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October 17, 2009 - Steppin' Up & Steppin' Out at the Western Fantasy

What: Sixteenth Annual VOA Western Fantasy

Where: National Western Events Center

When: Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time: Reception 5:45 p.m., Dinner 7:00 p.m., Concert 9:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Individual Reservations - $300, Young Professional Ticket - $150, Young Professional Table for 10 - $150

Beneficiary: Adult and Youth Disabilities

Honoree(s): Humanitarian Award -Phyllis Coors

EMCEE: Ed Greene, CBS4 Weather Anchor

Gala Chairperson(s): Yvonne and Bill McCallum

Corporate Chairperson(s): Christian Anschutz and Sharon Magness Blake

Founders: VOA Founders: Maud & Ballington Booth; Western Fantasy Founders: Sharon Magness Blake, Jean Galloway

Committee Members: Corporate Committee: Chris Castilian, C. David Kikumoto, Patricia Robinson, Pat Cortez, Martin Litt, Dick Saunders, Jean Galloway, Bob and Kalleen Malone, Dan Scherer, Walt DeHaven, Marjorie Mauldin, Joe Samuel, Kate Paul. Young Professionals Committee: Vince Abrue, Katie Behnke, Jennifer Daurio, Michelle Davidson, Russel Gruber, Jill Hixon, Auna Jornayvaz, Carl Koelbel, Sean McNicholas, Monica Owens, Marissa Peede Bunzan, Brandis Becky Pelletier, Nick Ross, Christy Roth, Parker Rothhammer, Sarah Spivey, Quinn Washington

President(s): & CEO: Dianna L. Kunz

Staff: Dianna Kunz; President & CEO, Michael James; Director of Development, Virdell Miller; Associate Division Director of Nutrition Services, Mary Beth Heller; Vice President of Administrative Services; Russell Reilly; Director of Nutrition Services, Lindi Sinton, Director of Youth, Residential and Emergency Services, Erin Kruse, Director of Volunteer Services, Maria Michels, Director of Affordable Housing Services; Diane Stobnicke, Director of Northern Colorado Services, John Drengacz

Invocation: Dianna Kunz

Speaker: Governor Bill Ritter

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Entertainment: Kenny Rogers

Sponsors: New Millennium Partners: Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake, Paragon Ranch; Diamond Stars: The Anschutz Corporation, CBS4, Phyllis Coors, The Denver Post, Hyde Park Jewelers, Yvonne and Bill McCallum, Starz Entertainment, Wells Fargo Bank, Delta Dental; Gold Nuggets: 5280 Magazine, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake, Annabel and Pat Bowlen, CH2M Hill and First American State Bank, CSW Logistics, The Deevy Family, Epicurean Catering, First Data Corp., Great West Life Assurance, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Barbara and Ed Greene, Carol James and Kathy Klugman, Jones International University, KYGO 98.5 Radio, Miller Coors, Qwest Communications, Saunders Construction, Scribbles, Anna & John J. Sie Family Foundation; Silver Sponsors: ARC Thrift Stores, The Barton Family, Bear Creek Asset Management, CoBank, Colorado Business Bank/ CoBiz Insurance, Denver Management Advisors, Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman, FirstBank, Forest Oil Corp., Galloway Group, Graebel Companies, Grand Timber Lodge, Trish and Kenneth Green, Greiner Electric, Barbara Grogan, Hogan & Hartson LLP, IMA of Colorado Inc, The Integer Group, Gail and George Johnson, Kane Creek Custom Homes, Kentwood Companies, Dixie and Harold Kunz, Lockton Companies, MDC/Richmond American Homes, MediaNewsGroup, National Western/ Hutchison Inc., Neiman Marcus, OfficeScapes, Robinson Dairy, Sheraton Hotels, Steele Street Bank, UMB Bank of Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, University of Denver, US Bank, Wells Fargo Private Bank, Xcel Energy Stars & Spurs Sponsors: Berenbaum Weinshenk & Eason PC, Craig Hospital, Dianna L. Kunz, Meadow Homes; Panning for Gold Sponsor: Hyde Park; Patron Partners: Janet and Eula Adams, Nancy and Mark Bauman, John Brown, Wendy and John Clayton, Martha and Thomas Crimmins, Ann and Michael DeGroat, Peggy Driscoll and Rob Keeley, Steve Edmonds, Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons and Jack Fitzgibbons, Layne Hunt and Craig Fleishman, Margot Gilbert Frank and Alan Frank, Debra Goldstein, Cathy Herren, Judy and Charlie McNeil, Patti and Charlie Nelson, Jane and Skip Netzorg, Dixie and Bob Niichel, Karen and Jim Possehl, Jacquie and Richard Schultz, Lori and Bob Shaw, Lauren and Chris Spahr, Stratton and Associates, Debra and Jerry Tepper, Judi and Joe Wagner, Lisa and Carl Williams

Auctioneer: Rick Rolph

Quote of the evening: "God bless volunteers of America and God bless all of you." -Phyllis Coors after accepting the Humanitarian Award

Menu: Crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce with smokehouse bacon crumbles and bleu cheese dressing, signature prime tenderloin plate served on a bed of sweet potatoes topped with "Sharon's" fresh sweet corn relish, breadbasket of buttermilk cornbread & toasted french bread and a Grand Junction peach berry basket cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream, brandy anglaise & fresh strawberries

Attendance: over 1,000

Attire: Western Elegance

Special Thanks: 5280 Magazine, A Custom Look, Piper and Chauncy Billups,, Bouquets, Broker Restaurants, CBS4, Ceavco Audio Visual, Denver Broncos Football Club, Denver Newspaper Agency, The Denver Post, Herman Miller Cave, Roger Husky, Hyde Park Jewelers, The Integer Group, KM Concessions, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, KYGO, Levy Catering, Magness Blake, Yvonne and Bill McCallum, Miller Coors, Miller Park, National Western Stock Show Assoc. Neiman Marcus, Oak Tavern, Pfister Hotel, Rick Rolph, SeaDream Yacht Club, Sheraton, Anna and John Sie, Sue Alexander Simos, Bill Thatch Photography, Nancy Lamb Thompson, United Airlines, The Villager, Wells Fargo Bank

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Petite navajo elk taco, mangia bevi chocolate panini, crispy BBQ short rib ravioli, mini chicken paella slider, "Bang Bang" shrimp tempura skewer

Florist: Bouquets


Board of Directors: Chairman: Dave Rye; Immediate Past Chairman: Bryan J. Pulte; President & CEO: Dianna L. Kunz; Secretary: Myrna Mourning; Vice Chairman: Kalleen Malone; Treasurer: Bob Bardwell; Patrick Beirne, Carol James, Vivian Mount, Dean Boosalis, C. David Kikumoto, Kathryn Paul, Steve Brett, Kathleen Klugman, Dick Bruno, Martin Litt, Glenn Rippey, Mark Carleton, Jim Maetzold, Patricia Robinson, Larry Romrell, Sharon Magness Blake, Mark Cordova, Charles D. Maguire, Joe Samuel, Peggy Driscoll, Dianne Eddolls, Larry Martinez, Dan Scherer, Don Shek, Stacia Freimuth, Marjory Mauldin, Mike Sweeney, Vikki Gibbs, Ed McBrien, Heather Tooker, Barbara Grogan, Bill McCallum, Herminia Vigil, Joe Hodas, John Milek, Lary Weintraub

Steering Committee: David Alexander, Katie Behnke, Kristina Davidson, Jennifer Daurio, Walt DeHaven, Christel Dikeman, Steve Edmonds, Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons, Kelly Ford, Sharon Whiton Gelt, Barbara Greene, Kathy Hatch, Dianne Honig, Carol James, Gail Johnson, Susan McIntire, Carol McTavish, Gayle Novak, Frances Owens, Monica Owens, Brandis Becky Pelletier, Steve Rosdal, Michael Pollak, Lyn Schaffer, Susan Stiff, Remy Spreeuw, Nancy Lamb Thompson, Tracy Ulmer, Faye Washington

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 VOA Board Chair Dave Rye (l) with Yvonne McCallum, event chair, VOA President & CEO Dianna Kunz and John White also with VOA
VOA Board Chair Dave Rye (l) with Yvonne McCallum, event chair, VOA President & CEO Dianna Kunz and John White also with VOA




Western Fantasy, it's a bit like a good old fashioned western meets fairy tale. The entire evening is a bit magical even, as guys and gals arrive in their fanciest western duds, everything from denim and tuxedos to leather and lace. And always, there are some mighty fine cowboy hats and boots. But above all, there is a happy ending at the end of this magical evening as a heap of cash is raised to support  the Volunteers of America and the many great programs they offer to feed, shelter, support and care for more than 200,000 Coloradans each year.

Saturday evening, October 17th was the Sixteenth Annual Western Fantasy, held at the National Western Events Center. 1,000+ guests arrived to a glittering and spectacular setting as the arena floor was transformed into a sea of beautiful tables decorated with adorable "boot" vases filled with flowers from Bouquets. The main stage was set for a night of country entertainment from the award winning singer Kenny Rogers, who continued the 16-year tradition of legendary country music performers. 

Also in keeping with tradition, guests were treated to some "panning for gold & silver" fun, provided by Hyde Park Jewelers and of course some top notch "grub with all the fixin's." Part of the tradition is an absolutely exquisite meal, starting with a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce followed by a signature prime tenderloin served on a bed of sweet potatoes and ending with the best darn peach cobbler you've ever tasted. Dinner was provided by Epicurean Catering who has been a long time supporter of this event.

To get this Fantasy evening started, Thunder, a handsome white stallion and proud mascot for the Denver Broncos rode into the arena, carrying his owner and co-founder of the Western Fantasy, Sharon Magness Blake. Sharon circled the room as she waved the American Flag and guests sang "God Bless the USA."

Ed Greene from CBS4 was the evening's emcee. He took the stage and gave out a big welcome to the many guests, supporters and country fans. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter spoke next, sharing a message about the services and the mission of the VOA and how they have provided a valuable service to all of Colorado. He introduced a video  featuring Sarah and Jane, two home bound senior citizens who both expressed their gratitude to all of people who are "stepping in to help" those like themselves who  benefit from the VOA's programs like the Meals on Wheels and the Market Basket.

This year's Humanitarian Award was presented by VOA Board Chairman, Dave Rye. Dave had the honor of introducing and presenting the award to Phyllis Coors. Phyllis has been a dedicated advocate for VOA , serving on the board for 12 years as well as being a founding committee member for the Western Fantasy. Phyllis gracefully accepted the award with emotional gratitude.

The program portion of the evening wrapped up with an impressive live auction. Auctioneer Rick Rolph kept the live auction in high gear as he auctioned off some smokin' items such as a Superbowl 2010 package, a Suite 16 Sports Fan package, a Mediterranean SeaDream Yacht Club Cruise (which actually sold to 3 bidders!) a Vacation Villa in Laguna Beach and a Viva Las Vegas package for two with tickets to Brooks & Dunn. The bidding went fast and fierce.

Then it was on to the evening's prime entertainment  with a grand performance by Kenny Rogers.  He had the crowd on their feet the minute he stepped onto the stage. He chatted and joked with the audience, shared some stories and even tossed out a challenge to guest Roger Campbell. Kenny tossed out a $100 bill for every hit song Roger could name. The bills were flying. Roger and friends gathered up the bills, which were donated back to the VOA. The crowd had a good time with all the personal interaction. 


Kenny sang many of his hits from his long career as well as a few newer songs. The crowd danced along with the lively tunes, swayed to the slower ballads and sang along with their favorites. Kenny Rogers made it a special and intimate show. Yep, it was a  good old fashioned western fairy tale kind of evening. As one might say in the end " It don't git no better then this"... well, until next year.

Since it’s inception in 1994, Western Fantasy has raised $16 million to support Volunteers of America helping children and families and our elderly neighbors in need across Colorado.

Volunteers of America is a faith-based human service nonprofit organization. Through more than 30 distinct human service programs throughout the state of Colorado, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps more than 200,000 Coloradoans each year.  Since 1896, their ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, low-income families, homeless individuals and families, women and children escaping domestic violence, and those seeking affordable housing solutions. Their work touches the mind, body, heart — and ultimately the spirit — of those that are served, integrating a deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.

VOA's administrative offices are located at 2660 Larimer Street, Denver CO 80205. To speak to someone about their programs or volunteering opportunities please email them at or call 303-297-0408.  

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