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October 15, 2011 - Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Jet Set Fashion Show

What: Fashion show to benefit Global Down Syndrome Foundation/Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome

Where: Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center

When: Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time: Reception: 5 p.m.; Dinner and fashion show: 6:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $500 for individuals; $1,000 for VIP; Table sponsorships up to $50,000

Beneficiary: Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Host(s): Ambassador: DeOndra Dixon, award winning self-advocate

Honoree(s): John C. McGinley, award-winning actor, Sujeet Desai, accomplished musician

EMCEE: Kim Christiansen

Presenting Sponsor(s): Andrisen Morton/Brunello Cucinelli

Gala Chairperson(s): Anna & John J. Sie, Jamie Foxx, George Dixon, Annette Dixon, Diedra Dixon

Honorary Chairperson(s): Congressman Pete Sessions, The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Cdr. Brian Rodgers USN (Ret.), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Secretary Ken Salazar & Hope Salazar, Governor John Hickenlooper, Senator Mark Udall & Maggie Fox, Senator Michael Bennet & Susan Daggett, Congressman Mike Coffman, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Congressman Cory Gardner, Congressman & Mrs. Doug Lamborn, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Congressman Jared Polis, Congressman Scott & Jean Tipton, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer

Co-Chair(s): Debbi & Lee Alpert, Laura Barton & William Matthews, Sharon Magness Blake & Ernie Blake, Mike & Amber Fries, Cookie Gold, Jules Haimovitz, Peter & Bonnie Kudla, Bob & Betsy Leighton, Jack & Pat McDonnell, Ricki & Dave Rest, Donald & Susan Sturm, Leslie & Bill Vollbracht

Executive Director: Edward RB McCabe, MD, PhD, ED of the Linda Crnic Institute

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Music: Jamie Foxx

Sponsors: CESSNA CITATION COLUMBUS SPONSORS: Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, The Barton Family Foundation, Sharon Magness Blake & Ernie Blake, Mike & Amber Fries, Liberty Global, Jules Haimovitz, McDonnell Family Foundation, M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. / Richmond American Homes Foundation, Metropolitan Homes at the Vallagio, Steele Street Bank and Trust and Land Title Guarantee Company, Sturm Family Foundation, Don & Sue Sturm, Leslie & Bill Vollbracht, Vollbracht Family Foundation, Alison & Kirby Winfield, Jr., Dana Vollbracht; CESSNA CITATION X: The Anschutz Foundation, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, The Whitten Family; CESSNA CITATION ENCORE: The Children’s Hospital, Diane & Charles Gallagher and Family, Cookie & Lester Gold, Debbie & Larry Hauserman, The Macsovits Family, Ricki & Dave Rest, The Shankle Family, SomaLogic, Inc., Starz Entertainment, University of Denver, Wells Fargo, Sandy Wolf and Elaine Wolf of The Melvin and Elaine Wolf Foundation; CESSNA MUSTANG: Arc Thrift Stores, Alpine Banks of Colorado, Brett Family Foundation, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, University of Colorado Systems, Denver Art Museum, Denver Broncos Football Club, Pat & Annabel Bowlen, Denver Film Society, Fentress Architects, First Western Trust Bank, Hutchison Incorporated, Intrado, Susan & Randy Karsh, Lazarus Investment Partners LLLP, Bob & Betsy Leighton, Marian & James E. Lokey, Edie & Mort Marks Family, Cydney & Tom Marsico, J. Landis and Sharon Martin Family Foundation, Ed & Linda McCabe, Mile High Down Syndrome Association, Paul Comstock Partners, Perky Jerky, Jordon & Essie Perlmutter, Casey & Brett Perry, Roger & Margaret Reisher, Robert C. Wing/World Engineering Exchange, Susan & Eddie Robinson and Ellen & Mark Schwartz, Sherman & Howard L.L.C., Dr. Deborah Sie & Dr. Justin & Shaela Hoffman, James Sie & Douglas Wood, Susan Sie and Allison Sie, Jeff & Mary Tuten, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado at Boulder, The Weisner Family, Dr. Kirby Winfield, Sr.; IN-KIND SPONSORS: 9NEWS, Epicurean Catering, Hyde Park Jewelers, Karen Rubin Photography, Jason G Photographer, Jay’s Valet, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Lundwall Communications, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, NAAAP Colorado, Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florist, Three Blind Mice and more

Menu: Roasted golden beet salad, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds; mizo Gorgonzola crusted beef tenderloin; fall vegetables; pan seared crab cake; pumpkin risotto; chocolate marquis with seasoned pumpkin creme; pear almond and squash tart with star anise and fall fruit compote

Attendance: 1,000+

Attire: Evening Attire, Business Formal or Cocktail Attire

Planning Committee: Karen Aarestad, Sylvia Atencio, Marc Burg, Kay Burke, Anca Elena Call, Kate Caruso, Martha Cronen, Jan Eitel, Cris Goldy, Peter Kudla, Michelle Livingston, Jean Marie Martini, Lori Marks-Connors, Maggie McGlade, Ellen Mednick, Diana Moore, Trish Morris, Lindsay Morton Gaiser, Paula Newberry-Arnold, Abby Perlmutter, Casey Perry, Cynthia Petrus, Susan Rincon, Ellen Robinson, John Rogers, Anna & John Sie, Marilyn Spinner, Patti Stricklin, Bill & Leslie Vollbracht, Ali Van Heusen, Elaine Walshe, Michelle & Tom Whitten, Erin Yount, Sandra Zoratti

Decor/Rental Company: Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florist

Steering Committee: HONORARY COMMITTEE: Tom & Ashley Arnold, Chauncey & Piper Billups, Brunello Cucinelli, Susie & David Duval, John & Paige Elway, Brook & Brian Griese, Beverly Johnson, Coach George Karl, John & Linda Lynch, Ed & Lisa McCaffrey, Jeff Probst, Billy Van Heusen; Debbi & Lee Alpert, Kimberly Andrew, Craig & Christy Andrisen, Kay Burke, Tomago Collins, Mark & Kristy Dym, Adam Fell, Cookie Gold, Mike Goode, Susan & Randy Karsh, Jim & Cheli Kellogg, Jaime Rucker King, Ed & Linda McCabe, Dave & Eileen Morton, Brandon & Jackie Perry, Casey & Brett Perry, Dr. Dean Prina, Ricki & Dave Rest, Dana Vollbracht, Alison & Kirby Winfield, Jr.

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 DeOndra Dixon and Michelle Sie Whitten look on as Sujeet Desai accepts the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award
DeOndra Dixon and Michelle Sie Whitten look on as Sujeet Desai accepts the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award

The beautiful models strutted their stuff like there was no tomorrow at the 2011 Global Down Syndrome "Be Beautiful, Be Yourself" fashion show event Saturday evening.  It seems that no one told the models, who happen to have Down syndrome, that there are things called inhibitions and modesty, and so they were so happy, so genuine, so spontaneous in strutting and dancing on the runway that it really teaches you a few things about what we take seriously in life. As special guest John McGinley, who was bestowed the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy award, said about his son Max, "in dealing with our expectations in living with someone with Down syndrome, it is reasonable to expect that we will be astonished."

Rarely do you see such heartfelt emotion as was demonstrated when the audience was watching the fashion show, clapping and cheering, and the biggest cheerleader beside the stage was Global Down Syndrome Executive Director Michelle Sie Whitten, who appealed to the guests in telling them that Down syndrome is the least-funded health condition in the world. Well, thankfully not this evening, as more than 1,000 well wishers contributed major dollars to support and sponsor this event, with the live auction alone raising more than $147,000. It helped that Peter Kudla and Sam Adams, with the help of Ed McCaffrey, were urging bids along.

Special guests included music icon Quincy Jones, who has supported the Sies and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation at this event since it's inception, and A-list actor, musician and all-round good guy Jamie Foxx, and his sister DeOndra Dixon, 2011 Ambassador, fabulous dancer and speaker, who seemed to have the biggest twinkle in her eye of all. Her family (Foxx, father George Dixon, sisters Annette and Deidra Dixon) served as event co-chairs along with Anna and John Sie.

Also receiving the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy award was Sujeet Desai, an accomplished musician born with Down syndrome. He has mastered seven instruments, has traveled and performed around the world, has had guest appearances on Oprah and 20/20 and was featured in Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. He also holds a 2nd degree black belt.

Other special guests included supermodel Beverly Johnson, whose neice Naomi was born with Down syndrome, fashion icon Brunello Cucinelli via video from Italy, in conjuction with Andrisen Morton, Chauncey Billups, Miss Colorado Diana Dreman, Peggy Tanous of "Real Housewives of Orange County" and many others. Kim Christiansen did a superb job as emcee.

But it was evident that the real stars were the the Down syndrome models, who unequivocally taught us, "Be Beautiful, Be Yourself."

For more information and links, here is the link to the Linda Crnic Institute:

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