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2008 Annual Celebration of Denver Public Schools Raises Nearly $1.2 Million for Student Achievement
DENVER, March 11, 2008 – The 2008 Annual Celebration of Denver Public Schools (DPS) took place on Wednesday, March 5, breaking attendance records with more than 1,300 guests. The event, organized by the DPS Foundation, raised $1.18 million to support the school district’s ambitious education reform plan to improve student achievement.
Key supporters of this year’s gala include presenting sponsor UMB and event sponsors Comcast, Tiffany & Co., Post-News Community, and the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, where the event was held. The Spanish-language media partner for the event was Entravision Communications, and Univision reporter Luis Canela served as announcer for the evening.
Gala co-chairs were Cole Finegan, managing partner at Hogan and Hartson, and Donna Lynne, president of Kaiser Permanente. The gala event committee included Elaine Gantz Berman, Kristin Richardson and Lola Salazar.
Valedictorian level sponsors of the event were Marcy & Bruce Benson, Elaine Gantz Berman & Steve Berman, Janice & Jim Campbell, David and Laura Merage Foundation, Gary-Williams Energy Corporation & The Piton Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Martha Records & Rich Rainaldi, Kristin & Blair Richardson, Salazar Family Foundation and Scopia Captial.
The event featured the theme “ACHIEVE” and celebrated the accomplishments of DPS schools and students. Proceeds from the event will help the DPS Foundation fund strategic programs aligned with the central goals of The Denver Plan. Money raised from the event will help the DPS Foundation support a number of key initiatives, including,
Student volunteers from the DPS Student Board, Brown International Academy and Teller Elementary School greeted guests as they entered the Hyatt at Colorado Convention Center. Mayor John Hickenlooper and Governor Bill Ritter, honorary co-chairs, spoke at the event about the importance of education to our city and state. Mayor Hickenlooper announced a three-year, $3 million contribution from Janus Capital Group to DPS to create a program for teacher recruitment and professional development. The event also featured remarks from DPS Superintendent Michael Bennet and student performances from the Montbello High School drum line, a tap dance group from Denver School of the Arts, and a performance from George Washington High School’s student musical “Once on This Island.”
Additionally, the DPS Foundation and the school district took the opportunity at the event to recognize the contributions of Bruce Benson, who recently resigned his position as chairman of the DPS Foundation board to become president of the University of Colorado. Benson served as chairman of the DPS Foundation from 2002 to 2008.
Additionally, students from five DPS high schools created vases for the centerpieces. Sales of the centerpieces generated funding for those schools’ arts programs.
About the Denver Public Schools Foundation
The DPS Foundation raises funds in support of The Denver Plan, the district’s ambitious education reform plan to improve student achievement. The Foundation supports programs such as professional development for principals and teachers, improved curriculum and quality of instruction, after-school programs, and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.dpsfoundation.org.
To view pictures of the event, click here >>
To view a video of the 2008 gala, click here >>
For a complete list of donors, click here >>