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September 14, 2009 - Dean Prina, the Pediatrician Extraordinaire

What: 4th Annual Heart of Volunteerism Award

Where: Cable Center on the DU Campus

When: Monday, September 14, 2009

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Beneficiary: Metro Volunteers

Host(s): Metro Volunteers

Honoree(s): Dean Prina, M.D.

Executive Director: Kristy Judd

Committee Members: Jackie Norris, Co-Chair; Todd Bacon, Co-Chair; David Alexander; Kelly Gallagher; Greg Geissler; Paul Mesard; Sally Rippey; Kristen York

President(s): Deborah Dale Brackney

Staff: Aniko Smith, Accountant; Kristen York, Marketing & Communications Mgr.; Paula Henry, Director of Volunteer Relations; Ericka Fleming, Director of Client Services

Speaker: Dean Prina

Entertainment: Video by Cinema Vertige

Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, Marsico Family Foundation, Gill Foundation, Qwest, Marquez Foundation, Western Union Foundation, The Sissel Family Fund, Michael Leede, Caz Mathews, Mile High United Way, JFFixler & Associates

Quote of the evening: Dean is the doctor that doesn't give kids shots...he is not just their doctor, he is their friend.

Menu: Slider bar, mashed potato bar and salad bar

Attire: Wild shirts

Event Coordinator: Kristen York and Kristy Judd

Board of Directors: Deborah Dale Brackney - Chair, Mountain States Employers Council; Cindy Willard - Vice Chair, Helen K. & Arthur E. Johnson Foundation; Matt Smith - Secretary; Jandel Allen-Davis, M.D., Colorado Permanente Medical Group; Nichole Alley, Best Buy; Kari Anderson, Logan School for Creative Learning; Joe Barrows, Colorado Business Bank; Cecilia Broder, Mile High United Way; Kristy Judd - Ex-Officio, Executive Director, Metro Volunteers; AnneMarie Kemp, Avista Hospital Foundation; Don Kirchoffner, Consultant; Stacy Lewis, Sector Brands; Maureen McDonald, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation; Phil Nash, Rose Community Foundation; Palmer Pekarek,; Yolanda Quesada, Western Union Foundation; Cody Wertz, GBSM, Inc.; Carol Wright, Xcel Energy

Blacktie Photos by: Steven Shoppman

 From left, Margaret Burd, Tony Accetta, honoree Dean Prina
From left, Margaret Burd, Tony Accetta, honoree Dean Prina

 "Thanks to all of those in the movement to give back and volunteer.  You are all philanthropists whether with your time, money, expertise or effort," said Dean Prina in his speech.  On September 14th, 2009 Dean Prina received the lifetime achievement award named "The Heart of Volunteerism Award."  It is given to those who go above and beyond spreading their time and efforts as a volunteer to make the community a better place.  

Dean Prina, as it is easy to see when attending this event, is an exemplary person in the community of giving.  He has an army of kids who are his patients that have nothing but good things to say about him, even while most pediatricians are the dread of little boys and girls.  When the audience was asked to raise hands if you have served on a board with Dean, an overwhelming majority responded and of course laughed.  Their laughter was due to the fact that it is hard to find a person not raising their hand. 

The tables were decorated with balloon animals, many of the attendees had giant balloon animal hats and in line with Dean, numerous others were wearing crazy print shirts for which he is famous.  Dean is a fun person, and no fun  detail was spared.  Even the food was gourmet fun, including a mashed potatoes bar, slider bar and salad bar.  The afternoon light that shined in the tall glass windows at the Cable Center at Denver University gave an energetic feel that was perfect for all of the excited guests and friends.

Just before Dean received his award, a video short from Cinema Vertige was aired on the giant wall of televisions spanning nearly from ceiling to floor.  As Dean requested, the video was made with the help of  the many children that are his patients.  In his opinion, "They were the only ones who could be trusted to give an un-biased opinion of him."  Their un-biased opinion turned out to be a crowd pleaser with the humorous, heart-warming video providing a perfect transition to the presentation of the award and Dean's speech. 

This award is very important in the community.  As Metro Volunteers has posted on their website: "Now more than ever, volunteers must be a critical resource in addressing our community’s needs. Our nonprofit community, our churches and our schools are experiencing unprecedented economic challenges." With the way the economy is struggling and many important programs are being cut, it is a truly wonderful thing to see people like Dean in action, leading many others to help their communities.  The good that is done with Metro Volunteers goes beyond just one cause or issue, it places volunteers wherever help is needed, which is why Dean is so exemplary with the countless hours he commits to helping others in so many different ways.

Upon receiving the award, Dean was also in for a surprise.  He was given a painting made especially for him by his favorite local artist.  His excitement was well received and his speech inspired the incredible idea that life is so much better when you are helping other people.  Dean's constant ear to ear smile certainly takes this point home, and for those who attended, it is likely there are many more people signing up to volunteer after an evening to award it.


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