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August 06, 2004 - Concert for Kids (of all ages) - Benefits Denver's Children's Charities

Where: Universal Lending Pavilion/Pepsi Center

When: August 6, 2004

Time: 7:30 pm

Beneficiary: Make-A-Wish Foundation, DPS Foundation, Children's Hospital

Mistress of Ceremonies: Molly Hughes, CBS News 4

Presenting Sponsor(s): TeleTech and Sage Hospitality

Gala Chairperson(s): Walt and Christy Isenberg

Music: Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire

Sponsors: CBS4, 5280 Magazine, Glauser Mercedes Benz, Sage Hospitality

Attendance: Sold Out!

Event Coordinator: Chuck Morris, Concert Promoter

Executive Producer(s): Andi Smith

 Members of Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire Meet Some Very Special Children
Members of Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire Meet Some Very Special Children

By Blacktie Staff

One of the first times Chicago played Denver, was in the fall of '71 or '72 at the Denver Coliseum. It was a great show from a band just beginning to be well known.

In 1970, Philip Bailey, born and raised in Denver (and a DPS Graduate), had finished two years of college and was playing the Denver club scene with an R&B/rock outfit. His career took a fateful turn when the band landed an opening slot for a new group called Earth, Wind & Fire. By 1971, he had left school, moved to Los Angeles and become one of the leaders of EWF.

The Friday night crowd attending Concert for Kids was most likely at the Coliseum show in the early 70's and probably partied to EWF many times as they crisscrossed the US.

The sold-out crowd was anxious to relive their, "College years, high school years, and even their junior high years," as emcee Molly Hughes put it. And they were not disappointed.

While there were many kids in the crowd, most were there to accompany their parents and find out a little bit about musical history. But for a select group of attendees, this concert meant more than just an evening of music.

Children that had been cured by Children's Hospital, or received a wish from Make-A-Wish, or those wishing for a good education from the Denver Public Schools were all the recipients of the largess of Walter and Christine Isenberg, the co-chairs for the concert.

Typical is the story of Emily McIntyre. Her mother related that Emily had a brain tumor and that without an operation from Children's Hospital of Denver, that was successful in removing it, that Emily would have died.

The Isenberg's wanted to do something special for Denver's kids. Mr. Isenberg is the chairman of Sage Hospitality. Sage Hospitality is celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2004. Both Walter and Christine are active in a variety of causes in the Denver community. Deciding to produce a concert for someone else is not the usual manner in which a company would celebrate their good fortune, but most companies don't have Walter Isenberg at the helm.

The Isenberg's along with major sponsor Ken Tuchman and TeleTech decided to underwrite the entire expense of the concert and allowing 100 percent of the concert proceeds to go to the three previously mentioned children's charities. Glauser Mercedes-Benz donated a Mercedes Benz for a raffle and the sponsors got to "meet and greet" band members prior to the concert start.

The VIP tent had piece signs and paisley and other artifacts of the early 70's. There was also a lot of paisley scattered throughout the crowd.

The final tally of what each group will receive wasn't known at the time this article was written, but it will be a significant addition to each organization's budget. Children's Hospital for example is planning to move from its current location to the Fitzsimmons area.

The two bands joined together for the first few songs, and perhaps the first song was a portent of good things to come... Beginnings.

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