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March 05, 2004 - Hickenlooper Gets Heckled

What: Annual Roast Dinner

Where: Adam's Mark Hotel

When: March 4, 2004

Beneficiary: Colorado I Have a Dream® Foundation

Honoree(s): Lorenzo Nuanez, Summit Award

EMCEE: Reggie Rivers

Gala Chairperson(s): Juanita Chacon, Leo Kiely and Chris Romer

Honorary Chairperson(s): Linda Alvarado, Steve Farber, Frederic Hamilton, Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld, Federico Pẽna, Valencia Faye Tate

Welcome: Tracy Huggins, President of Colorado I Have a Dream® Foundation

Entertainment: Roasters: Governor Bill Owens, Betsy Hollins, Patricia Calhoun, Leo and Susan Kiely, Federico Pẽna and Wellington Webb, Mystery Roaster (Kurt Vonnegut Jr.) and Michael Bennet

Of note: Video of What Dreams are Made of

Sponsors: Gold: Coors Brewing Company, Comcast, Forest City Stapleton, Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn PC., Stifel Nicolaus/Hanifen Imhoff, J.P. Morgan Securities, Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Solutions, Morrison and Foerster Foundation and Steve and Patti Kaufmann, MWH Americas, Piper Jaffray Co.; Silver: numerous generous companies and individuals

Attendance: 840

Information: Colorado I Have a Dream® Foundation or 303.861.5005

Board of Directors: President Tracy Huggins, Secretary Allan Cohen, Treasurer Gary Mitchell, Douglas Andrews, Tamara Banks, Lark Birdsong, Tammy Booth, Juan Botero, Ryan Charp, Rob Cohen, Cole Finegan, George Flanders, Michael Hobbs, Bob Hochstadt, Sonny Jackson, Kellee Johnson, Grant Jones, Steve Kaplan, Steven Kaufmann, Gregory Kolomitz, John Lanning, Bob Loeb Jr., Larry Manzanares, Anabel McHugh, Laurence Price, Rich Rainaldi, Chris Romer, Justin Roth, Alan Seiver, Ann Theodore, Philip Anthony Washington, Rusty Wehner and Steve Wenner

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Roastee Hickenlooper poses with award winner Lorenzo Nuanez
Roastee Hickenlooper poses with award winner Lorenzo Nuanez

Janet Woods

It was a night of never ending laughs as over 800 people gathered at the Adam’s Mark Hotel to listen to Mayor John Hickenlooper be heckled and hounded by friends and family. His Honor was “roasted” in a fundraiser benefiting the Colorado I Have a Dream® Foundation.

Founded in 1998, the award-winning Colorado I Have a Dream® Foundation’s mission is to help at-risk Denver youth graduate from high school. CIHAD adopts classes of students, called “Dreamers” that consist of entire grade levels from elementary schools, or entire age groups of public housing developments. When the Dreamers graduate, they receive a partial scholarship to the college or vocational school of their choice. CIHAD’s long-term dropout prevention program has proven to change lives for the better. They have worked with over 350 Dreamers from eight adopted classes in some of Denver’s most at-risk neighborhoods. The Donnell-Kay Foundation Class of 2003 celebrated an unprecedented 95 percent graduation rate. The organization was also the 2003 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Education by the El Pomar Foundation.

Event co-chair Leo Kiely, along with Juanita Chaco and Chris Romer, made the announcement that this was the largest roast to date and that the dinner raised approximately $160,000, exceeding the fundraising goal by 25 percent. “Not only did we all raise lots of money,” Leo continued. “These funds will provide 20 percent of the income needed to run the program for the 225 Dreamers this year.” Dreamer Lorenzo Nuanez was presented with the Summit Award. This is the fourth year for the presentation of the Colorado I Have a Dream® Summit Award. It was established in honor of the first roastee, Steve Farber, and is given to an older CIHAD participant who has overcome considerable obstacles to achieve success.

Lorenzo, who had dropped out of high school, went on to earn his GED seven months before his original expected graduation date. He is the first one in his family to receive a GED and attend college. During his acceptance speech, he thanked Sandra Barmore, Project Coordinator of the Ginsburg Family Class, for her encouragement and for “being the first one to knock on his door” and get him back to school. The announcement of an additional $1,000 added to Lorenzo’s award received a standing ovation.

Governor Owens started off the “heckling” of the Mayor. He was followed by Hickenlooper’s sister, Betsy Hollins, who came all the way from Newport, Rhode Island. She enticed the audience with a slide show showing a young Hickenlooper.

Westword’s Patty Calhoun recalled Hickenlooper’s pre-mayoral years as the “liquid years” and joked about the “media’s love affair” of the one man show who was always good for a quote…about anything.

A mystery roaster was on the agenda and the audience received a great surprise when it turned out to be none other than Kurt Vonnegut Jr., via videotape from New York. The Mayor’s father and Vonnegut were roommates at Cornell.

Other roaster’s included Coor’s Leo and Susan Kiely singing “Big John” with Rob and Kathy Klugman, words of advice from former Mayors Wellington Webb and Federico Pẽna, as well as Hickenlooper’s Chief of Staff Michael Bennet.

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