Children’s Hospital Gala celebrates 40th year of philanthropy – The Denver Post
Children’s Hospital Colorado will soon mark its 110th year, so having a family whose history dates back to the mid-1800s host the 40th Children’s Hospital Gala made the black-tie event even more special.
Ginny and John Freyer, along with their son, John Jr., and his wife, Andi, not only served as the faces of this fundraiser, they offered to match donations made in the evening’s special appeal, up to $250,000.
In the end, proceeds from the cocktail party and dinner that also featured entertainment by the award-winning country duo Big & Rich totaled an eye-popping $2.4 million.
The Freyer family is descended from John Evans, who in 1862 was appointed territorial governor of Colorado by then-President Abraham Lincoln. Evans is credited with transforming Denver into the commercial center of the Rocky Mountains. He also founded the University of Denver and is the namesake of Mount Evans. His daughter, Anne Evans, founded the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Public Library and the Central City Opera’s Summer Festival.
John Freyer Sr. is an owner of Land Title Guarantee Co., which was established in 1967 by Bill Vollbracht, and co-chairman of its board.
John Freyer Jr. is Land Title’s president and a member of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation board of trustees. The latter holds special meaning now that three of his children have been patients at the Aurora hospital.
“The second you walk through the doors you know you’re in the best possible place,” he said.
The gala brought 1,400 people to the Hyatt Regency Convention Center, which had been beautifully decorated for the occasion with fresh flowers and lights by The Perfect Petal and Eclectic Hive.
Festivities began with the traditional two-hour cocktail reception and silent auction, which gave ample time for socializing, bidding and enjoying the expansive buffets of shellfish, imported and domestic cheeses and cured meats, and several gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian hors d’oeuvres.
David Mandarich, who had chaired the gala in 2005 with his wife, Bonnie, was among the former gala chairs in attendance; others included Walter and Christie Isenberg (2003); Kristin and Blair Richardson (2008); Ann and Kevin Reidy (2015); and Molly Broeren and Bill Mosher (2013).
William N. Lindsay III, chairman of the hospital board of directors, and Laura Wright, who heads the foundation board, were there to help hospital president Jena Hausmann and foundation chief Steve Winesett welcome such valued supporters as Cathey and Dick Finlon; Cille and Ron Williams; Janie and Rick Stoddard; Don Elliman; Debra and Wayne Berger; Stephanie and Matthew Seebaum; Elizabeth and Steve Kris; Cy and Lyndia Harvey; and Mary Kay and Larry Mueller.
Larry Mueller, the founder and managing partner of Cuvee Ventures, not only donated a trip to Tuscany for the live auction called by Mark Thomas but offered to give the hospital 10 percent from any future Cuvee luxury vacation booked by anyone attending the 2017 gala.
Other guests included Children’s Hospital ambassadors Carter, Kaley and Savannah, who served as masters of ceremony; Denver Public Schools Foundation director Veronica Figoli and her husband, Dr. David Fleischer; Paul and MJ Powers; Josh Hanfling; Mary Smith and Patrick Brown; Anca Elena Call; Sandy Wolf and hubby Rob Gold; Elaine Gantz Berman and Dr. Steve Berman; Aaron and Sandee LaPedis; Laura and Brendan Fisher; and Phil and Corry Doty.
The party didn’t end once Big & Rich finished their set. Afterward, the late-night crowd could dance to tunes spun by DJ RIPM, build their own bloody Marys and snack on goodies that included ice cream from Chaos & Cream.