It was a Valentine’s time of red attire, dark wine and dancing. It also included sliders, mini hot dogs, Elmo dolls and hundreds of balloons.
This Valentine’s Day marked the second annual “Hearts of All Ages” event sponsored by the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation. The 600-plus people of all ages who attended the event helped raise money for divisions that touch hearts of all ages: neonatal intensive care and geriatric medicine.
University of Colorado Hospital Chief Executive Officer Bruce Schroffel didn’t hide his enthusiasm for the occasion. His cheek was canvas for a glittering heart, skillfully done by face painting artists at the event. He raved about the food with the satisfaction of a 4-year-old coming home from a great birthday party.
“It’s nice to be at a party where you can have mac-n-cheese.” Epicurean Catering served a selection that appealed to tastes of all ages. Along with sliders and mini-dogs, guests filled up on homemade pasta, fresh fruit skewers and lollipop desserts.
The occasion was the dream of the event co-chairs Peter Coors and Sharon Magness Blake. They wanted to create a way for families to celebrate Valentine’s together as well as fundraise for the hospital. Thus, “Hearts of All Ages” was born.
Balloons were a signature piece of the fundraising. The rounded helium-filled pink, red, white, silver or gold spheres held slips linked to prizes for kids and families. Chances sold for $50, $100 and $200 and each prize was guaranteed to be worth more than the chance price. Schroffel tipped his hat to the many who helped make the event happen, with a special note to those who worked with the balloons.
“The committee members put in countless hours to make this happen. Just preparing the balloons was a huge project. They deserve a great deal of thanks.”
And there were more balloons.
Mime Time twisted and shaped long, round and stubby balloons into creatures of all kinds. Children expressed their wishes to the entertainers and after a bit of blowing, a lot of twisting, and some dotting with a magic marker, young ones walked away with their requested figure.
Eleven-year-old Jake Braaksma beamed about his fire-breathing dragon balloon. “She guessed what I wanted before I said it. She read my mind,” he reported with the unwavering conviction that only a kid could deliver.
At the next table families posed for delightful caricature drawings and left with a memento worth framing. Close by, children lined up for face painting. Mother and daughter artistic team Cheryl and Jennifer Ginsburg dipped brushes into circular steel dishes of paint and applied glitter to create a gallery of faces adorned with flowers, hearts, dragons, horses, and imaginative spirals.
Along with many young friends, the evening welcomed fifty seniors from Volunteers of America housing courtesy of event co-chair Sharon Magness Blake.
Colorado has a great deal to be proud of in the University of Colorado Hospital. The facility is the Rocky Mountain region's leading academic medical center, and has been recognized as one of the United States’ best hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is best known as an innovator in patient care and often as one of the first hospitals to bring new medicine to patients. All the hospital’s physicians are affiliated with the University of Colorado Denver School Of Medicine, part of the University of Colorado system. Although it carries the University of Colorado name, the hospital is not financially tied to the university system and does not receive any state support. The annual fundraiser is critical in allowing the hospital to provide world-class care to our patients in Colorado as well as the Rocky Mountain region.