Delta County welcomes Wayne Williams

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and four election judges at the Delta County clerk’s office on Monday. The judges are, left to right, Debbie Cole, Laura Earley, Susie Johnson and Judy Briscoe. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams always gets rave reviews about Dominion Voting Systems, the firm he selected to provide voting equipment to counties statewide, but during his visit to Delta County on Monday he heard a first:

The system is so fast, so efficient, that the work of checking in ballots and checking for signatures gets done in a much shorter period of time.

Delta County Clerk Teri Stephenson and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams Monday at her office in Delta. (SOS photo)

“That means we don’t get to spend as much time together,” election judge Debbie Cole told Williams when he stopped by the Delta County Clerk and Recorder’s office to visit with Clerk Teri Stephenson and her staff.

At that lament, Williams let out a huge laugh. He told the judges he had never heard that one before.

Stephenson said the election judges told her afterward how surprised they were that the secretary of state “was such a down-to-earth, normal guy.”

“And we always brag on our election judges so it was great that Wayne got to meet some of them,” she said. “They are just an awesome group and they get along so well.”

Election supervisor Rene Loy said the volunteer election judges who showed up Tuesday were bummed they missed a visit by the secretary of state.

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Colorado raffle drawings offer big dreams, help nonprofit licensees

Children’s Hospital dream home in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood of Denver. (Photo courtesy of Children’s Hospital Colorado)

Each year the Colorado Secretary of State’s office issues hundreds of raffle licenses.

And three nonprofit licensees — The Boys and Girls Cub of Metro Denver, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Colorado — offer a dream home as the grand prize.

Raffle tickets for the three nonprofit licensees range from $100 to $150.

The Boys and Girls Club offers a safe place for children by providing after-school programs, a meal, help with homework, or whatever else a child may need. A membership is only $2 annually for a child, thanks to fundraising events such as the “Dream House Raffle.” The slogan is “Your chance to win is their ticket to thrive.”

The grand prize this year is a 9,500-square foot house in the Stapleton/Lowry area.

The winner is offered the option to forgo the house and take $2 million in cash instead. Shannon Bee, the Secretary of State’s office’s bingo & raffle supervisor, said Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver has been doing successful house raffles since 1995.

The Boys and Girls Club four-bedroom, seven-bathroom dream home in the Stapleton-Lowry area. (Photo courtesy of Boys and Girls Club)

Children’s Hospital of Colorado does not offer a cash option but it does cover the cost of one year of taxes on their dream home as well as some of their other top prizes.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is the leading center for children’s health in their seven-state region. Children’s pioneers new methods of treatment and care made possible through fundraisers such as the mighty millions raffle.

In addition to dream homes, prizes such as cars, vacations, gadgets and various other items are raffled off.  The dream home offered this year is in Denver’s Bonnie Brae neighborhood.

St. Jude also conducts dream home raffles in Colorado among other states. The nonprofit licensee offers two homes in Colorado this year, one in the Denver area and one in the Colorado Springs area.

For St. Jude, it’s a win-win situation. Winners receive their dream home and are helping to end childhood cancer. St. Jude research hospital offers their services to patients and their families free of charge thanks to donations and raffles like the Dream Home giveaway.

SOS staffer faces long recovery after SUV driver hits his bicycle

Brad Lang, a staffer with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, has been out of work since the driver of an SUV hit his bicycle. The beard is new as Lang can't shave himself. (Photo by Meg Lang)
Brad Lang, a staffer with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, has been out of work since the driver of an SUV hit his bicycle. The beard is new as Lang can’t shave himself. (Photo by Meg Lang)

By Julia Sunny

A bike helmet saved Brad Lang’s life.

The Colorado Secretary of State employee bikes to work on most summer days. On July 28, as he was pedaling westbound in the bike lane on East 23rd Avenue, a white SUV turning from 23rd on to Colorado Boulevard made a left-hand turn and plowed into Lang, who went flying and was knocked unconscious.

When Lang regained consciousness, the 37-year-old was in the emergency room at Denver Health Medical Center. He sustained multiple injuries, including a displaced and broken finger, a severely dislocated and broken elbow, two broken wrists, and a hairline fracture in one of his knees. He underwent surgery and spent 2½-days in the hospital.

“I feel very fortunate that my brain is in one piece and that I’m alive,” Lang said.

The impact was so strong it cracked his helmet in half but doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

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Healing Our Heroes: a benefit luncheon to help our veterans

Healing our Heroes gala.
Healing our Heroes gala.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is an honorary chairman for this year’s Healing Our Heroes gala, which raises money to help injured veterans receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The benefit luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a. m. Friday at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in the Sewell Grand Ballroom. The keynote speaker will be retired Sgt. Leroy Petry, a U.S. Army ranger who was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Obama — only the second time since the Vietnam War a living soldier has been the recipient.

Healing our Heroes is a program of the Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Association for Brain Injuries. On its website, the association has posted videos of veterans who have received the hyperbaric oxygen therapy. “He seems more hopeful,” one wife said after her husband’s treatment.

The Healing our Heroes program pays for the treatments and provides housing for out-of-town veterans while they are receiving treatments in Louisville.

Other honorary co-chairs of the luncheon are Congressman Ken Buck of Windsor and Mike Coffman of Aurora. To inquire about tickets to the event, contact Kristin@thestarboardgroup.com.

Tom Brokaw, along with Reps. Diana DeGette, Fred Upton, honored

Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Denver and journalist Tom Brokaw.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Denver and journalist Tom Brokaw.

Legendary newscaster Tom Brokaw shared the stage tonight in Washington D.C. with two lawmakers, Colorado’s Diana DeGette and Michigan’s Fred Upton, where they received Courage Awards for their efforts involving cancer.

Brokaw in 2013 with diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer.  He talks about his journey in his memoir “A Lucky Life, Interrupted,”which has raised awareness about cancer.

DeGette, a Denver Democrat, and Upton, a Republican and chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee, have been universally praised for putting aside political pettiness to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which boosts federal funding for medical research, and speeds up federal approval for many new drugs and medical devices. The Senate is now debating the measure.

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