Skip to content

Ninth Annual Cocktails & Karaoke Benefits Chronically Ill Students in Denver


$57,000 raised on Nov. 13 for Kunsberg School at National Jewish Health


The ninth annual Cocktails & Karaoke fundraising event on Nov. 13 raised $57,000 to benefit chronically ill K-8th grade students at Kunsberg School on the campus of National Jewish Health.  Molly Hughes, Denver television personality, emceed the event that drew 220 Denver area professionals to the Curtis Hotel.

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, relying instead 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, up to 90 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.

Kunsberg students are in classes so small that they rival the best private schools, giving teachers the time to focus on the needs of each student.  Volunteer “Reading Buddies” read with Kunsberg students every week while volunteer grandparents are reassuring and welcoming adult mentors for the children. Annual Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) test scores steadily improve, demonstrating the success of the Kunsberg School academic program. 

Most Kunsberg students come from homes at or below poverty level, 72 percent live in single-parent or disrupted homes and many are victims of the “digital divide.” Without computers or internet access in their homes, these students are at a disadvantage when compared to their more affluent peers.  At Kunsberg, students have access to computers and classrooms are equipped with Promethean ActivBoards, the best academic and learning tools available.  Donated by the Morgridge Family Foundation, the system features large computer monitors that allow students to see their teacher searching the Web, posting educational material, and modeling how successful adults use technology. 

Sponsors for the 2010 Cocktails & Karaoke were the Parks Family, MBH Enterprises LLC, GE Johnson, Webroot, UMB Bank, Ellen Steward and Donald Vancil, The Charles and Diane Gallagher Foundation, and an anonymous $15,000 donor. Other donors were Hapa, The Curtis, Designworks, Shutterbooth, Breckenridge Brewery, Skyy Spirits, Orchid Liquers and King Color.

Cocktails & Karaoke Co-Chairs were Marc Cohen and Dana Pluss Parks.  Committee members were Nicole Beinert, Michelle Desloge, Hidemi Ena, Zach Frisch, Barb Gallagher, Josh Hanfling, Hollie Velasquez-Horvath, Colleen McGrath, Kelly Maher, Matt McClintock, Stephen Miller, Drew Peterson, Merc Pittinos, Mary Clare Pittinos, Maximillian Potter, Jay Scharf, Taylor Schierburg, Gary Schwartz, Ellen Stewart and Donald Vancil.  Brian Parks is the Kunsberg School Chair.  Media sponsor was 5280 Magazine.

For information about 2011 Cocktails & Karaoke, contact Mike Meyers at (303) 398-1768 or

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

We have many faculty members, from bench scientists to clinicians, who can speak on almost any aspect of respiratory, immune, cardiac and gastrointestinal disease as well as lung cancer and basic immunology.

Our team is available to arrange interviews, discuss events and story ideas.m