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Captured Event

October 04, 2008 - CNI: Rebels With a Cause

Where: Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom

When: Saturday, October 4, 2008

Time: 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Beneficiary: Colorado Neurological Institute

EMCEE: Lynn Carey

Gala Chairperson(s): Bonnie Mandarich & Pamela Helm

Executive Director: Luanne M. Williams, CFRE

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Entertainment: Flash Cadillac

Sponsors: MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation/David & Bonnie Mandarich; Outrigger Hotels & Resorts/Richard & Linda Kelley; Dan Weyland; Rocky Mountain News; BNY Mellon Wealth Mgmt,; Swedish Medical Center; Dr. Edward Arenson; Don & Arlene Johnson; Dr. John & Debra McVicker; Radiology Imaging Associates; Swedish Medical Center Auxillary; Douglas Kerbs & Nahum Lopez; Marcia N. Thompson and Chuck & Lynda Gumeson; Specialty Neurology; Dr. David Kelsall; Blue Sky Neurology; Dr. Rajeev Kumar; Douglas M. Tisdale; Helm Surgical Systems/ Corey & Pamela Helm; LaFawn Biddle; Henny & Don Kaufmann; Community First Foundation; Craig Hospital; Progressive Health Center; Rocky Mountain MS Center; Parkinson's Association of the Rockies; Pat & Annabel Bowlen and the Denver Broncos Football Club; Ren & Maureen Cannon; Colorado Expressions; Design Works; Disguises; Epicurean Catering; Framed Image; Italy by Vespa and Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Gallery; Mondo Vino; Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florist; Joe Sakic; Scott O'Malley & Associates;

Auctioneer: Doug Tisdale

Menu: Asparagus salad, pan seared bistro chicken breast, buttermilk mashed potatoes, green beans almandine, apple peach cobbler

Attendance: 400

Attire: 1950s / '60s

Event Coordinator: Mary Catherine Moss

Board of Directors: Chairman of the Board: Richard R. Kelley, M.D.; President, CNI Medical Advisory Board: Don B. Smith, M.D.; Vice Presidents, CNI Medical Advisory Board: David C. Kelsall, M.D., Peter Ricci, M.D.; Treasurer: Lucille ("Lucky") A. Gallagher; Secretary: Jon E. Stuck; Past Chairman of the Board: Douglas M. Tisdale, Esq.; Past President, CNI Medical Advisory Board: Edward B. Arenson, M.D.; Board members: Edward B. Arenson, M.D., Theron Bell, Lynn Bunnell, John J. Burnett, Ph.D., Norman Dyer, Donald F. Frei, M.D., Lucille ("Lucky") A. Gallagher, Stanley Gallery, Lynda T. Gumeson, Arthur S. 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., Peter Ricci, M.D., Don B. Smith, M.D., Jon E. Stuck, Douglas M. Tisdale, Esq., Mary White, Luanne M. Williams, CFRE

Blacktie Photos by: M. Darcy

 Gala co-chairs, Pamela Helm, left, and Bonnie Mandarich put on one terrific party
Gala co-chairs, Pamela Helm, left, and Bonnie Mandarich put on one terrific party

A Medical Vision Sees Doctors Working Together

Story by M. Darcy

So many skills we take for granted – speaking, walking, hearing – can be instantly lost with the onset of a neurological disorder. Statistics warn that a third of Americans will be personally touched by one of these many disorders, such as epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease or stroke. In the past, patients had to spend a lot of time and energy going from one doctor's office to another. But 20 years ago, one man saw what could be accomplished by working together as a united team on individual cases. Dr. Gary VanderArk’s vision, the Colorado Neurological Institute, offers patients access to neurologists, neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists, nurses, neuropsychologists, social workers, and state of the art hospital and laboratory facilities all under one roof.

It seems simple, but when you consider the professional pride involved, it becomes something epic to see these various experts pulling together for the single cause of serving the patient’s needs. “Lord knows…it isn’t easy for a bunch of strong medical egos to set aside differences, to collaborate for the greater good,” laughs Don Smith, President of the Medical Advisory Board of CNI, on the 20th Anniversary of CNI’s inception during their annual gala. “It takes work,” he says, “and more than a little sacrifice. But it is exquisitely worthwhile.”

In 20 years CNI has come a long way. They’ve expanded their programs initially focused solely on epilepsy and movement disorders to include neurotrauma, stroke, brain and spinal tumors, and restorative neurosurgery. Winning awards and recognition for excellence, the Institute strives to improve understanding of nuerological disorders and advance treatment techniques through their research and clinical trials. Through donations and grants, they are able to offer the highest quality care to all patients, insured or not.

The testament to their real success can be heard in the voices of the supporters who faithfully attend the annual galas. The galas are one of the truly fun parties where people come to have a good time for a good cause, not merely to be seen. One would think that a bunch of neurosurgeons would be stuffy, but seeing them in costume – this year dressed in '50s and '60s attire – bopping out on the dance floor, it’s obvious that they know how to have fun.

Ann Walsh has been a lifetime supporter. “These are the most compassionate, dedicated people,” she says. When one of her family members was being treated, they visited him every day, just to spend time with him. Many of the other supporters have a personal connection with CNI as well. Ann’s words are a common theme echoing from Doug Tisdale to Artemis Kahadiwala-Donian to “Lucky” Gallagher, people who have made CNI their personal charity because CNI has somehow touched their lives.

More stories can be read on the CNI website at: If you’d like to help a very remarkable vision and support them in their cause, log onto the general webstie at


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