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October 22, 2003 - Shannon Sharpe's Gridiron

Where: INVESCO Field at Mile High

When: October 27, 2003

Beneficiary: Beacon Center (formerly Court House, Inc.)

Master of Ceremonies: Vic Lombardi, CBS 4 Sports Anchor

Honoree(s): Shannon Sharpe

Gala Chairperson(s): Annabel Bowlen, President of Cherish the Children

Executive Director: Anne Robinson

Catering: Epicurean Entertainment

Sponsors: Best Buy, Bud Light, CBS 4, EAS, Southern Wine & Spirits, Frontier Airlines, Bacardi, Sprint PCS, Denver Broncos

Attendance: 400

Attire: Costume!

Information: 720.339.7827

Event Coordinator: Lisa Young

Board of Directors: Mike Miller, President; Sherry Burt, Immediate Past President; Don Seyfer, Vice President; Kevin Reedy, Treasurer; Georgianna Contiguglia, Vincent Dimaria, Ralph Klomp, David Kukimoto, Anne Robinson, Bob Trujillo

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Mermaid of the Sea and her Pirate...Annabel and Pat Bowlen, pose with
Mermaid of the Sea and her Pirate...Annabel and Pat Bowlen, pose with "Mask Man" Shannon Sharpe and his girlfriend "Marilyn Monroe," Shelly Davis

Elizabeth Byrnes

A crowd of 400 philanthropic supporters and excited football fans packed the United Club Level at INVESCO Field on October 27 for Shannon Sharpe’s third annual Gridiron Halloween costume party, the “Super Boo” of all Halloween parties.

Future Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe, the Broncos’ all-time leader in receptions and yards, came as Jim Carey’s character in the blockbuster movie, The Mask, dressed in the signature vivid yellow suit and green face.

Shannon had hosted the Gridiron Halloween event while living in Baltimore, where he played with the Ravens. Now back in Denver, he has brought his successful fundraising idea back to life with the help of co-chair Annabel Bowlen, President of the Cherish the Children Guild.

"This is a no-brainer,” Shannon told the gathered costume-clad guests, sans mask, “I am honored to be part of the team, with Annabel Bowlen and the Guild and to help Colorado children...especially those who have faced abuse and need our extra support."

Pat Bowlen, President and CEO of the Denver Broncos team, transformed himself into a dashing pirate, eye patch and all. Even with one eye covered, he could still see "Goddess of the Sea" Annabel, dressed as a mermaid.

"Children take lots of bashes in the real world, like the Denver Broncos on the field, but they don't bounce back like the players do," Annabel shared with the guests, explaining what the organization is about. "It takes a lot of time, patience and counseling to get the children back up on their feet. They are our future." Cherish the Children provides support for Beacon Center (formerly Court House, Inc.) through fundraising and community awareness. Beacon Center helps youth redirect their lives by providing a safe, structured therapeutic living environment for both boys and girls from ages 10 to 18. As a licensed Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Beacon Center has served thousands of young people since its inception in 1970.

The costume contest was a big highlight of the event. Imaginations and creativity ran wild in order to gain the attention of the judges.

First place went to Rick Spurio, the “Blind Ref;" the "drunken airline pilot and his stewardess” received second place and third place was awarded to the "Spirit of INVESCO Field.”

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