Ur­ban Nights fundraiser, fash­ion show set un­der the his­toric Col­fax Viaduct

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Joanne David­son

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.

Joanne David­son, Spe­cial to The Den­ver Post

From left: Ur­ban Leg­end Amy Meyer Smith with her hus­band, Chris; Kelli Kin­del and Ray Volkema.

Pho­tos by Pam Cress, Spe­cial to The Den­ver Post

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.

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