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September 27, 2008 - Third Way True Grit

What: True Grit 2008

Where: Invesco Field at Mile High - East Club Level

When: Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $150 Individual; $100 Young Professional

Beneficiary: Third Way Centers

Honoree(s): Energy Outreach Colorado

Honorary Chairperson(s): Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien

Founders: Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh

Executive Director: David Eisner

Committee Members: Tami Lack, Valerie Gildea, Luke Porenz, Brian Stafford, Mischa Danaceau, Tracy Wagner, Carol Downs, Carrie Hammond, Cindy Allen, Deana Hart, Diane Rowland, Edie Suhr, Russ Kyncl, Jennifer Hess, Kristi Thiede, Krista Costa, Lisa Baylon, Jo Martin, Ryan Pattie, Karla Johnson Grimes, Amber Lacy Sarah Hari, Jessica Taylor-Pickford, Amy Schabermann, Kate Griffin, Dave Eisner

Libations: Orchid Liqueurs, Coyote Gold Margaritas, Red Truck & White Truck Wines, DTC Wine & Spirits

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Entertainment: The Railbenders

Music: Paris Swing Set

Sponsors: CONDUCTOR'S CIRCLE: UBS Financial; ENGINEER'S ENTOURAGE: Richard & Mary Pat McCormick, in honor of Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh; Anonymous Family Foundation, The Anna & John Sie Foundation; RAILROAD RASCALS: Devil's Thumb Ranch, Barton Family Foundation, The Erlich Family, Gary Gray, Anonymous Family Foundation, UMB; COAL CAR CROWD: Evergreen Oil, Winning Spirit, LLC, David & Renee Eisner, Marilyn Dana, Coldwell Banker Devonshire; CABOOSE CREW: ING Multifinancial, Gelt & Grassgreen PC, Paul; & Sally Johnston, Stoorman & Associates PC, John & Lynn Grigsby, AlarmSpecialists, GHP Horwath, Mutual of America, Grandma's Frozen Pasta, RG Insulation, Handel Information Technologies, Dependable Cleaners

Auctioneer: Les Ohlhauser & The Black Hat Brigade

Menu: Gourmet pasta bar, carving station with marinated flank steak, southwestern Caesar salad, hors d'oeuvers buffet. Chocolate fountain provided by Dip-n-Delights

Attendance: 400

Attire: Western

Special Thanks: Denver Garden Railway Society, Cowboy Metals, Aces Casino Equipment

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Sweet potato fries, meatloaf sliders, petite turkey pot pie, stuffed Piquillo peppers, deviled eggs


Event Coordinator: Tami Lack & Valerie Gildea

Board of Directors: William Matthews, President; Marilyn Dana, Secretary; Mark Messenbaugh, Treasurer; David Eisner, Executive Director; Robert Fanch, Gary Gray, Sally Johnston, Billy Van Heusen, Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh, Founder, Medical and Program Director
Advisory Board Members: Marcy Benson, Mary Pat McCormick, Joel Farkas, Sally Lowe

Blacktie Photos by: Stacy Ohlsson

 Dick & Mariyn Dana with Dr. Hildegard & Bert Messenbaugh
Dick & Mariyn Dana with Dr. Hildegard & Bert Messenbaugh

“Help us keep our kids on track” was the motto for Third Way’s annual western-themed True Grit event, dubbed “The Great Train Robbery,” held Saturday, September 27, 2008.
Patrons were transported from the parking lot to Invesco’s East Club Level via mini-train; one person in each car. The Denver Garden Railway Society set up model trains inside for folks to marvel at.
Most everybody was wearing their finest western garb, complete with cowboy hats and boots, engineer caps and overalls.
Comfort food was on the menu. Passed hors d’oeuvres included sweet potato fries, deviled eggs, stuffed peppers, turkey pot pie and meatloaf sliders. Epicurean set up a gourmet pasta bar with penne pasta and tons of fixin’s made to order. The “carving station” had marinated flank steak with ancho lime aioli and southwestern Caesar salad. Then there was an hors d’oeuvres buffet containing harvest crudités with dip and petite caprese sandwiches. Nobody went away hungry.
The honorary chair for the event was Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien, who is a long-time advocate for youth and has a history of innovative policy initiatives including increasing funding for schools, expanding early childhood education, increasing access to health care for under insured children and other programs.
This year’s Outstanding Community Partner was Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), an independent, nonprofit organization which raises money to help limited income families afford home energy. Over the next year, EOC will spend nearly $50,000 in upgrades at Third Way Center’s Lincoln Street Apartment program. Occupancy sensors, temperature controllers, low flow toilets and shower heads and efficient lighting will dramatically decrease annual energy spending for Third Way.
The most emotional part of the evening was when a former Third Way resident, Avery Johnson, shared her story. She struggled through her childhood in the inner city, living in a broken family, making poor decisions and ending up in detention.
She spent nine months at Third Way’s Lincoln Apartments where she received “extraordinary” individual and family treatment.
The mentoring she received helped her to research educational programs and ultimately graduate from college with a degree in Sociology. Avery is currently working at Third Way’s teen mom home, which is the only licensed treatment program in Denver for teen mothers. “They took a chance on me and believed in me.” Avery read a poem that touched her heart, written by a Joan Farley Academy student. (It follows this piece.)
The live auction is always a big part of True Grit and this year was no exception. Willie Matthews’ original painting sold for over $10,000. Other live auction items, called by Les Ohlshauser and the Black Hat Brigade, included a week in Winter Park, an Alaskan fishing trip, a flight on a MIG-17 Supersonic Jet Fighter, and a cedar bench built by Third Way youth (sold for $1,100!).
The nearly $50,000 raised with the paddle auction is earmarked to provide supplies and computers for the classrooms at the Lowry campus.
The evening ended up with lots of gambling, dancing and chocolate-dipping. Aces Casino Equipment set up the “casino;” the popular band, The Railbenders, provided country rock music; and Dip-n-Delights Chocolate Fountains kept everyone satiated.
Founded in 1970 as a shelter for runaway teens, Third Way has grown to eight different programs, focusing on alternatives to homelessness and incarceration for severely troubled and disadvantaged youth. Many have been in 20 to 30 previous placements and have endured numerous failures, neglect, abuse, poverty and homelessness. Third Way collaborates with over 100 agencies in the Denver areas to provide the most comprehensive network of care possible. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for these kids!
By Amanda, JFA student
In the depths of the night lay a child unclothed,
Only to depend on a world that’s so cold.
Looking for a way to escape the surrounding wood,
Searching for anything that looks or sounds good.
Things start to jump out and scare the young child,
Things can get bad when you’re alone in the wild.
But keep your head up, you’ll find love in the end,
Someone that gives you trust on which you can depend.
It’s rough now but you can pull through,
Believe me because I’ve been through it all too.

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