Zac Brown fundraiser for Camp South­ern Ground

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Joanne David­son Joanne David­son: 303-809-1314, par­ti­writer@hot­ and @joanne­david­son on Twit­ter

It’s not ev­ery day that one can cel­e­brate a Grammy-win­ning mu­si­cian’s birth­day with the birth­day boy him­self.

But when Zac Brown and his band came to town last week for a sold-out con­cert at Coors Field, he pre­ceded that gig with Zac Brown’s Ex­clu­sive Birth­day Event — a din­ner, auc­tion and per­for­mance that raised al­most $1 mil­lion for his Camp South­ern Ground.

A Fer­rari with the Zac Brown Band logo painted on its hood will be auc­tioned in Jan­uary, and pro­ceeds from that sale will be in­cluded in the Birth­day Event’s to­tal pro­ceeds.

The birth­day party was held on July 28 — his birth­day is the 31st — at the Ve­hi­cle Vault in Parker. The Ve­hi­cle Vault and the Hutchi­son Fam­ily Trust were the pre­sent­ing spon­sors; An­gela and Glenn Goad were the ex­ec­u­tive chair spon­sors.

Ve­hi­cle Vault own­ers Daniel and Erin Dil­ley, along with her fa­ther, Lou Hutchi­son, were on hand to help wel­come a crowd that in­cluded Doug Fried­nash, chief of staff for Gov. John Hick­en­looper; Greg Feasel, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the Colorado Rock­ies; Bob and Clau­dia Beauprez; Deana Perl­mut­ter, pres­i­dent and man­ag­ing part­ner of Fair­field and Woods Strate­gies; and David Marsh, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions of Sage Restau­rant Group, and his wife, Diane.

Marsh shared that he had gone fish­ing with Brown dur­ing the re­cent Aspen Food & Wine festival.

Brown started Camp South­ern Ground, which is sit­u­ated on 400 acres in At­lanta, to “Make some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary” hap­pen for chil­dren from all walks of life but with a spe­cial em­pha­sis on those on the autism spec­trum and those who have a par­ent in the mil­i­tary. “Camp changed my life,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t be the man I am today without camp, and so I want share the per­spec­tive that I gained about my life — and what real love and ac­cep­tance is — with kids who have been dealt a raw deal.”

Brown’s wife, Shelly, added: “This isn’t just some­thing he’s do­ing based on his level of suc­cess. It’s a long-term pri­or­ity for both of us.”

Fol­low­ing a so­cial hour where guests en­joyed cock­tails and canapes while checking out the rare and clas­sic cars that are housed at the Ve­hi­cle Vault, din­ner with a South­ern twist was served.

The four-course meal that in­cluded green to­mato gaz­pa­cho, chili-rubbed beef ten­der­loin and Aunt Granny’s su­gar pie, with Z. Alexan­der Brown wines, was in­spired by Rusty Ham­lin, ex­ec­u­tive chef for the Zac Brown Band and pre­pared by Den­ver’s award-win­ning Cater­ing by De­sign.

Oth­ers tak­ing part in this fes­tive oc­ca­sion were Adam Dau­rio, di­rec­tor of ad­min­is­tra­tion for the Tem­ple Grandin Equine Cen­ter, and his wife, Jen­nifer; Wayne and Debra Berger with their daugh­ter Sarah and her hus­band, Brady Flow­ers; Jerri Thiel; Nancy Levine and her hus­band, Dan Obarski; Nancy and Bob Koontz; Carolyn and Craig Jack­son; Sami and Steve Lock­ton; 9News an­chor Kim Chris­tiansen and her son, Tan­ner; re­tired Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Joey Jones, and event plan­ner Ellen Robin­son, who had mus­tered much of the lo­cal sup­port for this event when she hosted a kick­off party at Shana­han’s ear­lier this sum­mer.

Pro­vided by South­ern Reel

Ve­hi­cle Vault own­ers Daniel and Erin Dil­ley with her fa­ther, Lou Hutchi­son at the Zac Brown fundraiser.

Pro­vided by South­ern Reel

Host com­mit­tee mem­bers Carolyn and Craig Jack­son.

Pro­vided by South­ern Reel

Shelly Brown talks about the im­por­tance of a fa­cil­ity like Camp South­ern Ground while her hus­band, Zac Brown, and Mike Dobbs, left, the camp's chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, look on.

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