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August 24, 2004 - The Morgan Adams Concours d'Elegance

What: Display of rare and collectible vintage and modern aircraft and automobiles.

Where: TAC Air Hangar, Centennial Airport

When: August 21, 2004

Time: 6:30 PM

Ticket Prices: $100.00 per person

Beneficiary: Pediatric Oncology Research _ The Children's Hospital Cancer Center

Master of Ceremonies: Matthew C. Iseman ; Physician, Comedian, Daredevil and Gary Shapiro 9 News Anchor

Honorary Chairperson(s): Gary Shapiro, KUSA 9News

Founders: Joan Slaughter and Steven Adams

Co-Chair(s): Steven Adams and Brett Derosier

Executive Director: Joan Slaughter

Committee Members: The Seebaum Family,The Krause Family, The Hutchinson Family,The Dennett Family, The Ashby-Steele Family, The Adams Family, The English-Ogden Family, The Cunningham Family

Speaker: Dr. Nick Forman and Dr. Lia Gore

Catering: Air Culinaire, Baldoria, Dougals Catering Services, Japon, Strings, 240 Union Maggiano's Little Italy , Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, and the Vesta Dipping Grill

Music: The Robin Ruscio Group featuring Dave Hanson; Piano, Peter Sommer; Saxophone and Chris Lee; Drums

Of note: Terry Dennett and his entire fabulous crew

Sponsors: TAC Air, 5280 Magazine, Adams Aircraft, Ehrhardt, Keefe, Steiner & Hottman PC, Hyundai, Kohl Cares for Kids, Merlin, The Wright Group Copanies, Anaconda Printing, L & M Printing, Listen Up, Stanek Contractors, Inc, Bouquets, Eye Candy Graphics , Mountain States Bank, Steven Adams Photography, W.G. Nielsen & Co., Craig Hospital,

Auctioneer: Dave Welton

Attendance: 850

Attire: Business Casual

Special Thanks: Dan Bryant, Dennis Fria and everyone at TAC air as well as Robert Olislagers, Executive Director Centennial Airport

Florist: Bouquets

Event Coordinator: Brett Derosier and Joan Slaughter

Planning Committee: Yvette Bjork, Wanda Castleman, David Cook, Bari DeJaynes, Kristi Fisher, Joe Garrity, Mary Henderson, Karen Hutchison, Tammy Krause, Jeremy Lahr, Amy Lindstrom, Leslie McKay, Lissa Moon, Dan Perlman, Stephanie Seebaum, Lisa and Phil Smith, Tony Troxell, Ted Tseng, Sonya Unrein, Grant Wallace, Susan Ware, Fran Williams, Maria and Monte Wilson and Lynne Wright

Decor/Rental Company: The Wright Group

Executive Producer(s): Listen-Up Pro Sound, Ken Seagren and Lighting Services Inc.

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 Event coordinator Brett Derosier with founders Steven Adams and Joan Slaughter
Event coordinator Brett Derosier with founders Steven Adams and Joan Slaughter

by Marcelo Mainzer Impressive, head turning, eyebrow rising, bring a smile to your face impressive, that is what best describes the Morgan Adams Foundation.

Whether you are an enthusiast or not the sight of a beautifully restored vintage automobile has that instant appeal. Maybe it’s the lines or the way it’s been polished to a high sheen. For those with an engineering bent it may be the knowledge of the machine’s precision construction, how all the parts came together perfectly to create the whole. Or perhaps it teases a memory of the past that brings a tear of sadness and joy to your eyes.

The Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance has all these elements and more. On Saturday August 21, 2004 substantial clouds flowed across the face of the sun to cast an ever-changing backdrop for the event. The Concours brought together some of the finest vintage and exceptionally crafted modern aircraft and automobiles in the Rocky Mountain Region for an evening of viewing. Although the machines may have been the main attraction, the Concours d’Elegance was also an opportunity to bid on over a hundred wonderful items donated to the silent auction that included certificates for dining, travel and personal pampering gifts. Invitations to ride in vintage cars and aircraft. Toys and transportation collectables and even a Botox treatment.

At six-thirty both the hangar at TAC air and the tarmac in front of it were bustling with people and set with cars, some of whom had participated in the “Road Tour” along the scenic foothill region of the Colorado Rockies, and airplanes polished to a high sheen for the occasion. On stage Gary Shapiro, KUSA 9News and Matthew C. Iseman, Physician/Comedian were making announcements and revving up the crowd. The caterers at Morgan Adams Foundation events always out do themselves providing delicious cuisine and the tradition was maintained at the Concours. Continuing their support of foundation events were Dogal’s Catering, Japon, Strings Vesta, Wolfgang Puck and 240 Union just to name a few, with Aire Culinaire back for this event and and new to the foundation's parties Maggiano's.

At around seven most conversations were interrupted by the sound of aircraft engines as several of the crafts prepared to make flyovers, the roar erupted from the powerplants of second world war planes like the AT-6, the British Fairey Firefly, P51 Mustang and then screaming across came Jack Wilhite's MiG-17 paired in a surprise appearance with a deHavilland Vampire. The aircraft quickly scrambled into the air, with one of the planes carried photographer and co-host, Steven Adams. Soon the planes came swooping out of the sky and passing low over the field or they could be seen playing in the clouds a thousand feet up. Later at the live auction guests would be given and opportunity to bid on just such experiences.

The event moved forward with the smooth flow of a well-tuned engine as Gary Shapiro, KUSA 9News gave a brief review of the agenda for the evening, which included mention of the auctions, and thanked the owners of all the entered vehicles. “While this is going to be a fabulous party tonight” Gary said, “the real reason we are here, as you know, is to raise some money to fight cancer and to help kids who really need that help”. Gary went on to praise the work of the Morgan Adams Foundation and Children’s Hospital and specifically Joan Slaughter and Steven Adams who after having lost the little girl to the disease in 1998 have been “working and working and working to help wipe out this horrible disease and we are going to lend them a hand”. Gary reported that Children’s Hospital has been at the forefront of the fight against cancer since 1969 and the objective for the evening was to raise money to help fund over two hundred thousand dollars in petitioned project grants . Gary continued by quoting some statistics, including the fact that ”one in every three hundred and thirty kids in this country develop cancer by age nineteen” and “the average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is just five years old, nearly ten thousand new cases of childhood cancer are going to be diagnosed this year”, on a more hopeful note he said that, with leukemia, the cure rate had risen from twenty percent twenty years ago to nearly eighty percent today. With that Gary noted there is hope and that a lot of progress has been made and “that is why we need to raise two hundred thousand dollars tonight so that no more children will have to go through what Morgan Adams went through.”

Gary then introduced co-Host Dr. Matt Iseman, Physician-Comedian who proceeded to relate his history, in a lighthearted manner, beginning with roots in Colorado and continuing on to Princeton and receiving his MD at Columbia and upon returning to the University of Colorado to do a residency in internal medicine at which point he said “ I decided to hang up my stethoscope to tell joke’s, but don’t tell my parents because they don’t know that yet” he quipped. Matt said he receive a call from long time friend committee member Tammy Krause, whose own daughter is battling cancer, asking him to come out and help, he said that “any chance to help these kids I would be happy to take” explaining how he was there at the event.

The tempo of the event was kept by the jazz styling of The Robin Ruscio Group. A surprise of the evening was the unveiling of the 300SL “Alloy” Gullwing directly from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with special sponsorship from Mercedes Benz. It is typical of a Morgan Adams Foundation event that it is strung with surprises and infused with excitement.

Gary Shapiro returned to the podium and in modest reference to his own television celebrity repeated the quote “Theatre is life. Cinema is art. Television is furniture”. Then again introduced Matt Iseman who joked about his post Doctoral career and quickly encourage everyone to have fun, open their wallet books and enjoy the event. Gary Shapiro then introduced the three people who had worked so diligently to make the event such a success. Bret Derosier, Joan Slaughter and Steven Adams, Steven took the microphone and “briefly “, at the encouragement of Joan, thanked everyone who had donated, volunteered and exhibited he specially mentioned Brett. The three received a huge ovation from the crowd before Matt returned to thank the corporate sponsors including TAC Air and Centennial Airport.

Gary then thank all of the owners of the cars and airplanes before introducing Dr. Nick Forman, from Children’s Hospital of Denver, who gave an outline of the state of the childhood oncology research in America , the triumphs and the tragedies. He said that the “aim of our team is that all the children get cured, all the children grow up to be healthy adults and we do more an more every year ” He went on to describe several of the people and programs involved in the gene therapy protocol. He said they had cured things in the last ten years that he had never thought they would cure. “We have some things we have failed to cure but we are still determined to cure all children” he reiterated. He thanked everyone who helps the fight and mentioned his wife’s amazing patience and support.

Matt Isman introduced Dr. Lia Gore who heads the phase one clinical trials at Children’s Hospital saying that “this is where they are exploring the cutting edge treatments, the treatments that will be considered standard in ten years” he said that “Children’s is the innovator”. Dr. Gore immediately put everyone at ease with her manner then invited all to “close your eyes and think about the most awful sad and devastating thing that could ever happen to you, then I want you to open your eyes and look around because what has happened tonight has grown out of one of those moments”. Dr. Gore said “that what you see tonight is that each of you has the power to make a difference in the life of a child who doesn’t have any other choices”. She thanked supporters for letting her and the staff at Children’s hospital makes a difference every day, because she said, “I think its extraordinarily exciting and fun and I thank you for the privilege” She finished by thanking them for their extra effort that allows Children’s to do things “I never imagined possible”

Dr. Gore then introduce a video that documented the experience of one child “Erin” at Children’s Hospital of Denver a patient of Dr.Dunbar Ivy who suffered pulmonary hypertension and with the help of cutting edge technology and the work and dedication of the staff at Children’s is on path to a healthier life where she might otherwise have died. It showed a program that creates a community among the children, parents and health care providers at Children’s. The Video showcases the fact that Children’s Hospital is one of the places where miracles take place in the lives of children.

Gary Shapiro returned to set the stage for the live auction by introducing the impromptu “Vana White” for the evening Miss Colorado USA Janelle Haw and professional auctioneer “ and grand father of Lyndsey Cunningham” Dave Welton. Dave explained how the auction worked in a fast passed and lively manner and then auction began with a roar, the first item was a chance to drive two Indie style racers. Followed by framed jerseys by Colorado Avalanche players Joe Sackic and Peter Forsberg , rides in an F40 or a P51 Mustang and a “Ride Along with the Denver Police Dept. Helicopter. A dinner catered for eight by the doctors of Children’s was auctioned and two luxury vacation packages.

Also auctioned was a very special way for people to make a direct contribution to the research by bidding on a Gene chip that can analyze what genes drive a specific tumor and what genes are not involved. This may allow treatments other then the general treatment of chemotherapy that is a “body poison” according to Dr. Forman who explained the Gene Chip. It allows the targeting of specific genes with specific treatment.

Both the silent and live auction was a wonderful opportunity for people to help end the suffering of children and bring fun and joy into the lives of bidders. Like an exciting road trip the evening was full of new and familiar sights and sounds. Shared moments and anticipation of experiences to come.

The Morgan Adams Foundation once again engineered, produced and delivered a unique hand made one of a kind event that is sure to be a classic in years to come.

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