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May 10, 2013 - 12th Annual Mental Health Awareness Benefit Luncheon

What: Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network

Where: Inverness Hotel and Conference Center, Englewood

When: Friday, May 10, 2013

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Ticket Prices: $75 per person

Master of Ceremonies: Dave Aguilera

Executive Director: Joan DiMaria

Speaker: Bucky Dilts, former Bronco

Music: Peneplain Jazz Trio

Sponsors: Field Goal: Citywide Banks, Colorado Community Media, Viawest, Infinity Park; FIrst Down: Behavioral HealthCare, Colorado Access, Lockton Companies, Van Guilder Insurance

Menu: Inverness house salad, pan roasted marinated chicken breast, herbed rice and spring vegetables, carrot cake

Board of Directors: President: Todd Helvig; Secretary/Treasurer: Thomas J. Flanagan, Jr; Vice President: Kelli Kane, Nita Brown, Kim Collins, Mario A. Harding, Capt Jason Kennedy, Jeffrey Nelson, Patricia Opper, John Phillips, Capt Vincent E. Sauter, Carla A. Velos, Melanie Worley

Blacktie Photos by: Carol Burkett

 Bucky Dilts with Bev Marquez and Monica Colbert
Bucky Dilts with Bev Marquez and Monica Colbert

The sun was shining and nearly 300 guests gathered at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center to support the Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network. The network provides mental health services for uninsured and underinsured clients of all ages. Attendees networked at the the reception and then moved into Summit Ballroom. The centepiece of each table was a hand painted watering can that could be purchased and each guest recieved a package of forget-me-not seeds to plant.

Master of Ceremonies Dave Aguilera of CBS Denver welcomed the guests and introduced the Executive DIrector Joan DiMaria, who thanked the Board of Directors and introduced the Community Leader of the Year, Captain Attila Denes, a member of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.  Captain Denes leads the county's Crisis Intervention Team.  He also co-ordinated the formation of the CIT Association of Colorado. Barb Becker, Director of Communtiy Programs talked about the range of services provided by the network. Todd Helvig, president of the board of directors, let guests know how their donations would be used to serve uninsured and underinsured clients.

Keynote speaker Bucky Dilts, former punter with the Denver Broncos, talked about his personal experiences with depression, and his personal mission to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness. Serious mental illness affects about 5% of the population of the United States each year. Untreated mental illness costs the American economy billions of dollars. Each year over 30,000 people complete suicide.

To kick the fundraising into high gear, Dave Aguilera encouraged guests to pay a premium for the Denver Bronco watering can from Bucky's table. Arapahoe County community advocate Debbie Stafford teamed with Bucky Dilts to create a one of a kind prize for an impromptu auction. The lucky winner won a tailgate with Bucky Dilts and other Bronco alumni along with the handpainted watering can.

For further information about the Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network please check out their website at

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