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August 23, 2012 - MHAC Kicks Off Tribute 2012

What: Mental Health of America Colorado's Award Banquet Kickoff Reception was held Thursday, August 23, 2012 at a local country club. This years honorees include the Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Trust, and the Denver Foundation for their exceptional leadership in creation Advancing Colorado's Mental Health Care. MHAC will also recognize the lifelong work of Dr. Carl Clark, Mental Health Center of Denver's visionary CEO.

When: Thursday, August 23, 2012

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Host(s): MHAC

Honoree(s): Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Trust, the Denver Foundation, and Dr. Carl Clark MD

Gala Chairperson(s): Seth and Cody Belzley

Honorary Chairperson(s): Cole Finegan, Meyer Saltzman, Patricia Baca PhD, Dr. Nancy and Sam Gary, and Bruce K Alexander

Committee Members: Marti Awad, William Bianco Esq, Patty Cook, Tom Flanagan, Dyana Furmansky, Heidi Hammell, Michael Hammell, Steve Hart, Stuart Hassan MD, Karen Kennedy, Robyn Loup, Margaret Roath, Jim Smith, Edie Sonn, Brett Spurr, Pegi Touff PhD, Monika Valentine, Elbra Wedgeworth, and Lisa Williams

President(s): Don Mares

Patrons: Citywide Banks, 1stBank, Patty and Don Cook, Frank Guerra MD and Jo Ellen Graybill CNS, HealthONE, MillerCoors, and PLC Construction

Staff: Mary Catherine Moss, Becky Plunkett, Michael Lott-Manier, Moe Keller, Jamie Gulick, Laura Cordes

Introductions: Seth and Cody Belzley

Speaker: Bianca Mikhan and Dr. Chris Urbina

Libations: Beer, wine, and cocktails

Menu: Light cocktail food, including small sandwiches of roast beef, ham and turkey. Cold cuts and crudite.

Attire: Business attire

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Butlered hors d'oeurves including crab cakes, bruschetta

Event Coordinator: Mary Catherine Moss

Board of Directors: For a complete list of the MHAC Board of Directors and more information about programs and services, please visit the website at:

Blacktie Photos by: Bob Fontneau

 Tribute to Leadership Honorary Chair Cole Finegan, left, with Chair Seth Belzley
Tribute to Leadership Honorary Chair Cole Finegan, left, with Chair Seth Belzley

Mental Health America of Colorado held its annual Award Banquet Kickoff Thursday, August 23, at a local country club.  Attendees from throughout the metro Denver business and health communities gathered to honor organizations and individuals who have contributed greatly to the mental health of the state.

The evening began at 5:30 with a cocktail reception with light hors d'oeurves, as guests mingled and paid tribute to honorees: Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Trust and the Denver Foundation for their exceptional leadership in creating Advancing Colorado's Mental Health Care, which culminated in the Status of Behavioral Healthcare in Colorado Report, 2011.  This five-year project provides a crucial roadmap for those working to better the lives of Coloradans impacted by mental and behavioral health challenges.

Also honored was Dr. Carl Clark, M.D., Mental Health Center of Colorado's CEO, for his outstanding leadership in mental and behavioral health in Colorado and the nation.  Dr. Clark and the above organizations will receive awards at the annual Tribute to Leadership, October 11, 2012 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. (see the Blacktie calendar for details and registration.)

Tribute Chairs Seth and Cody Belzley gathered guests on the patio and and briefly recognized the honorees before introducing speaker Bianca Mikhan, who addressed the crowd about some of the programs provided by MHAC.  An engaging speaker, Ms. Mikhan discussed how rewarding it can be to see breakthroughs with children who are dealing with mental or behavioral health issues.

Dr. Chris Urbina, a member of Gov. John Hickenlooper's cabinet, talked about the state's commitment to helping its citizens with mental and behavioral health problems.  Dr. Urbina saluted MHAC for their contributions to mental health.

MHAC President and CEO Don Mares thanked the assembled guests and recognized the honorees.  He spoke of the importance of the work of MHAC and the need for programs to help those with mental and behavioral health problems.  He recognized Dr. Haydee Kort as a pioneer for running a hospital in a previously male-dominated healthcare arena.

Guests were reminded to attend the Tribute to Leadership and thanked for their dedication to helping those with mental health issues.  If you'd like to know more about MHAC's work or learn more about the Tribute to Leadership visit

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