli is also the first in her family from Mexico to be born in the United States.
  • Robert Clam & Othello Nyema: They received the Power of People Award: Mentor/Mentee. These two are a great example of how two people from diverse backgrounds and cultures can benefit from a mentor/mentee relationship. Together, they are tackling the college preparation process including scholarship searches, financial aid support and university research. Othello's goal is to get an education and bring his knowledge back to his native country of Africa.
  • The Community Award was given to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - Power of Partnership for their six decades of support.
  • And State Farm Insurance received the Power of Partnership: Corporate Award for their strong example of how the corporate world can impact change in our community.

Kim Christiansen, 9NEWS Anchor, was the gracious emcee for the lunch. She welcomed the attendees and gave introductions of the awards and their recipients. A very touching video presentation of each honoree was played before each award. The video gave us insight into each honoree and their inspiring stories. A further highlight was mountaineering guide & motivational speaker Jeff Evans, who took the stage to share his incredible story of a "climbing vision." Jeff recounted his role as the primary climbing guide for blind climber, Erik Weihenmayer. Through his experience with Erik, he brought home the message of creating a vision of teamwork and commitment, which not only fits the goals and accomplishments of the organizations and individuals honored at the Power of Work lunch, but those of Goodwill and its powerful programs.

Goodwill Industries has been serving the metro Denver community for 90 years. A pioneer in utilizing a successful retail business model to fund an underserved community, the agency’s mission is to ensure every person has the opportunity to attain personal and economic self-sufficiency and live to his or her potential. Goodwill has always been on the forefront of using the Power of Work to transform lives.

Beginning in 1918, one of Goodwill's first programs was to serve disabled veterans returning from World War I. Since then, Goodwill has continued to meet the needs of the Denver-metro community. Today, Goodwill helps at-risk youth as well as disadvantaged and disabled adults obtain the necessary skills to maintain self-sufficiency through employment. To learn more about Goodwill and the programs, please visit

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