Recent Around Town Columns

The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary added something popular and new for their spring brunch: Coach, Kate Spade and Dooney & Burke. And they sold out the annual event, now a fashion show and handbag auction, overlooking the lake at Broadmoor West. The 260 guests, many wearing spring colors on a sunny May 12, were busily out-bidding each other at tables filled with handbags and bags of every description, eating a delicious brunch and holding paddles high to bid on selected designer handbags. A Chico's fashion show, with models from the auxiliary, featured bright colors of the season. Money raised will sponsor 40 children ages 6 to 16 for a week at the High Peak Camp in Estes Park and sponsor Summer Day Camp for 40

The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary added something popular and new for their spring brunch: Coach, Kate Spade and Dooney & Burke. And they sold out the annual event, now a fashion show and handbag auction, overlooking the lake at Broadmoor West. The 260 guests, many wearing spring colors on a sunny May 12, were busily out-bidding each other at tables filled with handbags and bags of every description, eating a delicious brunch and holding paddles high to bid on selected designer handbags. A Chico's fashion show, with models from the auxiliary, featured bright colors of the season. Money raised will sponsor 40 children ages 6 to 16 for a week at the High Peak Camp in Estes Park and sponsor Summer Day Camp for 40

Twenty-one young women, graduates of seven area high schools this year, have been selected 2018 Colorado Springs Debutantes. They were chosen for school achievements, volunteer activities and contributions to their community, as well as for the community contributions of their families. The debutantes will be formally presented at the 52nd annual ball Dec. 22 at The Broadmoor. Acquisitions for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College are the philanthropic focus of the annual Debutante Ball. These are the 21 Colorado Springs debutantes: - Madison Sea Babcock, daughter of Dr. Michael James and Kelly Babcock and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hart Babcock of Centennial and of Mr.

There were smiles all around, with people picturing just how much flamboyant Spencer Penrose would have enjoyed the 100th anniversary celebration of his hotel, The Broadmoor. On the night of June 2, reportedly much like the Penrose grand opening gala on June 29, 1918, formally attired guests, many from the business, philanthropic and social worlds, came from around the country and across the state to what is now a five-star resort. That first dinner dance, planned as "a big blowout," had featured an orchestra brought in from New York City, according to newspaper reports.

For years, people at fundraising breakfasts for the National Alliance on Mental Illness spoke about "Embracing the Light." That light of understanding and transparency became even brighter May 3 at The Broadmoor, as 650 people moved forward, "Stepping into the Light" of mental illness on the 35th anniversary of NAMI Colorado Springs. The $180,000 goal for that morning was eclipsed when the total raised was announced: $205,000. "This is fully one-third of NAMI's annual operating budget," said Executive Director Lori Jarvis-Steinwert. "It is vital to our ability to offer our always-free education and support programs for those who live with mental illness and their families.

Since 1954, Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado has been preparing young people for financial success in an ever-changing global economy.To move that mission forward, 375 sponsors and supporters gathered at Cheyenne Mountain Resort for the 25th annual fundraiser, a Red Carpet & Silver Screen Gala and Auction. More than $151,000 was raised and, said Executive Director Carrie McKee, to help "bring financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness to our young people." Programs reached 16,554 students in 2016-17, with more than 600 volunteers from the business world.JA galas are well known for exciting silent auctions, and this one didn't disappoint, with an item list filling several pages.

They're writing a new chapter in the Kidpower storybook. And they did it with the yummiest of chocolate, children's storybook characters and tales of romance as they helped empower children. The always-sold-out Chocoholic Frolic, May 5 at The Pinery, drew almost 500 guests, who raised more than $77,000 to continue the nonprofit's work teaching "interpersonal safety and confidence-building skills to young people and the adults who care about them." The backdrop was a giant "Kidpower Story" of those who have trained more than 50,000 young and old how to be safe. The story ended, "Verily, Kids Have Power," charting an ongoing tale. Writing the Kidpower romance chapter were Dan and Kate Thomas. They met at the 2012

The Rocky Mountain Health Care Services Chef Showcase had the happiest of problems, becoming so popular that it burst at the seams. The eighth annual festival of deliciousness, with 22 chefs, was moved to the Olympic Training Center's spacious Sports Center on May 3, where it filled with 720 happy foodies. Before the plates were dished up, VIPs and sponsors were guests at a reception in the Visitor Center. Featured chefs were from 503W, Alchemy, Ascent Catering, Bonny and Read, Cerberus, Cheyenne Mountain Country Club, Colorado Craft, Green Line Grill, Hotel Elegante, retired chef Joey Mestas, Ivywild School, Moxie, Oskar Blues, Picnic Basket Catering, ProStart, The Rabbit Hole, Sarges' Grill, Silver Key, Springs Orleans, Top

They're on a voyage with a "Destination: Independence" and their successes were charted at the Discover Goodwill annual dinner April 26 at The Broadmoor. Honorees and the nonprofit's business partners took the spotlight, along with the "Ambassadors of Goodwill" who had helped lead the way. Devin Hall was named 2017 Community Employee of the Year. After being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as an adult, he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics. This led to his first job, with Discover Goodwill's Document Imaging where he works as a contract employee at Evans Army Community Hospital and has become Team Lead. The Independence Award honoree was Thomas Schuler. He had become addicted to methamphetamines after his

For speaker after speaker, involvement with CASA of the Pikes Peak Region came about because "I am for the child." The impact of those words was never lost during the 18th annual Light of Hope breakfast and lunch fundraisers April 25 at The Antlers hotel. More than 1,000 attended the meals, raising almost $350,000 to serve abused and neglected children with trained advocates. Board chair DeeAnn Rothstein drew from her own life experiences that "every child deserves to have one adult they can trust." CASA Advocate Roy Fulcher said he had retired from the Navy Reserves and was looking for new ways to serve. After training as an advocate he was assigned his first case. A baby. "I was not really a baby person," he said with

In an evening dedicated to "Heroes in Healthcare," a record 770 supporters, including many from health care fields, enjoyed a gala event April 28 as they raised more than $412,000 for the new UCHealth Community Education Center. President/CEO Joel Yuhas said this is where EMTs, first responders, trauma physicians and nurses will receive the latest training to care for the critically injured. It's also a comprehensive effort that includes Pikes Peak Community College and UCCS, police and fire departments and ambulance companies. One of the programs, an accelerated paramedic training, will address what speakers called "a critical shortage of paramedics in El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties.

Shades of "Game of Thrones'"House Lannister and guests peeked around for Jon Snow. But the April 28 Fur Ball had instead been turned into a creative Game of Bones land with puppies and kitties. Almost 500 guests in party clothes and some in regal royal attire cuddled with adoptable creatures at the reception for the 21st annual gala for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. In "Thrones," "different roads sometimes lead to the same castle." At Cheyenne Mountain Resort, the roads led to the photo setting, a Game of Bones throne built by Elite Auto Salon. "Thrones" Dragon Eggs had been tucked into little "Crack Me" boxes with every egg holding a surprise prize and one prize worth $1,000.

A Blackbird Outreach fundraiser auction is unlike any other. Replacing the familiar nonprofit-gala bidding for European trips and formal dinner parties was a "Fund a Need" paddle raising for tarps, tents, sleeping bags, safe Heater Buddy systems, propane tanks, emergency hotel vouchers and outdoor survival packages. Volunteers and supporters of the Blackbird Outreach team gathered with council officers from homeless camps for a "Without a Roof" event April 18 at Cliff House at Pikes Peak. Providing toe-tapping musical entertainment was Tejon Street Corner Thieves. In the words of co-Executive Director Trygve "Trig" Bundgaard, the evening was about showing "how best to serve as voices of the voiceless on the streets.

Two Marys who have passionately devoted years to the LGBTQ community and causes were honored as heroes at the 2018 Red Ribbon Ball. On an April 21 night filled "With a Touch of Magic," Mary Ellen McNally and Mary Lou Makepeace were saluted for "dedicating their lives to making Colorado Springs a better place for everyone," said Chris Robertson of Colorado Health Network. Harry Potter characters and magicians were much in evidence as the festive celebration returned to Cheyenne Mountain Resort, site of the first Red Ribbon Ball 26 years ago. It's the Southern Colorado AIDS Project's signature fundraiser, regularly bringing in $50,000 annually for HIV services and programs in southern Colorado.

The Fran Folsom Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund Dinner is a unique opportunity for culinary arts students at Pikes Peak Community College to participate in every aspect of a formal dining event. It's a fine-dining treat for the guests as well. In its fifth year, the "Taste the Future" four-course dinner April 14, held this year at Julie Penrose Pavilion in St. Paul Parish, raised a record $30,000 to provide 10 $3,000 scholarships for students in their final year in the college certificate program. The scholarship is lovingly referred to as "The Fran" for Folsom, who founded the Broadmoor Cooking School, was a food and wine columnist and volunteers with Chef Michael Paradiso, coaching students of the culinary fields.

Flopsy, Mospy, Cottontail and Peter rabbits hop about in the book illustrations of the real gardens of Beatrix Potter. Delightfully vivacious author Marta McDowell has visited them all. In one of the most deliciously fun annual community presentations by the Broadmoor Garden Club, McDowell shared "Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life, The Plants and Places that Inspired the Classic Children's Tales" on April 13 in the First United Methodist Church Theatre, preceded by a morning coffee. Her opener was a traditional picture from one of the books with Peter Rabbit munching something from the garden. A carrot, of course? Not at all, said McDowell, pointing out how to tell it's a big radish.

The memory of the late Joe Henjum, co-founder and past president of the Senior Resource Council, was honored with the naming of the annual Senior Accolades for the nonprofit's tops of the year.Henjum's son represented the family at the luncheon April 11 at The Mining Exchange.After retiring from the Air Force as a colonel, Henjum was general manager of Cheyenne Place and a busy volunteer with The Home Front Cares, Colorado Commission on Aging and the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs.The Joe Henjum Senior Accolades Volunteer Award recipient was Vileen Hostetler, called "a voice for our seniors." She's an active and vocal part of the El Paso/Teller Counties Extended Care Ethics Committee, her nomination said.

It was the return of Crockett and Tubbs and all the "Miami Vice" neon pinks and greens. Quite the colorful twist to the season-ender awards celebrations.Guests checking into the Marriott Hotel on April 7 got an eyeful watching people arrive for the Tri-Lakes Chamber/EDC/Visitor Center dinner and auction. A not-quite-authentic "Don Johnson pet gator" named Elvis was strolled through the lobby, where a group of women attired in black minis and high heels and carrying guitars gathered for their Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" portion of the program.It was just part of the celebratory evening filled with auctions and awards.

It's sad for everyone, "the long goodbye." That's emcee Jon Karroll describing Alzheimer's at the April 3 Reason to Hope fundraising luncheon.There are no survivors, but there is research and hope. Amelia Schafer, interim executive director of the Colorado Alzheimer's Association, said new research underway in Colorado could have results in the next couple of years. Hundreds of research projects are underway nationwide, and the new federal budget increased the amount going to Alzheimer's research. Today, 5.7 million Americans, 71,000 of them Coloradans, are living with Alzheimer's, Schafer said, and 1-in-5 Medicare dollars is spent on Alzheimer's care. "That is expected to increase to 1 out of every 3.

For the 25th year female business leaders were in the spotlight when the 2018 Athena Award honoree, Jan Weiland, was added to the impressive list April 5. What has set these women apart was also their commitment to their community and their mentorship of other women and men in business. Weiland, vice president of wealth management for Colorado Wealth Solutions of Raymond James, was honored for years of educating women about their finances. Her quiet mentorship included helping start the Southern Colorado Women's Chamber and serving on a number of boards. She led the Junior League's Court Care project, which offers free child care for parents on official business in the courts. It has served an estimated 55,000 children since

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region is going strong on its 139th anniversary. It has become, in the words of its President/CEO Boyd Williams, "one of the most cutting-edge YMCAs in the country."There's more to come, Williams told the 400 guests and staff at the annual dinner and celebration March 22 at The Broadmoor. More than 65,000 people participated in Y programs in 2017. "We want to be the program provider of choice for kids, families and seniors," Williams said.A shining light is the 7th Grade Initiative, which offers free YMCA memberships to seventh-graders at selected schools in Districts 11, 2 and 38.

An idyllic mountain setting with historic log cabins was the perfect spot for a Manitou Springs Heritage Center fundraising brunch in, appropriately, one of the original, early 1900s log structures. Over the years, host Justin Armour's Southwestern-style Crystal Park Cantina had been the log El Tejano, the May Bug Museum and Mission Bell Inn, part of the Keithley Log Cabin Development District camp and health resort on Manitou's Crystal Park Road.Sharing the history of that area, along with photos and the original platting, was contractor Douglass Keithley Edmundson, great-grandson of Everard Spencer Keithley one of the two men who created the area that is now on the National Register of Historic Places.Brunch guests were

It was an evening to recognize Hometown Heroes, those everyday people "who do extraordinary things." It was also a time when 410 sponsors and supporters gathered for dinner at The Broadmoor and raised more than the final $22,000 for a $150,000 Next Generation Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado. The ERV is especially needed for Red Cross immediate response during a busy national and local time of hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, structure fires and mobilization of thousands of volunteers, said Executive Director Tom Gonzalez. The Hometown Heroes had been introduced in stories in The Gazette. Humanitarian of the Year Award: Chuck Murphy, tinyurl.

Live and silent auctions to beat them all. It's the luck of the Irish - and hugely competitive - tradition at the Catholic Charities St. Patrick's Day Gala. Coordinated by event chairs Vicki Dimond, Betsy Sobral and Judy McCarty, this year's March 17 bright green event at Cheyenne Mountain Resort set a new gold standard, raising $350,000 for the nonprofit's work. It was a perfect evening for Catholic Charities of Central Colorado's 50th anniversary with 490 guests. Catholic Charities of Central Colorado has grown into more than 75 programs and services and has four campuses: Castle Rock, Pastoral Center, Family Connections at Helen Hunt Campus and the Marian House Complex with programs including the soup kitchen.

The words of one little boy stunned a crowd of 1,186 adults. His words are why they were in Broadmoor Hall for the 10th annual Care and Share Food Bank Recipe for Hope Luncheon. Hunger is a part of life, children said in the luncheon video. And the bags of food that go home with area kids each week, 17,000 of them last year, help fill hungry tummies on weekends and "mean good things are going to happen." Whew, those food bags are heavy, said one little fellow happily, but "that heaviness is love." Enough said. After listening to the honest words of little ones and the stories from featured speakers, those attending donated more than $320,000, which means 2.6 million meals for those in 31 southern Colorado

Blue Star Recyclers co-founder and CEO Bill Morris is on the road and he couldn't be happier. It's a sign of success for the local nonprofit that employs disabled adults, training them to recycle electronics that would otherwise be filling landfills. Blue Star's 42 employees recycled more than 3 million pounds of materials in 2017. They challenge each other, some tearing down 40 computers in a shift. Blue Star's success in Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder earned a $50,000 grant to explore moving forward in other cities that might include Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City; Nashville; Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., and other parts of Colorado. These are locations where Morris is headed.

For 27 years The Colorado Springs Wine Festival has been been the special weekend destination site for wine lovers. It's a rare opportunity to meet and learn from the world's top vintners. It's an opportunity to become something of a sommelier, sampling the best, chatting about and swirling wine that has legs and a complex bouquet. It's a time to experience which wines can be paired with which cheeses and try top wines paired with a gourmet meal at Garden of the Gods Club. The festival March 8-10, The Wines of Southern France, lived up to all expectations for several thousand people while continuing the tradition of supporting the arts and the Colorado Springs Conservatory, whose musicians played and performed at many

The ultimate substitute picked up the baton.Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Music Director and Conductor Gary Nicholson was away Feb. 28, the morning of the Celebrate Youth in the Arts fundraising breakfast performances. Filling in, to the delight of 400 guests and the young symphony musicians, was Colorado Springs Philharmonic Music Director Josep Caballé Domenec.The symphony performances, along with selections by the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale and its ensembles, opened the day for the music-loving guests.Speaker Jan Martin shared how lessons she learned through participating in music had served her well, including during her years on the City Council, and she thanked the parents because the symphony and

Pikes Peak Community College President Lance Bolton couldn't stop smiling.It was the evening of his first State of the College President's Dinner presented with the PPCC Foundation, Feb. 23 at Garden of the Gods Club, and there was much to announce. Yes, smile, he and Lisa DesRochers will be married in May. But the evening was also his opportunity to personally thank many who support the college, its growth and its programs. A long list of accomplishments started with "close to 20,000 students" at PPCC. The community asked for new programs now in place to fill critical needs: construction technology, cybersecurity, certified dietary manager and a bachelor's of applied science in emergency services administration.

Tom Naughton knew far too many things his "friends" could use as comedy fodder against him. They didn't fail. Banker, a staid Irish Catholic from Iowa, an OCD perfectionist with nary a hair out of place, told the folks roasting him Feb. 24: "You had a lot to work with." Indeed they did. At the annual Cheyenne Village "Turn Up the Heat as We Roast" fundraiser, they ruffled his hair, loosened his always-perfect tie and tossed his immaculate suit coat on the floor. Naughton, regional president of U.S. Bank, took it all in stride. After all, he knows things about the others, especially lead roaster Dan Mueller, whose claim to fame is being in the Candy Hall of Fame. Candy as in Smarties and licorice and a 40-plus-year

The 20th season of Opera Theatre of the Rockies was celebrated in style by the Pikes Peak Opera League with a supper club at Patty Jewett Clubhouse. The fundraiser leads to the highly anticipated May 10, 12 and 13 production of Verdi's much loved "Aida" at the Ent Center for the Arts. A sold-out audience was treated to "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" through the musical ages by Lila Mori and accompanist Reggie Berg from The Broadmoor's Penrose Room. Music traveled from Cole Porter to Paul Simon, from the Big Band era to Michael Bolton and Train. Mori shared a bit of her own history, which includes singing with the Colorado Springs Chorale directed by Donald Jenkins, who was at the dinner.

The region's Walmart Super Centers and Neighborhood Markets have the opportunity to donate to their choice of nonprofits closest to their areas. Add to that the Walmart State Giving Program, and almost $500,000 was awarded during a Southern Colorado Community Celebration dinner with Market Manager Jon Ball on Feb. 16 at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Receiving grants and the presenting stores: - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, mentoring, $5,000, Palmer Park store. - Brent's Place, family medical house for pediatric oncology/hematology patients, $5,000, Union Boulevard store. - Mothers of Murdered Youth (MOMY), supporting families and providing headstones for graves, $5,000, Platte Avenue store.

The parent had always promised to "come home." The promise couldn't be kept.Stepping in to help remember that parent's legacy and support the children of fallen military and first responders is the mission of Angels of America's Fallen. "We're empowering the children to invest in themselves," said retired Lt. Col. Joe Lewis, AOAF founder. Lewis, a retired fighter pilot who served 25 years in the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, said he has a passion: "ensuring that these amazing children can write their own stories of success and discover their passion in life." A sold-out Broadmoor Angel Gala audience of 360 was there Feb. 17 to support the 330 AOAF children as they heard about youngsters in sports, dancing,

Former police Officer Jake Skifstad, left, shows Deputy Brandon Blanchard how to strap on a protective vest. Skifstad founded Shield616, which supplies active-shooter control gear to law enforcement. The local nonprofit 100+ Men Who Care presented $14,000 in gear to protect 14 police and sheriff’s officers. The previously planned presentation at the El Paso Club came on the evening that El Paso County sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick was shot to death. 100+ Men Who Care ( was formed by Bill Kurtz and Russ Wiley in 2013. Each quarter, participants donate $100 each.

A fellow named Dave who had been on the street, but with a little help found a home, is one of the thousands of Gazette-El Pomar Empty Stocking Fund success stories. At the Feb. 8 closing reception for the annual holiday drive, Kristy Milligan of recipient nonprofit Westside Cares described Dave, who always visits when he stops by for a cup of coffee from "the pot that's always on." The compassionate staff had been there for him when a homeless friend died. Moving forward to a happier day, Dave shared that he and a friend finally had found a place to rent. They were just $200 short of moving in. Westside Cares helped them over that hurdle. The money Westside Cares received from ESF will fund seven months of the agency's

"Let the magic begin," she said. And indeed, it did.The dream had come true for University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Chancellor Emerita Pam Shockley-Zalabak with a formal opening night gala in the state-of-the-art UCCS Ent Center for the Arts. It had been in the dream works since at least 2001, in the working stage since 2013 and is a spectacular glass-walled $70 million hillside center for the university's Department of Visual and Performing Arts, five venues, the Gallery of Contemporary Art, TheatreWorks and music and dance.Shockley-Zalabak, for whom the center's 774-seat theater and concert hall is named, said the 92,000-square-foot complex "has truly been taking something to the possible that we had been