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May 30, 2008 - Excelsior: 35 Years of Changing Girls' Lives

What: Excelsior Youth Center Benefit

Where: Hyatt Regency DTC

When: Friday, May 30, 2008

Time: 6 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $175 per person

Beneficiary: At Risk Youth

Honoree(s): Victoria Aguilar, Lannie Garrett, Christine Soto, Denise Stephenson-Hawk and Glory Weisberg

EMCEE: Steve Saunders, Channel 7 News

Presenting Sponsor(s): Denver Land Rover East

Co-Chair(s): Cindy Hansen and Susan Vick

Executive Director: Joan Gabrielson

Committee Members: Ever Upward Committee Members: Cindy Hansen - Co-Chair; Susan Vick - Co Chair; Wendy Warren - Co-Chair; Roni Atlas, Brian Bernard, Deni Brotherton, Gary Corbett, Marisa Excobedo, Pam Ferguson, Tammi Fowler, Joan Gabrielson, Kathy Graveley, Lisa Gregory, Vonna Gregory, Deb Griffin, Zack Hansen, Bill and Sally Harvey, Gloria Johnston, Martye Kendrick, Bill and Jackie Lane, Jerry Maglio, Lori Marks-Connors, Aquilla McKnight, Pam Roth, Molly Ross, Regina Serna, Pam Vecchiarelli, Glory Weisberg, Laurie Wronski

Staff: Joan Gabrielson - Executive Director; Carol Beauchamp-Hunter - Associate Director; Arnold Goldstein - Associate Director; Terry Hoffman - Director of Admissions; Jann Clevenger - Principal of Middle/High School; Jim Winter - Program Coordinator; Elaine Atwater - Quality Improvement Director; Vivian Zlobec - Director of Human Resources; Kathy Graveley - Director of Development

Catering: Hyatt Regency

Entertainment: Comedienne Kathy Buckley

Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Land Rover Denver East; Shoot for the Stars Sponsors: Sysco Denver, Wagner Investment Management, Inc.; Sponsoring Friends: CH2M Hill, Colorado Business Bank, MicroMotion, RTL Networks, US Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Denver Minority Opportunity Fund, Edie & Mort Marks Family, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, Martini Radio 101.5, One FM 107.1, Orvis Cherry Creek.

Auctioneer: Gary Corbett - Auctioneer

Quote of the evening: Comedienne Kathy Buckley said, "I was trying to place a bid with the auctioneer, Gary Corbett, but have you ever tried to read his lips and understand what he is saying? Me neither."

Menu: Salad, salmon, steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

Attendance: 375

Attire: Black tie

Board of Directors: Excelsior Youth Center: President/Chairman - Marcia Lujan, L.C. Fulenwider, Inc.; Vice Chairman - Richard O. Jones, Attorney; Secretary - Catharine Carty, Coors Brewing Company.
Directors: Marcus Dudley - Aurora Police Department; William C. Gregory - Executive Director Emeritus, Excelsior Youth Center; Cynthia Hansen - Merrill Lynch; Judge Jon Lawritson - Federal Administrative Judge; Jerry Maglio - Marketing Consultant; Dennis Miceli - Wells Fargo; Jim Peters - Administrative Law Hearing Officers; Molly Ross - Artist and Community Volunteer; Charcie Russell - Community Volunteer; Wendy Warren - EchoStar
Excelsior Youth Foundation: President/Chairman - Kathleen Gormley, Gormley Law Firm, LLC; Vice Chairman - Anne Haggar, Seagate Technologies; Vice President - Joan Gabrielson, Executive Director, Excelsior Youth Center; Secretary-Treasurer - Clarence Ammons, Community Volunteer.
Directors: Bob Adelstein - Psychiatric Social Worker; Jeannie Davis - Now Hear This, Inc.; William C. Gregory - Executive Director Emeritus, Excelsior Youth Center; William Harvey - Community Volunteer; Oliver W. Hickel III - Investment Advisor; Trisha Jorgensen - Real Estate; Martye Kendrick - Law; William H. Lane - Community Volunteer; John Lawton, Lawton Resources; Molly Ross - Artist and Community Volunteer; Wendy Warren - EchoStar; Michael Williams - Clinical Professor of Finance, University of Denver

Blacktie Photos by: John DiTirro

 The Triumphant Women are Christine Soto, Victoria Aguilar, Glory Weisberg, Denise Stephenson-Hawk and Lannie Garrett
The Triumphant Women are Christine Soto, Victoria Aguilar, Glory Weisberg, Denise Stephenson-Hawk and Lannie Garrett

Have you ever just needed a hug or someone to say everything is okay? How about even just a small gesture letting you know you are a good person? Friday, May 30 was the night to hear that and more. Excelsior Youth Center was celebrating 35 years of helping young women ages 11 to 18 get back on track and start enjoying themselves and life again.

What a way to do it. With the committee at Excelsior and the help of over 300 people, the event was a huge milestone in helping young women. The main ballroom of the Hyatt Regency in the DTC was gorgeous and the 2008 Land Rover parked on the floor as a prize just added to the anticipation. The ballroom was decorated with balloons that resembled hot air balloons and were floating across the ceiling.

Colorado's own Steve Saunders with Channel 7 News was the evening's emcee. And what a wonderful job he did. He introduced Janet Elway and read her many accomplishments in life, including all the national titles she has earned as a world class swimmer. Janet was on hand to help present awards to the Triumphant Women.

These recipients were: Victoria Aguilar, Lannie Garrett, Christine Soto, Denise Stephenson-Hawk and Glory Weisberg for the many hours they have devoted to Excelsior Youth Center and the donations they have helped raise throughout the many years. The event helped raise over $150,000 and I would even venture to guess it was closer to $200,000.

The Excelsior Youth Center helps young women with regaining confidence, getting back into their education and learning job skills. This Youth Center must be doing something right, because after 35 years of strong, dedicated work, they have created the success rate of close to 85% for the women to continue their education and go on to graduate from college. With the help of the many sponsors who made the event a big success, this organization will continue to strive and hit goals of producing future winners in our community.

The main entertainment was comedienne Kathy Buckley. If you have never seen or heard this lady, you are missing out. Kathy is a hearing-impaired comedienne who loves to make people laugh and is very good at it. Kathy also has a side of her that she let show that you don't see from many people. Kathy will work with anyone and help him or her live a better life. Kathy told a story of how she made a quadriplegic laugh and how this woman went on in life and even wrote a book with the help of today’s technology. Kathy has a heart of gold and lets nothing get in her way to bring joy and laughter to everyone around her. This event was a night not to be missed. If you were there, you know what I am talking about.

If you want to get involved with volunteering or helping to sponsor Excelsior Youth Center in any way, please contact them at 303-693-1550 or go to their website:, and let's make the next 35 years better than the last. 

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