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August 20, 2009 - The Dani's Foundation hosts Kiss the Bluz Goodbye

What: Kiss the Bluz Goodbye, Cocktails for a Cause

Where: Denver's City Park Pavillion

When: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $75/person $100/Couple

Beneficiary: Dani's Foundation

Host(s): Sharon McNally, Chairwoman

Master of Ceremonies: Jesse Csincsak

Founders: Michele Ashby

Libations: Ceren Vodka

Catering: Continental Divine

Music: CBS Recording Artist Keaton Simmons and Jaden Carlson

Sponsors: 95.7 The Party, ZClub Colorado, Bazi, Ceren Vodka, Guitar Center, Mine LLC, Providers' Resource Clearinghouse, The Westin Tabor Center, VBK Designs

Quote of the evening: "You are all making a difference in the world, you are all beautiful."

Special Thanks: Jess Parrish for the Ice Sculptures

Board of Directors: Founder and President: Michele Ashby; Secretary: Claudia Cruz; Treasurer: Timothy Bishop; Assistant Treasurer: Carla Cervi; board members: Keith Ashby, Christian Bailey, Kimbirly Orr, Patti Pansa, Staci Sanford, John Stell and Kate Ziminski

Blacktie Photos by: Steven Shoppman

 Ty and Gretchen Ricker
Ty and Gretchen Ricker

The Kiss the Bluz Goodbye invitation noted that this was to be Denver’s Hottest Party, and finally, Denver’s summer weather proved the invitation correct.  The evening was perfect for a party which was staged at the historic City Park Pavilion in Denver.  Kiss The Bluz Goodbye was a fitting tribute to the Summer of 2009.  The evening’s agenda featured Bluz cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction featuring over 100 items, specialty booths providing the opportunity to purchase artwork and designer Gigi Hill handbags and showcased local and national musical entertainment.   Adding to the festivities was a special appearance by  Jesse Csincsak, the winning bachelor from Season 4 of the hit ABC show “The Bachelorette”. 

As the event progressed and the social mingling transpired within the auction area, the sights of the party gave way to the magnificence of the sun beginning to set over the Denver skyline.  Many guests took to the veranda to marvel at the beauty of City Park and talk of their associations with Dani’s Foundation, a Colorado non profit organization whose mission is to find the cause and the cure for pediatric sarcomas.  Many in the crowd shared their personal cancer stories including 95-year-old Gretchen Ricker, a two-time cancer survivor who had donated a knitted Afghan to the event’s auction.  Gretchen has knitted over 100 pieces, 50 of which she has donated to various cancer foundations over the years.  Former Denver Bronco Jim Jensen was in attendance and told of his survival from sarcoma and16-year-old Maressa McClintock was treated as an honored guest of the event after beating pediatric sarcoma several years ago, a true triumph for the Dani’s Foundation!

Dani’s Foundation was established after the death of Daniele “Dani” Stell, a Denver South High student who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma eleven years ago.  Dani lost her battle to pediatric sarcoma ten years ago and since that time; the foundation named in her memory has been working to change the outcome for future generations.

 Ewing’s Sarcoma is a rare pediatric sarcoma that affects and takes the lives of children and young adults,” explained Board member Dr. Staci Sanford.  “We are working to raise awareness and funding with the goal of assisting patients with information and resources, working to educate the public on the symptoms of pediatric sarcoma with the goal of seeking earlier detection and ultimate survival and raising financial resources that will help in underwriting science that will assist in developing improved treatment protocols for all cancer patients and funding research that will help to find the cause and the cure for these horrific childhood cancers."

Between musical acts, Csincsak presided over a short program with the goal of educating the audience on Dani’s Foundation and recognizing the event sponsors. Martha Simmons, Executive Director of Dani’s Foundation, explained to the audience that “we are still treating Ewing’s Sarcoma the same way we were 10 years ago.  This cannot be.  Something must change and your support of this evening’s event will bring us closer to providing the funding necessary for the research that is needed to change pediatric cancer treatment protocols for all children diagnosed with cancer.”  Simmons asked everyone in attendance to join Dani’s Team and help to make a difference in the days ahead. 

Johnny Stell followed Simmons to represent in memoriam his sister Dani and his family.  “We started this foundation in memory of my sister and now we work for all children diagnosed with pediatric sarcomas.  We will not stop until this disease is stopped.”  He then thanked the assembled audience for their support of Dani’s Foundation.  “You are all making a difference in the world. You are all beautiful.” 

Event Chair Sharon McNally was then introduced.  She had the honor of recognizing those special guests who helped to make Kiss The Bluz a smashing success for Dani’s Foundation.  Recognized with award plaques were Issa Lopez, morning host on 95.7 The Party; Will Coleman from ZClub Colorado, Jeremy Resmer from Bazi, Doug Gott from Ceren Vodka, Tony Buffalo from Guitar Center, Val Kaleda of VBK Designs, Jess Parrish of Jess Parish Ice Carvings, Carey McDowell of Continental Divine Catering, Sarah Boyd from The Westin Tabor Center and Andrea Siebert from Providers Resource Clearinghouse.

McNally then had the pleasure of introducing her personal friend and event headliner Keaton Simons who traveled to CO from CA for the Kiss performance.  Simons is a CBS Records recording artist with a presence in radio, television and film.  Simons performed songs from his current CD “Can You Hear Me”. 

On this hot summer night, at the City Park pavilion, inspiration was in the air and many truly made a difference while enjoying a wonderful event.

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