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September 22, 2011 - Mental Health America of Colorado Presents Tribute 2011

What: Annual dinner to highlight MHAC programs and honor a person or couple who has made a significant impact in the mental health community

Where: Sheraton Downtown Denver

When: Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Beneficiary: Mental health awareness, education, prevention and advocacy

Honoree(s): Gwen and Moses Brewer

Presenting Sponsor(s): Citywide Banks, Patty & Don Cook, MillerCoors, 1stBank

Gala Chairperson(s): Helene and Brian Cook

Committee Members: Auction Committee: Chair--Ryta Sondergard, Patty Cook, Dyana Furmansky, Deb Galecki, Bev Marquez, Sarah Schnabel, Patricia Smith, Pegi Touff PhD, Jennifer Ward; Dinner Committee: Daniel Abrams MD, Seth Belzley Esq., Tom Flanagan, Steve Hart, Stu Kassan MD and Gail Karesh Kassan, Robyn Loup, Brett Spurr, Pegi and Michael Touff

President(s): and CEO: Donald Mares

Welcome: Board Chair Seth Belzley Esq.

Entertainment: Don Mares and his musical trio

Sponsors: Wellness Sponsors: MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation, United Healthcare; Hope Sponsors: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Pegi & Michael Touff; Recovery Sponsors: Daniel J. Abrams & Sharon Pincus, Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network & Community Reach Center, Aurora Mental Health Center, Seth & Cody Belzley, Steve & Elaine Gantz Berman, Bernie & Mary Beth Buescher, Lee & Shannon Carter, CH2M Hill, Eileen Charles, Aaron & Niah Hyatt, Colorado Access, Colorado Health Partnerships, The Colorado Trust, Delta Eta Boule, The 5P's, Foothills Behavioral Health Partners, Dr. Bert & Dyana Z. Furmansky, High Sierra Energy, Hogan Lovells, Jack & Andrea Hyatt, Jansen, Kaufman & Groothius, Jefferson Center for Mental Health & Mental Health Partners, Dr. Stuart & Gail Karesh Kassan, Dr. Ken & Evelyn Krause, Latham & Watkins, Mental Health Center of Denver, PBJ Foundation, Transmontaigne Inc., University of Denver Graduate School of Psychology, Urban League of Metro Denver, Value Options, Vectra Bank, Marty & Catherine Waters, Wellpoint, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Auctioneer: Debbie Stafford

Menu: Mesclun greens with oven cured tomato, sauteed mushrooms and parmesan crostini; Roman chicken with proscuitto, roasted tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, capers and garlic lemon sauce, served with creamy polenta, brocolli and julienne carrots; key lime tartlet with apricot coulis, fresh blueberries and strawberries/chocolate dobos cake with raspberries and a passion fruit macaroon

Attendance: 650

Attire: Business

Board of Directors: Daniel Abrams MD, Thomas Barrett PhD, Seth Belzley Esq. (chair), Louise Boris, Gwedolyn Brewer, Mary Beth Buescher, Thomas Flanagan Jr., Dyana Furmansky, Stephen Hart, Aaron Hyatt Esq., Stuart Kassan MD, Kenneth Krause MD, Katherine Kust Esq., Herbert Merrill II EdD, Evan Silverman, Elizabeth Soberg Brett Spurr, Jane Tidball JD, Pegi Touff PhD, Marty Waters LCSW, Annie Wohlgenant; Honorary Board: Stephen Berman MD, Terry Biddinger RN, Laury Bowman Esq., Don Cook, Patty Cook (chair), Jerry Dunn, Robert Freedman MD, Bert Furmansky MD, Margaret Garbe, Cy Harvey, Lyndia Harvey, David Henninger, Jack Hyatt Esq., William Kent, Robyn Loup, Nan Morehead, Cynthia Morss Truitt PhD, Jane Mountain MD, Margaret Roath, Sandra Rhodes PsyD, Richard Saunders, Ruth Silver, James Taucher CPA

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Honorees Gwen and Moses Brewer, left, MHAC President and CEO Don Mares and Event Chairs Brian and Helene Cook
Honorees Gwen and Moses Brewer, left, MHAC President and CEO Don Mares and Event Chairs Brian and Helene Cook

FINALLY, we are beginning to come out of the dark ages (literally) in recognizing that mental health is every bit as important as a physical injury, to be addressed with proper care, health benefits and programs.

Honorees Gwen and Moses Brewer reiterated that point at the 2011 Tribute event for Mental Health America of Colorado Thursday evening at the Sheraton Downtown. "Too many times, we don't talk about the dark side, and people who are havnig trouble coping for one reason or another," said Gwen, who has been a staunch advocate in the education arena for assistance for children and teens. She passionately told the crowd that we should be treating mental afflictions the same as any physical ailment, covered by insurance plans and having easily accessible and identifyable programs. Gwen has been a board member of MHAC since 2005, and husband Moses is Director of Multicultural Relations for MillerCoors.

A crowd of more than 650 people who agreed with those goals were on hand to support education, treatment, prevention and intervention programs of MHAC. Don Mares, new president and CEO of MHAC, was quick to thank sponsors, supporters and former director Jeanne Rohner, who was in attendance as well. "Jeanne did such a tremendous job in her tenure at MHAC," Mares said. "She had it tee'd up so that it's ready to progress to the next level."

With suicide being the second leading cause of death in teens and young adults, it's time. Board chair Seth Belzley talked about new partnerships and opportunities, mentioning a new partnership with the CSU system. Belzley and Mares talked about a growing pro bono program at MHAC, in which more than $700,000 worth of services have been offered.

The crowd was generous in responding to auctioneer Debbie Stafford as she wratcheted up bids for unique items such as bringing in Mares, his brother Adolph and friend Marty Kinfield's musical trio to a party or fundraising event, and the crowd loved the sample tunes the trio played for them to demonstrate. Chairs Brian and Helene Cook did a marvelous job of spearheading this event to honor their friends the Brewers.

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