Choose Your Team
Event Planning

Captured Event

May 07, 2011 - A Night of Magic and Mayhem at the Mad Hatter's Ball

What: The 2011 Dani's Foundation Mad Hatter's Ball

Where: Denver's Mile High Station

When: Saturday, May 7, 2011

Time: 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.

Ticket Prices: $25/person: general admission - $100/Person: patron guests

Beneficiary: Dani's Foundation & the campaign to end pediatric sarcoma!

EMCEE: Brian Howe

Founders: Michele Ashby

Executive Director: Martha Simmons

President(s): Michele Ashby

Welcome: Founder Michele Ashby

Catering: Queen's Feast Cocktail Buffet courtesy of Bayou Bob's, Bennett's Bar-B-Que, Pasquini's Pizzeria, Strings, Wahoo's Fish Taco. Twiddle Dee Dessert Bar courtesy of Cows Gone Coconut, Happy Cakes, Loveland Cake Pop Company, Henhouse Coffee

Entertainment: Rocky Mountain School of Dance - Rachel Ilk, coordinator, Booths of Wonder featuring Angel Readings, Psychometry Readings & Tarot Card Readings, Castle Rock Photo Booth Company

Music: Starkey and Double Down Productions featuring the talents of DJ Brian Howe

Sponsors: MiNE LLC, 93.3 Radio, Starkey Productions, Double Down Productions, Creative Technology Orthotics and Prosthetics, Riv Works, Goorin Brothers

Quote of the evening: A story about a 9-yr.- old child and his father- "Dad- I want to help, I'm going to cure cancer. (Father) How are you going to do that? (child) I'm going to create a special recipe... like apples, whip cream, coffee and those healthy powders."

Attendance: 325

Attire: Whimsical cocktail attire and a fabulous hat!

Special Thanks: Larry Nix with Goorin Bros. Hats; celebrity escorts for the fashion show were: Krystal Lynn Archer, Denver Bronco cheerleader; Keith Dauper, Glendale Raptor Rugby Team; Matt Doubek, Glendale Raptor Rugby Team; Jim Jensen, Denver Bronco Alumni; Irvin Johnson, Denver Nugget Community Ambassador; Matt Page, Glendale Raptor Rugby Team; Michelle Sommer, Denver Bronco cheerleader

Models/Fashions: Mad Hatter's Stage Program Fedora Fashion Show


Amount of food collected: Food Coordinator: Glenn Parker

Donors: Artwork - Kelly Kocher and Val Kaleda

Planning Committee: Volunteers of special recognition were: Briana Blaisdale, Victoria Breeze, CA Brooks, Carla Cervi, Mark Cherven, Dan Ericson, Gretchen Ericson, Katie Goings, Randy Goings, Sarah Goings, Nicole Gragg, Kim and Marc Jefferson, (Peter) Lewis, Laura Lozano, Lin Macha, Brittnay Martinek, Daniella Nillen, Diane Proffitt, Anthony Quinata, Crystal Quinones, Baylee Richadson, Tim Simmons, Jason Suta, Kyla Suta(the youngest volunteer who is too cute for words!), Jane Sunday, Shelley Sunday-Suta, Dana Turner, Evelinda Urman, Ilana Urman, Max Urman, Everett Wolfe

Decor/Rental Company: Decorations - Lynn Simmons. Martha Simmons and Shelley Sunday-Suta

Board of Directors: President: Michele Ashby, Vice President: Keith Ashby, Secretary: Claudia Cruz, Treasurer: Timothy Bishop, Christian Bailey, Steve Kregstein, Ta Li, Kimbirly Orr, Staci Sanford, John Stell, Kate Ziminski Professional Board of Advisors- Chairman: Don Mitchell, Ty Ricker: Giving Technology, Fort Collins, CO. Medical Advisory Board Members - Chairman: Dr. Jeff Toretsky, Dr. Kenna S. Ducey-Clark, DC, PC, Mr. Steve Antonopulos, Dr. Henry Heimlich, MD, ScD, Dr. Don Kitchen, Dr. Catherine Kunst, Dr. Marina Papirova, PhD, Dr. Misty Rowe, Dr. Larry Wiese

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Black

 Lynn Simmons with Dani's Foundation Founder Michele Ashby at the Mad Hatter's Ball
Lynn Simmons with Dani's Foundation Founder Michele Ashby at the Mad Hatter's Ball

 "We're all mad here!" as quoted from the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. 

And madness was the theme for the Mad Hatter's Ball, a benefit for Dani's Foundation, which was held on May 7th at Denver's Mile High Station.  As if taken from the pages of  "Alice in Wonderland", the party was staged with wonderful decorations and costumed characters positioned to welcome the guests into Wonderland.  Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts were on hand to welcome the guests; who followed the invitation's direction and came attired in wonderful hats and whimsical attire.
From the moment they arrived, guests were greeted at the front entrance by the Queen of Hearts and her Army of Cards and the magic continued throughout the affair, culminating with a Flashmob dance, courtesy of 30 dancers from the Rocky Mountain School of Dance.  This was indeed a festive party fit for royalty.
Guests came to support this grand cause to help in the campaign to end pediatric sarcoma and everyone in attendance was treated to  an evening full of madness and mayhem. There was a Queen's Feast  cocktail buffet, featuring food from several local restaurants;  a wonderland silent auction, featuring over 300 items to choose from; "Booths  of Wonder," featuring angel readings, psychometry readings and tarot card readings, fun caricatures and a "White Rabbit" photo booth.
The highlight of the evening was the Mad Hatter's Stage Fedora Fashion Show that showcased the support of local sport celebrities who had the pleasure of escorting pediatric patients from The Children's Hospital. Several young ladies sported fine fedoras from Goorin  Brothers Hats, along with some creatively designed and decorated hats made especially for the ball by artisans throughout the country. 
Addressing her "kingdom" was Michele Ashby, president and founder of Dani's Foundation.  Dressed as the Queen of Hearts, she truly opened her heart to share the story of her daughter Dani, the namesake of Dani's Foundation.  
Dani was 18 years old when she was diagnosed with a cancer called  Ewing's Sarcoma. Dani lost her battle with cancer in 1999.  She was 19 years old. It was through her courage, humor and energy along with  the love of her family and friends that Dani's Foundation was created.
Through FUNdraising events such as the Mad Hatter's Ball and the generosity of many, Dani's Foundation has become a force in funding research for Ewing's Sarcoma and the other forms of pediatric sarcomas that are affecting and taking the lives of children and young adults.  
Since its inception, Dani's Foundation has provided over a quarter of a million dollars in funding for innovative research grants and awards. Though Dani's Foundation has always  been intent upon finding a cure for Ewing's Sarcoma, it has broadened its scope of services to include research funding for the study of all pediatric sarcomas, works to educate the public on the symptoms of pediatric sarcoma and goes over and above in assisting patients and families who are affected by the diagnosis of these horrific childhood diseases.  
In closing her portion of the Mad Hatter's program, Michele Ashby invited several parents of pediatric cancer patients onto the stage and encouraged them and their network of family and friends to join with
Dani's Foundation in its effort to end pediatric cancer!  "We must channel our "madness" to make a change for the children in the days ahead!"
For more information on Dani's Foundation and their campaign to end pediatric sarcoma, visit their website at




See More Past Events