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Denver, Sept. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There were numerous events that occurred thirty years ago that will be marked in Denver’s history, including the Broncos loss in Super Bowl XXII, but also the win for the community and thousands of students with the founding of the Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation (CIHAD). The organization will celebrate three decades of educating, empowering and building dreams during their 30th Anniversary gala on Thursday, November 8 at the Denver Center for Performing Arts Seawell Ballroom. Themed “Dream Makers” gala, the event will reflect on the past, present and future of the organization and honor individuals who have played a significant role in CIHAD’s storied history.
This year’s honorees include Cole Finegan, regional managing partner with Hogan Lovells, and former Colorado Governor Roy Romer for their enduring commitment to education and CIHAD. The evening will feature a performance by Colorado native and The Fray’s front man, Isaac Slade, who will be joined by his wife, Anna Slade. Slade best known for albums “How to Save A Life,” “The Fray” and “Scars & Stories,” will be a fitting tribute for the night’s celebration.
“The history of Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation has been built from the many stories and personal journeys of each of our Dreamers, the path they have taken and where they are today,” explained Rachael Gazdick, the nonprofit’s president and CEO. “But that journey hasn’t been taken alone, so this celebration will also be for the many supporters who have been by our side and the side of our Dreamers for the past 30 years.”
Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation annually bestows distinguished accolades during the gala, including the Dream Maker Award, which is given to a community leader whose commitment to quality education has an enduring impact on area youth. This year’s recipient, Cole Finegan, is an attorney and political advisor who has been dedicated to serving on boards that focus on education and providing equal opportunities for youth, including the Denver Public Schools Foundation, Teach for America and CIHAD.
“We don’t all start at the same place, but we all want to get to the same place,” Finegan stated. “To have a good life, a good job, be able to provide for our family, and to be able to have enriching experiences. My work was to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to attain those things.”
Former Governor Roy Romer will receive the McHugh Award, which recognizes individuals who have made an extensive and deep commitment to the Colorado "I Have A Dream" Foundation and displayed exemplary efforts to level the playing field in education, as exhibited by its namesakes, Jerome and Anabel McHugh. Governor Romer was an early supporter of CIHAD because his son was one of the co-founders. In 1988, he opened the doors of the Governor’s Mansion to welcome the first class of Dreamers to be adopted as a part of CIHAD. In addition to his tenure as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2000 to 2006, Romer served as the chairman and lead spokesman for Strong American Schools. In 2008, the Roy Romer Middle School opened in the eastern San Fernando Valley.
“What drove me every day is the work that needed to be done and what I could do to make it better, and education was always at the forefront,” said Romer. “We all should think of education as more than just a stage in life that we go through. It’s a daily part of life in which we are trying to better understand who we are, the world around us and how we can make it better.”
Additional Gala Details
The cocktail reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are now available online at www.cihadevents.com.
About Isaac and Anna Slade
Isaac Slade is the lead vocalist, songwriter, pianist and co-founder (with schoolmate Joe King) of Colorado-based and Grammy-nominated rock band The Fray. In 2005, the group achieved international success with the release of their debut album, “How to Save a Life,” and especially after the apparition of the song which gives the name of the record in the popular TV series “Grey’s Anatomy”. His wife, Anna whom he has been married to for 12 years, was the inspiration for songs including “Look After You” and “She Is.” Isaac is the co-chair for Take Note Colorado, a statewide initiative of Governor John Hickenlooper to provide access to musical instruments and instruction to every K‑12 student in Colorado, to connect communities to music resources, and to raise awareness on the importance and power of music.
About Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation®
For 30 years, The Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation® has been encouraging youth in Colorado to follow their passions and, more importantly, to believe in their dreams. CIHAD, which has impacted the lives of 1,000 Denver metro youth, provides long-term support and engagement for youth through one-on-one educational enrichment programs to bridge the educational gap and ensure that there is a level playing field. The support extends beyond the children to the parents, so what happens at school can continue at home. Recognized for innovative practices, the nonprofit also serves as a national model for the adoption of Colorado’s first “Dreamer” school STRIVE Prep - Ruby Hill.
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