Men for the Cure
By Julie Montoya; photos by Tim Gamble
On October 16, the “who’s who” of Denver men were at the annual Men for the Cure (MFTC) Gentlemen’s Dinner in the XJet hangar at Centennial Airport. This annual event raises funds for breast cancer research and outreach, boasting more than $1.4 million raised to date. Early estimates predict this year’s event will break the record for funds raised, with 680 gentlemen gathered together to smoke cigars, share company, and honor all the women in their lives.
Castle Pines resident Rick Rivers co-chaired the 2012 Gentlemen’s Dinner, marking his eleventh year being a part of the MFTC Foundation. Rivers has been involved since 2001, and attributes his commitment to the foundation in part to his mother, a breast cancer survivor, and his role of being a father to four girls. Rivers sums up the efforts of the foundation best by saying, “This is a one-of-a-kind gentlemen-only event that is earmarked for the woman in our lives.”
The evening kicked off with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and cigars on the tarmac, with a beautiful Colorado fall sunset and an array of private jets as a backdrop. A four-course seated dinner was later served by the chefs at Epicurean Culinary Group, which donated its time and talent to create a dinner worthy of kings.
Keynote speaker for the event was 1982 Masters Champion and professional golf legend Craig “The Walrus” Stadler. Stadler donated two live auction items, as well as several silent auction items. When asked about his generosity, Stadler simply said, “I just love what these guys are doing.”
Other amazing auction items included a Colorado Golf Club VIP guest package for eight people with an overnight in the Cottage, collectible works of art, and a variety of signed sports memorabilia.
Sponsors for the evening included Castle Rock’s own Three Peaks Capital Management, CBS4 (which ran a live segment from the X JET Hanger), Denver Life Magazine, Sports Radio 104.3 The FAN, and the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, which hosted this year’s June kick-off party at its world-class resort in Denver. Thierry Kennel, general manager of the Four Seasons, co-chaired this year’s event with Rivers.
The highlight of the evening was when ticket number 892 bearing Rene Morin’s name was drawn as the winner of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz 550 CL, generously donated by Mercedes-Benz of Littleton. According to General Manager Terry Minick, who was also in attendance, the car was valued at more than $135,000 and Mercedez-Benz of Littleton pre-paid all the taxes. Needless to say, Morin’s drive home to Denver was pure luxury!
Among the dignitaries of the event were Pete Coors of Coors Brewing Company; Mayor of Denver, the Honorable Michael B. Hancock; University of Colorado Hospital CEO John Harney; and UC Health CEO Bruce Schroffel. The Castle Pines community was well represented, with more than 60 men in attendance at what Rivers described as a “mini neighborhood function.” Rivers went on to say, “We all lean on our friends, family, and co-workers to help contribute to this great cause.”
Tickets to this year’s event sold for $200 each, and tickets for the 2013 Men for the Cure Gentlemen’s Dinner will go on sale the first two weeks in June 2013. The 2013 Gentlemen’s Dinner will take place in the month of October, as it does every year, to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Philanthropist Sharon Magness Blake and television news personality Ed Greene founded the Men for the Cure Foundation in 2000. It was created in memory of Diane O’Connor Thompson, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1999. In 2010, official sponsorship was moved to the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation, and the Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Cancer Center. For more information on the Men for the Cure Foundation visit www.uch.edu/about/ways-to-give/foundation-events/men-for-the-cure/. To view a slide show of the 2012 Gentlemen’s Dinner, go to www.CastlePinesConnection.com and click on “Photo Album.”