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May 07, 2008 - Colorado Neurological Institute 2007 Hope Awards Celebration

What: Colorado Neurological Institute 2007 Hope Awards Celebration

Where: Pinehurst Country Club

When: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Host(s): Colorado Neurological Institute

Honoree(s): Jerre Snyder, Matthew Bacher, Katie Cox, Louise Poppen

EMCEE: Doug Tisdale

Honorary Chairperson(s): Cindy Acree

Executive Director: Luanne M. Williams, CFRE

Speaker: Dr. Rajeev Kumar, Neurology, Dr. David C Kelsall, Neurotology, Daniel C Huddle DO, Radiology / Neuroradiology, Alexander West, MD, PhD, Neurosurgery, Dr. Edward B Arenson, Oncology / Neuro-oncology

Sponsors: Lead Sponsors: LaFawn Biddle, Craig Hospital, Don and Arlene Johnson, Art and Kathy Judd, Radiology Imaging Assoc. P.C., Swedish Medical Center, Elaine Wolf and Sandy Wolf-Yearick of the Melvin and Elaine Wolf Foundation; Supporting Sponsors: Sue Anschutz-Rodgers, Berger & Assoc., Dr. Richard and Linda Kelly, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, Swedish Medical Center Auxiliary, Turning Point Healthcare Advisors

Quote of the evening: "Living a hopeful life can inspire us to live a higher endeavor." Cindy Acree

Attendance: 500

Attire: business


Event Coordinator: Natalie Pyle

Board of Directors: Chairman of the Board: Douglas Tisdale, Esq.; President of the CNI Medical Advisory Board: Edward B. Arenson, M.D.; Treasurer: Richard Kelley, M.D.; Past Chairman: R. Donald Johnson; Secretary: Lucille ("Lucky") Gallagher; Theron Bell; Lynn Bunnell, President, CNI Volunteers (2006); Dr. John Burnett; Norman Dyer; Charles L. Ferguson; Donald F. Frei, M.D.; Stan Gallery; Lynda T. Gumeson; Art Judd; Richard R. Kelley, M.D.; David C. Kelsall, M.D.; Douglas D. Kerbs; Bonnie Mandarich; John H. McVicker, M.D.; Haven C. Moses; Dennis O'Malley; Barbara Lynne Phillips, M.D.; Richard E. Schaler, M.D.; Don B. Smith, M.D.; Jon E. Stuck; Mary White

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 Paula Cox, Hope Award Honoree Katie Cox and Cindy Acree
Paula Cox, Hope Award Honoree Katie Cox and Cindy Acree

The 10th Annual Colorado Neurological Institute Hope Awards were held on Wednesday May 7, 2008, once again to honor four courageous individuals. Over 400 guests gathered together at the Pinehurst Country Club for this special evening celebration.

The annual CNI Cindy Acree Hope Award event is held every spring to recognize and honor CNI patients who have provided inspiration and hope to so many others through their unique stories of strength and courage and their commitment to helping others. This well-attended event raises both money and awareness for CNI and all of their programs.

The evening began with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and some time for socializing. Guests were then invited into the dining room, where they enjoyed a wonderful dinner served by Pinehurst Country Club catering. The awards program started off with a warm welcome from Douglas Tisdale, the emcee for the evening. During dinner, a video presentation featuring Cindy Acree, a former CNI patient was shown. Doug had the honor of introducing the honorary chair for the event, Cindy Acree, for whom the Hope Awards were named. Cindy had struggled for 14 years with adult-onset epilepsy before finding her way to CNI. With the help and care of CNI, Cindy has made remarkable progress and eventually became the first former patient to become a CNI Chairman of the Board.

Cindy shared her heartwarming story of hope and recovery with the guests. It was then time for the awards ceremony and the introduction of the recipients. Their were four outstanding honorees who were given the prestigious 2007 Hope Award.

Jerre Snyder, introduced by Dr. Rajeev Kumar, Medical Director for the CNI Movement Disorders Center, received his award from the Movement Disorder Center. Jerre had lived with his disorder for over 40 years before he was introduced to CNI. His treatments and surgery through CNI were life-changing experiences for him. He is now enjoying a more hopeful and fulfilling lifestyle with his wife and son.

Matthew Bacher, introduced by Dr. David C. Kelsall, Medical Director for the CNI Center for Hearing, received the award from the Center For Hearing. Matthew is a spirited young boy who was born with significant hearing loss. His parents were referred to the CNI and Matthew became a candidate for a cochlear implant. His surgery was followed by weekly speech and language therapy and Matthew is now functioning happily in first grade with his "special ears." He delighted the crowd with his "grown up" speech.

Katie Cox, introduced by Daniel C. Huddle DO, from CNI’s Interventional Neuroradiology Service and Alexander West MD, PhD, from CNI’s NeuroTrauma Center, received the award from the Stroke Center. Katie experienced a ruptured aneurysm and was rushed to the ER. As her condition deteriorated, she was flown to Swedish Medical Center where CNI stroke specialists went to work on her. Katie was not expected to recover, but five months later, with loving care, rehabilitation and a bit of a miracle, Katie is now back teaching in her own classroom. Katie's story was filled with hope and enthusiasm.

Louise Poppen, introduced by Dr. Edward B. Arenson, Medical Director for the CNI Center for Brain & Spinal Tumors, was given an award from the Center for Brain & Spinal Tumors. Louise experienced a grand mal seizure, due to a type of brain tumor known as anaplastic astrocytoma. She learned about CNI and within three days began radiation therapy. Louise underwent intensive treatment, along with rehabilitation, to rebuild many of her motor skills and had to overcome being paralyzed on her left side. It is Louise's amazing strength and sense of humor that have made her one of CNI's favorite former patients.

Following the awards presentation, CNI Executive Director Luanne Williams came on stage to present Dr. Edward B. Arenson with a special award. After accepting his award, Dr. Arenson presented his Legacy gift to the CNI. He then turned the mic back over to Doug Tisdale, who spoke about the Legacy Program. The program was established this past year by the “The Legacy Society” as a unique way for individuals and families to contribute to and support CNI’s mission for generations to come. To participate, individuals and families simply include CNI as part of their planned giving through a will, life insurance policy or other estate planning vehicles such as charitable trusts or annuities.

The evening wrapped up with a paddle raiser, in which the many supporters very graciously contributed to the cause with their generous donations and gifts. Luanne Williams closed the event as she presented Doug Tisdale with a special gift and both Luanne and Doug then gave thanks to their guests for attending and supporting CNI.

The mission of the Colorado Neurological Institute is to enhance the delivery of personalized, comprehensive and state-of-the-art care to patients with neurological conditions through coordinated patient care, education, research and outreach activities. CNI is the largest, most comprehensive neuroscience center in the Rocky Mountain region. Integrated, multi-disciplinary teams of neuroscientists provide comprehensive care for adults with neurological disorders and adults and children with hearing loss and ear disease. They are recognized by Neuroscience as a Neuroscience Center of Excellence, by National Parkinson's Foundation as a Care Center and a Center of Excellence by the Huntington's Disease Society of America. Through grants and donations, the CNI Neurohealth Center provides rehabilitation services to medically under-insured and noninsured stroke patients.  Physical therapy, Occupational therapy and Speech therapy are provided to help stroke patients achieve their highest level of function. In addition to these therapies, the CNI  Neuroheath Center provides scholarships for driving evaluations, purchases small equipment for patients, provides licensed social works services, neuropsychological evaluations and counseling, therapeutic massage and financial assistance with neuro-opthamology exams.  To learn more about the Colorado Neurological Institute, please visit their website

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