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May 17, 2008 - The Gathering Place Presents Denim & Diamonds

What: Annual Brown Bag benefit for The Gathering Place

Where: Marriott Tech Center

When: May 17, 2008

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $150 individual Tickets, $2,000 Patron Table for 10

Beneficiary: Women and children in poverty or homelessness

Master of Ceremonies: 7News Meteorologist Mike Nelson

Gala Chairperson(s): Holly Johnson

Honorary Chairperson(s): Margie and Dave Hunter

Committee Members: Holly Johnson, Dee Dee Parker, Ann Durham, Daria Kane, Erin Wallace, Leslie Minna Budman, Beverly Karns, Danielle Dunne, Lauren Naylor, Barbara Barr, Lisa Zavoda , Kathy Coors, KC Higgins, Margaret Helwig, Kristal McGrath, Martha Kallestad, Rae Lapporte, Cindy Overhardt, Cheryl Hall, Kathleen Dammen, Denny Thompson , Sandy Autrey, Cy DeBoer, Cheri Issel, Mary Towey, Brenda Roush

President(s): The Gathering Place: Leslie Foster

Co-President(s): The Gathering Place Association: Dee Dee Parker

Libations: Beaulieu Vineyard Chardonnay and Merlot

Music: rising country star Rebecca Henricks and The Slackers

Sponsors: Kathy and Brad Coors, Cydney and Tom Marsico, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, Community Banks of Colorado, Delta Petroleum, Hexagon Investments, Margie and Dave Hunter, Sandy and Gary Autrey, Bill and Michele Bergner (Cross H Foundation), DS Additions, Fitzgeralds Casino-Blackhawk, Gallagher Industries, Lockton Companies LLC, Qwest, TeleTech, Whiting Petroleum, Alpine Access, Berenbaum Weinshienk & Eason, CoBiz, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Factory Labs, Leslie Foster and Jane Berryman, Honnen Equipment, Pam and Joe Ignat, Holly and Dan Johnson, Daria and Thomas Kane, Heidi and Randy Keogh, Micro Motion, The Milestone Group, The Nord Family Foundation, Brenda Roush and Tom Nickerson, U.S. Bank, Van Gilder Insurance, James B. Wallace, Wells Fargo, Wood Ris & Hames PC

Auctioneer: John Clatworthy and Chuck Cumberlin

Menu: Southwest salad with black beans, jicama and corn with a Chipotle vinaigrette and garnished with tri-colored tortilla strips; seared breast of chicken presented with a Chipotle pico de gallo cream sauce; filet mignon presented with an ancho chili demiglaze; green chili mashed potatoes; grilled asparagus garnished with a cumin carrot tumbleweed; braised portobello mushroom with spinach, roasted garlic, teta and Asiago cheeses wrapped in natural phyllo paper with a fennel cream sauce (vegetarian option); white chocolate mousse cake garnished with blue lychee sauce

Attendance: 400+

Attire: Elegant western

Special Thanks: Andrisen Morton, Austin/Hauck, Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club, Barbara Barr, Coco Blaisdell, Chair Covers & Linens, Cocotay, Colorado Buffaloes team, Kathy and Brad Coors, Davis Audio Visual LLC, Denver Life Magazine, Ann and Joe Ellis, Exclusive Resorts, Leslie Foster, Frontier Airlines, Kirsten and Brent Handler, Doug Hauck and Bill Austin, Samantha Horoschak, Margie and Dave Hunter, Hyde Park, Interior Fabrics, Holly and Dan Johnson, Rae and Michael Lapporte, Linda and Steve Law, Dave and Gail Liniger, Craig McNeil and McNeil Designer Portraits, Dr. John and Lynn Minna, Cindy and Mike Nelson, Mike Nelson and Channel 7 News, Plum Gallery, Rebel, Connie and Hal Roth, Brenda Roush, Deb and Joe Sakic, Venetian Resort, Glory Weisberg, Leslie Minna Budman , Beverly Karns, Lauren Naylor, Dee Dee Parker

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Chicken quesadilla cornets with red salsa, spicy barbeque buffalo skewers with roasted red peppers, green chili polenta canapé with Chipotle cream cheese rosette

Florist: Plum Gallery

Board of Directors: Association Board of Directors – Dee Dee Parker , Mary Towey, Lauren Naylor, Holly Johnson, Martha Kallestad, Beth Rubin, Leslie Budman, Erin Wallace, Rae Lapporte, Kathy Coors, Kathleen Dammen, Patches Caskey, Sarah Leffen, Kelly Keogh, Krista Keogh, Mary Kirkpatrick, Debbie McCarty, Katie Johnson, Lucy Kissinger, Ann Bailey, Sandy Autrey, Pam Ignat, Heidi Keogh, Betsy Gielissen, Hillary Adams, Daria Kane, Liz Clarke
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Chair: Karen DuWaldt, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Employment and Labor Law Qwest Service Corp, Inc.; Chair Elect: Emily Bustos, Deputy Site Coordinator, Making Connections-Denver; Treasurer: Daria Kane, Past President, The Gathering Place Association; Secretary: Gregory Anderson, CEO, GR Anderson Wealth Management Group; Immediate Past Chair: Liz Sloan, Vice President, Investment Banking, W.G. Nielsen and Company; Ad Hoc: Leslie Foster, President and CEO, The Gathering Place;
DIRECTORS: Elizabeth Gundlach-Neufeld, Director of Development, Aurora Housing Authority; Patti Hein, Professional Counselor, Private Practice; David Herlinger, Community Volunteer; Katie Johnson, Past President, The Gathering Place Association; Katie MacWilliams, CFO, Gambro BCT; Dee Dee Parker, President, The Gathering Place Association; Andrew Peterson, Attorney, Wood, Ris & Haymes; Alan Terry, CPA, MBA, Managing Partner, Terry & Stephenson, P.C.

 Daria and Thomas Kane, left, with Col. Tom Henricks and Holly Johnson, chair of the event
Daria and Thomas Kane, left, with Col. Tom Henricks and Holly Johnson, chair of the event

To pay rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Denver, the average family needs to earn at least $17.48 an hour. Minimum wage is $5.15. It's not difficult to see how a single mom trying to care for her kids on the streets of Denver can get blindsided with this disparity--not to mention the other costs she has to bear. But there is a place that provides hope and caring: The Gathering Place.

In order to raise funds for this crucial program to help out our fellow human beings, the annual Brown Bag benefit was held at the Marriott Tech Center on May 17. Orchestrated by the The Gathering Place Association, this event first took place in 1990 and was named such because participants ate their dinner out of a brown bag, symbolic of what thousands of women and children experience when they have no home, no utensils and no stove to cook on, things many of us take for granted.

President and CEO Leslie Foster gave heartfelt thanks to supporters, and especially thanked them for making possible the new 28,000 sq. ft. facility, which opened last September at 1535 High Street. A special tribute was given to Margie and Dave Hunter, who have been instrumental in supporting The Gathering Place in countless ways. Not only did they kickstart the Capital Campaign in providing the donation to name one of the most unique aspects of the new building, the rooftop garden and playground, but they are working on the landscaping and have served in many other volunteer and board capacities. Margie has been involved with helping The Gathering Place for more than 18 years and the Hunters have been involved in community projects since the 1970s.

Guests also got to participate in a spunky live auction, and auctioneers John Clatworthy and Chuck Cumberlin made sure people bid high and bid often. To top off the special evening, rising country star Rebecca Henricks and The Slackers made sure they got everyone up and dancing.

It was a special evening, but even more special to know that it was all in the spirit of helping others, and giving them the things we take for granted. The Gathering Place is Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for women and children who are experiencing homelessness or poverty. On any given evening in Denver, more than 9,000 people have no place to sleep. Of these, 36% are children under the age of 19. The Gathering Place provides food, shelter, warmth, safety and cleanliness; a caring structured environment for kids while their mothers get back on their feet; opportunities for education, job training and personal development; links to community resources and programs and opportunities to share experiences and receive support.

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