Blue Jean Bash raises funds for Clothes To Kids Denver
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Stan Obert
Clothing can change a life. A warm coat, shoes that fit, and a wardrobe of school clothing can help children and youth build the confidence they need to succeed. Castle Pines resident Sue Hambil, longtime supporter and advocate for the nonprofit organization Clothes To Kids of Denver (CTKD), was drawn to the organization when she saw firsthand how a simple concept makes such an impact in lives of so many kids.
CTKD shoppers have never been involved in a shopping experience. For these kids it is more than just clothing, it is gaining self-esteem by being involved in their own shopping experience. CTKD held its seventh annual Blue Jean Bash, a fundraising event to help the organization provide a 21-piece wardrobe and a fun shopping experience for the more than 100 shoppers scheduled each day. The organization provides new and quality used clothing in a boutique setting to Denver area students from low income or in-crisis families – free of charge.
This year’s event was held at Cielo at Castle Pines event venue. Three hundred guests and supporters enjoyed a live program with youth speakers, Ashley Becker and Cavanaugh Bell. Becker recently graduated from STEM School Highlands Ranch and served hundreds of hours as a youth volunteer at CTKD. Bell, the founder of the nonprofit organization Cool & Dope, stopped in Denver while on tour to help CTKD by sorting and tagging clothes and to share his positive message during the bash.
Gourmet food stations kept plates full as the evening continued with a silent auction filled with autographed items, baskets and vacation packages organized by magazine themes; Sports Illustrated, Highlights for Children, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and InStyle. United Airlines and BMW of Denver Downtown were just a few of the many gold, silver and bronze table sponsors in attendance.
As the night transitioned from the silent to live auction, guests in attendance were entertained with the lively banter between the Blue Jean Bash board member, Camille Cox and the event auctioneer, Tom Kimball upping the ante and encouraging donors in attendance to sweeten the pot with last minute add-on items.
A pink Yeti ice cooler along with six bottles of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose champagne was one of several hot live auction items.
A foursome of golf at the Sweetens Cove Golf Club, the exclusive King-Collins designed course in Tennessee, closed its final bids with a last minute add-on of three cases of champagne.
A United Airlines flight simulator experience was another big item that turned into a last minute add-on of two flight simulator packages when two event attendees were in a heated bidding war. Each package auctioned allowed for four “pilots” to experience the thrill of flying a Boeing 777 with the additional add-on of a bonus case of champagne (not to be experienced at the same time, of course).
The Blue Jean Bash was a huge success, raising more than $200,000. CTKD Executive Director Valerie Lunka was thrilled to be celebrating together again with guests and supporters. Lunka, along with the other board members, expressed gratitude for those who continue to believe in the CTKD mission.
Joyce Meyers, one of the original CTKD founders said she was humbled by the support from those supporters giving of their time, money and love. Thirteen years ago, Meyers said she never imagined in her wildest dreams that CTKD would be so extraordinarily fortunate. “Our volunteers, staff and supporters are the best.”
While the pandemic temporarily closed the doors to the CTKD boutique, it opened a remote opportunity for providing safe, contactless, delivery to families while allowing kids to be as selective as if shopping in the store. The new curbside program has allowed CTKD to reach more families than ever before, and that program continues today, along with in-store shoppig. For more information or to donate to Clothes To Kids of Denver, visit https://clothestokidsdenver.org