Generous supporters from across the Rocky Mountain region gathered together on Sept. 29 for an elegant celebration benefiting the patients and families of Children’s Hospital Colorado.
One of Colorado’s premier black-tie charity events, the 41st annual Children’s Gala took place at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. The event brought together generous donors, courageous patients and devoted caregivers for an incredible evening that raised a $2.4 million for the hospital.
As the only comprehensive nonprofit children’s hospital in a seven-state region, Children’s Colorado relies on community support to provide world-class, family-centered care to every child who needs it — regardless of a family’s ability to pay. The 2018 Children’s Gala celebrated a history of excellence in pediatric care and toasted the generous donors and community partners who are building a bright future for children’s health.
This year’s Children’s Gala was hosted by business leaders and philanthropists Bev and Bruce Wagner. The Wagner family has a longstanding commitment to the mission of Children’s Colorado. Bruce’s father, Joe Wagner, is a Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation Trustee Emeritus and founder of Wagner Equipment. Bruce has continued his father’s legacy by serving on the Children’s Hospital Colorado Board of Directors. He is also the president and CEO of Wagner Equipment. At Children’s Gala, the Wagner family announced a generous gift of $200,000 to support the hospital – a donation that was matched by other guests’ contributions at the event.
The stars of the evening were the Children’s Hospital Colorado Patient Ambassadors. This courageous group of children has faced medical challenges ranging from leukemia and heart defects to blood disorders and spina bifida. These kids and their families are committed to giving back by helping to raise money for Children’s Colorado. Many guests became emotional as Maya, Lillian, Thomas, Maddy and Nate bravely shared their stories. They were interviewed by event emcee Reggie Rivers, a former Denver Bronco, media personality, motivational speaker and author.
Headlining this year’s Gala was Zach Heckendorf, a native Coloradan and rising musical star who played a unique blend of acoustic-inspired folk rock. The evening closed with a high-energy performance by famed ‘90s female rap group Salt-N-Pepa, who kept the dance floor packed until late in the evening.
“The Children’s Gala is all about celebrating Children’s Hospital Colorado and spotlighting the amazing patients, families and communities we are privileged to serve,” said Jen Darling, President of Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to the generous donors who made this year’s event a tremendous success.”