April 19, 2013 - Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center celebrates success
What: An evening to raise money to help underserved children of Colorado achieve stability and prevent abuse and neglect through progessive change.
Where: Westin - Downtown Denver
When: Friday, April 19, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $200 Individual
Beneficiary: The Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center
EMCEE: Ed Greene, CBS weather and news anchor
Executive Director: Stephanie Villafuerte, Esq.
President(s): Shari F. Shink, Esq.
Staff: Christopher Henderson, Jeff Koy, Kelli Narans, Nathifa Miller, Kara C. Martin, Betsy Fordyce, Ronisha Carson, Lauren Dingboom, Heather Gwinn Pabon, Jennifer Lundin, Jordan Oates, Anna Reinert, Zak Sloan, Kristin Weissinger, Katherine Belcher, Sarah Berg, Sarah Crisafi, Rebecca Gonzalez, Jeff Romero, Stephany Slade, Diane Welsh, Shelly Whitney, Gloria Alaniz,Tommie Evans, Kate Feldman, Ana Novelli, Terri Hoopes, Lisa McDonald
Speaker: Shari Shink, Stephanie Villafuerte
Catering: The Westin - Downtown Denver
Music: Raising Cane
Sponsors: Noble Energy, Gates, Sheridan Ross PC, Workplace Resource, Arnold & Porter LLP, Holland & Hart, Colorado Business Bank, Kilpatrick Townsend, DGS Law, Rothberger Johnson & Lyons LLP, Hitachi Consulting, Morrison & Foerster, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, PC, Synacor,The Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, Holland & Hart, Oskar Blues, Steele Steele Bank & Trust, United Way, BDO
Auctioneer: Debbie Stafford
Quote of the evening: "Be a superhero!"
Donors: Santella Productions, Dan Pabon, Rod Yokooji, Ted Tucker, Davidson's Liquor, Panzano Ristorante Italiano, Bob and Irene Bozzone, Michelle Roark, The Sloane Club, Devil's Thumb Ranch, KPMG, Otterbox, United Airlines
Board of Directors: Carla Dore, board chair; Stacy Carpenter, vice chair; Tim Dahltorp, treasurer; Cindy Bennett, secretary; Colleen Abdoulah, Adoree Blair, Kelly Condon, Randy Fons, Jane Michaels, Shellie Rosser, Steve Santamaria, David Tonini
Blacktie Photos by: Kimberly Johnson
Alanna Dore (left) with founder Shari Shink and Board Chair Carla Dore
The Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center had much to celebrate at this year's annual dinner. Although founder Shari Shink has moved on to Founder and President Emeritus, she places full confidence in Executive Director Stephanie Villafuerte. Shink told the crowd that starting the Children's Law Center and leading it for over 30 years was a "journey I will cherish forever." She received a standing ovation from all 400 of the evening's attendees.
Villafuerte has been the executive director for three years and expects to continue the legacy set by Shink. This year, she has helped define and push forward Senate Bill 255, which is "on its way to becoming law," said Villafuerte. Senate Bill 255, "Statutory Changes to Child Fatality Review Teams," makes needed improvements to the current child fatality review system.
The goals of the legislation are to "account for every child who dies from abuse," said Villafuerte, "as well as have every case reviewed and make recommendations" to prevent unnecessary child abuse deaths in the future. In Colorado, 11,000 kids are living in "out of home care" and out of those, 8,000 are living in foster care. These children need protection, said Villafuerte.
Another goal of the Children's Law Center is to expand their Prevention Partnership Program, or Kinship Care, which is a program supporting grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members who want to keep the children in their care safe.
This program was important in the moving story of Da'Vion, who had been moved eight times within the foster care system. At one home, his adoptive mother would lock him in rooms, put him in cold baths, abuse alcohol, and eventually got so erratic that she stabbed his sister in the leg with a knife. At that point, Children's Law Center Director of Litigation, Jeff Koy, got involved. Staff from the Children's Law Center researched Da'Vion's background and located his grandmother and uncle. When the staff member arrived at the grandmother's home, she asked the woman who answered if she knew Da'Vion and his sister. The grandmother started to cry saying she had stayed in the same home for years with the hope that Da'Vion and his sister might someday find her.
The Children's Law Center has changed the lives of thousands of children through their efforts of over 33 years of service. The sold-out venue was enthusiastically supportive and hopeful for the future. The Children's Law Center expected to raise over $118,000 to continue to help the abused and neglected children of Colorado so that every child may be safe and live in a nurturing home.
For more information: childlawcenter.org