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May 18, 2004 - Denver Public Schools Foundation Gala

What: Annual Celebration of Denver Public Schools

Where: Adams Mark

When: May 18th, 2004

Time: 6:00 pm

Beneficiary: Denver Public Schools

Presenting Sponsor(s): Council Tree Communications, Presenting Sponsor

Co-Chair(s): Lola Salazar, Mark Smith, Tom Strickland

Executive Director: Karen Kennedy

Welcome: Bruce Benson, DPS Foundation Chair

Sponsors: Lowe’s , Comcast , Marcy and Bruce Benson , Elaine Gantz Berman and Steve Berman , Rutt Bridges Family Foundation, Cille and Ron Williams , KBCO 97.3 FM , Salazar Family Foundation , Blair and Kristin Richardson , Wells Fargo , Karen Kennedy

Menu: Salad and Rolls, Grilled New York Sirloin Steak with Ruby Port Demi-Glaze, Herb Crusted Salmon filet with Yellow Pepper Cream Sauce, Red Skin Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Baby Carrots and Red Peppers, Bittersweet Chocolate Entrmet Gateau with Fresh Raspberries and Clear Orange Sauce

Attendance: 1,000 +

Attire: Business

Special Thanks: Adam's Mark Hotel, Zoe & Annie Aqua, Ira Bigelow, Bryant Webster Elementary Mariachi Band, Catherine Barnes, Decor N More, Denver School of the Arts, East High Angelaires, Kent Glassman, Greenlee Elementary Mile Highland Dancers, Veronica Gallegos, Hamilton Middle School Jazz Band, Kennedy High School Shakespearean Actors, Katie Knoll, Robinsons Dairy, Maruca Salazar, Tim Summers, Valverde Elementary Grupo Folklorico Infantil, West High School Madrigal Choir, Wandel Press

Board of Directors: Steve Katich, President, Bruce Benson, Elaine Gantz Berman, Joseph Blake, Ilene Brody, Linda Childears, Cole Finegan, Noel Ginsburg, Allegra "Happy" Haynes, Mariner Kemper, Kevin McNicholas, Carrie Morgridge, C. Alan Peppers, Kristin Richardson, Lola Salazar, Paul Sandoval, Vincent Shepherd, Mark Smith, Jill Stark, Tom Strickland, Edward Timmins, Jerry Wartgow, Ronald Williams,

 The Annual Celebration of Denver Public Schools brought out a great mix of business, education and government.
The Annual Celebration of Denver Public Schools brought out a great mix of business, education and government.

by Blacktie Staff "Wow." That's the most appropriate word to describe the turnout and program for the DPS Foundation. As President of the Foundation, Steve Katich said, "the support was so overwhelming, we had to move venues twice." A sell out crowd of over 1,000 people turned out to show their support for Denver Public Schools. Leaders from business, government and education showed up. This influential guest list included Gov. Bill Owens, Mayor John Hickenlooper, Zee Ferrufino, Mariner Kemper, Lola Salazar, Tom Strickland, Elbra Wedgeworth and many, many others. Naturally, an event that celebrates schools and teaching wouldn't be complete with out real students. Talented students Bryant Webster Elementary Mariachi Band, Denver School of the Arts Dancers, East High Angelaires, Greenlee Elementary Mile Highland Dancers, Hamilton Middle School Jazz Band, Kennedy High School Shakespearean Actors, Valverde Elementary Grupo Folklorico Infantil Viva Mexico, Veronica Gallegos of North High School, West High School Madrigal Choir and Zoe and Annie Aqua. These performances added a lot to the ambiance of the evening, and reinforced in attendee’s minds all the great things that can happen in DPS. Kent Glassman created a silent auction list that had many unique items including a Ford Thunderbird. The silent auction brought in $30,000 and was part of the $1,268,500 total raised for the event. AS part of that total, the City of Denver dedicated $250,000 for "Lights on Afterschool" - and the Mile High United Way donated another $170,000 to the critical after school programming for elementary and middle school students. Banquet attendees also stuffed lunch-sized milk carton centerpieces with $5,000 during the dinner itself. That money will be used to buy books - the actual books that served as colorful table centerpieces - needed in schools. "We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support this community has for Denver's schools," said Elaine Gantz Berman, a member of the Denver Board of Education and vice chair of DPS Foundation Board of Directors. "This year's gala was twice as big as last year's event and more than doubled the amount of money raised for students in Denver Public Schools." No doubt part of the enthusiasm stems from the fact that the Governor named DPS the only Colorado school district to earn the Governor's Award for Distinguished Improvement for the second year in a row. Mayor Hickenlooper echoed that theme by saying "I love working with Superintendent Jerry Wartgow and the DPS Board of Education to find new ways for the city to partner with and support Denver Public Schools." At the rate that the district is gaining ground through the Foundation's financial support, next year's event will have to be held at Investor Field!

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