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Annual Cocktails & Karaoke Breaks Records to the Benefit of Ill Students

Event benefits chronically ill children at Kunsberg School at National Jewish Health

Cocktails & Karaoke, presented by Parks & Associates, on Nov. 21 was a rocking success, having raised $55,000 to benefit the chronically ill K-8th grade students at Kunsberg School on the campus of National Jewish Health. Molly Hughes, CBS4 news personality, emceed the event that drew 320 young Denver area professionals to the retro Curtis Hotel.

Popular singers included Barb Gallagher, Lisa Trask and Julie Pearson, who performed a Supremes classic in costume and with choreography; Josh Hanfling and Gary Schwartz, who always delight the audience with their enthusiasm, if not their talent; and Sia Chandler and Debrah Nixon, who wowed the crowd with their pitch-perfect performances.

In addition to paying to sing or to get their friends and co-workers on stage, attendees at the event donated more than $5,000 for items that the children need, including school uniforms, equipment and field trips. Kunsberg School accepts children whose chronic illnesses have caused them to fall behind their peers in public school. Most of the children at Kunsberg come from families at or below the poverty level. The school charges no tuition, instead relying on donations.

Kunsberg teachers provide students with individual and structured education programs that assist students in achieving academic and physical excellence and prepare them to become independent, self reliant and responsible. From three nurses, the 82 students in the school learn specific medical self-care practices, enabling them to monitor and manage their illnesses and to go on to lead productive, meaningful and active lives.

Cocktails & Karaoke Co-Chairs were Brian Parks and Dana Pluss Parks. Committee members were Berrick Abramson, Nicole Beinert, Marc Cohen, Michelle Desloge, Martha Eddy, Hidemi Ena, Amanda Fein, Zach Frisch, Barb Gallagher, Hollie Velasquez-Horvath, Alisha Madiera, Brooke and Erik Mitisek, Colleen McGrath, Kelly Maher, Matt McClintock, Stephen Miller, Emily Nelson, Julie Olson, Merc and Mary Clare Pittinos, Maximillian Potter, Rhonda Rooney, Taylor Schierburg, Gary Schwartz, Dana Seeley, Ellen Stewart and Donald Vancil. Josh Hanfling is Kunsberg School Chair. Media sponsors were CBS4 Denver and 5280 Magazine.

For information about 2010 Cocktails & Karaoke, contact Mike Meyers at (303) 398-1768 or MeyersM@njhealth.org.

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. For 12 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report ranked National Jewish the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation.

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