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April 12, 2013 - Gathering Place Gala is a Joyous Global Getaway

What: Annual gala featuring cocktails and silent auction, dinner program and live auction, then dessert and exclusive access to the Globeology Exhibit

Where: The Wildlife Experience

When: Friday, April 12, 2013

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $125: General admission; $75: Young professional/senior discount

Beneficiary: The Gathering Place

Honoree(s): Above and Beyond Award recipients: Junior League of Denver; Suzanne Burm and Kirsten Morgan

EMCEE: Aaron LePedis, author and art-gallery owner

President(s): Leslie Foster, President and CEO

Speaker: Rachel Basye, Chair of the Board

Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Randall A. Carter Foundation and Benefactor/Boettcher & Co. in loving memory of Betty Granicher; Benefactor Sponsors: European Wax Center, Becky and Eric Jacobson, Alexandra Theriault, MD and Ron Guillot; Associate Sponsors: Sandy and Gary Autrey, Janice and Jim Campbell; Honorary Sponsors: CenturyLink, CoBiz, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Cresa Denver, EKS&H, Leslie Foster and Jane Berryman, Pam and Joe Ignat, Heidi and Randy Keogh, The Nord Family Foundation, Oak Tree Foundation, Renee Ripol and Brenda Roush, Sopra Communities, Turner Construction, Vectra Bank, Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell Foundation...For a complete list, please visit

Auctioneer: Don Martin

Menu: Salad: Mediterranean Caesar served with Caesar dressing and balsamic dressing; Entree: duo of chicken Piccata and chicken Cacciatore served with wild-mushroom risotto; Vegetarian option: stuffed portabella mushroom cap filled with fresh garden vegetables, topped with Parmesan and served with a roasted tomato coulis; Dessert buffet: chocolate-covered strawberries, churros, petit fours, eclairs, assortment of fresh fruit

Attendance: 450

Attire: Evening attire, business formal or cocktail attire

Special Thanks: Elevation Media Group; Frederick Wildman and Sons, Ltd; Ciroc Ultra Premium; Avery Brewing


Board of Directors: Rachel Basye, board chair; Allison Panter, chair elect; Rachel Allon, secretary; Bob Alder, treasurer; Andrew Peterson, immediate past board chair; Chuck Borgman, Leslie Minna Budman, Jennifer Goss, KC Higgins, Queen Jackson, Britta Evans Miles, Roweena Naidoo, Linda Schmehl, Theresa Wardon, Leslie Foster

Blacktie Photos by: Lisa Perry

 (l to r): Laura Meixell, Above and Beyond Award recipients Suzanne Burm and Kirsten Morgan, and Lisa Zavoda
(l to r): Laura Meixell, Above and Beyond Award recipients Suzanne Burm and Kirsten Morgan, and Lisa Zavoda

Everyone needs an exotic escape—even if it’s manufactured on the outskirts of Denver. This year’s Gathering Place Gala with a “Global Getaway” theme successfully combined a slew of universal delights: fun, good food, friends, and entertainment and enticements, while raising funds for Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for women and their children. On Friday, April 12, more than 450 were part of a joyous event held at The Wildlife Experience, designed to incorporate worldwide diversity and the spirit of travel. Note for next year: Buy your tickets early—the 2013 event was a speedy sellout.

Guests were greeted with a spirited reception and accompanying silent auction featuring a “global indulgences” category of baskets filled with niceties from France, Ireland, Japan and Mexico. Kusogea Nobi Drum Ensemble provided African drumming as guests noshed on tidbits and contemplated bids. The evening’s sit-down dinner included a number of international favorites.

The brief dinner program was emceed by Aaron LaPedis, author of “The Garage Sale Millionaire.” Board Chair Rachel Basye talked about the positive programs at The Gathering Place, and announced this year’s Above and Beyond Award recipients: The Junior League of Denver for longtime contributions to the nutrition programming; and Suzanne Burm and Kirsten Morgan for their work with the center's Writers’ Group and this year’s inspirational book publication, a compilation of poetry and prose by its members: “One Day, One Night at a Time.” After the program and live auction, guests were able to enjoy a dessert bar and end the evening with their own virtual getaway as they strolled the museum's Globeology exhibit.

Founded in 1986 by University of Denver graduate students Toni Schmid and Kathy Carfrae, The Gathering Place provides programming and services to an average of 270 women and their children and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty on a daily basis. Its mission: to provide a community of safety and hope, where positive relationships, choice and essential resources transform lives.

In 2012 alone, The Gathering Place recorded 69,902 visits by adults, with 6,591 by children, providing more than 68,000 nutritious meals. Among its programs and contributions, the center distributed more than 4,000 toiletry and hygiene bags, almost 21,000 diapers and tutored 63 GED students. For more information, please visit



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