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June 26, 2010 - Supporters Cowboy Up for The Children's Hospital Giddy-Up Gala

What: Fundraiser for research institute at The Children's Hospital

Where: Crooked Willow Farms in Larkspur

When: Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $200 individual; $3,000-$20,000 tables

Beneficiary: The Children's Hospital Research Institute

Mistress of Ceremonies: Kim Christiansen

Corporate Chairperson(s): Charlie Graft, Pati and Mike Palumbo

Committee Members: Corporate Committee: Brendan Fitch and Chad Zechiel

President(s): and CEO: Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE

Libations: La Terre Chardonnay and Cabernet; bourbon tasting

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Entertainment: Famous country musician Lee Ann Womack

Sponsors: Triple Crown Sponsor: Phipps McCarthy; Diamond Spur Sponsors: Crooked Willow Farms, Murphy, Len Lyall Chevrolet, 5280 Magazine; Gold Buckle Sponsors: Balfour Concord, Forensic Laboratories, Betsy Searle/Mike Branham; PR Sponsor: Real PR Media; Silver Stallion Sponsors: Carrie Fell/Shanahan's, Cathey and Richard Finlon, FirstBank, Annie and Michael Foonberg, Guarantee Electrical Contracting, H + L Architecture/ZGF Architects, Randy and Gwenn Hertel, ISEC Inc., Kaiser Permanente, King Soopers, The Pat McConathy Family, McLane Western, Power Equipment Company, Sturgeon Electric Company Inc., The Children's Hospital Department of Cardiac Surgery, The TriZetto Group Inc., United Healthcare, Wagner Equipment Company, Waste Management; Bronze Boot Sponsors: A-1 Glass, Bard Rao + Athenas/Cator, Ruma & Associates/S.A. Miro Inc., CSG Systems Inc., Derr & Gruenewald, Mary and Michael Desmond, Giddy Up Girl's Night Out/Jena Hausmann, Joan Bothner, Kelly Johnson, Greiner Electric, Hanson/Lawrence Families, Duke and Pam Hartman, Cannon and Lyndia Harvey, Kenny Electric, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Madison Street Partners, Jody Mathie and John Hoffman, OfficeScapes Group, Peliton, Project One, RK Mechanical Inc., Safe 2 Tell, The Tanner Seebaum Foundation, Abby and Andy Summers, The Children's Hospital Department of Pediatrics, U.S. Engineering Company, W & W/Afco Steel

Menu: Mixed rustic western breadbasket; lil' Buckaroo build-your-own salad; NY strip steak; grilled peppered cedar-plank salmon; ranch style scalloped potatoes; chile-lime Olathe sweet corn on the cob; roasted asparagus, baby carrots and Cippolini onions; chocolate croissant bread pudding, peach and blueberry cobbler, freshly baked pies

Attendance: 700+

Attire: Western

Special Thanks: 5280 Magazine, Blacktie-Colorado, Brand Agents, Buffalo Trace, Kim Christiansen, Coors Field, Crown Imports, Derma Spa, Katey and Lee Driscoll, Epicurean Catering, Executive Shine, Friends of Crooked Willow Farms, Charlie Graft, Guarantee Electric, Annie Foonberg, Gwenn Hertel, The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center, Jensen Sutta Photography, Kasia Iwaniczko, Shannon King, King Soopers, Catherine Kornbrust, Sharon Leone, Stepahanie Lepard, Little Pub Company, Love n Joy Photography, McGraphix Creative Ltd., Mondo Vino, Pati and Mike Palumbo, Real PR Media, ReHab Video Production, Richter Scale Productions Inc., S & B Porta Bowl, Shalom Foundation, Shepler's Western Wear, Smoker Friendly, Spectro, Rob Thomas, Visual Image Solutions, Wagner Equipment Co., Waste Managment, The Workshop, Morgan and Rob Young, The Young Fund

Event Coordinator: Lindsey Alexander

Board of Directors: The Children's Hospital Board: Mary Gittings Cronin, Peter Culshaw, Russ Dispense, Don Elliman, Candy Ergen, Cole Finegan, Cathey Finlon (Chair), Maria Guajardo PhD, Eric Hartmeister, Randy Hertel, Tom Honig, Bob Hottman, Joy Johnson, Dwight Jones, Richard Krugman MD, Bill Lindsay, Lilly Marks, Jody Mathie MD, Scott Nycum, Craig Ponzio, Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, Andy Dirotnak MD, Bradley Smith, DDS, MS, Ann Sperling, Hal Stain MD, Roy Wilson MD, MS; Lifetime Directors: Jules Amer MD, Nancy Gary PsyD, Bea Taplin, Frances Welborn, Ronald Williams;
Foundation Board: Peter Culshaw, Chair; Joy Johnson, Immediate Past Chair; Kelly G. Kennedy, Vice Chair; Molly Broeren, Secretary; Frederick B. Taylor, Treasurer; Marcy Benson; Jan Cortez; Phil Doty; Katey Driscoll; Steve Farber; Shane Feiman; John Fernie; Caleb F. Gates, Jr.; Cannon “Cy” Harvey; John Ikard; Walter Isenberg; Lisa Jackson; David P. Kaplan; Rhonda Kay; Steve Kris; Manuel L. Martinez; Tom McGonagle; Susan Noble; Mary Osborn; Jack Overstreet; Craig Ponzio; Kristin Richardson; Angie Romani; Betsy Searle; Pat Spieles; Richard E. Stoddard; Joseph E. Wagner; Ronald W. Williams; Steve Winesett; Laura Wright; Trustees Emeritus: James C. Cohig; J.H. Silversmith, Jr.

Steering Committee: Leadership: Mary and Michale Desmond; Annie and Michael Foonberg; Gwenn and Randy Hertel; Kasia Iwaniczko; Rhonda Kay; Catherine Kornbrust; Committee members: Lindsay Diebel, Shery Galbreath, Shannon King, Sharon Leone, Stephanie Lepard, Shawna O'Connor, Pati Palumbo, Stephanie Seebaum, Debbie Shmerling

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Country music star Lee Ann Womack with The Children's Hospital ambassador, Charlie Meserve
Country music star Lee Ann Womack with The Children's Hospital ambassador, Charlie Meserve

The Children's Hospital in 1910

Ten-year-old Charlie Meserve non-chalantly sits down with his dessert plate, a perpetual smile on his face. He is a charming, charismatic kid who does not seem to know what "shy" means. Charlie seems unperturbed and unruffled that 700 well-heeled supporters of The Children's Hospital were currently watching him on video and learning about his life. Being born with cystic fibrosis, Charlie was one of several ambassadors present Saturday night at the Giddy-Up Gala, and perhaps one of the reasons he's so calm is because he has some of the best doctors in the world supporting him and many others at The Children's Hospital.

This year's gala was an over-the-top gathering at the Crooked Willow Farms in Larkspur, complete with unique and live silent auction temptations, a bourbon-tasting room, a cigar room, a boot-shining area, and several other diversions for the western-clad crowd, which translated into everything from jeans and embroidered jackets to mini skirts and cowboy boots.

True to the tradition of presenting special entertainment, The Children's Hospital wrangled Grammy winner and country music icon Lee Ann Womack to sing some of her hits. President and CEO Jim Shmerling, being from Nashville himself, was a natural to introduce Ms. Womack, after a few words from Chief of Pediatrics, Dr. Steve Daniels, and an appearance on stage by Corporate Chairs Charlie Graft and Mike Palumbo, accompanied by The Children's Hospital ambassadors Charlie, Christian and Ayla. 

Emcee Kim Christiansen did an outstanding job, and it was evident this was a cause that touched her heart as she connected with the 700+ supporters of one of the premier children's care facilities in the country. "You don't ever expect to have to go to Children's," she said, "but you feel fortunate to be there if you do."  

When it was founded in 1908 in Denver, Colorado, The Children's Hospital set out to be a leader in providing the best healthcare outcomes for children. That calling has consistently made them one of the top 10 children's hospitals in the nation and a place parents across the Rocky Mountain region have come to trust. For 2008, the America's Best Hospitals report published by US News & World Report ranked them as the 7th best hospital for kids. They have more than 1,000 pediatric specialists and more than 3,000 full-time employees helping to carry out their mission.

For more information about The Children's Hospital, log on to and for information about The Children's Hospital Foundation, log on to


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