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May 09, 2002 - Urban Peak’s 3rd Annual Maverick Thinker’s Dinner

Where: The Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

When: May 9, 2002

Beneficiary: Urban Peak

EMCEE: John Ferrugia, KMGH 7NEWS

Co-Chair(s): Jim Bye, Jim Polsfut

Speaker: Jim Polsfut, Urban Peak Board President , Maverick Thinkers Honoree: Gail Klapper, Stephen Grigsby, , Roxane White, CEO

Catering: Three Tomatoes

Sponsors: ADCO General, InterMountain Corporate Affairs, Helen McLoraine, Guides: Gail Klapper, Land Title guarantee Company, Otten, Johnson & Robinson, Phelps – Tointon, Inc., Beatrice Taplin, The Piton Foundation, Friends: Craig Archibald, Colorado Business Bank, Jill Crow, Edward Harvey, Holme, Roberts & Owen, Charlie Knight, Jennie Kurtz, Abby Modest, Susan Noble, Jim Polsfut, Rich Reynaldo and Martha Records, Robinson dairy, Trinidad Rodriguez, Leigh Sinclair and Alan Prelude, The Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado school of Law, James Wallen, Wells Fargo, Roxane White, Wynkoop Brewing Company

Menu: Caribbean Caesar Salad- crisp romaine hearts, with roasted peppers, plantain chips and Spanish cabrales cheese, savory sesame bread sticks, stuffed breast of chicken filled with dried apricots and a pineapple glace, Asian grilled vegetables, saffron whipped potatoes, chocolate flourless torte with raspberry coulis, gourmet coffee blend.

Attendance: 300

Florist: Botanica Inc.

Information: Roxane White, 303-777-9198

Blacktie Photos by: Stacy Ohlsson

 CEO Roxane White poses with one of the successful youth from Urban Peak, Stephen Grigsby.
CEO Roxane White poses with one of the successful youth from Urban Peak, Stephen Grigsby.

By Julie Hullverson

In response to the growing number of homeless youth, Urban Peak was founded in 1998 with a mission to get homeless and runaway youth off of the streets and into productive lives.

Their 3rd Annual Maverick Thinker’s Dinner honored two people known for “thinking out of the box,” - Gail Klapper, the Director of the Colorado Forum and Steven Grigsby, a college student who literally used to live in a cardboard box.

A year and a half ago, Stephen, 22, was living on the streets and with no where to turn, showed up at Urban Peak pushing a half-empty shopping cart containing everything he owned. After only five months, Stephen had turned his life around. He now attends Community College in Denver, where he is studying systems information, IT and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

“I never realized how good life could be.” Stephen says, “ I want to do everything I can to show other kids what they’re missing.” Before speaking at the event, he said, “ I’m glad the podium will be hiding my legs, I’m so nervous, they’re shaking 90 miles per hour!”

You’d never know it though; he finished with a poem by an unknown author, called "Nothing at All" which moved the crowd almost as much as his incredible story. Roxane White, Urban Peak’s President and CEO says, “Stephen is an amazing young man, who transformed his life from living on the streets to living independently. He’s been a huge advocate, and he testified on the homeless youth bill that just passed.”

The evenings other honoree, Gail Klapper, has been the Director of the Colorado Forum since 1989. The Colorado Forum is a statewide, bipartisan organization of chief executive officers and leading professionals who work on public policy issues related to Colorado, particularly public education and how businesses work with schools. Gail is also the Managing Attorney of The Klapper Firm, a law firm emphasizing real estate, administrative law and public policy advocacy. “If we had more leaders like Gail Klapper,” says Roxane White, “There wouldn’t be any homeless youth.”

The evening was emotional and inspirational. Both honorees were surrounded by friends and Gail Klapper was flanked by three generations of family members including her grandparents, parents, husband, and four children. Jim Bye, last year's Maverick Thinker’s honoree, presented Gail with her award, a drawing created by one of the Urban Peak youth. The evening also proved to be successful and raised over $80,000 for Urban Peak.

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