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November 07, 2009 - True Grit 2009, Mining for Gold! and Bluegrass Music

What: Annual western themed gala fundraiser benefiting the youth of Third Way Center,Inc.-- Unearthing the potential in youth since 1970.

Where: INVESCO Field at Mile High

When: Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $75.00

Beneficiary: Youth of Third Way Center, Inc.

Honorary Chairperson(s): David and Kerri Greenberg

Founders: Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh

Committee Members: Valerie Gildea, Molly Parker, Ryan Pattie, Tracy Reinhard, Stephen Henderson, Russ Kyncl, Ryan Stafford, Denise Checele, Leigh Taylor, Chris Lahiff, Linda Aley, Ann George, Jennifer Hess, Kris Hipps, Marilyn Dana, Tami Lack, William Matthews, Mary Pat McCormick, Tommy Berry, Amy Evans, Tim Lloyd, David Mitchell, David Reinhold, Linda & Tom Aley, Carol & Gary Howard, Anonymous Family Foundation.

President(s): David Eisner, CEO

Libations: Complimentary speciality martinis made w/ Orchid Liqueur & Tito's Vodka, Draft New Belgium beer, Pedronicelli Sauvignon Blanc & Friends Red, bottled water.

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Entertainment: Line Dancing, "Pat & Her Line Dancers"

Music: Spring Creek Bluegrass band and Flap-N-Jacks.

Sponsors: Rocky Mountain Paving, Curtis & Kathryn Brown, Anna & John J. Sie Foundation (Playful Prospectors, $10,000)

Auctioneer: Gary Corbett

Quote of the evening: "We need to get you a better hat." --Governor Bill Ritter to Nebraskan, Jeff Temme.

Menu: Made to order grits, carved flank steak w/ ancho lime aioli and rolls, BBQ meatballs, buttermilk cornbread.

Attendance: 400-500

Attire: Western Attire

Special Thanks: Verle Hamm, Cowboy Metals; Kate Mobley, Epicurean Catering; Davon Vandervort, Invesco Stadium Management; Linda Shaw, Bolder Auction & Events; Gary Corbett, Auctioneer; Roy Osborne, Sound Engineer; Spring Creek Bluegrass Band; Flap-n-Jacks; Jim Beimford, Doug Chisolm and Michael Corrigan; "Pat & Her Line Dancers!"

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Chipotle chicken salad in corn chip cups, black bean & corn rellenos, smoked trout canapes, mashed potato puffs with bacon.

Board of Directors: Williams Matthews, President; Bob Fanch, Treasurer; Marilyn Dana, Secretary; David Eisner, Ann George, Gary Gray, Sally Johnston, Matthew McCormick, Hildegard Messenbaugh, MD.

Blacktie Photos by: Jan McNutt

 Governor Bill Ritter, left, Hildegard Messenbaugh, founder of Third Way, William Matthews, President of board.
Governor Bill Ritter, left, Hildegard Messenbaugh, founder of Third Way, William Matthews, President of board.

True Grits at Invesco Field honoring Third Way Center, Inc.

Never underestimate the value of gold, a good pair of cowboy boots, and a decent howdy- partner hat.

Third Way Center, Inc. held its annual western themed gala Saturday evening, November 7th, at Invesco Field on the East Club Level. Make no mistake that the party was thrown by westerners.  Visitors were welcomed to the event by pioneer-clad volunteers.  Guests were intercepted by Little House on the Prairie-dressed women and debonair gents in cowboy boots and hats who graciously helped guests into the wagon pulled by Denver’s sweet mules, Marge and Sally.  Costumes, wagons, mules and pioneers set the tone for a true Western themed evening complete with sluicng for gold, a local assay office to turn in your gold nuggets for jewelry, and a gold mine right on the floor.

David and Kerri Greenberg served as honorary chairs while the staff and volunteers from Third Way put on a theatrical gala that was everything a successful gala is meant to be.

This important non-profit was founded by Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh in 1970. The spry dynamo still runs the clinical programs and devotes her days to seeing that children and young adults find a better, safer route to maturity.

To realize the importance of this organization, you only had to look around to see Denver’s headliner leaders who were there in support of Dr. Messenbaugh. She felt there was an alternative to incarceration and homelessness for troubled teens--hence, a "Third Way"--leading toward health and wholeness.

Governor Bill Ritter was a happy camper Saturday night.  He couldn’t get past the escalator as friends and colleagues met him and compared boots, hats and jewelry.

The space was huge and abundantly filled with tables of silent auction items, scrumptious food served by the catering staff;  there were stations for meat, potatoes and even grits, of course. The mango martinis were a hit as well as the black bean and corn rellenos. The food was hearty and tasty and washed down with gumption and darn good libations.

The decorations were out of a stage production with gold panning troughs, an authentic looking assay office,  what looked a real gold mine and volunteers dressed as sheriffs, miners, and rootin’ tootin’ cowboys and cowgirls.

For all the fun, food and friends who attended this event it was clearly designed to raise money for the youth in our community. Are you aware that Third Way Center keeps more than 100 youth per year from becoming homeless? That is their mission.

Founded in 1970 as a shelter for runaway teens, Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh began this organization as an alternative to homeless and institutionalization for severely troubled and disadvantaged youth. Over the last 39 years Dr. Messenbaugh has overseen the growth of Third Way into one of Denver’s most respected treatment programs. She stands by her firm belief that there is always hope - cycles of intergenerational abuse and neglect that lead to poverty, dysfunction and homelessness can be broken. With the help of programs such as York. St. Home, Pontiac St. Home, Lincoln St. Supervised Apts., Teen Mothers Home, Lowry Campus, Joan Farley Academy, Next Steps, Educational Program for Committed Youth and the Third Way Center CPA (Child Placement Agency) youth who find Third Way are filled with hope daily.

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