The Beaux Arts FREEDOM Ball Presented by Morgridge Family Foundation Raises Over $2.2 Million for National Jewish Health in Denver

MARCH 08, 2017

DENVER — The 20th Anniversary Beaux Arts Ball presented by the Morgridge Family Foundation raised over $2.2 million to support National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. The Feb. 25, 2017 event honored Grand Marshals Debbie and Michael Feiner, Cathey and Richard Finlon, Mary Lou Blackledge Kortz and Donald Kortz, and Julie and Brent Morse for their philanthropy and influence in the Denver community. 

The 20th Anniversary Beaux Arts Ball presented by the Morgridge Family Foundation raised over $2.2 million to support National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation.

More than 1,200 guests attended the Beaux Arts Ball, one of the most anticipated events on Denver’s social calendar. This year featured the transformation of Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum into the streets of 1770s America, inspired by “Hamilton: An American Musical.” The New York-based Bobby Attiko Band was accompanied by a cast of two dozen performers who kept the event lively as guests stayed late into the evening to celebrate the 20 years of the Beaux Arts Ball and the mission of National Jewish Health.

“Most people take breathing for granted until they can’t,” said Michael Salem, MD, National Jewish Health president and CEO. “Through its care and scientific research, National Jewish Health is the only institution singularly focused on helping people with the complex process of breathing.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, of Colo., and former Secretary of the Interior and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazer, of Colo., were in attendance.

Also honored at the event were Carrie and John Morgridge, who were awarded the Arthur B. Lorber Award for Distinguished Service. The Lorber Award is the highest honor given by National Jewish Health. Recipients have shown leadership in an area that has impacted the reputation, service, science or mission of National Jewish Health.

“The Morgridges’ imprint on National Jewish Health is indelible,” Dr. Salem said. “They have been presenting sponsors of the Beaux Arts Ball every year since 2010. In 2011, they were honored as Grand Marshals. And in 2013, they gave National Jewish Health its largest campaign gift. In honor of that gift, National Jewish Health established the Morgridge Educational Campus, which includes the Morgridge Academy for chronically ill children and the Morgridge Fellowship Program.”

The Morgridges were also honored with a special song about their history of giving set to rap music from Hamilton: An American Musical.

Another highlight of the evening came as A. Barry Hirschfeld, a member of the National Jewish Health Board of Directors since 1981 and the evening’s Honorary Chair, was recognized for his longstanding role in recruiting the Beaux Arts Ball grand marshals – a role he took on after he and his wife, Arlene, were honored as Grand Marshals in 1998.  Many of those former grand marshals from the past 20 years were in attendance for the celebration. National Jewish Health Board Chair Blair Richardson recognized the group.

“The Beaux Arts Ball has a tremendous history,” Richardson said. “Tonight, Grand Marshals are in attendance from nearly every year of the event. You have made the Beaux Arts Ball what it is today, and we thank you for your support of National Jewish Health.”

About $700,000 of the funds raised at the evening event will support care and research for those suffering with food allergies. These funds were raised during a reverse auction called Fund-A-Need.

This year guests learned about the challenges facing children and adults with severe food allergies through the personal story told by Megan Hanna about her young son who has multiple food allergies.  And, Bruce J. Lanser, MD, National Jewish Health pediatric allergist and immunologist told the crowd that every year more than 200,000 people go to the emergency room because of allergic reactions to food. “That’s one every three minutes,“ he said.

The Beaux Arts Ball also featured two live auction packages – concert tickets to see Bon Jovi and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, along with a trip to the Country Music Awards in Nashville, and a stay at a winery in Napa, Calif., along with a Chanel watch and Hyde Park Jewelers gift certificate.

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Morgridge Family Foundation, Sage Hospitality and Christie and Walter Isenberg were Theme Sponsors, and Mercedes Benz of Denver was the Official Auto Sponsor. See a complete list of sponsors.

The Executive and Leadership Committees included Colorado’s leaders in philanthropy and business. See a complete list of event leadership.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 124 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 patients 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.

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