Pat Steadman, champion for the underdog

Gov. John Hickenlooper high-fives Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, after signing Senate Bill 11, establishing civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado, on March 21, 2013, at the History Colorado Center in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

So, Pat Steadman is finally going to let One Colorado honor him for all the work he has done to better the lives of the state’s gay and lesbian residents.

The former state senator has been passionate about gay rights for more than two decades — he cried in the streets of Denver the night Coloradans in 1992 passed Amendment 2, which prohibited laws from protecting gays from from discrimination.

“It was a very volatile, explosive evening with lots of raw emotion. It was a huge wake-up call,” Steadman said in an interview with The Denver Post in 2013.

That’s the year the legislature finally passed his measure to allow gay couples to enter into civil unions. It was a bittersweet victory for the Denver Democrat — his partner of 11 years died of pancreatic cancer a few months before the session began.

Steadman, who was term limited after the 2016 election,  will receive One Colorado’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver on Aug. 26.

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Brittany & Ian: “In sickness and in health, in wins and in losses”

Ian Silverii and Brittany Petterson’s wedding announcement picture in front of the Governor’s Mansion.

I love the story of how Ian Silverii and Brittany Pettersen met.

On a cold December day at the corner of 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, right in front of Denver’s version of Portlandia, City O’ City, and just a block from the state Capitol, Ian was headed to a meeting and Brittany was standing in the freezing cold with a clipboard.

Brittany Pettersen and Ian Silverii laugh as friends and family tell stories about them at their wedding.

“Do you have a minute to save the children?” she asked.

“No,” Ian replied, “but I have about 30 minutes to flirt with you.”

I burst out laughing when I read about that encounter on the couple’s wedding website. I met Ian when he had the good sense to introduce himself to me at Hamburger Mary’s and say he was a huge fan of my reporting. His line to Brittany in 2009 was so him: fast and funny.

Their wedding Saturday at the Governor’s Mansion was such a Demapalooza that Sen. Lois Court joked enough lawmakers were present to go into an emergency special session and vote to fund the energy office.

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2017 Go Code challenge winners focus on water, noise and farmers

Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Andrew Cole, the program manager for Go Code Colorado, which held its final competition Wednesday night. (SOS photo)

Wednesday marked the end of another successful year for Go Code Colorado, a statewide business app challenge housed in Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

After months of preparing, the top 10 teams gave their final pitches to a panel of judges. A member from each team spent five minutes explaining their app idea, followed by a three-minute question-and-answer period.

“I don’t know if this is uniquely Colorado, but it’s the best of Colorado,” Andrew Cole, program manager for Go Code, said after Secretary Williams announced the three winning teams.

The Seawell ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts filled with cheers from the winning team members and their friends and families, and some groans from those who made it as far as the finale but did not win. Some vowed to return next year.

The three teams — Drip, Hud Buddy and Magpie Supply — will each receive $25,000 contract from the state and a sponsor incentive package.

“I continue to be impressed by the creativity and collaboration of the Go Code Colorado teams,” Secretary Williams said. “Teams continue to show the value of public data if we can get it into the hands of innovative and entrepreneurial people who have a different perspective on how to use it.”

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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.

Colorado’s nonprofits: “You inspire us all to make America kind again”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is flanked by two award winners, Bruce Deboskey and Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Grand Junction, at the Colorado Nonprofit Association lunch today. (SOS )

By Lynn Bartels
and Julia Sunny

One of the most touching events every year is the Colorado Nonprofit Association lunch and awards ceremony, where it becomes evident the kind of impact nonprofit groups make in our state.

“They truly help us remember what is important in the community,” Treasurer Walker Stapleton said.

He handed out one of the awards recognizing nonprofit work. Several recipients, including Nancy Sundeen, the director of the Pitkin County Health and Human Services, choked up when accepting their honors. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams presented Sundeen with the Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

Renny Fagan, the president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, before the start of today’s award ceremony. (SOS photo)

Today’s lunch kicked off Colorado NonProfit Week. The agenda includes a day at the legislature, trips to the Western Slope and “Pay it Forward Friday.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former brewpub owner, said when he ran for Denver mayor in 2003 he didn’t have any “traditional constituencies” but he had served on 42 nonprofit boards and committees in the previous 12 years. Members often met in a room at the brewery, he said.

“I think that constituency is amazingly powerful and I think all of you need to recognize that with social media you do have a voice,” the governor said. “We are in tumultuous times but you inspire us all to make America kind again.”

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