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August 22, 2009 - Morgan Adams Foundation Takes Wing

What: The Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance

Where: TAC Air and Qwest Hangars at Centennial Airport

When: Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $125.00

Beneficiary: The Morgan Adams Foundation (Funding pediatric oncology research)

Master of Ceremonies: Gary Shapiro

Gala Chairperson(s): Rachelle Montanaro

Founders: Joan Slaughter, Steven Adams and Brett Derosier

Executive Director: Joan Slaughter

Committee Members: Auction Chair: Jeungmi Woo, “Bikes” Chair: Steve Hawthorne, Corporate Sponsorship: Steven Adams, Logistics Chair: Debbie Walters, Operations Chair: Terry Dennett, PR Coordinator: Kelly Anton, Supply Sergeant: John Milton, Volunteer Co-Chairs: Sheri Sutton & Katherine Jacobson, “Wheels” Chair: Jim Walters, “Wings” Chair: Joe Thibodeau

Staff: Joan Slaughter, Rachelle Montanaro and Charlotte Lawson

Entertainment: Bistro Boys Catering, City Bakery, Dickey’s BBQ, Diego Zhang’s Burger Café, Dreyer’s, Garcia’s, Italco Food Products, Japon, Maggiano’s Little Italy, PF Chang’s China Bistro, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Strings Restaurant

Music: The Robin Ruscio Group

Sponsors: Fetter Logic, Inc., 5280 Magazine, Centennial Airport, Qwest, TAC Air, Chubb Collector Car Insurance, Hein & Associates LLP, Noble Energy, Inc., Price Family Charitable Trust, Airways Express, EKS&H, Ferrari of Denver, Lamborghini Denver, Meguiar’s Inc., Murray Motor Imports, Prestige Imports, Russell Investments, Visual Image Solutions, Lighting Services, Inc. and Multimedia Audio Visual, Inc.

Auctioneer: Martin Auctioneering

Attendance: 1,500

Attire: Business casual

Florist: Bouquets

Board of Directors: Bari DeJaynes, Nikki DiTommaso, Gail Fawcett, David Fetter, Kay Griffin, Bradley Haight, Keith Redmond, Debbie Stoffel, Brett Derosier – In memoriam

 Col. Jack Wilhite and his MiG-17
Col. Jack Wilhite and his MiG-17

by Marcelo Mainzer 

More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.

    Wilbur Wright

      Wilber Wright was speaking about flying when he said that, but it could have been the parent of a child with a potentially terminal illness speaking when told a cure or successful procedure exists that will restore to them a healthy child.

Humans share one thing universally, we are creatures of emotion. When the first person sat on a running horse, their hair blowing back in the wind, tears of joy must have flowed over their cheeks. From that day forward we have had an unabated passion to move from one place to another with more power, grace and beauty then our bodies could manage. Even before we became fully human our tears flowed and our hearts were broken by the loss of a child. The Morgan Adams Foundation with the Concours d’Elegance brings all of this together.

The 22nd of August was a fine hot day the skies blue with generous piles of billowing clouds and the mountains acting as a majestic backdrop seen from the tarmac at TAC Air and Qwest Hangars at Centennial Airport. Crowding the tarmac, like so many giant glittering jewels, were a collection of the finest airplanes, automobiles and motorcycles the mind of man can conceive. A delicate Vans RV 8a, massive North American B-25, sleek fighter jets, the 2009 Maserati GTS hungry to swallow road at 200 miles per hour, the Citroën 2 CU 4 Door ready to take a French family on a picnic, the 1933 Marmon convertible sedan wondering what it was doing away from the country estate, while Harley Davidson, Indian, Panther and Triumph Motorcycles silently growled to be unleashed. The enthusiast hardly had time to appreciate the variety and meticulous care in maintenance or restoration of one vehicle before another caught the eye and took the breath away.

If one happed to be an culinary epicurean they were serve by no less then fifteen different purveyors of fine food including Bistro Boys Catering, City Bakery, Dickey’s BBQ, Diego Zhang’s Burger Café, Dreyer’s, Garcia’s, Italco Food Products, Japon, Maggiano’s Little Italy, PF Chang’s China Bistro, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Strings Retaurant. As if that were not enough there were four separate silent auction stations with several hundred items of Art, Gifts, Services and Tickets to fun and adventure.

Throughout the day the Robin Ruscio Group entertained everyone with a lively jazz mix, while Master of Ceremonies Gary Shapiro kept them informed, directed attendees to the tarmac for the spectacular flyover and reminded them how much time was left in the silent auction. At 8:30, as the warm day progressed into a lovely evening, Mr. Shapiro called everyone to the hanger for the live auction and turned the stage over to Don Martin.

Like a jet taking off, auctioneer Martin took the crowd on a ride; seeming to be everywhere at once and with the help of volunteers he missed no bid from the front, back or either side of the crowded hall. From the Ultimate Colorado Sports Package to the Ski Telluride vacation Don coaxed, joked and even embarrassed, a little, people into going with their best instincts and raising their bidder number, he even sweetened the pot by enlisting David Fetter to donate a jet ride to the Teluride. In a special appearance, 7-year-old Allison, a recovering brain tumor patient, with mom Dianna Winn and Coco from the The Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program rose and gave bidders the opportunity of funding dogs for other children battling cancer.

For the last item, however, supporters were given a chance to breath, to ponder, to remember exactly why they were really there. The last item? Microarray Chips, a technology that gives researchers more comprehensive insight into the causes of cancer growth in children. Don asked Rajeev Vibhakar MD PhD to explain how the technology worked, then presented the goal of funding the purchase of one hundred chips at a cost of one thousand dollars each. Although Don’s call for a single hundred thousand dollar bid went unanswered, Keith Redmond, of Greenspun Corporation rose to the challenge with a breathtaking fifteen thousand dollar bid, which opened the hearts and pocket books in the room, as the requested amount went down the number of bids went up, until no corner of the huge room was not aflutter with people waving their bidder numbers.

Last to rise to the stage, and in typically humble fashion, were Steven and Joan who thanked everyone for their participation, and took a moment to remember the late Brett Derosier who helped create the Concours d’Elegance, recognized the tireless work of all the volunteers and gave out awards to the peoples and peers choices for best airplane, car and motorcycle. A touching moment occurred when Joan asked departing Volunteer Chair Sheri Sutton to come up and be acknowledged for here work on all previous events. The Morgan Adams Foundation was founded by Steven Adams and Joan Slaughter after their beautiful daughter Morgan Adams succumbed to Glioblastoma Multiforme, a brain tumor.

Sleek automobiles and powerful motorcycles roared to life as the crowd flowed towards the exits, or to collect their winning bids. The mood was joyful and thoughtful, perfectly reflecting the kind of event it was, one filled with wonder and satisfying the call to participate in making the community a better place for families and especially children.

To be the first to enter the cosmos, to engage, single-handed, in an unprecedented duel with nature—could one dream of anything more?
– Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into space, prior to flight, 1961

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