June 30, 2003
Rocky Mountain News
Perhaps it was the live performance by the Fifth Dimension of its hit single Up, Up and Away that got Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton up on the dance floor with his wife, Adrienne.
But the fact that he could take his turn on the ballroom floor was a testament to how far multiple-sclerosis research has come for Singleton and other MS patients.
Still, when Singleton talked about the obstacles he's overcome since his initial MS diagnosis in 1986, everyone in the ballroom was reminded how far research to find a cure still has to go.
The key to the cure is adequate funding for research, and more than $360,000 to that end was raised at the 2003 Dinner of Champions, "Celebrate Progress," which benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Colorado chapter.
The dinner also celebrated Singleton and other crusaders for an MS cure.
In July 1986, Singleton woke up with slurred speech, barely able to move his arms and legs. His doctor diagnosed his symptoms as toxic paint poisoning. The doctor was wrong.
After more doctors and many more tests, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often debilitating disease that attacks the brain and the spinal cord.
Singleton was ordered to eliminate all stress from his life, sell his newspapers and retire to a cold climate.
He moved from Texas to Colorado, but retirement wasn't an option.
Seventeen years later, Singleton still works every day - and is still working to find a cure for MS.
Singleton received the society's two highest awards: the "Swede" Johnson Hope Award, for outstanding philanthropic and community service, and the MS Achievement Award, which recognizes people who succeed despite having MS.
One of Denver's most generous corporations, Tiffany & Co., also was crowned an MS champion. Tiffany & Co. Denver director Douglas Kerbs accepted the MS Corporate Partner Award on behalf of the company for its philanthropy, particularly formation of the Tiffany & Co. Community Advisory Board, which has steered the store to partner with more than 30 local charities.
Sharon Magness, a former MS honoree with her late husband, Bob Magness, hosted the 2003 fete and proudly presented the Bob Magness MS Champion Award to Denver Broncos running back and 2002 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Clinton Portis.
The award was even more special this year because the dinner fell on Bob Magness' birthday. It's presented to an athlete who excels in his sport through persistence, determination and sometimes in the face of adversity, much like the spirit of those with MS.
Persistent and determined also aptly describe the society's supporters, including dinner co-chairmen David Alexander and Brandt Wilkins, who coordinated the fete that brought more than 450 folks to the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex for a stellar dinner provided by Epicurean Catering, which is co-owned by Magness and Larry DiPasquale.
Emcee and News4 anchor Ed Greene welcomed MS Society Colorado chapter President Dianne Williams; board Chairwoman Janet Savage; former MS honorees such as dairy brothers Eddie and Dick Robinson, with Dick's wife, Marcia, Georgia and Walt Imhoff, Kalleen and Bob Malone and University of Denver Chancellor Dan Ritchie; Michelle and John Hall; Dr. Dean Prina and Michael Porto; Patricia Barela Rivera; Pam and Michael O'Neal; Artemis Khadiwala-Donian and Leo Donian; Scott Coors and Dr. Dave Hurt; Judi and Marvin Wolf; Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld; Christie and Walter Isenberg; Pat Cortez and Manuel Martinez; Helenn and Joe Franzgrote; Joy Johnson; Holly Kylberg; Joy Burns; Jaylene and Jeff Smith; Jean and Dr. Ben Galloway; and Denver Newspaper Agency President and CEO Kirk MacDonald.
Proceeds will fund internationally coordinated MS research and programs for Coloradans living with MS and their families, along with education for the public and health-care professionals about services available to people with MS.
For more information about the MS Society Colorado chapter, call (303)
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