SEEN: Tem­ple Grandin Equine Cen­ter fundraiser

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Joanne David­son

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, par­ti­writer@hot­mail.com and @joanne­david­son on Twit­ter.

Pho­tos by Steve Peter­son, Ter­rachroma.com

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.

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