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October 08, 2009 - A Snowy Day of Raising Spirits and Raising Glasses

What: Fifth Annual Raising Spirits Wine Tasting and Auction

Where: Sanctuary Golf Course, Sedalia, CO

When: Thursday, October 8, 2009

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $50

Beneficiary: Uninsured and underinsured individuals in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment services

Host(s): Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network

Master of Ceremonies: Scott Thoemke

Presenting Sponsor(s): Davidsons Liquors; CityWide Banks; Nik Golosow, MD

Executive Director: Scott Thoemke

Libations: Wine tasting from numerous wine makers

Entertainment: Jazz: Peneplain Trio

Sponsors: Presenting Sponsors: Citywide Banks; Davidsons Liquors; Nik Golosow, MD; Aficionado Sponsors: Behavioral HealthCare, Inc.; Intermountain Rural Electric Association; City of Glendale; Epicure Sponsors: Aurora Mental Health Center; Kaiser Permanente; Signal BehavioralHealth Network, Inc.

Auctioneer: Gary Corbett

Quote of the evening: A night to drink responsibly and spend irresponsibly

Menu: Cheese and crudite selection, pasta, shish kebab and turkey carving station followed by chocolate fountain

Attire: dressy business

Special Thanks: 'Nita Brown, Attila Denes, Pat Echtermeyer, Katrina Frazier, Mario Harding, Robert Ireland, Jean Ray, Deirdre Sage, Troy Schlichting, Carla and John Vellos

Event Coordinator: Carolyn Moershel, Development Director; Jamie DeBartolomeis, Public Relations Coordinator; and Meryl Glickman, Marketing Director

Board of Directors: Thomas J Flanagan, Jr, President; Lt. Attila C Denes, Vice President; John Phillips, Secretary/Treasurer; ‘Nita Brown; Margaret M Gordon; Mario A Harding, MHA, FACHE; Todd M Helvig, PsyD; Robert L Ireland, Kelli Kane, LCSW; Oksana Navratil; Patricia Opper, LCSW; José Reyes, LPC, EDD; Capt. Vincent E Sauter; Richard F Spiegle, PsyD; Carla A Vellos; advisory director Melanie Worley; appointed members Susan Beckman,Arapahoe County Commissioner and Barbara Drake, Douglas County Human Services Director; and Community Members Tom Burger and Pat Echtermeyer.

Blacktie Photos by: Steven Shoppman

 Julie Holtz, left, and Pat Echtermeyer
Julie Holtz, left, and Pat Echtermeyer

Every year many events are held in the name of raising money for a cause. Raising Spirits is a different kind of event, however. and at the Sanctuary Golf Course where the event is held, the patrons may have a hard time telling if they are at a fundraiser or an elite wine event.

The Peneplain Jazz Trio provided entertainment from start to finish and added ambiance to the elegant surroundings in the clubhouse. The mood was set for a wonderful evening of raising glasses for the benefit of others. Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network (ADMHN) provides mental health services to many people, but there are many who cannot afford the services that they need.  So, each year this benefit is held to raise money for low-income uninsured and underinsured individuals in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment services.  Founded in 1955, ADMHN was and is still working hard to help those in need who reside in Arapahoe and Douglas Counties.  Without ADMHN's services many afflicted with substance abuse and mental health problems would have trouble finding assistance.  Now, 54 years later, the organization is still here and helping many each year.  This would not be possible without the amazing events like Raising Spirits that helps raise money to provide services to those who cannot afford to pay for them.

With wine tasting from countless vineyards around the world, a silent auction, live music, exquisite food and a wild live auction to close the night, Raising Spirits benefits not only those who need treatment, but the attendees as well.  The room was filled with happy supporters, and even with the snow falling outside and the cold front bringing shivers to the masses, the wine warmed spirits. The event was well attended, and the selection of items for bidding was diverse.  A wagon full of wine, vacations, police motorcycle training, flight simulators and more were up for the taking.

The excitement of the evening came to a close with auctioneer Gary Corbett doing what he does best--getting people in the mood to bid high and often--his charisma was a welcome addition to the event as he greased the wheels of giving while racing from end to end of the room.  His jokes and quick wit kept the last 20 minutes of the night exciting and generous while he auctioned off the final items of the night.

Even with the snow, the happy patrons of the event did not have to get wet with complimentary valet service.  The evening started with a frigid, gloomy afternoon, but ended with smiles and warm bodies full of wine.  The many without means to pay for the services they need will surely be thankful for this wonderful night provided by the hard work of all the staff and friends of Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network.

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