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September 16, 2009 - DSF Introduces "ed." An Evening with George Will

What: Denver Scholarship Foundation Presents an Evening with George Wil

Where: Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center Performing Arts Complex

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: VIP Dinner Ticket: $250, VIP Speech & Dessert Reception Ticket: $100, VIP Speech Ticket: $75, General Admission Ticket: $45

Beneficiary: Denver Scholarship Foundation

Honorary Chairperson(s): Bruce & Marcy Benson, Mayor John Hickenlooper & Helen Thorpe, Tim & Bernie Marquez, Governor Bill Ritter & Jeannie Ritter, Former Governor Roy Romer & Bea Romer

Corporate Chairperson(s): Evan Makovsky and Suzanne Arkle Wilson

Founders: Bernadette and Tim Marquez

Co-Chair(s): Ramey Caulkins and Dean Prina M.D.

Executive Director: Cindy Abramson

Committee Members: Michael Barkin, Kerry Crandell, Nathan K. David, Henry Dubroff, Martha Cusick Eddy, Michael Faughnan, Stephanie Friday, Andrea Fulton, Josh Hanfling, Patrick Hatcher, Marc Levine, Denise S. Maes, Laura Meissner, Judy Schiff, Jennie Virgilio, Jon West

Welcome: Anne Trujillo, Channel 7 News

Speaker: George Will

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Music: Students from the Denver School of the Arts

Sponsors: Articulated: Quiznos; Invested: Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, BMO Capital Marketing, Comcast, The Gary- Williams Foundation, Harley Marine, Hamstra/Berger Group, Merrill Lynch Private Banking, Hutton Foundation, Janus, Channel 7, Liberty Global, Merrion Oil & Gas, Federico and Cindy Peña, Scott and Virginia Reiman, David Scanavino, M.D., Mark A. Snell, Timothy & Bernadette Marquez Foundation, Titus Foundation, UPS, Venoco, Inc, Wells Fargo; Motivated: Anadarko, Bruce and Marcy Benson, Peter and Cathy Dea, CH2MHill, Halliburton, Hugh Harvey, Roger Hutson, Infinity Oil & Gas, Inc., Steven and Elizabeth Kris, The Milestone Group, Skip and Nancy Miller, Kristin and Blair Richardson, Vangilder, Western Proscapes; Respected: Academy Roofing Inc., RMCI, Ramey and Maxwell Caulkins, Citi Private Bank, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State Bank and Trust, Colorado State University, Davis Grahama Stubbs LLP, Davis & Ceriani, Design & Image, Andrea & Max Fulton, Andrew and Katherine Goodwillie, Ernst & Young, Patrick and Pamela Hatcher, Hein & Associates LLP, The Kenneth and Myra Monfort Charitable Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & CO, Jack Kim & Jeanne Oh Kim, M.D., Shames Makovsky, Miller Coors, Mokros and White Families, Plexus Capital LLC, Dean Prina, M.D., Questar, Ann & Kevin Reidy, George & Mary Sissel and Greg & Therese Sissel, Snell & Wilmer, Solera, Vestar Capital Partners, United Western Bank, University of Colorado Denver, Waste Management; Dedicated: Don and Sharon Ferlic, Mike and Barbara O'Shaughnessy, Namaste Solar, Northern Trust, Dale and Gretchen Shaffer, Eric J. and Susan Grossman, Judith B. Wagner, M. Roy Wilson and Suzanne Arkle Wilson

Attendance: 700 for dinner, Seawell Ballroom / 900 for evening with George at Ellie Caulkins

Attire: Business

Special Thanks: Joseph Jestes Photography, Shelli Nelligan Flower Events, 5280 Magazine, Comcast Foundation, Design & Image, KMGH-TV, MillerCoors


Board of Directors: Barbara Grogan, Mayor John W Hickenlooper, Steven D Kris, Evan Makovsky, Bernadette Marquez - Chairwoman of the Board, Timothy Marquez, Stewart A. “Skip” Miller, R. Scott Nycum, Jr., Theresa Peña, Dean Prina, M.D., Scott Reiman, David Scanavino, M.D., Suzanne Arkle Wilson, Dr. Albert C. Yates

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 Co-chairs Dean Prina M.D. and Ramey Caulkins at the DSF Evening with George
Co-chairs Dean Prina M.D. and Ramey Caulkins at the DSF Evening with George

The Denver Scholarship Foundation presented it's first annual event, "An Evening with George Will" at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Wednesday, September 16. Preceding the the event was a dinner program at the Seawell Grand Ballroom. 

Over 700 distinguished guests and avid supporters, including Mayor John Hickenlooper, the Honorable Governor Roy Romer and former First Lady Bea Romer and former Mayor Federico Peña filled the Seawell Grand Ballroom. 

Anne Trujillo from Channel 7 News began the evening by welcoming guests and doing the introductions of first DSF Director Cindy Abramson and co-founder Bernie Marquez, who expressed their gratitude to the supporters and sponsors of the DSF. They were followed by a compelling video highlighting the Denver Scholarship foundation and their mission.

Recently graduated DPS student, Jasser Mohamed, then took the stage to share his success story and gratitude for the DSF. With the support and help of the DSF, Jasser is currently enrolled in CSU studying biomedical engineering.



Mayor John Hickenlooper offered his support and praise to the roomful of supporters as well as stressing the importance of education across Colorado and the nation. The Mayor was followed by the evening's guest speaker, George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. George offered a few words of wisdom as a prelude to his upcoming speech to follow at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

After the dinner, guests made their way to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to join a few hundred additional guests for an evening with George Will. The evening proved to be a success for the DSF as they raised approximately $1.4 million to continue their important work to provide higher educational opportunities to high school students across the Denver area.

The Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and empower Denver Public School (DPS) students to achieve their postsecondary educational goals by providing the tools, knowledge and financial resources essential for success.

At the high school level, the DSF is a collaborative and unifying force, working directly with students and their families, teachers, guidance counselors, and other non-profit organizations to help coordinate efforts to get each student to apply to, attend and complete college.

At the postsecondary level, they partner with Colorado colleges and universities to increase the likelihood that DPS students will succeed once enrolled.

At the community level, the Denver Scholarship Foundation benefits all citizens. By increasing college graduates, they increase the number of people who historically have healthier children, rely less on social services, and earn nearly $1 million more in their lifetimes compared to those who do not pursue college. 

During the 2008-2009 academic year, they operated Future Centers in 12 traditional DPS high schools and touched more than 10,000 students with their services. They also provided $2.6 million in scholarships to 712 DPS students. More than 70% of the students who received scholarships were among the first in their generation to attend college.

To learn more about DSF or to find out how you can help or contribute, please visit


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