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Iris and Michael Smith to Receive 2011 National Jewish Health Lorber Award during Beaux Arts Ball on March 19

Iris and Michael Smith will receive the 2011 National Jewish Health Arthur B. Lorber Award for Distinguished Service during the Beaux Arts Ball gala on March 19 in Denver.  The event raises funds for National Jewish Health, the nation’s #1 respiratory hospital.

Michael Smith is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Freeport LNG Investments LLLP in Houston, Texas.  In 2002 Mr. Smith formed Freeport Development LP to design, build, own and operate the first liquefied natural gas receiving terminal in the United States in over two decades. He was previously the founder, CEO, President and substantial shareholder in Colorado’s Basin Exploration until its sale in February 2001.

Iris Smith’s passion for philanthropy lies with enriching the lives of children and women across the country. She is the Chair, President and Treasurer of the Kaitar Foundation, which gives to numerous charities in Colorado and throughout the country. Mrs. Smith, whose entrepreneurial career spanned the spectrum from fine cuisine to luxury gemstones, realized the importance of raising her children and thus retired from her career. Mrs. Smith combined her passion for children and her entrepreneurial spirit by founding Once Upon A Time Productions of which she serves as CEO, an entertainment production company specializing in development of children’s entertainment and educational programming for film television and interactive media.

Recipients of the Arthur B. Lorber Award for Distinguished Service show leadership in an area that has impacted our reputation, service, science or mission. Arthur Lorber was the son of Fannie Lorber, who in 1907 founded the Denver Sheltering Home as an orphanage for Jewish children. As “The Home” evolved from an orphanage into an asthma treatment center, Arthur was the visionary who combined compassionate care with ground breaking research and thus created the premier treatment center for respiratory diseases in the country. 

The Beaux Arts Ball takes place on Saturday, March 19, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Grand Marshals are Carrie and John Morgridge, Linda and Rich Schierburg, Viki and Jack Thompson and Joni and Scott Wylie. A limited number of tickets to the gala are available at (303) 728-6564 or by email at barost@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 Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation.

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