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April 08, 2011 - The Gathering Place Presents A Splash of Silver

What: The Gathering Place Celebrates 25 Years and 25 Honorees

Where: Invesco Field at Mile High

When: Friday, April 8, 2011

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $100

Beneficiary: The Gathering Place

Honoree(s): Gregory Anderson, Anschutz Family Foundation, Ann Frost Bailey, Bill Camacho—Allstate Insurance, Janice and Jim Campbell, Children’s Medical Center, Client Volunteers, Computer Lab Volunteers, Karen DuWaldt, Jim Feldhake, Full-time Volunteer Agencies, Betsy Gielissen, Helen M. McLoraine Endowment, Sid Hoskins, The Logan School, Shawn and Kristin Miller—Denver Life Magazine, Montview Presbyterian Church, Mary Otten, Sandy Rhodes, The Gathering Place Association, The Gathering Place’s Present and Former Staff, Elbra Wedgeworth, Wellshire Presbyterian Church, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, Kal and Joyce Zeff

EMCEE: Blair Griffith, Miss Colorado USA 2011

Sponsors: MEDIA SPONSOR: Denver Life Magazine; BENEFACTOR: Kathy and Brad Coors; ASSOCIATE: Sandy and Gary Autrey; Janice and Jim Campbell; Colorado Housing and Finance Authority; Elizabeth and Vincent Duncan; Jr.; Tami and Tom Jorden; Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell Foundation; Whiting Petroleum Corporation; HONORARY: Berenbaum Weinshienk; PC; CenturyLink and Associates; Leslie Foster and Jane Berryman; Lynn and Dave Herlinger; Pam and Joe Ignat; Becky and Eric Jacobson; Heidi and Randy Keogh; Elizabeth Gundlach Neufeld and Daniel Neufeld; Ford Family Foundation; Brenda Roush; Wells Fargo Foundation; Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti

Attire: Business casual "with a splash of silver"

Board of Directors: Andrew Peterson, Board Chair; David Herlinger, Immediate Past Board Chair; Mark Colvin, Treasurer; Billy Lee Seiber, Secretary; Ramona Lampley, Chair Elect; Rachel Basye; Barbara Brohl; Emily Bustos; Beverly Granger; Elizabeth Gundlach Neufeld; Leslie Minna Budman; Allison Panter; Stephanie Scherpenseel; E. Alan Terry; Leslie Foster

Blacktie Photos by: Danielle Corriveau

 Lisa Zavoda, left, with Benefactor Sponsors Kathy and Brad Coors
Lisa Zavoda, left, with Benefactor Sponsors Kathy and Brad Coors

In 1986, The Gathering Place opened, operating out of a one-room facility. Twenty-five years later, Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for homeless women and children serves approximately 365 people a day from its 28,000 square foot building. In celebration of its anniversary and accomplishments the agency hosted its annual gala with a twist. “A Splash of Silver” held at Invesco Field at Mile High honored 25 years and 25 heroes who inspired and impacted the non-profit’s work.
“I always wanted to be Lois Lane, but tonight I have it even better” began The Gathering Place’s CEO and President Leslie Foster, who presented with a delightful mix of comical and grateful. “This evening I have the privilege of revealing the identity of our superheroes.” Humbly, 25 individuals, each pinned with a gorgeous calla lily of bold sunrise yellow – the agency’s signature color – stood to receive their applause. Only a championship win in Bronco stadium could possibly produce more adoration.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to all of you,” said Foster. “You’ve all been a part of taking us so far. It’s stunning to see this.”
And speaking of stunning, Foster then invited to the stage Miss Colorado USA Blair Griffith. The beautifully poised young woman in jeweled high heels and sparkly dress stepped to the podium. With endearing grace and honest vulnerability, she shared about her and her mother becoming homeless just one month after earning her crown.
“She shows us that homelessness can happen even to those who are smart, ambitious and beautiful,” said Foster, who has been at the helm of The Gathering Place for two decades.
Before the program, participants enjoyed delicious passed hors d’oeuvres and a variety of hot offerings. A train of tables of silent auction items beckoned participants to bid. Shiny tandem bicycles, spa and portrait packages, and cases of fine wine made shopping hard to resist. And if a person couldn’t find what he or she wanted, the live auction offered 12 more dreamy items.
The mission of The Gathering Place is to support women and their children experiencing homelessness and poverty by providing a safe daytime refuge and resource for self-sufficiency. In 2010, volunteers for The Gathering Place tallied hours equal to more than 10 full-time staff positions. That’s much needed help for an agency that logged nearly 90,000 visits by women and children last year. In addition, the non-profit served more than 60,000 meals and distributed 17,000 diapers. The need for The Gathering Place’s services continues. The last point-in-time survey conducted by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative in 2009 found more than 11,000 people homeless in Denver.
The floor-to-ceiling famous image of Denver’s beloved No. 7 – arms raised, triumphant smile – captured the essence of the evening: The Gathering Place is a winning team that plays with a lot of heart. To learn more about The Gathering Place visit

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