Award brings gratitude, tears

Posted 10/23/12

I’m honored to be honored. Sense of Security, a Colorado-based breast cancer charity that helps patients with non-medical expenses, has been a …

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Award brings gratitude, tears


I’m honored to be honored.

Sense of Security, a Colorado-based breast cancer charity that helps patients with non-medical expenses, has been a favorite charity of mine since I was diagnosed seven years ago.

In my own small way — with a ton of help from my friends — I have raised money for this unsung charity that lost some of its funding last year — a casualty of budget cuts.

On Saturday night, being given an award for my efforts during the annual Champagne and Diamonds fundraiser humbled me. The award reads: “With gratitude, Penny Parker. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients.”

Yes, I’m a survivor, but there are so many of us in this sorority that we never wanted to join. As I write this, tears are running down my face. It seems that October — Breast Cancer Awareness Month — is the one time a year that my journey comes flooding back.

I was truly blessed to have such supportive people in my corner during that time — my darling husband, Greg Henry, and my BFF, Devany McNeill, who also accompanied me to the event.

I want to thank Rita McCoy, executive director of Sense of Security, Vicki Tosher, founder of the charity, and Regional Emmy Award winning doll face Chris Parente, co-host of FOX-31’s “Everyday,” who emceed.

I also want to give a shout-out to the Embassy Suites in downtown Denver, which blew me away with their banquet service of perfectly cooked beef tenderloin (like buttah), crisp asparagus and a potato dish. Amazing.

Thanks to all who deemed me worth of such an honor. If you’d like to contribute to such a deserving organization, go to Since its inception in 2000, Sense of Security has provided more than $1.4 million in financial assistance to more than 860 breast cancer patients in Colorado.

Think pink for charity

The 9th Door, the sexy tapas bar on Blake Street in LoDo, is donating proceeds from its Pink Coyote cocktail to Sense of Security during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This could be the most fun you’ll ever have while donating to a worthy cause. See you there! For more information, go to

Historic Landmark status

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated Denver’s Civic Center as a National Historic Landmark on Wednesday, marking it as the City and County of Denver’s first NHL and one of two Civic Centers in the country to achieve this prestigious recognition, announced Historic Denver Inc., the Denver nonprofit that submitted the NHL nomination.

Celebrations to honor this historic moment will take place in Denver’s Civic Center in 2013.

Four Seasons GM jammin’

Thierry Kennel, general manager of The Four Seasons Hotel Denver, has been promoted to regional vice president, effective this week. Kennel will continue to serve as general manager of The Four Seasons Hotel Denver while assuming additional responsibilities as a Regional Vice President for three additional Four Seasons properties.

Kennel will oversee Four Seasons Hotel Palo Alto (my home town), Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City and Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis in addition to the Denver property.

Prior to arriving in Denver nearly three years ago, Kennel served as general manager of Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. He recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Conde Nast readers vote

Conde Nast Traveler readers have spoken and they have chosen the top 10 hotels in the West — meaning in Colorado and Utah.

No. 1 is The Oxford Hotel in LoDo.

No. 3 is the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder.

No. 4 is the Hotel Teatro downtown.

No. 5 is The Brown Palace.

No. 6 is The Four Seasons Hotel Denver.

No. 7 is The Ritz-Carlton Denver

No. 9 if The JW Marriott Denver

and No. 10 is The Curtis — a Doubletree by Hilton.

In the same survey, The Westin Riverfront was named the No. 1 resort in the “Top 40 Resorts in the West” category. For more information, go to or

“We’re so excited to once again see the JW Marriott Denver, The Oxford and the Curtis earn a spot on this prestigious list,” said Walter Isenberg, president and CEO of Denver’s Sage Hospitality. “This award factors in real feedback from discerning guests, so it’s a testament to how well each of these hotels delivers a unique travel experience.”

Say what?

If you live in a converted house, call AMS Pictures, the largest production company in the Southwest, which is casting for converted homes for “You Live in What?” — a fun, light-hearted look at unique homes and their owners for HGTV.

To be considered for the show, you must live in a converted house, be the homeowner or responsible party, have converted the house yourself, and have photographs or video of the conversion process.

Send your name, contact info, a description of the house, and five to 10 photographs to More information:

The seen

Former Green Bay Packers great Jerry Kramer, having dinner at Elway’s Cherry Creek on Wednesday wearing his multiple Super Bowl rings (the Packers won the first two). In this age of specialization in the NFL, it’s hard to imagine that this guy was a five-time All Pro at guard and also was the Packers’ placekicker in 1962, 1963 and part of 1968.

Get your grrrr on

This year’s ninth annual Denver Gorilla Run will be held on Oct. 27 in an attempt to hold onto its Guinness World Record title of most people dressed as gorillas in one location with 1,069 participants in 2009.

This year’s event is expected to attract 1,300-plus participants in their gorilla costumes to enjoy a scenic and fun 5K run/walk or ride through Lower Downtown and the Platte River Valley.

The Denver Gorilla Run, which benefits the Denver-based Mountain Gorilla Conservations Fund, offers a costume contest and three starting waves. The Wheels will go first, runners go second and walkers go third.

The race is followed by an extravagant post-race party featuring a live performance by Under the Radar Band, and food from the Wynkoop Holdings family of restaurants including Lodo’s Bar and Grill and the Breckenridge Craft Brewery.

The run’s start/finish line and post-race party takes place outside of Wynkoop Brewing Co. at 18th and Wynkoop streets. Runners and spectators are invited to attend the celebratory Silverback Block Party.

More info at or by calling 720-524-0272.

Anschutz Center set for Park Hill

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver broke ground on the Nancy P. Anschutz Center in Park Hill’s Holly Square last week at 3334 Holly St.

Those in attendance included: Libby Anschutz, John Arigone, Albus Brooks, Aaron Miripol, Lindsay Neil, Terrance Roberts, LaDawn Sullivan and Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver members.

Penny Parker’s “Mile High Life” column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for She can be reached at or at 303-619-5209.


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