Join us for our 2012 Gala

August 26, 2012

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tivoli Turnhalle

900 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204

To Register for the 2012 SLOH Gala follow this link!


You are cordially invited to the seventh annual Shining Lights of Hope Gala presented by the Carson J Spencer Foundation, celebrating our sixth year of sustaining a passion for life!

This year’s benefit auction evening is on August 26th, 2012 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, taking place at the beautiful Tivoli Turnhalle located on the Auraria Campus in Downtown Denver, CO.

2011 SLOH 2011 Gala Rangeview

Tickets are available through Black-Tie Colorado, event code SLOH2012!

Not only will you delight in delicious dishes provided by Darby Donohue at Gourmet Fine Catering, laugh with wonderful people, but also, you will experience great auction deals, and feel the satisfaction of helping support an organization working with business and youth leaders to save lives and sustain a passion for life.

Interested in sponsoring? The Adolph Coors Foundation believes in our FIRE Within Program so much, that for every dollar donated, they will match your donation with one dollar. To become a sponsor or to donate an item for the auction check out sponsorship opportunities here to donate auction items (click on link to download form), or for further details contact Sally Spencer-Thomas.

History of Event: Each year, CJSF holds the “Shining Lights of Hope” fundraising gala.  Just weeks after Carson died in 2004, his family and friends from across his lifespan began to brainstorm the vision for the Carson J Spencer Foundation. The meetings were as therapeutic as they were productive. While all of those participating loved him, not all of the friends knew each other since they were acquainted with Carson at difference ages and places in his life. As they shared stories and ideas, they came together in their grief and shared mission.

Because Carson was such a prominent business man in Denver, the Rocky Mountain News interviewed several family members for a featured obituary. The article closed with a quote from Carson’s mother-in-law, “He was a star who shone so brightly that he just burned out too quickly."

Indeed, Carson was a star in many ways. A shooting star who rose quickly as an entrepreneur in his industry and gained the admiration of many, he also had the ability to light up any room with his charming smile and humor. His spirit was brilliant. And when stars die, their light shines on in the darkness.

CJSF is meant to be the light of his legacy, carrying on his goodness and his spirit. We acknowledge his gift of helping others and our desire to prevent what happened to him from happening to others through a number of programs that are designed to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and assist those bereaved in our community. We also encourage loving, caring people to become inspiring points of light in the dark by offering connection and support to those who feel trapped in a dark place with no way out. 

For these reasons, we have called our annual gala “Shining Lights of Hope” and we aim to recognize those individuals and organizations in our community who support the work of suicide prevention and provide compassionate assistance to those in pain. Each year we award those who have stood above the others as stars. Last year, we raised nearly $30,000. With your help, this year, we hope to raise $60,000!

This years award winners:
Shining Lights of Hope Award Jeff Lamontagne
This award is given to an individual or family who has been bereaved by suicide or who has struggled with a mental illness and have turned their despair into action to make a difference in the areas of mental health promotion and suicide prevention. This year the award is given to Jeff Lamontagne, founding Executive Director for the Second Wind Fund of Metro Denver, and also of Second Wind Fund, Inc.  Jeff’s passion, creativity, vision, and ability to enlist the talents of numerous staff and board members, and hundreds of volunteers enabled this effort to be launched and maintained for its first ten years of operation.  The Second Wind Fund has impacted the lives of thousands of young people in Colorado, and now is reaching out to other communities around the nation. Jeff readily shares that his personal adolescent struggles where a key impetus for him to engage in this significant leadership role.  He is a humble, driven, visionary leader, who effectively joined with hundreds of other people to reach struggling youth!   

Volunteer of the Year Award Sally Messinger
This award goes to someone that has donated significant time and talent to help the Carson J Spencer Foundation succeed. Sally Messinger spent an entire school year helping Columbine High School FIRE Within students to create their innovative social enterprise, Combine Columbine. She worked tirelessly with them to help them succeed, dedicating her time and energy to our FIRE Within Program. Sally has proven herself to be a talented and devoted educator, fostering youth’s development while helping them successfully start a business and prevent suicide in their community.
Corporate Shooting Star 9 News
This award goes to a business that has gone above and beyond to support the Carson J Spencer Foundation and suicide prevention efforts. Since our inception, 9News has championed suicide prevention efforts in safe and effective ways. When Cheryl Preheim first featured CJSF in 2006, it was our first appearance on television.  It was a great experience. Since then CJSF has had the great honor of sharing our successes as well as the warning signs and risk factors for suicide on 9News on several occasions, whether it is in response to the suicide death of a high profile person or in celebration of our youth entrepreneurs’ success.