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April 20, 2013 - Kempe Takes Venice!

What: An evening to celebrate - and benefit The Kempe Center and Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Where: Seawell Grand Ballroom

When: Saturday, April 20, 2013

Time: 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $250 general, $400 patron, $125 young professional

Beneficiary: The Kempe Center & Foundation

Master of Ceremonies: Ed Greene, CBS4

Honoree(s): Gail Johnson: Kempe Community Award; Judge Karen Ashby: Kempe Professional Award

Gala Chairperson(s): Jack & Adrienne Fitzgibbons

Corporate Chairperson(s): Ren Cannon & Bill Mackiernan

Founders: Dr. C. Henry Kempe

Co-Chair(s): Terri Fisher: entertainment chair; silent & live auction chair: Lyn Schaffer; decor chairs: BJ Dyer & Guenther Vogt

Committee Members: Jan Blankennagel, Barbara Greene, Gail Johnson, Lark Wittens Katchur, Nancy Koontz, Sydney Lapidus, Suzanne Mountfort, Stacy Ohlsson, Roselyn Saunders, Lisa Taussig, Sandee Walling

President(s): Patricia L. Peterson

Patrons: Art & Patty Aaron, Ernie Blake & Sharon Magness Blake, Keith & Cindi Burge, Drs. Stan & Bonita Carson, Wayne Connell, T. Mark Draft & Garth Criswell, Don & Arlene Johnson, Stephanie Odak, Blair & Kristin Richardson, David & Robin Savitz, Bruce & Janyce Ward

Staff: Patricia L. Peterson - president & CEO, Margaret Bachrach - vice president of development, Brian Heider - grants manager, Aubrey Ryta - donor database manager & development associate, Lindsey Miller Smith - director of communications & marketing, Julia Stone - chief operating officer, Peggy Weston Sands - office & human resources manager

Welcome: Jack & Adrienne Fitzgibbons

Speaker: Kempe success story - Althea Austin-Flaherty with Michael Flaherty & Dr. Nancy Gary

Catering: Epicurean

Entertainment: Opera singer Melynie Campbell & the Starstruck Academy Dancers; Dancing with live music by Soul X

Music: Strolling violinists

Of note: April is national "Child Abuse Prevention" month.

Sponsors: Accademia: US Bank, The Piton Foundation, J. Landis & Sharon Martin; Scalzi: Maureen & Ren Cannon, Walt Imhoff Family, Tappan Foundation; Calatrava: 5 Star Talent & Entertainment, M.J. Smith & Associates, Collegiate Peaks Bank, Wells Fargo, MDC Richmond American Homes Foundation, University of Colorado School of Medicine - Department of Pediatrics, Nordstrom, Dovetail Solutions, William Blair, Lockton, Colorado State Bank & Trust, Four Seasons Hotel Denver, Regis University, Citywide Banks, Children's Hospital Colorado, Elkus Sisson & Rosenstein, P.C., GVC Capital, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Fairfield & Woods, P.C., The Seff Group, P.C., Charla Cannon, Charles Cannon, Mardi & Brown Cannon, Adrienne & Jack Fitzgibbons, Margot & Allan Frank, Diane & Charlie Gallagher Family Foundation, Gail & George Johnson, Teri & Jon Kruljac, Melissa & Bill Mackiernan, Leigh, Michael & Owen McMahon, Margaret & Mitch Morrissey

Auctioneer: Paul C. Behr

Menu: Epicurean kitchen vegetable salad with grissini & rustic breadbasket, sauteed free range chicken & florentine ravioli with carrot & asparagus bundle; dessert: two miniature cannolis, white chocolate strawberries served with coffee

Attendance: 550

Attire: Blacktie with a Venetian flair

Special Thanks: Karin, Annie, Allison, Jenny, & Miriam Kempe - the daughters of Dr. C. Henry Kempe; & 2013 Kempe Superheroes: Linda Alvarado, Missy Franklin, Gail Johnson, Andre Miller, Cheryl Preheim, Ryan Wilson; Blue Ribbon Hosts: Callahan Management, 9News, Kroenke Sports, Children's Hospital Colorado, The Gary Pavilion, City & County of Denver

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Passed Venetian-styled hors d'oeuvres

Florist: Bouquets


Decor/Rental Company: Guenther Vogt & BJ Dyer of Bouquets

Board of Directors: Andy Boian, chair; Reynolds Cannon, vice chair; Bruce Fowler, secretary; Dan Seff, treasurer; Jamie Angelich, Yvonne Camacho, Stephen Daniels, PhD/MD; Lauren Cannon Davis; John Faught, Esq.; Patrice Gendelman; Kurtis Hooley; Walter Imhoff; Gail Johnson; April Jones, Esq.; Richard Krugman, MD; Jon Kruljac; Michael Luby; Bill Mackierman; Tate McCoy; Leigh McMahon; Patricia Peterson, BSN, JD; Cheryl Preheim, Desmond Runyan, MD, DrPH; David Savitz, Esq.; Mark J. Smith; Lisa Taussig; Sandra Walling, MA/MSW; Kareina Westlund; James Herbert Williams, PhD

Blacktie Photos by: Nancy Koontz

 Kim Price with her mom - honoree Gail Johnson - Kempe Community Award winner, & Patricia Peterson
Kim Price with her mom - honoree Gail Johnson - Kempe Community Award winner, & Patricia Peterson

At times it seems like there are no answers to prevent child abuse, but the Kempe Foundation and the Kempe Center is determined to find the answers through awareness, advocacy, medical treatment, educational programs, scientific research - and by receiving financial support from such generous people who attended the "Kempe Takes Venice" gala, which is one of the organization's most important yearly events. 

Each year, Kempe takes you on a new adventure to a different place for an evening of fun, enchantment and escape - but never forgetting the purpose of helping to protect abused and neglected children and allow them to live fulfilling and productive lives in safe and secure environments.  

Aside from the cocktail reception, silent and live auction, there were many special moments throughout the evening.  Philanthropist and Kempe board member Gail Johnson was given the prestigious "Kempe Community Award," and the esteemed Denver Juvenile Court's presiding judge of the court, Judge Karen Ashby, was presented with the 2013 "Kempe Professional Award."  

Althea Austin-Flaherty, with Michael Flaherty and Dr. Nancy Gary told their moving "Kempe Success Story" - and the entertainment was top notch this year with strolling violinists, opera singing and professional dancing - plus the night ended with dancing to the live music of Denver's hottest band - Soul X. 

The Kempe Center and Foundation work tirelessly to prevent and treat child abuse.  We all need to do our part to make ending the cycle of abuse - by not only giving generously - but by keeping our eyes open for signs of a child is being victimized and report it immediately, as well as encourage others to do the same.  You might be saving the life of an innocent child.  

As the Kempe Center and Foundation promises, they will never stop fighting for those who do not have a voice.  They believe in the word "hope," and that child abuse is not a hopeless cause.  Our encouragement and support fuels their passion to tackle the next challenges ahead.   

For more information on what you can do to make a difference, go to or call 303-864-5300.      


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