Once a year a secret location near the Denver Metro area is turned into a vision of white for the annual Dinner in White event the University of Colorado Cancer Center. On August 19, 2017, nearly 300 people dressed in white, packed a picnic, and waited for the venue to be revealed (this year it took place at the 9th St. Historic Park on the Auraria Campus).
A 20-foot tall white Eiffel Tower set the stage for a taste of Paris in the Rockies. Upon arrival guests walked through a Parisian Marketplace, complete with six local vendors. Features included a wall of wine, tunes from local disk jockey DJ Chonz from KS 107.5, lawn games, and a photo booth by ShutterQube. Deluxe guests dined on chic sandwiches provided by Back Country Delicatessen. Guests who opted to bring their own picnic went all out this year-many bringing their own candelabras and centerpieces.
The evenings emcee, Thomas Nash from Comedy Works, rocked a white tuxedo. In an experiment with the crowd he asked a series of questions including if they had been diagnosed with cancer, been a caregiver of someone going through cancer, and if they had ever had a loved one or friend be diagnosed with cancer. By the end, in a very emotional moment, nearly everyone in the audience was out of their seat. Mike Hanchett from Robinson and Henry P.C., silver sponsor for the event, shared a touching poem and personal experience of going through a life-changing diagnosis while in law school. CU Cancer Center investigator Wells Messersmith, MD, reiterated the incredible resource that is close to home and introduced the keynote speaker.
This highlight of the evening was the heartwarming and inspiring speech presented by speaker Stephen Estrada. Stephen was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the incredibly young age of 28. When Stephen arrived at the CU Cancer Center he was incredibly ill. After being placed on a clinical trial he began to feel better and more alive than he had for a very long time. Now, after being declared free of disease, his mission is to share his story and raise awareness of young colon cancer.
“I am so honored to have been the keynote at Dinner in White event,” says Estrada. “Because of the level of care, research, and innovation, I am still here today. I hope people look at me, a stage 4 colon cancer survivor who was told he had less than a one percent chance to live five years, and see that events like this one can make an incredible difference when it comes to life-saving research.”
The goal of Dinner in White is to support a different program at the CU Cancer Center each year. Stay tuned for next year’s dedicated program!
“Dinner in White is truly a unique event and I am so happy to have been involved,” says chair Taylor Abarca. “Like almost everyone cancer has touched me personally and I am honored to chair an event that fights this horrible disease. Next year is set to be bigger and better, so be sure to put it on your calendars now!”
Dinner in White would not be possible without our sponsors and donors! A special thanks to:
- Robinson and Henry, PC
- CO Biz Magazine
- Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research
- Colon Cancer Alliance
- Infinite Monkey Theorem
- Blue Moon Brewing Company
- Dry Dock Brewing Company
- Great Divide Brewing Company
- New Saigon Deli and Bakery
The 2018 event is set for 8-18-18. If you would like to sponsor Dinner in White please contact Taylor Abarca at firstname.lastname@example.org.