Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation® to Honor Pat Hamill, Rotary Club of Denver Southeast and Two Outstanding Dreamers at Annual Gala

Internationally acclaimed all-vocal rock band Face to headline event entertainment

Denver, Colorado, UNITED STATES

Denver, Sept. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The 2017 Spirit of Lanterns Gala will salute individuals who serve as a guiding light by educating, inspiring and encouraging others to reach their full potential and to achieve their greatest dreams. This year’s honorees include Pat Hamill, CEO of Oakwood Homes, and the Rotary Club of Denver Southeast. Face, an internationally acclaimed all-vocal rock band from Boulder, Colorado will Headline the gala on Thursday, October 26, at the Denver Center for Performing Arts Seawell Ballroom. Face have been captivating audiences for over a decade with their energy and ability to bring a new edge and attitude to the human voice.

“We are thrilled to have Face, who through their music and our selected honorees represent those individuals who leverage their platform to make a difference in the area of education and the lives of youth, so that young dreams can grow and become a reality,” explained Rachael Gazdick, president and CEO of Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation®.

Colorado “I Have A Dream” (CIHAD) annually bestows several distinguished accolades during the gala, including the Dream Maker Award, which is given to a community leader whose commitment to quality education has an enduring impact on area youth.  Hamill works to build strong communities on a foundation that goes beyond homes to incorporate quality education. In 1997, he established the Foundation for Educational Excellence, now BuildStrong Education, which focuses its efforts on – making high quality education and student success the core to designing engaged, inspired and thriving communities. Throughout the years, the foundation has supported the development of schools, education initiatives and programs to expand educational opportunities for youth in Green Valley Ranch, Montbello and the broader metro area.

"I am honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Dream Maker Award from Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation, “said Hamill.  “Focusing on the success of children in school and in life are critical, and the philosophies of the I Have a Dream Foundation and our BuildStrong Education Foundation align to put kids first.”  

The Rotary Club of Denver Southeast will receive the McHugh Award, which recognizes individuals who have made an extensive and deep commitment to The Colorado "I Have A Dream" Foundation® and displayed exemplary efforts to level the playing field in education, as exhibited by its namesakes, Jerome and Anabel McHugh. The Rotarians have proven their motto "Service Above Self" through their long-term work with CIHAD, most notably as the whole-school sponsor of STRIVE Prep - Ruby Hill Dreamers.

“We are honored to receive this award and feel so privileged to work with this organization and the students at STRIVE Prep - Ruby Hill,” said Courtney Cowgill, president of The Rotary Club of Denver Southeast. “Education is a leveler of economic class, and we will continue to work to ensure that all kids have the same educational opportunities and the tools to succeed.”

The great commitment of community leaders, organizations and individuals who invest in Dreamers like Abdul Mberwa and Chasel Valdiviezo-Perez, this year’s Summit Award recipients, has enabled them to grow and reach their potential.  This honor is presented to Dreamers who excel academically, triumph over personal obstacles and demonstrate a personal commitment to the betterment of community. 

Additional Gala Details

The cocktail reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are now available online at The 2017 Gala Sponsors - Presenting Sponsors: Alvarado Holdings and Taco Bell; Cocktail Reception Sponsor: Bonnie Brae Wine & Liquor Mart; and Gift Sponsor: Kendra Scott Jewelry; Honor Society and the Rotary Club of Denver Southeast.

About Face Vocal Band

Face Vocal Band is comprised of five members: Ryan Driver, tenor; Forest Kelly, bass; Mark Megibow, vocal percussion; Cody Qualls, tenor; and Stephen Ross, countertenor. The Band, also known as “Face”, was founded in Boulder, Colorado over fifteen years ago by Ben Lunstand and Joseph DeMasi during their time at the University of Colorado Boulder. Performing over 100 shows per year around the world, the band has also competed on the hit NBC series “The Sing-Off,” headlined at Edinburgh, Scotland’s prestigious Festival Fringe, and has opened for legendary performers such as Jon Bon Jovi, Jay Leno, Manhattan Transfer, Culture Club & Boy George, Rick Springfield, and Robin Thicke. The band’s mission since they began is to further music education for youth, and annually work with middle and high school students, visiting 15 to 20 schools. Also, raising money for education grants to support school voice and music programs.

About Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation®

For almost 30 years, The Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation® has been encouraging youth in Colorado to follow their passions and, more importantly, to believe in their dreams. CIHAD, which has impacted the lives of more than 990 Denver metro youth, provides long-term support and engagement for youth through one-on-one educational enrichment programs to bridge the educational gap and ensure that there is a level playing field. The support extends beyond the children to the parents, so what happens at school can continue at home. Recognized for their innovative practices, they also serve as a national model for the first school adoption of STRIVE Prep - Ruby Hill.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Face Vocal Band Left to Right:

Pat Hamill, CEO Oakwood Homes - The Dream Maker Award Honoree;
Chasel Valdiviezo-Perez, Dreamer - Summit Award Honoree;
Abdul Mberwa, Dreamer - Summit Award Honoree;
Rotary Club of Denver Southeast - The McHugh Award Honoree

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