Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Noodles & Company

For all you local readers out there, the great folks at Noodles & Company have been so kind as to offer 20% of their sales for the night of Tuesday, August 21st, 5-9pm to benefit Extra Hands for ALS.  This is for their restaurant located at 12023 East Arapahoe Road at Peoria in Centennial, Colorado.

Please join us for a great meal from a generous and community oriented company!

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Save The Date!

The second annual Angels for ALS Gala is scheduled for October 13th, 2007 at 6:30 pm.  Last year, over 250 people attended with almost $90,000 raised benefiting Extra Hands for ALS and our research partner, the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS/TDI).  This year we are reaching for 400 people to enjoy this beautiful night out.  We will be honoring the student, mentor and family volunteers that make Extra Hands possible.

We are fortunate to be at the same venue at the Belmar Center in Lakewood, Colorado.  Our sit down dinner will be presented by our friends at Gourmet Fine Catering.  The evening will include silent and live auctions, dinner, entertainment and dancing all in a black tie optional theme.

Table sponsorships from $1,500 to our $10,000 are available with multiple marketing and recognition opportunities as well as individual tickets for $125.  Click here for more details and online registration.  If you did not receive a formal invitation last year, please respond to this posting with your contact information as soon as possible so we can include you in the mailings.  We would appreciate you forwarding this posting to anyone that you think might be interested in participating in this incredible event as it is our main fundraiser for the calendar year.

If you are unable attend there are still many ways to participate.  We are always looking for silent auction items and volunteers for the evening to help with all the details an event like this requires.  Also, if there are companies that could help offset the hard costs, i.e. venue and caterer, we would be honored to have you listed as event sponsors for marketing purposes.  Please contact Steven or Jennifer Bishop at 303-423-3779 or email denver@extrahands.org for more information.

Of course, we always appreciate a donation of any kind which can be done online by clicking here or sending a check made out to Extra Hands for ALS at 8237 Swadley Court, Arvada, CO 80005.  Lastly, thank you all for your continued support of ALS awareness, programs and research.  It is your involvement in these issues that provides purpose and hope in our lives.  We are humbly touched by your dedication and interest.

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The dust is finally settling on the Angels for ALS Gala.  What an incredible ride it has been.  The Belmar Center lease was signed on June 16, 2006, thus committing us to full-time planning for this event.  Four months later on October 14, 2006 we experienced one of the most rewarding, emotional and successful events of our lives.

Jennifer and our incredible army of committee members and volunteers spent the afternoon decorating and organizing for the gala that evening.  At home, I was still working on seating arrangements and fielding calls.  I did manage to sneak in a nap to save some energy for the evening.

We arrived at about 5:30 p.m. in order to address any last-minute details.  This was my first opportunity to view the venue in its entire splendor.  From previous experience, I brought my walker which has a seat on it.  It would be a very long night if I had to stand for the whole evening.

As we entered the elevator that took us up to the vestibule, a rush of excitement and nervousness overwhelmed me.  The doors opened and our trusty volunteers were busy at work setting up the registration tables.  Behind them the dining room remained closed.  Jennifer and I made our way out to the terrace where the silent auction was set up.

It was just beautiful.  Lights twinkled above our heads as we gazed over the tables draped in black and tastefully covered with 105 graciously donated items up for bid.  The tables also had black and red painted “Angel” and “Believe” signs carved out of wood, emphasizing our theme for the evening.  Each auction item was meticulously described and/or displayed. What an amazing first impression!

Guests began filtering in while I was able to absorb the joyful look on their faces as they experienced their first impression.  Everyone looked incredible decked out in their suits, tuxedos, cocktail dresses and gowns.  It was such a privilege to greet people as they came in and thank them for attending.  Soon the area was buzzing with guests scribbling in their bids and having wonderful discussions.  Delicious appetizers were hand served to the mingling crowd.

Jennifer and I strategically separated so we could visit with as many people as possible.  I sat in my walker right in the middle of the auction area so I could catch people as they walked by.  Jennifer fluttered around like a butterfly, gracefully greeting everyone she could.  Time flew by and according to the schedule we needed to shut the auction down and move into the dining room.  It seemed as though things were just getting started so we extended the time another 15 minutes.  All too soon, we had to get the dinner program started, therefore ending the silent auction.

Enormous blinds were lifted exposing the elegantly decorated Main Ballroom.  It seemed as though our guests did not want to leave the Terrace, however, dinner beckoned.  The walls were decorated with large photographs of Extra Hands for ALS families and volunteers, tastefully outlined in black with red trim.  The tables were adorned with stylish centerpieces, black linens and white place settings.

Appetizers and dinner were catered by Gourmet Fine Catering and received accolades for days after the gala.  Apparently, people expect rubberized chicken and soggy vegetables at these types of events as opposed to our succulent meal.  With the decadent caramel cheesecake and coffee being served, the evening’s program began.

Angie Austin and Chris Parente from KWGN/CW2 Morning News co-emceed the event with flare and wit offering light moments as well as emotional praise.  Angie has been a dear friend to us for five years and brilliantly suggested Chris for her counterpart.  Together they were a terrific team and we are truly grateful for their time and generosity.

Next, our CEO for Extra Hands, Jim Presbrey was introduced and provided the general greeting and introduction of our organization to the mix of 255 attendees.  Jim is from New Jersey and made a point to arrive two days early to help us with the final plans.  His eloquent and sincere presentation offered an air of integrity to the gala as well as setting the tone for the whole evening.

We then had the opportunity to address the audience.  I had to take a moment and absorb the whole atmosphere with the venue and all the incredible people glimmering in the warm candlelight.  Jennifer greeted everyone and thanked them for attending along with encouraging everyone to introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know.  We believe in the power of positive influence and all these people had something to offer someone else.  I closed with several definitions of the word “Angel” when used in the human sense and the description that stood out the most was the act of being selfless.  We were definitely among angels on this night!

In a shroud of secrecy, three of our student volunteers from Cherry Creek High School and founders of their Extra Hands for ALS club had been planning a presentation and video for the gala.  At last we were able to hear and see the fruits of their labor and love.

They had prepared a heartfelt speech in which Addie, Cynden and Aly all had roles.  The words spoke from their heart and touched us deeply.  A standing ovation followed and then their video presentation.  They had interviewed several Extra Hands families, mentors and volunteers.  The participants expressed their sincere gratitude for the program in a way that made it real for all guests attending.  We have watched it three times since the gala and are continually moved.

This turned out to be one of the key elements in the program.  It showed how much these students were emotionally involved in Extra Hands and the people they are affecting.  It was also evident how they were affected in such a positive manner by the families and mentors involved.  That is the magic of this organization.

The live auction ensued with the donated items of a Lasik eye procedure, a bronze angel sculpture, professional wall glazing, a week stay in High Country Club property and finally a private plane ride over the Rockies.  The auction was a bit confusing, but fun and quite successful.

Extra Hands has partnered, in essence, with an ALS research laboratory called the ALS Therapy Development Foundation (ALSTDF), located in Boston, Massachusetts.  Mat Mendel, Event Development Director, introduced a video from the Founder, Jaime Haywood of ALSTDF in which he described the efforts of their organization and the importance of research.  Mat arrived a day early to help and his presence added even more integrity to this event.  This was followed by an auction for research minutes in which over $12,000 was raised!

It was a long program, but with all the right features.  We were able to recognize some very inspirational people with trophies for Outstanding Students (Addie, Cynden and Ally), Mentor (Lisa Terry) and Family (Chris Hoeffner) as well as special recognition for Courage (Ellen) and participation (Suzanne Bellis) in honor of her late husband John Bellis.  She sponsored three tables of ten for the gala.  We were also able to recognize our own student volunteers, Carly and Allie, who opted to forego their Senior Homecoming in order to attend this event.  That meant more than they will ever know.

One by one the student volunteers present at the gala were invited to come forward for a plaque presentation.  Nineteen students shared the stage.  It was incredible to have them there and show the audience that these lives were a large part of why they were there supporting Extra Hands for ALS.  Mentors were then recognized in the same manner for their dedication to the organization.  Thank you, all.

With that, the formal program closed and the rest of the evening was opened for dancing to the music spun by DJ, Barry Sterling from Sterling Entertainment.  Most of the students jumped right in with many others and then the night ended all too early.

We simply cannot thank everyone sufficiently for their participation with this event.  We had an incredible team of gala committee members along with volunteers who gave up their Saturday night to work during the evening.  Over a dozen companies donated services and there were about 100 individuals and/or companies that donated items for the silent and live auctions.  The attending guests were both generous and gracious and hopefully had a joyous and memorable time.

Finally, we got to honor the people that make Extra Hands for ALS more than just a vision and turn it into a reality that is changing lives for the better and making a real difference in the fight against ALS.  Pictures will be added to our site, shortly.  Thank you all for this very special night.

P.S.  Just in case anyone was curious, we grossed over $88,500 and netted almost $70,000 with funds still trickling in!  That is a return rate of over 78.5%.  Not bad for a first year event.  Wait ‘til next year.  We can’t wait to see you there!

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Silent Auction Items

We are so excited about how many items that we have received for the Angels for ALS Gala Silent Auction, that we thought we would give you a sneak peek!

Over 60 of the Silent Auction items are now online.  Additional items will be on display at the Gala this Saturday at the Belmar Center.

To view these Silent Auction items, Click Here Additional information is online if case you have interest in one or more of these items!

Thank you so much to those that generously donated these wonderful items.  Also a huge thanks to so many people that were involved in obtaining these items!

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Just in time, we have partnered with Mister Neat’s Formalwear to outfit the black tie optional Angels for ALS Gala.  They have generously offered a $20 discount on all Designer Tuxedo’s starting at $99.95 and up for this event.  Simply mention our event name to receive the discount.  Visit their website at www.misterneats.com or call 1-888-NICE-TUX (1-888-642-3889) for a location near you.

Remember, Expressions Photography will be at the event taking formal portraits.  How often do you allow yourself to get completely dressed up and have the chance to document the occasion?  Mister Neat’s respectfully asks that you try to come in four days prior to the event for the best choices and time for fitting.  That would be October 10th for us, so don’t delay.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

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Finally…Gala News

We have been busy planning so please mark the date, October 14, 2006.  The event name has changed to the Angels For ALS Gala.   We feel the title describes the extraordinary people that we have the privilege of being involved with.  The Angels For ALS Gala will benefit Extra Hands for ALS and our Denver Chapter.

As you may be aware, Jennifer is the Program Manager and I am the Program Ambassador for the Denver area.  This unique ALS organization teams up student volunteers and adult mentors with families affected by ALS.  The result is the empowerment of all parties involved by the contribution each makes to the other’s lives.  We will be honoring the volunteers that make this organization possible.

The venue will be the new Belmar Center in Lakewood.  This black tie optional, Saturday night extravaganza will feature a live and silent auction; sit down dinner catered by our great friends from Dolce Vita Restaurant and dancing afterward.

We are setting our sites on 600 people attending and a have a fundraising goal of $100,000 (It’s a nice round number!).  Tickets will be the same price as the last gala Jennifer and I hosted in May of 2004 at $125 per ticket.  Table sponsorships will also be available and are strongly encouraged!  These opportunities are not yet finalized.  A portion of all ticket prices will be tax deductible.

If you would like to help by donating your time, auction items or perhaps sponsor part of the event please contact our event coordinator extraordinaire, Karlye Burge at (720) 934-9299 or mailto:kburge@collegeamerica.edu.

There are many more details to follow, but get October 14th on your calendars now!

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Just a quick press notification.  The Bishop family will be appearing on KCNC-TV/CBS4 News in the Denver area at 7 a.m. MDT on Sunday, May 21, 2006.


Since May is ALS Awareness Month, the subject of discussion will concentrate on awareness and our Extra Hands for ALS program.  Please join us Sunday morning or set the Tivo, DVR or VCR recorder if you are not planning on getting up that early.  This is live, so it will be interesting for this family at that hour!


We would like to thank Susie Roy for pitching this story to the Channel 4 staff.  Thank you also to CBS4 News Producer, Alan Singer for the opportunity and Reporter, Jodi Brooks for setting it up.


The generosity of the media to air these human interest stories is a huge key to our success in building awareness for this horrible disease.  Occasionally, I lose perspective of ALS because I am so blessed with my slow progression.  Unfortunately, I am too often reminded of the normal progression when Jennifer and I are notified of yet another death in our ALS community.  I am so thankful that I can still participate with Jennifer in these PR opportunities and hopefully do justice to those of us that cannot.

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