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April 07, 2013 - United Veterans Committee Hosts 41st Annual Awards Banquet

What: Annual recognition of those instrumental in the veteran community

Where: Rennaissance Denver Hotel

When: Sunday, April 7, 2013

Time: 3:30 p.m. reception; 5:00 dinner and awards

Ticket Prices: $50

EMCEE: Jay Bobick

Gala Chairperson(s): Ken Melcher

Committee Members: Legislative Committee: Jay Bobick, chairman; Frank McCurdy, Wayne Thompson Jr., Jason Crow, George Dale Thomas, Ralph Bozella (ex-officio), Marvin Meyers, Jack Powell, Kenneth Melcher, William "Robby" Robinson, Steve Rylant, Nate Gorman (legislative liaison); Banquet Committee: Ken Melcher and Marvin Meyers; Awards Committee: Marvin Meyers, chair; George Palmateer, Warren Tellgren, Ralph Bozella (ex-officio), Kenneth Melcher, James "Jay" Bobick, George Dale Thomas

President(s): Ralph Bozella

Invocation: Garry Turks

Welcome: UVC President Ralph Bozella

Speaker: Jose (Joe) D. Riojas, Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security and Preparedness, Dept of Veterans Affairs and Governor John Hickenlooper

Music: Littleton Community Music Association, The Polite Jazz Quartet

Sponsors: Table Sponsors: Gold--Bank of Colorado; Silver--Ken and Sharon Melcher, Frontier Airlines, Kiewit-Turner, VFW Post 1, Disabled American Veterans, Bellco Credit Union, Regional Transportation District, Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Peak Motor Coach, Arapahoe County, Colorado State Veterans Home, Southern Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Tribal Council; VFW Warriors, Women Veterans of Colorado, Colorado Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation

Attendance: 350

Attire: Blacktie optional, military dress, service uniform or business attire

Special Thanks: Premier Printing, Darrell Myers, Jay Kappel, Renaissance Denver Hotel, American Legion Department of Colorado, Glenn Johnson, Blacktie Inc., Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado

Event Coordinator: Ken Melcher

Board of Directors: Ralph Bozella, president; Steven Ryland, 1st vice president; Frank McCurdy, 2nd vice president; Jenn Latini, secretary; Glenn Kataoka, treasurer; George Dale Thomas, immediate past president; Larry Carroll, judge advocate

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress


 Ken Melcher, center, is honored for Lifetime Achievement (pictured with Joe Riojas and Ralph Bozella)
Ken Melcher, center, is honored for Lifetime Achievement (pictured with Joe Riojas and Ralph Bozella)

True to their mission, the United Veterans Committee of Colorado has alot going on--and their action-packed 41st annual awards banquet was a true indicator.

More than 350 supporters and well wishers came to the Renaissance Denver Hotel on Sunday to acknowledge leaders in the mission of veterans' advocacy and hear enthusiastic and encouraging remarks from Governor John HIckenlooper, Jose "Joe" Riojas from the Department of Veterans Affairs and UVC President Ralph Bozella. Deftly navigated once again by Jay Bobick, the evening was high energy and optimistic.

Every table had friends and colleagues discussing military memories and stories, and the main message delivered by all three speakers was that projects, budgets, ideals, legislation, commitment and political alliances are all growing and prospering, thanks to the efforts of the UVC, the VA and similar groups.

Assistant Secretary Riojas told the crowd that the VA is the second largest department in the country, behind the Department of Defense. Thankfully, the VA is exempt from the recent sequestration debacle, and so efforts for jobs, healthcare, benefits and assistance with transition from service for military veterans are all reaching unprecedented levels.

Awards were presented to the following groups and individuals:

Lifetime Achievement: Ken Melcher;

Veteran of the Year: Erin Straub;

Distinguished Federal Legislator: Congressman Mike Coffman;

Distinguished State Legislators: Senator Suzanne Williams, Senator Mary Hodge, Rep. Robert Ramirez, Rep Mark Waller;

Distinguished Service: James Gates and James Stanko;

Distinguished Achievement: Tom Allee and Steve Ferency;

Meritorious Service: Mindy Moskowitz, Colorado State Veterans Home at Fitzsimons;

Meritorious Achievement: Gold Star Wives

Legislative Service: Hal Bidlack;

Distinguished Veterans Service Organization: The Southern Ute Veterans Association;

Outstanding Veteran Service: Celeste Davis;

Outstanding Veterans Service Officer: Sharon Lindell

Outstanding Veteran Service Organization: Center for American Values and Korean War Veterans Association, Inc. (Denver Queen City Chapter # 195);

Outstanding Public Organization: Frontier Airlines;

Outstanding Educational Organization: Longs Peak Middle School;

With efforts like this, we can hope that our veterans will finally become much closer to the thanks they so profoundly deserve for their service.

For more information, log on to www.unitedveteranscommittee.com

 

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