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April 20, 2013 - Pearls at the Palace: An elegant and inspiring tribute to all those who live with Epilepsy

What: Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado We dedicate our annual gala to the more than 50,000 individuals in Colorado living with epilepsy. Together it is our goal to lead the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.

Where: Brown Palace Hotel

When: Saturday, April 20, 2013

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $200

Beneficiary: Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and Jason Fleishman Summer Camp

Host(s): Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado

EMCEE: Kyle Clark, 9News

Gala Chairperson(s): Kate Petrocco

Honorary Chairperson(s): Brooke and Tom Gordon

Executive Director: Gail Pundsack

Committee Members: Marcia Forman, live auction chair; Candy Palazzo, silent auction chair; Tina Ryan, Amber Wann, Tracy Murray

President(s): Steve Franzen

Libations: Cocktail Hour hosted by William Grant & Sons Colorado, an award-winning distiller with a portfolio of premium spirits.

Catering: Brown Palace Hotel

Entertainment: Three of Denver’s most promising young dancers (Nina Bartell, Kadin Mestas, and Paul Morland) from the Sweatshop Dance Academy performed an original dance, scripted and choreographed to depict the creation of a pearl as it parallels the life of an individual coping with Epilepsy. The Academy’s owner and director, Brian Young, choreographed the piece.

Music: Hazel Miller Band

Auctioneer: Jeff Kingsbury

Quote of the evening: "We're here tonight to lead the fight for a cure for epilepsy." Kyle Clark

Menu: Baby Romaine & frisee asparagus, wild mushrooms, raspberries, Brie cheese, sherry vinaigrette; seared Angus beef filet & Dungeness crab cake Marchands de Vin Cioppinio with tomato jus; dessert buffet: mousse tarts, mini crème brulee, chocolate-dipped strawberries, macaroons, and mini eclairs

Attendance: sell-out crowd of 320

Attire: Evening, blacktie

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Foie Gras Tourchon with Mandarin marmalade brioche; seared lamb chops with mint balsamic syrup; Risotto & Asiago crouquette with herb Pomodoro sauce

Decor/Rental Company: Perfect Surroundings International, Special Events and Interior Design

Board of Directors: Steve Franzen - president, Tim Murray - vice president, Kathy Ashenfelter - interim treasurer, Brooke Gordon - secretary, John Burstein, Rick Campbell, Terri Davis, Craig Fleishman, Ed Maa, M.D., Bob Pinkerton, Greg Ross, Ann Speer, Mark J. Stevenson, Lary M. Weintraub

Blacktie Photos by: Jan McNutt

 David & Kate Petrocco (event chair)
David & Kate Petrocco (event chair)

"With beauty that parallels the pearl, people living with epilepsy rely on the support programs and services offered by the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado."

Much comes down to educating the public about epilepsy. Saturday at the Brown Palace guests were aware of the need for education, and pledged their time and money to erase the stigma and ignorance that accompanies epilepsy. 

Everyone knows what the word epilepsy means. Few understand what happens when an individual is plagued with seizures and, even fewer are familiar with the disease until touched by it through family or friends. 

The motto of the foundation is: “Not another moment lost to seizures.” The EFC and volunteers understand how precious lost moments from a seizure are and work tirelessly to inform the world of the disease. Their hopes Saturday night were supported by volunteers and sponsors who see a future where epilepsy is no longer a stigma nor a hinderance for those who live with the neurological disorder.

The program after dinner began when Kyle Clark of 9News took over the podium. Before introducing event chair Kate Petrocco, he drew the lucky winner of the Oster pearl earring and necklace set. With a ladylike whoop, Ann Speer was the lucky winner. Her son Brandondiagnosed with epilepsy at age 13, is on the EFCO Youth Advisory Board. 

When Kate Petrocco took the podium, she explained her involvement. As a family member who experienced the fears and uncertainties of epilepsy for many years, she made a decision to join her brother in being involved with EFC. Kate couldn’t cure epilepsy, but she could work with her brother and the foundation. In this way, she was a part of his life. Through her involvement she began to gain a deeper understanding of epilepsy and to work with others passionate about what it means to be touched by epilepsy. 

Board member Craig Fleishman, in a made-for-the-evening’s video program, gave a heartfelt plea for support for the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and for the camp he started in memory of his son, Jason

Expectations for research and Jason Fleishman Summer Camp were met. The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado raised over $200,000 on April 20, 2013. Guests were touched and in awe as they listened to honorary chairperson Brooke Gordon's life experiences with epilepsy and watched the Sweatshop Dance troupe's interpretive dance. On a high note, the evening's finale wrapped with the funky, upbeat Hazel Miller Band. It was an evening that started and ended with hope and great expectations for those living with epilepsy. 

To become a volunteer call Gail Pundsack, 303-377-9774. 



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