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May 01, 2012 - SE Denver Rotary Honors Veterans With 6th Annual Breakfast

What: Complimentary breakfast and program to honor area military veterans

Where: Wings Over the Rockies

When: Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time: 8-10 a.m.

Ticket Prices: Complimentary

EMCEE: Asa Beck, Rotary Club of Denver Southeast

Presenting Sponsor(s): Rotary Club of Denver Southeast

Gala Chairperson(s): Don Oatley

Committee Members: Don Oatley, chairman; Asa Beck, John Bretsch, Kevin Farrell, Michael Henderson, Les Johnson, Marilyn Turner, Steve Roessinger, Pat Forber, Patti Foley, Mick Bixler, Steve Werner, Suzanne Hammer

Introductions: Edward Meyer, President-Elect, Rotary Club of Denver Southeast, introduced Major General H. Michael Edwards; Steffan Tubbs introduced his grandfather, Joseph LaNier

Invocation: Major Abner Valenzuela, Buckley AFB Chaplain

Welcome: Edward Meyer, president-elect, Rotary Club of Denver Southeast

Speaker: Major General H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General, Colorado; Joseph LaNier, WWII veteran; Elaine Dumlar,

Catering: Occasions by Sandy

Music: Scott Beach, professional bagpiper

Sponsors: Rotary Club of Denver Southeast (Debra Fine, President); Rotary Club of Denver Southeast Foundation (Dr. Richard Heppe, President); Capt. Michael J. Henderson, U.S. Army; The Fine Art of Small Talk (Debra Fine); Oatley & Diak, LLC, Registered Investment Advisor; Anonymous; Colorado Farm Bureau--Cheryl Radke, Miller Global Properties, VistaLife Properties

Menu: Stuffed breakfast muffins: English muffin filled with fluffy scrambled eggs, beef sausage patty and cheddar cheese; vegetarian stuffed breakfast muffins; fruit salad; assorted muffins, danishes and bagels; coffee and beverages

Attendance: 300

Special Thanks: Counterpoint Design, program graphics by Kathy Walker; Elaine Dumler, author of "Welcome Home!" and creator of Flat Daddy; Colorado bagpiper Scott Beach; All-Service Joint Color Guard, Buckley AFB Colorado; DTC Young Professionals Rotaract Club


Board of Directors: July 2012-13: Ed Meyer, president-elect; Deb Fine, president; Joe Gregory; Kevin Farrell, secretary; Marjane Casey, treasurer; Debbie Bennett, Debra Hall, Beth Patrick, Gail Lehrmann, Craig Sargent, Brian Anderson, Marilyn Turner, Karen Loeb

Blacktie Photos by: Lisa Perry

 Melvin Johnson (left) chats with speaker and World War II veteran Joseph LaNier
Melvin Johnson (left) chats with speaker and World War II veteran Joseph LaNier

With four proud 90-year-old veterans in attendance, this year’s Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast guests represented eight decades of military service—from World War II to active-duty members of an all-service color guard from Buckley Air Force Base. For the sixth time, the Rotary Club of Denver Southeast honored U.S. military heroes with a complimentary breakfast and program, this year held at Wings Over the Rockies. Keynote speaker and Adjutant General of Colorado, Major General H. Michael Edwards, wryly commented that planes he flew were on display at the museum. 

Among the 300-plus guests, there was instantaneous camaraderie and sense of family, as tablemates shared anecdotes that bonded them—no matter whatever branch they represented. Many brought photos from their military years, with each and every one portraying a personal story. The pledge of allegiance was recited and patriotic songs sung with gusto, and every table displayed American hand-held flags that were more than mere decorations.

Emcee Asa Beck kept the program moving and was instrumental singing solos and leading the crowd in patriotic favorites, and Scott Beach provided bagpipe music for presentation of the colors and closing ceremonies. Rotary Club of Southeast Denver’s president-elect, Edward Meyer, introduced speakers and had a chance to address the crowd, and KOA radio’s Steffan Tubbs presented his 86-year-old, World War II Navy veteran Joseph LaNier, who told riveting anecdotes about his experiences during and after his military service in one of the first black U.S. Navy Seabee units. LaNier told the crowd that Tubbs has written a book called “Joe: A Real Story,” with publication in the final stages (for an update, go to:

Elaine Dumler, creator of “Flat Daddy” (, told heart-warming vignettes about how the life-sized cardboard cutouts have been used by military families around the globe. Keynote speaker and Adjutant General of Colorado, Major General H. Michael Edwards, brought guests up to date on today’s Colorado National Guard and sincerely thanked all of the veterans in attendance for their service. Throughout the morning, sincere appreciation was apparent for those who served and those who still wear a uniform. Event chair and Navy veteran Don Oatley made a point to give his Rotary committee members public recognition, as well—along with a Navy cap.

Founded in 1905, Rotary International is recognized as the world’s first volunteer service organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally and internationally to help combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio, all under the motto: “Service above self.” Rotary’s four-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? For more information about Rotary Club of Denver Southeast, please visit:

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