SEEN: Temple Grandin Equine Center fundraiser
Up, up and away: The sky was the limit when the inaugural Take Flight … Tonight unfolded at the National Western Stock Show Complex.
This unique fundraiser for the Temple Grandin Equine Center’s equine-assisted activities and therapies was a blend of luxury and down-home fun.
Guests entered the stock show arena by walking a red carpet lined with shiny convertibles and sedans from Bentley Denver and the Vehicle Vault. Inside, they could enjoy cocktails and food from KMSSA while keeping an ear tuned to the loudspeaker to find out if they’d be among those lucky enough to win one of the scenic helicopter tours, courtesy of Colorado Heli-ops, that departed the party area every 15 minutes between 6:30 and 9:15 p.m.
The party continued with remarks from Temple Grandin and Adam Daurio, the center’s director of administration and outreach, respectively; presentation of the colors by Miss Rodeo Colorado Kelsie Winslow and Gabby Gurrola, an equine assisted therapy participant; and live auction bidding on items that ranged from a seven-night stay in The Villas at Cocoplum in Belize to a chance to be on set for a taping of Vic Lombardi’s “Let’s Talk Football” show on Altitude Sports with dinner at Morton’s and two tickets to see the Denver Broncos play the New York Jets on Dec. 10.
Grandin, who is on the autism spectrum, is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, where the Temple Grandin Equine Center is headquartered. A satellite facility will be located at the National Western Complex, although equine-assisted activities and therapies began there in March.
These programs, Daurio noted, enable participants to “Overcome significant physical, cognitive and psychological challenges.” He added that discussions are underway to establish partnerships with Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health and the Denver Public Schools to better serve those who can benefit from these services.
“Horses were my refuge from being bullied and teased,” Grandin said. “They have healing powers.”
Frances Owens, former first lady of Colorado and current community relations manager at Anchor Center for Blind Children, was there with her daughter, Monica Owens Beauaprez, and Monica’s in-laws, Bob and Claudia Beauprez.
Also supporting the cause were Matt Macsovits, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association; Julie Gart, executive director of the Zane Beadles Parade Foundation; Holly Kylberg, owner of Clock Tower Events, and her friend Charles Goldstein from the Neiman Marcus Cherry Creek couture department; Jesse Ogas, executive director of Firefly Autism; David Blake, Colorado’s chief deputy attorney general, and his wife, Melissa, who heads the emerging regulated industries practice at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; Bradley Joseph, president of Silver Spur Marketing; Buck and Janie Hutchison, whose Hutchison Western was among the evening’s sponsors; Kristina and Jessie Schroffel; Michael Ditchfield; and Jay Mills with fiancée Kiana Akina. She’s the operations manager for Avison Young; his Jay’s Valet handled the parking that night.
Joanne Davidson: 303-8091314, email@example.com and @joannedavidson on Twitter.
From left: Dr. Jerry Black, CSU director of Equine Sciences; Temple Grandin; Kevin Pond, head of the CSU Department of Animal Sciences; and Pond’s wife, Janice.
Patrick O’hollearn and Morgan Hutchison won a flight with Colorado Heli-ops, piloted by Adam Hulme, right.
Steve Wiskow with Amy and Mark Dismuke, representing Bentley Denver.
Carla and Greg Benassi with a polo pony playing in the next day’s tournament.
Frances Owens with Adam and Jennifer Daurio.
Betsy and Kevin Marr with Jill Hodges.