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June 13, 2012 - 7th Annual TAPS Celebrity Classic Songwriters Show and Dinner

What: Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Celebrity Classic

Where: Red Lion Hotel

When: Friday, June 15, 2012

Time: 5:30 p.m. reception; 7:00 p.m. dinner and show

Ticket Prices: Individual seating $100-$125; Table seating $1,250-$1,500

Beneficiary: Survivors of fallen heroes

Presenting Sponsor(s): AIMCO

Honorary Chairperson(s): Sen. Mark Udall, Sen. Michael Bennet, Congressman Mike Coffman, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Congressman Cory Gardner, Congressman Doug Lamborn, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Congressman Scott Tipton, Congressman Jared Polis, Governor John Hickenlooper, AG John Suthers, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Secretary of State Scott Gessler

Corporate Chairperson(s): Fred and Jana Bartlit, Gordon Burr, Christine Q Burtt, John and Randee Conley, Miles and Jan Cortez, Jake Jabs, Eddie and Jane Johnson, Mort and Edie Marks, David McIntyre, Tom and Jill Tarver, Randall Taylor, Brian and Patricia Watson

Founders: Bonnie Carroll

Committee Members: TAPS Patriots: Tom Allee, Dan Caplis and Aimee Sporer, Scott Celley, Bill and Rita Bass Coors, Tony and Danielle David, Steve and Marla Grove, Rep. Marsha Looper, Brigadier General Steve Ritchie (Ret.), Mike Rosen, Craig and Trish Silverman, Rep. Nancy Todd, Steffan Tubbs

Speaker: Gen Gene Renuart (USAF, Ret.), MG Joe Anderson

Music: Songwriters from Nashville: Frank Myers, Jeff Dayton, Billy Montana, Brett Jones

Sponsors: Title Sponsor: Aimco; Major Sponsors: TriWest Healthcare Alliance, American Furniture Warehouse, MillerCoors, Coors Cowboy Club, Red Lion Hotel, Greiner Electric, WizBang Solutions

Auctioneer: Jake Jabs

Attire: Casual

Event Coordinator: Bo and Lynne Cottrell

Board of Directors: TAPS National Board: Charlotte Tsoucalas, Chair; Heidi Anderson, Deborah James, LTC Scott Rutter (USA, Ret.), Bonnie Carroll, Bradley Jacobs, Sue Mandry, John Wood; For a list of TAPS honorary board members, follow this link:

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Lynne Cottrell with major sponsors David and Elaine Greiner and TAPS founder Bonnie Carroll
Lynne Cottrell with major sponsors David and Elaine Greiner and TAPS founder Bonnie Carroll

Most people don't think about the fact that, behind every song they love and every tune they can't get out of their head, there's a talented songwriter who brought thoughts and words to musical fruition.

The 7th annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Celebrity Classic brought some of the most gifted country music writers to Denver to share their insights and thoughts behind the epiphanies that are their songs. Brett Jones, Billy Montana, Jeff Dayton and Frank Myers all charmed the crowd with hits such as Jones' Thats How Country Boys Roll, Dayton's Whenever It Rains, Montana's Suds in the Bucket and Myers' I'm Already There, with guests singing along and stomping their feet.

Comedian Ralph Achilles kicked off the show Friday night at the Red Lion Hotel with his deadpan humor that had attendees rolling in the aisles and warmed up for the songwriters' showcase. Many of the songs penned by the writers had a military tie to them, and all of them expressed their gratitude for being a part of the effort to raise funds for the families of fallen heroes through TAPS programs.

The show is part of the 7th annual Celebrity Classic that is flawlessly orchestrated by Bo and Lynne Cottrell. There was an additional show on Saturday with country legends such as Eddy Raven (who joined the boys on stage Friday night for a song) and MIchael Martin Murphey (see link: Add to the mix several television, sports and music stars such as "Bubba" Gilliam, Bill Hanzlik, Brian Griese, Tony David, Natalie Vickers and many other dignitaries, and you have an event never to forget.

TAPS founder Bonnie Carroll was in the audience continuing to marvel at the support and outpouring of love from guests, volunteers and participants. General Gene Renuart, former commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM, gave a heartfelt speech about being present for the families of fallen heroes.

Our military men and women who gave their lives for our country will not be able to experience the country romance, starry skies and family memories that are so often expressed in country hits. But they were remembered and respected through the songs sung Friday night, and love and support for their families is unprecedented.

TAPS provides many invaluable services to the families of fallen heroes, such as "Good Grief" camps, peer support networks, grief resources and 24-hour assistance for those who are grieving. The TAPS programs extend hands and hearts so that those left behind can have a chance at hope and healing.

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