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April 30, 2008 - VOA Guild Offers "A Chance to Believe"

What: VOA Guild's Chance to Believe Luncheon

Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel

When: Thursday, May 1, 2008

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Ticket Prices: $75, $100 and $150, Corporate tables- $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000

Beneficiary: Volunteers of America Guild causes - the Brandon Center, Theodora House, shelters for homeless and abused women and children

EMCEE: Ed Greene, CBS4, KYGO radio

Founders: Irene Zarlengo

Co-Chair(s): Susan Barnhill, Kathy Klugman, Terrie Utecht

Committee Members: Mary Brock-Zarlengo, Judy Bowman, Deanna Brown, Toni Butler, Tammi Clark, Jo Dutton, Dorothy Deadwiler, Robyn Friedman, Barbara Greene, Carol Haycock, Carol James, Michael James, Diana Murdy, Gloria Olivier, Darlene Renden, Loujuana Terry, Amelia Wilkins, Jewell Roberts, Louise Shinall, Deb Smith, Heather Spencer, Emily Tarleton, Sandra Wilbon, Jody Yannacito, Susan Zarlengo

President(s): Myrna Mourning

Speaker: Denise Brown

Catering: Grand Hyatt Catering and Executive Chef John Treusein

Music: Benediction- Jill Lorentz and Jerry Stigall

Sponsors: Safe Haven Sponsors: Grand Hyatt Denver, The Melvin and Elaine Wolf Family Foundation, Integer; Hope Sponsors: Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake, Tiffany & Co.; Patron Sponsors: Bock Evans Financial Counsel, Ltd. Denise Kenny Snyder, Diana Kunz, Myrna Mourning; Freedom Sponsors: Susan and Carl Barnhill, LaFawn Biddle, Betty Blecker, CoBiz Financial, Ann DeGroat, Dianne Eddolls and Glen Jones, Carol James, Kathy Klugman, Newmont Mining, Qualimage; Angel Sponsors: IMA of Colorado, Emily Tarleton and Friends; Friend Sponsor: Mary Bock-Zarlengo

Quote of the evening: "We need to end the silence and banish the darkness." Denise Brown

Menu: Spicy Asian greens with mandarian oranges, almonds with soy-sesame dressing, Asian barbeque chicken breast on fried rice, stir-fried oriental vegetables, vegetarian spring rolls, green tea mousse, coconut macaroon with mango and raspberry sauce

Attendance: 500

Attire: business

Special Thanks: Julie Afflerbaugh, Brandon Center and Volunteers of America staff, Barbara Greene, The Integer Group, Qualimage, Visual Aids Electronics

Florist: Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florists


Donors: Tiffany & Co., Ararat Wine & Spirits, Frontier Airlines, Images of Nature, Saks Fifth Avenue, 240 Union, Andrisen Morton & Asli Monarthy, Artisan Center, Avante Cosmetics, Joann Martin, Cesto Baskets and Gifts, LLC, Shannon Porter, Cherry Creek Athletic Centre, Tammy Clark & Steve Creamer, Closet Factory, Polly Lestikow, Colorado Baggage, Eldorado Artesian Springs, Inc, Elway's, Enstrom Candies, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Glenmoor Country Club, Grand Hyatt Denver, John Atencio, King Soopers, Mariel's - Denise Kenny Snyder, Mary Kay Independent Consultant, Wilma Dunias, Monty Nuss Photography, Murray Motor Imports, National Cinemedia, Neiman Marcus, Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florist, Paula Newberry, Opera Colorado, Peet's Coffee, Pismo Glass, Rodney's, Salon Picasso, Aaron Kellams, Salon Picasso, Amy Madrid, SOL, Stewart Dermatology Center, The Maids, Sylvia Reiss, The Tattered Cover Book Store

Steering Committee: Addressing chair: Tanya Mahnke; Addressing Hostess: Alberte Spencer; DECOR, Kathryn Kaiser; Event Correspondence: Betty Blecker; Event Launch Party Chairs: Pamela Adams, Heather Ehret-Faircloth; Hostess Committee: Amy Erickson; Menu: Irene Zarlengo; Publicity: Maryann Yuthas, Danielle Yuthas; Registration: Dianne Zarlengo; Reservations: Cheryl Jones; Treasurer: Herminia Vigil; Set-up Chairs: Ann DeGroat, Susan Mostow; Wishing Well Chair: Jennifer O'Neill

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 Jo Dutton, a long time Guild board member with Denise Brown, the Keynote speaker at the
Jo Dutton, a long time Guild board member with Denise Brown, the Keynote speaker at the "Chance to Believe" luncheon

For so many women and children in Denver who are victims of domestic violence and in need of a "hand up," the Volunteers of America Guild offers them a "Chance to Believe". Now in their 13th year, the VOA Guild held it's signature "A Chance to Believe" luncheon on Thursday, May 1st.

Over 500 guests joined together at the Grand Hyatt Denver to attend and support the Guild. Speaking at the event was Denise Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson. Denise has traveled across the country for the past twelve years speaking on the epidemic of domestic violence.

A private meet and greet was held before the luncheon, where guests had an opportunity to meet Denise and talk with her personally. Also prior to the luncheon, the Guild's popular "Wishing Well" drawing was once again on display. Tickets were sold that could be placed into the "well" of one, or all, of the generous packages to be given away during the lunch program. There were five fabulous packages which included some amazing items such as:

  • a Tiffany & Co. diamond and 18 kt. white gold Jolies Bead pendant by Paloma Picasso, valued at $1,100;
  • a beautiful framed print donated by Images of Nature;
  • a package with a 2-night stay at the Grand Hyatt, movie tickets, Opera Colorado tickets, swimming at Eldorado Springs and a golf package at Glenmore Country Club;
  • a package with gifts from Neiman Marcus, Andrisen Morton, Newberry Brothers Greenhouse and Florists, maid service from The Maids, Artisan Center and a David Garcia glass perfume bottle from Pismo.

Any of the brilliant packages were well worth the price of a ticket! The Guild's favorite emcee, Ed Greene from CBS4 and KYGO Radio, got the luncheon program started with a warm welcome to the many supporters in attendance. He acknowledged the dedicated women and men who have given so much to the Guild since it began. He then introduced a video, produced by The Interger Group, which featured one of the Guild's volunteer projects, the Brandon Center. The video gave a personal account of one of the women who has found her way out of lifetime of domestic violence through the services of the VOA Guild.

As lunch was being served, a beautiful benediction was sang by Jill Lorentz, accompanied by Jerry Stigall on guitar. Following the benediction was the Wishing Well drawing. There were five very excited and happy guests who would be enjoying those grand prizes. Ed Greene then introduced the luncheon's guest speaker, Denise Brown. Denise has been passionate about educating the public as well as committed to improving the quality of living for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.

She shared with the audience what she has learned in her years of speaking out against domestic violence, her experiences with working with the legislative system and ways in which we can all contribute to ending domestic violence. She also shared a number of touching personal stories. The program came to an end with a standing ovation for Denise.

The purpose of the Guild is to support the Volunteers of America, Colorado Branch through assistance with special events and other fundraising activities; enhancement of community awareness of Volunteers of America and recruitment of Volunteers of America for programs and events. Their special focus is on projects hat improve the lives of women and children at VOA's Brandon Center and Theodora House - emergency shelters for women and their children who have experienced domestic violence and /or homeless.

For more information on these and other programs, please visit To volunteer or get involved with The Guild, contact Michael James at 720.264.3322

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