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May 08, 2009 - Arthritis Foundation: Honoring the Fantastic Four

What: Arthritis Foundation's Evening of Honors Gala

Where: Marriott City Center

When: Friday, May 8, 2009

Time: 6 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $250 individual or $150 for young professionals (35 and under)

Beneficiary: Arthritis Foundation

Honoree(s): Jay Davidson, Chairman and CEO of First American State Bank; Murphy Huston, KOSI 101.1 morning host; Mort Marks, freelancer for The Villager Newspaper,; and Dick Saunders, founder of Saunders Construction.

EMCEE: 9News Anchor Gregg Moss

Gala Chairperson(s): Dr. Stuart Kassan, Lori Marks-Connors, Jan Rice-Johnson, and Lisa Williams

Executive Director: Pat Gottfried, President/CEO

Committee Members: David Alexander, Julie Eckhart, Steve Edmonds, Michele Falivene, Sue Ellen Goss, Linda Goto, Lisa Graf, Emily Gunlock, Jan Harris, Elise Marks-Gruitch, Michael Mills, Lorii Rabinowitz, Karl Sterner

Staff: Tara Roesener, Event Development Dir.; Eileen Martin, Dev. Asst.; Gerald Compton, Data Sys. Mgr; Isabelle Stohler; Prgms Manager; Lisa Crowley, Prgm Coord.; Kathy Jensen, V.P., Education and Programs; JoNell Chance, V.P., Finance and Operations; Laura Rosseisen, V.P., Development; Jill Lysengen, Volunteers and Outreach Coord; Cary Bement-Kelly, Dev. Associate, Southern Colorado; Todd McPherson, Dir., Corp. Development; Paula Humber, Community Coord., Southern Colorado; Angie Hager, Mar-Comm Mgr

Entertainment: Roy Firestone. Firestone has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Later with Bob Costas, Nightlight, The Simpsons, and Larry King Live, and has won seven Emmy Awards and seven Cable ACE Awards. He has interviewed more than 5,000 people including Lance Armstrong, Richard Nixon, and Madonna.

Sponsors: GOLD SPONSORS: Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake, First American State Bank, PBJ Reece Charitable Fund of the Denver Foundation, Saunders Construction, Lisa and Carl Williams; SILVER SPONSORS: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., Davis, Graham, and Stubbs Law LLP, First Western Trust Bank, Carol and Murphy Huston, Edie and Mort Marks, Merrill Lynch Denver Complex, Panorama Research and Education Foundation, Renal Ventures Management, Vistar Corporation, Webster University Young Professionals

Menu: Mediterranean tart: hummus, black quinoa, feta, roasted red pepper, English cucumber, baby pearl tomato, micro greens and balsamic reduction; Osso Buuco style short ribs accompanied by creamy grits, pea tendrils and fresh roasted corn; Adelia marscapone and berry cream on a light almond sponge cake; decadent individual chocolate cake

Attendance: 300

Special Thanks: SPECIAL DONATIONS: Max Bartlett, Calcon Construction, Carol Chambers, Elizabeth Fall, Dr. Nancy Gary, Psy.D.; Rick and Sarah Gervasini, Hillary Reed Interiors, Barry and Arlene Hirschfeld, Mary Hobson, Carol Holland, David Jewell, Peter Loorum, Richard Lyford Jr., Resnik Partners, Susie Reynolds, Gregory Ruegsegger, Eaton Smith, Connie Woodward, Theodore Zerwin; IN-KIND DONATIONS: and Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florist

Donors: AUCTION DONORS: 240 Union - A Creative Grill; Ageless Remedies; Arts on Fire;Aspen Flying Club; Aurora B & B for Dogs; Autawash; Autotek;Back Solutions; Balance Point Studios; Belmar Lucky Strike; Bent Hagemark; Centennial Canoe Outfitters; Cool River Restaurant; Culinary Connectors; Dan Sharp, Luxury Outerwear; Denver Marriott City Center; Dick Saunders and Jeanne Portmann; Dillon Marina Divine Designs by Kathleen; Dr. Bob Brewka, Brewka Orthodontics; Dr. Charles Chew, Cody Dental Group; Dr. Keith Small, Cody Dental Group; D-Spot Lounge; Elway’s;Entercom;Glenmoor Country Club; Green Valley Ranch Golf Club; Hyde Park Jewelers; Indulge Wine Bar; Isle of Capri Casino; Jan Harris; Kroenke Sports; Lansdowne Arms; Macy’s; Mattress King;Max Gill and Grill; McNeil Designer Portraits Monarch Custom Interiors; Morton’s;Mountain Valley PT; Nancy Myer; Nijole Rasmussen; Perfect Landing Restaurant; Piatti Ristorante & Bar; Polo Ralph Lauren; Red Rocks Country Club; Regan Mizuno; Remington’s; Salon Utopia; Shirly Friend; Skin; Sol; Starbucks Coffee; TimBuk Toys; Valley Country Club; Washington Park Grill

Board of Directors: Stuart N. Bennett; Susan A. Boackle, M.D.; Richard T. Brennan; Mark Butscher; Kristn Castellanos; Leonard Dragone, M.D.; Carolyn S. Gratrix; Dale R. Harris; Jan Harris; Roger Hollister, M.D.; William C. Horst, Ph. D.; Stuart S. Kassan, M.D., FACP; Michael G. Mills; James G. Nagel; Jeanne Nichols; Jan Rice-Johnson; Cheryl Ricklefs; Harry Sterling; Karl Sterner, Ed.D.; Elizabeth Vierck; Cynthia M. Wieme; Lisa Williams; Jan Wondra

Blacktie Photos by: Danielle Corriveau

 AF's award winners: Murphy Huston, Mort Marks, Dick Saunders and Jay Davidson
AF's award winners: Murphy Huston, Mort Marks, Dick Saunders and Jay Davidson

Jovial” best describes the Arthritis Foundation’s 2009 Evening of Honors Gala. The four honorees, perched casually on stage in monogrammed director’s chairs, were absolutely endearing. From delivering good-natured jabs to extending sincere appreciation, they amused and delighted the audience.
A moving pictorial projected on two jumbo screens set to Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” introduced the audience to the essence of these accomplished men, all of whom strongly support the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Emcee Gregg Moss from 9NEWS did an outstanding job balancing the humor and the honor of the moment. The honorees were Jay Davidson, Chairman and CEO of First American State Bank; Murphy Huston, KOSI 101.1 morning host; Mort Marks, freelancer for The Villager Newspaper, and Dick Saunders, founder of Saunders Construction.
Diagnosed at age 12, Jay Davidson has seen many changes in protocols around treatment of arthritis. “The progression of research since I first learned I had the disease is spectacular. I thank all those folks in research, and all of you here tonight who help fund that research, for making my life better.”
Mort Marks began his words of thanks with a construction analogy. “To build a house you need a good electrician, plumber, and carpenter. And all of them need a good general contractor. In my family, my wife, Edie, is our general contractor. She keeps it all running smoothly and she does it with such love. I give all the thanks and credit to Edie.”
Family members traveled from San Francisco to applaud as Murphy Huston accepted his award and the Saunders Construction table erupted with hoots and cheers when Dick Saunders stepped up to the podium.
The good humor was followed by inspirational words from sixteen-year-old Jessica Olona. Dressed beautifully in a full length gown she gracefully told her story of the traumas of battling a debilitating disease since she was very young. Her message turned to hope. The jumbo screens could barely contain her smile as she talked about meeting her best friend at Arthritis Summer Camp.
Emmy-award winning journalist Roy Firestone then took the stage. His list of well-known interviewees is almost as high as a Colorado 14er. He’s interviewed more than 5,000 individuals including phenomenal athletes such as Lance Armstrong, history-making politicians like Richard Nixon, and big time entertainers such as Madonna.
In addition to dinner and a show, the 300-plus attendees perused over nearly 100 silent auction items ranging from $1,000 Ralph Lauren gift certificates to framed and signed Hannah Montana photos.
Arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability. The mission of the Arthritis Foundation – which is the only nationwide, nonprofit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis – is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control, and cure of arthritis and related diseases.
For more information, contact the Rocky Mountain Chapter, serving Colorado, Montana and Wyoming at 303-756-8622 or online at

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