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September 20, 2011 - LFS Presents Denim and Diamonds Innkeeper Dinner

What: Fundraiser for Lutheran Family Services--Colorado Springs

Where: Antler's Hilton

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Sponsors: Platinum: First Lutheran Church; Gold: GE Johnson, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Silver: Jennings and Jan Larson; Bronze: Ray and Arlene Avischious, Karl and Christine Berg, Lyman and Caroline Kaiser, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak Chapters); Crystal: Jack and Rosemary Anderson, Elizabeth Bockstahler, Dick and Sue Currey, Bob and Diana Keys; Table Host Sponsor: Ascension Lutheran Church, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Donna Skovgaard

Auctioneer: Sam Rush-Walton

Menu: Gathered baby greens with mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, walnuts and maple balsamic vinaigrett; boneless short ribs, boursin and spinach stuffed chicken breast or grilled salmon in tomato basil cream sauce; mashed potatoes; green beans; New York cheesecake; flourless chocolate cake

Attendance: 400

Attire: Creative pairing of denim and dressy attire

Special Thanks: First Lutheran Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Adam Atchison, Sam Rush-Walton, Grant Sabin, Renee Christianson, Janell Ames, The Antlers Hilton staff, Sally Jo Wheeler

Planning Committee: Rosemary Anderson, Tarrie Burnett, Peggy Byrd, Sue Currey, Kathy Fundarek, Gary Gabrielson, Sandy Harkins, Priscilla Hill, Carolyn Kaiser, Diana Keys, Cheryl Mahon, Joyce Neighbors, Patti Olsen, Linda Parobek, Betsy Plante, Gini Simonson, Donna Skovgaard, Sandie Trowbridge, Jody Wilbur, Sally Warrington (honorary memeber)

Board of Directors: Chair: Mike Porter; Secretary: Debbie Payne; Vice-Chair Finance: Will Schippers; Vice-Chair, Resource Development: Jennifer Bick; Vice-Chair, Board Development: Rev. Dr. Keith Hedstrom; Vice-Chair, Program Services: Kim Monson; Past President: Jim Swaeby; Karl Berg, Jr.; Phyllis Eifler; Doug Eisenbrandt; Alana Hankins; Rev. Douglas Hill; Rev. Ann Hultquist; Greg Johnson; Keith LaShier; Ron McFarland; Kim Monson; Cheryl Olson; Matthew Rauh; Ex Officio: Rev. Randall Golter; Rev. Allan Bjornberg; James Barclay

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 The Wheeler family accepts roses from Jim Barclay
The Wheeler family accepts roses from Jim Barclay

If you ever want confirmation that Lutheran Family Services is doing good work, just take the stellar kids that were refugees as little as two years ago and are now in top echelons of of student achievement. Ram Dhungel, Chandra Dhungel, San Tin Win and Man Chheetri are members of the National Honor Society; Chandra Dhungel and Chumbana "Roma" Neupane received the Mayor's 100 Students Award; and Damber Dhungel placed 1st place in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program and Chandra Dhungel placed third place.

These high achievers and about 400 very committed supporters of LFS were in attendance at the 18th annual Innkeeper Dinner Tuesday evening at the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs. The upbeat crowd perused silent auction items, talked with friends and sat down to a scrumptious dinner before the top-notch program began.

Adam Atchison of KOAA TV served as the excellent emcee, and the program began as auctioneer Sam Rush-Walton had the crowd rolling in the aisles and wratcheted up bids by displaying her trademark wit and humor that she was known for in her 12-year tenure with KXRM Fox 21. President and CEO of LFS, Jim Barclay, thanked sponsors and supporters, then announced the "Eagle's Wings" award for volunteer partner of the year, going to Jerry Doebele. Jerry has been instrumental in finding furnishings and supplies for homes for refugees, and he brought up his wife Nancy to present her with pink roses and thank her for being "such a great accountant all these years."

The program wrapped up with a poignant and moving talk by Sally Jo Wheeler, who talked of her adoption of her special needs kids and her autistic son Daniel came up on stage, demonstrating his recently acquired skill of walking by himself, which is quite an accomplishment for the endearing 7-year-old. It was evident that Sally Jo, her husband Fred, and Daniel all have a wonderful, cohesive relationship and that love conquers all, even in challenging times. And this is what Lutheran Family Services is all about.

Lutheran Family Services is a faith based organization helping children and their families during their most challenging times, and have been doing so since 1948. From providing school supplies to refugee children to providing Thanksgiving baskets or Christmas presents for seniors or foster children, LFS is there to help. They offer counseling, care and prevention programs and refugee and aslylee assistance. LFS has branches in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Silverthorne, Greeley and Fort Morgan and services are provided in Wyoming, Montana and New Mexico. LFS now responds to critical social and emotional needs of more than 16,000 people annually.

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