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November 05, 2009 - A Taste for Life: Tasting some of Denver's best food to benefit those in need of good meals

What: A Taste for Life

Where: Exdo Events Center

When: Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Reserved Seating Registrations - $95 each; Mix and Mingle Registrations - $75; each Table for 10 - $500

Beneficiary: Project Angel Heart Meal Program

Host(s): Project Angel Heart

Co-Chair(s): Christopher K. M. Leach, Deidre O'Callaghan

Executive Director: Erin Pulling

Committee Members: Julie Carroll, Lisa Gardner, Laura Gillespie Lhevine, Robb Green, Paul Jeselnick, Dave McKlveen, Katie Rehrig

President(s): Dr. Mark Thrun

Libations: Exdo Events Center

Catering: ANNEX, The Avenue Grill, Beatrice & Woodsley, Chipotle, The Corner Office, Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, Culinary School of the Rockies, Deluxe, Denver Pizza Company, The Espresso Affair, Gateaux Specialty Cakes & Pastries, Gelato d'Italia Cafe, Haute Touch Catering, Lifestyles Catering, Root Down, Second Home, Shells and Sauce, Snooze, XO

Sponsors: Exdo Event Center; Sage Hospitality; Sage Restaurant Group; Colorado Housing and Finance Authority; Chevron; Kennedy Childs Fogg, P.C.; FirstBank; and Lynn & John Grigsby. Community Partners: Bouquets, Out Front Colorado, 5280 Denver Magazine, Frederic Printing, The Write Design, Metromix, Yelp, Holland & Hart.

Attendance: 500+

Event Coordinator: Jessica Shoemaker

Planning Committee: Julie Carroll, Robb Green, Lisa Gardner, Laura Gillespie Lhevine, Paul Jeselnick, Dave Mcklveen, Katie Rehrig

Board of Directors: Mark Thrun M.D., President, Denver Public Health; BJ Dyer, Vice-President, Bouquets; Lee Rudofsky, Vice-President; Remax Cherry Creek; Dean McConnell, Secretary, Kennedy, Childs & Fogg, PC; John Grigsby, Jr., Treasurer, John Grigsby and Associates, Inc.; Directors: David Alexander, David Alexander Designs; Jeremy Anderson, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Jeff Giadone, United Healthcare; Rosalie Goldman, Retired Educator - State of Colorado; Paul Jeselnick, Paul. R. Jeselnick Architecture, PC; Michael O'Donnell, Independent HR Consultant; Joyce Pashel, Ceramicist; Lorii Rabinowitz, 9News; Katie Rehrig, First Bank; Karsten Riggs, Sage Hospitality; Arnie Tinter, Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc; David Westman, Eagle:xm;

Blacktie Photos by: Steven Shoppman

 From left, Terry Sherman, Mark Tamer, Robb Green
From left, Terry Sherman, Mark Tamer, Robb Green

Founded in 1991, Project Angel Heart served 12 clients lasagna donated from Racine’s restaurant.  Eighteen years later, Project Angel Heart is still serving Denver and Colorado Springs, now with over 1,700 people benefiting from the nutritious meals they deliver to those with life threatening illnesses like AIDS/HIV.  At a Taste for Life on November 5th, over 500 people attended an event with tastings from many of Denver’s finest restaurants.  An auction valued at over $50,000 helped to raise money for the cause in a unique way.  Throughout the night, a bell would ring at designated intervals denoting that the items' prices would be dropping.  This “reverse silent auction” encourages guests to purchase items early or risk another interested bidder getting the item at the next bell.

The excitement of the reverse auction was complemented by the exquisite food from restaurants along the Front Range and even some culinary schools.  With names like truffled edamame gyoza, pulled pork Benedict bites, butternut squash ravioli, Colorado bison with sweet potato cakes and a Pancetta Demi gloss, Moroccan style Lamb Carpaccio, and Arctic salmon tartar, attendees’ mouths watered while they searched the auction for items of interest.  Since many of the restaurants were actually cooking the food right there, the events hall contained aromas that kept everyone mingling to all of the tables that lined nearly the entire perimeter of the room.

The truly amazing part about Project Angel Heart is the number of wonderful people that volunteer their time each year to help with the fund raisers, delivery of meals and all of the tasks that go along with providing this much needed service.  In 2008, 3,000 different people volunteered 40,000 hours, which is the equivalent of 21 full time employees.  This incredible network of assistance allows Project Angel Heart to have their entire operation and events like A Taste for Life contribute 92 cents of every dollar raised directly to the people they serve.

As the night ended and stomachs became full, smiles graced the faces of all participating in this event.  Now another year will pass with Project Angel Heart having the continued means of serving more people in need.  One night of many indulging in the culinary arts of Denver’s restaurants will feed thousands in need, and has been a success once again for Project Angel Heart.

For more information about Project Angel Heart, log on to


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