Urban Nights fundraiser, fashion show set under the historic Colfax Viaduct
Urban Nights has never been your run of the mill charity soiree. It has an edge — a gritty-yet-classy appeal, if you will — that makes people want to come back year after year for food, drinks and fun taking place beneath the historic Colfax Viaduct.
The 2017 edition, chaired by Donna Crafton Montgomery, upped the fun quotient by adding a show by Salt-n-pepa, whose “None of Your Business” earned them the 1995 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. There also was a fashion show that opened with original designs by students from the Art Institute of Colorado and was followed by menswear from Suitsupply Denver and “threads of change,” selections from the fall/ winter collection of Nicholas K, a New York fashion house started by siblings Nicholas and Christopher Kunz.
Nicholas and Christopher flew in for the show; their participation was sponsored by Terri Garbarini, who carries the Nicholas K line in her Cherry Creek North boutique, Garbarini.
“They are so low-key and nice,” Garbarini told us, adding that she had taken them to dinner the night before they joined 1,400 others for the event presented by Tempus Jets and the Joseph Family Foundation.
In addition to Urban Peak, the Danny Dietz Foundation and La Academia also shared in the evening’s proceeds. All three serve young people who are homeless, at risk of being homeless, or trying to overcome things like poverty, addiction, hunger and gang involvement.
In videotaped remarks, Gov. John Hickenlooper observed that the number of people attending Urban Nights were “Roughly the same as the number of kids on the streets” and encouraged everyone to give generously in the live auction and special appeal so that the beneficiaries can continue their good work.
Festivities also included presentation of the Urban Legend Award to Amy Meyer Smith, marketing director for Infiniti of Denver. Smith’s involvement with Urban Peak, one of three nonprofits sharing proceeds from Urban Nights, began when she volunteered in the Urban Peak kitchen, serving meals to the homeless youths who gather there daily.
That led to her appointment to the Urban Peak board of directors and, in 2013, agreeing to join the committee responsible for planning the inaugural Urban Nights. She chaired the event in 2015.
Gary and Cheryl Joseph, who started the Joseph Family Foundation in 2006, were joined that night by such family members as Kirby and Jeff Joseph; Tucker, Caden, Rowan, Finley and Justin Joseph with partner Josh Benker.
Bank of America was the Runway Sponsor, and market president Jodi Rolland, who had the privilege of introducing the fashion show, was accompanied by a group of Bofa execs that included Kasia Iwaniczko Macleod and Lina Kornmeyer.
Others supporting the cause were state Rep. Janet Buckner with her son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Erin Buckner; Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson with husband Jeremy, whose Occasions was the official caterer for Salt-npepa; Anthony Aragon, director of the Mayor’s Office of Boards and Commissions; clothing designer Stephanie Ohnmacht; Realtor Mandy Nadler; publicist Diane Nagler; Andrea Fulton, deputy director of the Denver Art Museum; Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy, and hubby Jason Lent; Sean and Audra Mcnicholas; Quinn Washington with Molly Fortune; Nathalia Faribault, a member of Fashion Group International’s regional board; Radhika Ma- hanty, marketing director for Larimer Associates; Jill Hodges; psychotherapist Alison Repp and hubby Jaxon; Denver Center Alliance board member Mariette Moore; Eva Wilke; Lorii Rabinowitz and Swallow Hill’s chief executive officer Paul Lhevine; Michelle Odenbach, a stylist at J. Hilburn; and Andrew Feinstein and Sarah Mccarthy, who will chair Urban Nights in 2018.
Joanne Davidson: 303-809-1314, partiwriter@ hotmail.com and @joannedavidson on Twitter.
From left: Urban Legend Amy Meyer Smith with her husband, Chris; Kelli Kindel and Ray Volkema.
Darcy and Jack Gulbin. He’s president and CEO of presenting sponsor Tempus Jets.
CBS4’S Britt Moreno interviews Christopher, left, and Nicholas Kunz, whose Nicholas K fashions were shown that night.
Event chair Donna Crafton Montgomery with her fiance, Rusty Conway.
Kristen Benefiel, left, chair of the Urban Peak board, with chief executive officer Christina Carlson.
Gary and Cheryl Joseph.