Seen: Kaleidoscope fundraiser for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation – The Denver Post

 

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One of the toughest tasks that Luanne Williams has faced in her years as executive director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation was convincing Faye and Dr. Reginald Washington that they should be honored at the foundation’s signature fundraiser, Kaleidoscope.

They were instrumental in Kaleidoscope’s start. And in its evolution. Then, toss in the fact that he is chief medical officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and a founder and immediate past chair of the foundation board.

Getting them to say “yes” should have been a slam dunk. But it took Williams more than one “pretty please” and some good old-fashioned arm-twisting to get them to relent. That came as no surprise to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who stopped by Kaleidoscope 2017 with his wife, Mary Louise Lee, long enough to offer a toast to the honorees.

“They’re not (ones) to wave their own flag,” Hancock told the 264 civic leaders participating in this weekend-long benefit held at the Ritz-Carlton Denver. “They’re heads-down, get-the-job-done people.

“Humility,” the mayor added, is a word that characterizes them best.

In 2010, Faye Washington and Margie Mauldin (now secretary/treasurer of the foundation board) chaired what was then known as the Kaleidoscope Ball.

It was held on the eve of the opening of Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, and guests were invited to explore operating rooms and other parts of a hospital that otherwise are not open to the public while enjoying food, music and child-inspired activities with an adult appeal.

It was a hit, but also a one-time thing.

“Our challenge,” Reggie Washington recalled, “was how do we top it?”

The answer was dropping the word “ball” from the title and turning Kaleidoscope into a weekend-long “experience” that would include a Saturday filled with decadent food, Rodney Strong wines, spa services, the chance to win two valuable pieces of jewelry donated by Hyde Park, and an overnight stay at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Denver. Festivities would conclude with a champagne brunch on Sunday.

Sarah Treadway, president and co-chief executive officer of Stout Street Hospitality/Magnolia Hotels, chaired Kaleidoscope 2017 and expects net proceeds to top 2016’s $392,000. The money goes to the foundation’s Patient & Family Assistance Fund, which last year provided aid to 4,000 families.

In addition to providing things like gas and food vouchers, diapers and child safety seats, the foundation also oversees the Mothers’ Milk Bank, which collects, processes and provides donated human milk to babies across the country, and the Stink Bug Project, which to date has placed 75 carefully matched companion dogs to children with serious medical conditions.

The committee that helped Treadway ensure Kaleidoscope’s success was made up of Taylor Kirkpatrick, the vice chair of the foundation board and president of Babson Farms, Inc.; Alan Qualls, senior vice president/development for HCA’s Continental Division; Maureen Tarrant-Fitzgerald, president/CEO of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center; and Sylvia Young, president/CEO of HCA’s Continental Division.

A 33-member host committee, all of who are longtime friends of the honorees, included Jim and Kathryn Kaiser; Larry and Jill DiPasquale, Steve Edmonds; Jack and Adrienne Fitzgibbons; Steve and Ryta Sondergard; former Denver Post editor Greg Moore and Nina Henderson Moore; and Dan Ritchie.

Others enjoying time in the lap of luxury were the foundation’s board chair, Jim Conley, the president of Colorado Business Bank Denver Tech Center, and his wife, Sally; Keith and Sarah Miller (he’s the general manager of Eddie Merlot’s restaurant, and donated a dinner for 10 as one of the Drawing for a Difference prizes); Arlene Mohler; Helenn Franzgrote; Shery McDonald-Galbreath; former patient Grace Carrillo, whose haunting rendition of “Fight Song” introduced the special appeal; Joe and Jennifer McKowen; and the Washingtons’ adult children: Danielle LaCabe with husband Alvin and Quinn Washington with his friend Jacqueline Bowlen.

Joanne Davidson: 303-809-1314, partiwriter@hotmail.com and @joannedavidson on Twitter

 

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