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May 08, 2003 - Urban Peak's Courage & Spirit

What: MaverickThinkers Awards Dinner

Where: Seawell Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex

When: Thursday, May 8, 2003

Beneficiary: Urban Peak

Master of Ceremonies: Hank Brown

Honoree(s): Judi Wagner, Maverick Thinker and Robert Kardokus, Youth Honoree

Executive Director: Roxane White

Introductions: Dr. Chris Nyquist

Libations: Coors Beverage Company and Pepsi Distributors

Catering: Occasions by Sandy

Entertainment: Hip-Hop Dancers from "The Spot"

Of note: Special tribute to the late Helen Myers McLoraine

Sponsors: TITLE SPONSOR: Gary Williams Energy Corporation; MENTORS: ADCO General, Chambers Family Fund, T & R Birdsong Fund; GUIDES: The Colorado Trust, Hunt Alternatives Fund, Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti, Schwartz & Goldberg, P.C., Bill & Jodi Sorenson, Wagner Equipment Co., Wagner Investment Management, Inc,.; and many FRIENDS

Quote of the evening: A teen from the SPOT, his first time at a fund-raising dinner, "They already brought my food and I haven't even ordered yet!"

Menu: Slendor Salad with Pecans, Strawberries and Bleu Cheese; Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Tomato Bolognese; Tri-color Tortelline with Pesto; Grilled Vegetable Stack; Spring Berry Millefeuille

Attendance: 450

Attire: Business

Florist: Botanica

Information: www.urbanpeak.org or 303-777-9198; The Spot:: www.thespot.org or 303-295-3700; Urban Peak Housing Corp: 303-778-0930

Event Coordinator: Co-Chairs: Jennie Kurtz and Leigh Sinclair

Planning Committee: Terry Brown, Jim Bye, Connie Jacoway, Abby Modesitt, Susan Noble, Jim Polsfut, Jodi Sorenson, James Wallen, Roxane White, Nina Williams

Executive Producer(s): Board of Trustees: Craig Archibald, William Barnes, Wayne Berger, Bruce Fraser, William Hornbostel, Jamie Kurtz, Abby Modesitt, Jim Polsfut, Marily Osborne Rock, Thomas Schilling, Alan Scwartz, Peggy Shupe, Leigh Sinclair, Bill Sorenson, Roxane White

Board of Directors: Craig Archibald, David Banks, Terry Brown, Todd Fredrickson, Christina Habas, Ned Harvey, Eric Jenkins, Kevin King, Mark Kling, Jennie Kurtz, Rev. Sean McGrath, Chris Nyquist, M.D., Trinidad Rodriguez, Tammeron Trujillo, James Wallen, Roxane White


 The true
The true "movers & shakers" in the crowd, Hip=Hop Dancers "Marzy", Brother Deent, Joe, and David Harvey (front). "Here to turn this party OUT!"

What a difference Urban Peak and The Spot make, not only for homeless and high-risk youth, but for every taxpayer in the metro area. On any night in Denver, there are 400 homeless youth on the streets. Each year, it costs Denver area taxpayers $53,000 to keep one juvenile incarcerated. From the first visit to stabilization, it costs Urban Peak $5200 to transform high-risk youth into law abiding and productive members of society. The recidivism rate for incarcerated youth is near 70%. In 2001-2002, 58% of the youth served by Urban Peak permanently exited street life. On Thursday, May 8, Urban Peak supporters gathered at the Seawell Ballroom to laud this year’s Maverick Thinkers, honoring those who make it possible for hope to become a reality: Community Leader, Judi Wagner and Urban Peak “graduate”, Robert Kardokus. This year the Maverick Thinker event presented a special tribute to the late Helen Myers McLoraine, whose dedication and generosity has made a measureable difference in the lives of countless homeless and high-risk youth. On hand to provide a first-hand account of Mrs. McLoraine’s generosity was Scott Hamilton (yes, THAT Scott Hamilton). In introducing Hamilton, Hank Brown described him as a “skater, author, cancer survivor, entertainer, and the original hip-hop man.” Scott Hamilton gave everyone a chuckle as he moved a box over to the podium for him to stand on. Although Mrs. McLoraine wouldn’t pay the outrageous price of a Sunday newspaper or buy new shoes when the old ones could be resoled, she made a great impact on the community with her support of those less fortunate than her. In fact, states Hamilton, “I wouldn’t be here today if not for Mrs. McLoraine. She supported us when my parents went bankrupt. Among other things, she made sure that I could continue with my skating. There were never any strings attached and she never asked for anything in return. She just wanted to help a family in need.” “Helen Myers McLoraine just wanted to make a difference, and she did. Every day of her life.” Judi Wagner, this year’s community honoree, is a true pioneer with an extraordinary spirit, honored for her dedication and life-changing work. Creating jobs and opportunities for women when it wasn’t so “politically correct”, Mrs. Wagner was Colorado’s first female certified money manager, president of the organizing group for the first nationally chartered women’s bank, and has managed assets for 28 years in her firm, Wagner Investment Management, Inc. Growing up, Judi realized the power of social justice. She learned about the dichotomy of material wealth and “want”. From a young age, Judi’s passion has been to be a beacon for others to reach out to youth who have not experienced social justice. She has led by example through her selfless community activism, tireless participation in countless youth oriented organizations, and her commitment to giving those less fortunate a second chance. She left us with this quote, “Life is not measured in the breaths we take, but by moments that take our breaths away.” Robert Karkodokus, Maverick Thinker youth honoree, said that he is “proof” that Urban Peak does make a great impact on homeless youth. He showed up at The Peak with piercings, ratty clothes, and drug-addicted. At tonight’s dinner he showed up in a suit, sober for over nine months, a father, a student at Community College of Denver, and holding a job. He represented Urban Peak in Washington D.C. this year at the National Network for Youth. Rob had experienced everything from homeless shelters to jail, when he finally hit rock-bottom – what he calls, “The first rung on the ladder of success.” “The people at Urban Peak were kind, loving and supportive, but nobody wanted me there.” “They wanted me to be successful and gave me the tools and education to do just that.” Patrons were treated to a unique entertainment segment. Hip-Hip Dancers from The Spot, David Harvey, “Marzy”, “Brother Deent”, and Joe, wowed the crowd with flips, spins, slides, hops, and actions that many thought were physically impossible. Training for hip-hop dancing is no different than training for any athletic sport. According to Deent, “Like anything in life, it takes a lot of dedication and commitment.” To see the unbelievable dancing moves in person, a hip-hop event called “Elemental Flavas” will be at the Universal Lending Pavillion on July 26, 2003. www.elementalflavas.com Located in Downtown Denver, and appreciated by a multidude of street youth as well as neighborhood teens, The Spot provides a safe and supportive atmosphere that encourages creativity, respect, education, and career development. www.thespot.org Tonight’s theme was centered on courage and spirit. Courage and spirit are two of the qualities demonstrated by the homeless youth who seek out Urban Peak, as well as the Peak’s staff and benefactors, who truly make Denver a better place to live … for everyone.

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