An Enchanted Evening had been a Discover Goodwill gala tradition for 20 years.
Year 21 not only raised the bar for local fundraisers, it blew it over the top. No longer an amazing evening at a luxury home, it became a full Enchanted Weekend.
An inaugural teaming of the Garden of the Gods Collection with Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado drew hundreds to the host resort, Kissing Camels Golf Course and Club and the new spa and International Health & Wellness Center. A number of guests were visiting for the first time Aug. 18-19. Others turned it into a weekend staycation.
Food, wine and fun in the spectacular setting above Garden of the Gods had a serious purpose: self sufficiency through job programs and training for those who have barriers to employment.
The sunny weekend began Friday with foursomes playing the 27-hole Kissing Camels course. Tournament action for the 112 golfers featured a Hot Ball Competition, a Discover Goodwill Scramble, Hole-In-One and Closest to the Pin contests and an on-course silent auction.
Meanwhile, over at the Health & Wellness Center, 157 guests enjoyed a Chic Boutique and healthy luncheon with mimosas and a featured lifestyles speaker.
Many sunburned golfer faces and some new Chic Boutique outfits were in evidence Friday evening at On The Mesa, on the lawn and around the pool at the resort. The casual Napa-style setting, which was a draw for more than 300 guests, featured chefs' gourmet samples and tastings from wine/craft/spirit companies. Added to that were lawn games and music by The Coteries.
Saturday brought the piece de résistance, the Enchanted Weekend Gala and After-Lounge at Kissing Camels Golf Club, where 314 were served a gourmet meal in a massive white party tent beside the club on the golf course. The tent, said guests, looked like Denver's DIA peaks against the blue sky with white puffy clouds. Providing musical entertainment was Spinphony.
The gala has created a name for itself with its breathtaking auctions and some of this year's gems were designer jewelry, a red Austin-Healey Kit Car, golf at three iconic courses including Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay, bonefishing in the Bahamas and major dinner parties.
Auctioneer Kevin Patterson had fun with guests as the bids flew up and up. John and Pat Marzolf of Broadmoor Jewelry Company donated a choice of any of four pieces of jewelry by designer Roberto Coin and described by Coin's representative Susan Svitak. Each piece had a suggested price up to $17,500. After one piece was sold, another bidder waved a bid paddle and matched the $13,500 for a second item, bringing the total to $27,000 The Austin-Healey winning bid was $10,000.
The enthusiastic Raise the Paddle action alone raised $325,000.
The weekend brought hearty congratulations and thank yous for Garden of the Gods Collection's Brenda Smith, Judy Mackey and Laura Neumann and their employees.
Co-chairing the weekend were Ward Berlin and Pat Cone. Each event also had co-chairs: Gala, Connie Christofferson and Susie Gregoire; Golf, Anne and Phil DeVries and Christy and Buzz Walsh; On the Mesa, Grace Harrison and Peter Maiurro.
Weekend underwriters and donors included Marc Boyce, E-9, David and Susie Jenkins, Lexus of Colorado Springs and Dr. Terrance and Mary O'Rourke. Each event also had sponsors.