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September 21, 2002 - Children's Hospital Celebrates Silver Anniversary

Where: Adam's Mark Hotel

When: September 21, 2002

Beneficiary: The Children's Hospital and Post-News Charities

Mistress of Ceremonies: Kelly Ripa, co-host of Live! With Regis and Kelly

Honoree(s): Becca Lockler, Derrick Ross, Leah Rishavy, Sam Horacek, Emily Frevert, Connor White, Jared Sughrove, David Stewart

Presenting Sponsor(s): Tiffany & Co.

Gala Chairperson(s): Joy S. Johnson

Corporate Chairperson(s): Steve and Cindy Farber

Co-Chair(s): Dinner: Christie and Walter Isenberg; Silent Auction: Pam Ignat and Debbie McCarty; Raffle Chair: Rebecca Russell; Corporate Co-Chairs: Bruce and Lisa Alexander, Cynthia and Doug Evans, Bruce and Nancy Deifik, Kirk and Kathleen McDonald

Welcome: Steve Winesett, President and CEO of The Children's Hospital Foundation and Dori Biester, President and CEO of The Children's Hospital

Speaker: Kirk MacDonald, President and CEO of The Denver Newspaper Agency

Catering: Adam's Mark Hotel

Entertainment: Brian Setzer Orchestra

Sponsors: Sterling: The Barbara Bridges Family Foundation, Christie and Walter, Joy S. Johnson, Colorado Volvo Retailers; Platinum: Adam's Mark Hotel, Berger-Solano Foundation, Brownstein Hyatt & Farber, P.C., Mr. & Mrs. Donald Ellilman, The Gallagher Family, Gary Williams Energy Corporation/The Piton Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. Skip Miller, Tewell Warren Printing, United Airlines

Auctioneer: Kelly Ripa, Steve Farber, Don Elliman

Quote of the evening: “I am honored to be the first to let you know that this year’s Gala will break an all time record. With all your generous help, a total of $1.2 million was raised!” Kelly Ripa

Menu: Plantation salad with peanut malt-vinegar sauce, roasted veal rack filled with wild mushrooms and herb merlot demi-glace paired with lobster thermidor, wild rice timbale, autumnal bouquet of vegetables, symphony dessert trio

Attendance: 1,500

Attire: Blacktie

Information: Children's Hospital 720.917.1700

Event Coordinator: Sue Ellen Goss of Innovative Events

Decor/Rental Company: Bouquets

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Kelly Ripa co-host of Live! With Regis and Kelly, center, is really a child at heart.  Here she is surrounded by the Ambassadors for Children's Hospital.  Leah Rishavy, in green, David Stewart, from left, Sam Horacek, Emily Frevert, Derrick Ross, Conner White, Jared Sughrove and Becca Lockler.
Kelly Ripa co-host of Live! With Regis and Kelly, center, is really a child at heart. Here she is surrounded by the Ambassadors for Children's Hospital. Leah Rishavy, in green, David Stewart, from left, Sam Horacek, Emily Frevert, Derrick Ross, Conner White, Jared Sughrove and Becca Lockler.

By Elizabeth Byrnes

Kelly Ripa, co-host of Live! With Regis and Kelly, was at home with the audience and the Children’s Ambassadors at The Children's Hospital's Silver Anniversary Gala, held at the Adam’s Mark on September 21, where over 1,500 patrons and guests mingled at one of season's biggest nonprofit events.

“The Children’s Hospital Gala is one of the longest-running fund-raising events in Denver,” said Dori Biester, President and CEO of The Children’s Hospital.

Ms. Ripa started her Saturday off with a tour of The Children’s Hospital and got to see firsthand why Children’s is so special and close to the patrons hearts. “I spent time with some of the patients and saw that miracles are performed each and every day there…so many children’s lives have been saved or helped because of the care they have received.”

“I am the mother of two children and am expecting our third,” Kelly shared with the guests. “My husband and I are so blessed that our kids are healthy.” Kelly is really a child at heart and it showed as she met and spent time with each of the 2002 Ambassadors. “These are the real stars of the evening.”

The 2002 Ambassadors include; Derrick Ross, the elder statesman of the Ambassadors, Emily Frevert, Jared Sughrove, Connor White, Leah Rishavy, Sam Horacek, Becca Lockler and David Stewart, 2001 Ambassador. They are special children that have been treated at Children’s Hospital and have been chosen to serve as Ambassadors for the community. They truly are living proof that miracles happen daily.

Before the event got underway, patrons and the Ambassadors got a chance to meet Kelly in person and to have their photos taken with her. Andi Smith, who was Ms. Ripa’s escort for the day, posed for a photo and Kelly’s sense of humor took over. The two blondes struck a pose, “Charlie’s Angels reunited!" quipped Kelly.

The highlight of the photo assembly was the interaction between Ms. Ripa and the Ambassadors. Each child got her undivided attention. She was presented with a handmade bracelet designed by Leah Rishavy. “Thank you so much, you must have known that I wasn’t going to wear any jewelry tonight,” joked Kelly as she slipped on the gift. Kelly Ripa then asked Sam Horace, "If I rub your head, do I get good luck?"

The theme, "A sterling past, a shining future," was carried through with Tiffany & Co., the Anniversary sponsor. "It was a sterling event," said Douglas Kerbs, Director of Tiffany & Co., Denver. "We are very proud of our association with Children's Hospital and to have been associated with the record year during this Anniversary." Tiffany & Co. donated several pieces to the silent auction, including Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso sterling silver jewelry. They also provided “blue box surprises,” with values ranging from $150 - $1,750, that guests placed bids on.

Gala Chair, Joy S. Johnson, escorted to the event by Peter Wells and her ten-year-old daughter, Vivian Carlson, looked gorgeous in a floor length silver beaded gown. “This is a real turning point and a special time for The Children's Hospital… once again ranking 4th nationally for pediatrics in US News and World Report in 2002.”

Christie and Walter Isenberg, the Dinner Chairs, attended the gala with their daughter, Nicole Isenberg. Christie accessorized her silvery-white lace and beaded gown with a matching crutch, wrapped in silver ribbon and the same fabric as her dress. “This is not going to slow me down,” Christie quipped, referring to her crutch.

Steve Winesett, President and CEO of The Children’s Hospital Foundation, welcomed the guests and dedicated the gala to Caroline Rickenbaugh, a Children’s Hospital family member, “I know that you all join me in our sentiments… that we loved her and Kent deeply and we miss them terribly.”

The theme continued with the décor, provided by BJ Dyer, AIFD and Guenther Vogt of Bouquets®. In keeping with the "sterling" part of the idea, eucalyptus leaves and delicately laced "Million Stars" gypsophila were misted with metallic silver paint to catch the light. Large, elegant, silver-plated compotes were imported specifically for the gala to hold the centerpieces. To reflect the "shining" part of the theme, half of the room's 146 tables were draped with silvery-green tablecloths, made of textural bichon and then lit from beneath, generating a warm glowing appearance. Thin, transparent Lucite tubes containing wisps of metallic branches and silver beads towered more than eight feet above each centerpiece, topped off with an orb of eucalyptus, also air-brushed with silver.

Immediately following dessert, Steve Farber, the Corporate Chair, who co-chaired along with his wife Cindy Farber, played auctioneer along with Kelly Ripa and Don Elliman.

The three live auction items included; a seven-night stay at any Marriott Hotel in the world and two business class tickets to any United Airlines destination worldwide; a package for two in New York with tickets to see Live! With Regis and Kelly, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and The View, a two-nights’ stay at the Hotel Algonquin, dinner at the Montrachet and United Airlines coach round-trip tickets; and a package for four on a private jet to New York, two nights’ stay at the Hotel Algonquin, gift certificate for dinner at Nobu, exclusive fashion show tickets to designers Douglas Hannant, Zang Toi, Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors and $1,500 towards a Bill Blass trunk show, to be held at Auer’s in Denver.

After the excitement of the live auction, the raffle drawing, for the silver (of course) Volvo XC Colorado, donated by Volvo Retailers, took place. David Stewart, a Children’s Hospital Ambassador, looking very handsome in his tuxedo, spun the raffle drum and selected the winning ticket. And the winner was…Ann Hilliard, congrats! Between the live auction and raffle tickets, an estimated $80,000 was raised.

Ms. Ripa made an incredible announcement after the dinner dishes had been cleared away. “I am honored to be the first to let you know that this year’s Gala will break an all time record. With all your generous help, a total of $1.2 million was raised!” She graciously donated her time and talent for the event back to the hospital.

The excitement of the evening continued long into the night with the sounds of Brian Setzer and his Orchestra. The big band consists of five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, drums, Brian on the electric guitar and a group of background female singers. They soon had the dance floor packed with couples swinging and jiving to well-known hits like, "Stray Cat Strut" and "Jump, Jive and Wail,” by Louis Prima.

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