Cirque Kitchen to Combine Food Truck and Pop-Up Dinners

Does this look like food-truck food?

Sometimes life emulates the movies — like when a restaurant chef decides to ditch his chef’s whites for the food-truck life. Jon Favreau did it in Chef, scrapping his tired chocolate lava cake in favor of Cuban street food. Here in Denver, Brandon Becker, who has worked as executive chef at Red Square Euro Bistro and Blackbird Public House, is launching a new food truck called Cirque Kitchen — but with a twist. In addition to standard walk-up service, Becker’s truck will also be used as a mobile kitchen for multi-course pop-up dinners.

Before the pop-up dinners begin, Cirque Kitchen will roll with a menu of rice bowls and sandwiches built on Venezuelan-style arepas. Dishes will rotate every eight weeks or so and will be based on street food from different countries. "My purpose in life is to connect people through food," Becker explains. "I want to bring Denver together through street food from around the world."

In case you haven’t traveled to Venezuela or sampled the country’s cuisine here in Colorado, an arepa is a thick corn-flour cake that’s generally griddled (resulting in a crisp exterior and a fluffy interior), split in two and stuffed with meats, cheese, beans, plantains or other Latin American foods. Becker’s arepa recipe is traditional, but his fillings are inspired by regional sandwiches from the U.S. and abroad; already planned are arepas fashioned after a pork-belly banh mi, a Maine lobster roll and a Philly cheesesteak. Rice bowls will come topped with other globally inspired combos like tuna poke or Thai curry chicken.

The Cirque Kitchen will be ready to roll in May.

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Charity booze auctions, formerly illegal, win OK from Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper – Denver Business Journal

Charities that auction off alcohol in fundraisers — wine baskets and the like — will no longer be breaking the law in Colorado.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed into law Senate Bill 67, which legalizes a practice that long has been common in the state, but that actually has been a violation of Colorado’s liquor code.

Sponsored by state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada and Sen. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, the law allows organizations to auction sealed beer, wine and spirits without the transaction being considered a sale of alcohol that would violate the license of any facility where a fundraiser is being held.

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on March 1, 2018, signs into law a bill that allows charitable groups to auction donated alcohol. Sponsoring state Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp is over his right shoulder and co-sponsoring Sen. Rachel Zenzinger smiles over his left shoulder.

Zenzinger got the idea for the bill after hearing that state officials were cracking down on these auctions in certain parts of the state.

She included in the bill a safety clause that allows it to go into effect immediately, so that events like The Arc of Pueblo’s upcoming Golden Tortilla fundraiser won’t be affected by limitations on donations of goods for auctions.

Any change to alcohol law typically turns into a battle royale at the Legislature, as competing liquor-selling interests defend their territory and seek to expand sales.

That fervor renders efforts like this year’s proposed regulation of full-strength beer sales in grocery stores among the most heated battles in the Capitol.

However, Zenzinger said that before she moved forward on SB 67, she sat down with all of the interests and found they were OK with changing rules to increase charitable giving of booze — a discovery that left her pleasantly surprised.

“When I started, I was definitely trepidatious over what could happen, given our history down here with liquor bills,” she said.

“I think a majority of legislators didn’t know this was illegal. And I think everybody understood charities wanted to be legal and wanted to do right.”

2017 Largest Colorado Wineries

Ranked by Cases produced in 2016

Rank Company name Cases produced in 2016 1 Colorado Cellars 20,000 2 Talon Winery LLC dba St. Kathryn Cellars and Meadery of the Rockies 11,592 3 Two Rivers Winery 10,600 View This List

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Six Charitably-Minded Beers to Drink for a Good Cause

Those who consider drinking beer a noble act unto itself are not wrong. But community-oriented beer fans will be delighted to learn that a number of brewers are partnering with philanthropic organizations to raise money and awareness for worthy charities. Aiding drug recovery, championing women’s health, and ending food waste are among the causes you can support, one beer at a time.

Ready to drink up for a good cause? Here are six delicious beers with excellent intentions.

Magic Hat and Dropkick Murphys Barroom Hero

Barroom Hero is a collaboration between Magic Hat Brewing of Burlington, Vt., and Boston-born punk band, the Dropkick Murphys. This beer, described simply as a “pub ale,” visually resembles a cross between an amber ale and a brown ale. It is deceivingly drinkable: Its light body, low ABV (4.2 percent), and just a touch of roastiness to punch things up, all make this the perfect barroom brew. Added bonus: A portion of proceeds for this beer go to the Claddagh Fund, a foundation created by Dropkick Murphys front man, Ken Casey, to aid charities devoted to children, veterans, and alcohol and drug recovery.

10 Barrel Trail Beer

Another beer we can’t help but love — for its charitable aims as well as its fruity, herbal hop flavors — is Trail Beer by 10 Barrel Brewing. This Northwest Pale Ale is not only refreshing enough to pack for a hike (at a sessionable 5 percent ABV), it also donates 1 percent of sales to environmental nonprofits. 10 Barrel is based in Bend, Ore., but originally introduced this ale at its Denver location (it was created by Denver head brewer, Kay Witkiewicz). So far, the brewery is partnering with Protect Our Winters, which aims to fight climate change in the outdoor sports space. Each release also helps support local artists by featuring a photograph exemplifying the the Pacific Northwest.

Coronado CoastWise Session IPA

Coronado Brewing of San Diego brewed CoastWise in collaboration with Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit that pours its efforts into preserving coastal lifestyles by protecting the world’s oceans and beaches. The session IPA is brewed with a blend of Mosaic and Sorachi Ace hops, combining tropical citrus notes with a dry, bitter finish that goes down easy at a light-bodied, 5 percent ABV. CoastWise launched in 2017 for Earth Day and is available year-round in 16 states.

Toast American Pale Ale

Conceptualized by U.K.-based global food waste activist, Tristam Stuart, Toast Ale officially launched in the U.S. last year with Toast American Pale Ale. The simple, straightforward brew is made using surplus bread in the mash, sourced from partner bakeries that would have otherwise had to throw the bread away. A true “message in a can,” Toast Ale serves to educate beer drinkers about the enormous problem of food waste in pint-sized fashion — which happens to taste great, too. All proceeds go to Feedback, an organization founded by Stuart to eliminate food waste around the world.

The Larimer La Résistance Sour Ale

If you can get your hands on it, La Résistance Sour Ale, brewed by the Larimer, a bi-coastal collective of Philadelphia- and Denver-based gypsy brewers, is a tasty way way to support Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (which includes health centers in Colorado, southern Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming), one hibiscus-pink, 12-ounce can at a time. This gose-style sour beer is brewed with coriander and pink Himalayan salt. Lightly tart, and just 4.6 percent ABV, La Résistance makes championing birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other women’s health issues feel easy.

Fireman’s Brew Brunette

Everyone loves firefighters, and everyone loves saving lives (we hope). If you love beer, too, then Fireman’s lineup of hair-color brews is for you. Founded by California firefighters, Fireman’s is currently helmed by Robert Nowaczyk, a former firefighter of 28 years, and Roger Baer, CEO, a beverage industry veteran of 40 years. The label offers Blonde, Brunette, Redhead, and IPA varieties, and pledges a percentage of annual profits to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. It also donates beer and time to several organizations supporting the first responder community. Brunette is a German-style doppelbock (or “German doublebock”) that balances chocolate malt flavor with bitter balance. Available in 16 states, the award-winning, 8-percent-ABV easy drinker will extinguish your night if you’re not careful.

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Spring Forward: Festivals, Fashion and Fun are the Season’s Trends in Denver

DENVER, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — This spring, Denver will host a number of internationally renowned exhibitions, creative cultural displays and exciting festivals. From the only United States appearance of Degas: A Passion for Perfection to the Grand Opening of the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art to an abundance of music, food and beer festivals that pair with our 300 days of sunshine, there are plenty of opportunities to make The Mile High City worth a visit.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host the exhibition that has captivated millions around the world – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. In addition, the largest collection of artifacts from the Holy Land ever assembled for display will allow guests to explore the traditions, beliefs, and iconic objects of ancient Israel that continue to impact cultures today.

“This is going to be a record year for Denver in terms of international tourist draws, our burgeoning culinary scene and our prolific arts and culture community,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Mile High City continues to attract more and more renowned exhibitions, events, performing arts and more, which, in turn, have helped Denver become known as one of the best places in the country to visit.”

Below is a list of highlights in Denver this spring. For a complete event calendar of events, including hotel information, please go to the VISIT DENVER website.

Blockbuster Exhibitions
Degas: A Passion for Perfection, through May 20
Appearing for the only time in the United States at Denver Art Museum, Degas: A Passion for Perfection will showcase prolific French artist Edgar Degas’ works from 1855 to 1906. More than 100 works consisting of paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, and sculptures in bronze will be on view. The exhibition will focus on the most prominent and recurring themes throughout Degas’ 60-year career. These include his interest in learning from the art of the past and from that of his contemporaries, a lifelong fascination with the nude, a passion for horses, and his strong interest in opera and dance.

Creatures of Light, through June 10
Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host a new exhibition, Creatures of Light, which explores the mysterious world of bioluminescence, visible light generated by living things through a chemical reaction. Lifelike models, spectacular immersive environments and simulations, unusual animals, videos, and engaging hands-on activities create an enlightening experience. The exhibition will feature a dark cave illuminated by glowworms, an interactive “lagoon” and more.

Dead Sea Scrolls, March 16 – September 3
Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host the exhibition that has captivated millions around the world – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. In addition, the largest collection of artifacts from the Holy Land ever assembled for display will allow guests to explore the traditions, beliefs, and iconic objects of ancient Israel that continue to impact world cultures today.

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting, April 28 – September 23
Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting, hosted by Denver Botanic Gardens, explores the relationships between the natural world and the artificial world of digital media. Whiting’s sculptures also represent the intersection of two distinct visual styles: 8-bit pixel graphics—which have enjoyed a recent resurgence in video games—and minimalist sculpture. Technological limitations in early video games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders reduced the graphics to simplified shapes, while the minimalist art movement created artworks that purposely lacked detail. Pixelated investigates the opposite intents of these two artistic approaches that result in a strikingly similar visual outcome.

Ai WeiWei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, through October 17
In his first major public sculpture project, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, internationally acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei has reinterpreted twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an imperial retreat in Beijing. The bronze pieces will surround the Sea Lions Fountain on the north end of Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, and a complementary educational exhibit, Ai Weiwei: Art & Social Change will be housed in the McNichols Civic Center Building, adjacent to the sculptures.

Signature Events
Winter Park Express Ski Train, through March 25
In January 2017, the Winter Park Express by Amtrak returned from a seven-year hiatus to sellout crowds of eager skiers. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver for après ski, an abundance of culinary options and nearly 10,000 hotel rooms to choose from, including several that offer Ski Train packages. It’s also a great option for the weekend visitor who wants to get some turns in while they’re in Denver. Changes this year include lower fare prices – tickets start at just $29, instead of last year’s $39 – “First Friday” rides, with the train running on the first Friday of each month of the season. The train runs on weekends; one-way tickets start at $29 per person.

Denver Restaurant Week, February 23 – March 4
The 14th annual Denver Restaurant Week will feature multi-course menus with three price points at hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants. The three-tiered pricing structure that met with great success in 2017 will continue again in 2018: diners can find multi-course menus at $25, $35 and $45 price tags.

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art Grand Opening, March 10
In 2013, ten years after the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art opened to the public on Pearl Street, it became clear that in order to best promote international decorative art, Colorado and regional art and Vance Kirkland, a larger building would be necessary. In January 2014, Kirkland Museum announced plans to move the museum to a new building in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. This spring, Kirkland Museum will open its doors to a new building, featuring Vance Kirkland’s 1910–1911 studio & art school building, moved to Bannock Street. The new facility features the addition of new and expanded visitor amenities and a world-class display space.

Denver Fashion Week, March 18-25
After 10 years as Denver Fashion Weekend, Denver’s largest fashion showcase will become Denver Fashion Week, featuring emerging designers, local boutiques, national brands, hairstylists, makeup artists and models at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum and around the city. This year will feature a number of new events, including industry workshops, trunk shows, sales events and more events that help educate and support Denver’s fashion industry. Renowned New York City designer, Stevie Boi, will present a brand new, exclusive line; and many other local, national and international designers will capture the eyes of the fashion world throughout the week.

Denver March Powwow, March 23-25
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, the Denver March Powwow at the Historic Denver Coliseum is an American Indian Festival that features more than 1,600 dancers from nearly 100 tribes, representing 38 states and three Canadian provinces. Each session of the three-day event begins with the Grand Entry, a colorful spectacle featuring traditional song and dance. Throughout the weekend, there are traditional drum and dance groups, storytellers, and more than 170 tribal craft booths.

Collaboration Fest, March 31
Known as America’s most creative beer festival, Collaboration Fest features brews that are a result of collaborations between two or more breweries from around the state, country and world. These individual collaborations mean that every beer tapped will be its first time, and every beer has a unique story. This year, the festival will be at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.

First Friday Art Walks
On the first Friday of every month, galleries, museums and cultural attractions in Denver’s diverse neighborhoods stay open late to encourage people to explore the vibrant creative community.

Colorado Rockies Home Opener at Coors Field, April 6
Watch the Colorado Rockies take on the Atlanta Braves during the 2018 home opener weekend. An unofficial holiday in Denver, home opener weekend draws crowds of baseball fans to the downtown Coors Field, a city landmark with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains.

Cinco de Mayo Festival, May 5-6
One of the largest cultural events in Colorado, the Cinco de Mayo festival features live cultural entertainment on three stages, hundreds of exhibitors and vendors, traditional food and drink, a parade, a green chili cook off and more at Denver’s Civic Center Park. More than 400,000 visitors attend the festival each year to celebrate the tradition and beauty of Latino culture.

Live Music
Five Points Jazz Fest, May 19
This free festival takes place the third Saturday of May and celebrates the history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Once known as the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music’s legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more. The festival features a diverse lineup of music – from Latin to blues to funk and many other styles of jazz.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre Easter Sunrise Service and Summer Concert Series
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a world-famous outdoor concert and recreation venue located approximately 30 minutes from Denver. The only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world, Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster and ambience, as well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking trails. On April 1, Easter Sunday, the venue will host its annual Easter Sunrise Service. Headliners for the 2018 Red Rocks Summer Concert Series are still being announced; the lineup already includes the X Ambassadors, Khalid, Elephant Revival and more.

Performing Arts
Romeo and Juliet, February 16-25
Colorado Ballet will present the classic Shakespearean love story, Romeo and Juliet, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The romantic ballet features choreography by Derek Deane and music by Sergei Prokofiev, performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Prokofiev’s music serves as a melodic substitute for Shakespeare’s poetry and Deane’s staging of the ballet focuses on the characters’ relationships.

Disney’s Aladdin, April 7-28
From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production at the Buell Theatre filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It is an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes create infinite possibilities.

First Date, through April 22
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. This exciting musical comedy from Denver Center for the Performing Arts takes place at the Garner Galleria Theatre.

Memorial Day Weekend
In addition to all the extended exhibitions and theatrical runs, Memorial Day Weekend in Denver is a great time to visit.

Taylor Swift at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, May 25
Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour will stop in The Mile High City on May 25 to play at the home field of the Denver Broncos.

Denver Day of Rock, May 26
Denver Day of Rock is a free event that features five stages of live music along Denver’s 16th Street Mall on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Denver Day of Rock unites the community through music and family-friendly entertainment while also raising funds to support Amp the Cause, a Denver nonprofit that raises awareness about critical family issues and local charities.

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, May 25-28
Located in the heart of downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens is America’s only downtown theme and water park. All weekend – and all summer – long, kids of all ages can experience more than 50 rides and attractions, including the brand new Star Flyer thrill ride (opening this year), 14 pint-sized adventures, exhilarating roller coasters, cool water slides, Dive-In Movies, free concerts and more. Elitch Gardens opens for the season on April 28, 2018.

Water World Opening Weekend, May 26-27
Located just north of downtown, Water World features more than 45 water adventures on 64 acres of land – the largest variety of water attractions in the U.S. Families can enjoy everything from a lazy river to speed slides; children’s play adventures to Colorado’s only magnetic water coaster, the Mile High Flyer. The park features kid-friendly food vendors, but picnics are also welcome and parking is free.

About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 109 years of promoting The Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. A record 17.3 million visitors stayed overnight in Denver in 2016, generating $5.3 billion in spending, while supporting nearly 57,000 jobs, making Tourism one of the largest industries in Denver. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website and at TOURISMPAYSDENVER or by phone at 800 2 Denver. Denver International Airport (DEN; flydenver.com) connects The Mile High City to more than 180 destinations worldwide including nonstop service to 24 international destinations in 10 countries. Follow Denver’s social media channels for up-to-the-minute updates at: Facebook.com/visitdenver; Twitter.com/visitdenver; Instagram.com/visitdenver; and YouTube.com/visitdenver.

SOURCE VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Colin Kaepernick, J.J. Watt among five finalists for NFLPA’s Community MVP

In an effort to enliven a stale event, the NBA made a series of changes to the All-Star Game coming to Los Angeles this Feb. 18. One was to have captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry pick the teams playground style (well, if on the playground the two walked away and picked the teams in secret then came back and told everyone the results — the draft should have been televised, or at least been done live through social media). They also bumped up the pay for the winning team ($100,000 per player).

Another change was to have the teams play for local charities — $350,000 to the charity of the winning team and $150,000 for the losing team — and Wednesday morning those charities were announced.

Team LeBron will play for the After-School All-Stars Los Angeles, which was founded in 1992 by Arnold Schwarzenegger and provides year-round, school-based, comprehensive after-school programs to about 8,000 youth in 52 low-income schools in the city.

Team Stephen will play for the Brotherhood Crusade, a 50-year-old grassroots organization that works to improve the quality of life and fill the unmet needs of low-income, underserved, under-represented and disenfranchised individuals through health and wellness programs, facilitating academic success, providing access to artistic excellence and cultural awareness, increasing financial literacy, and more.

However all the changes work out in sparking a better All-Star Game, the addition of charities as a cause to play for is a good one — and one that needs to continue. This needs to be about more than basketball.

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Report: New Billionaire Created Every Two Days In 2017

In 2017, 82 percent of all created wealth went to the top 1 percent. (Pixabay)

DENVER – Last year, billionaires saw their wealth increase enough to end extreme poverty around the world seven times over, according to a report from the global charity organization Oxfam.

The report, “Reward Work, Not Wealth,” says 82 percent of the wealth created in 2017 went to the top 1 percent, and that a new billionaire was created every two days.

Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s vice president for policy and advocacy, says this growing inequality isn’t good news for workers.

“It’s not a good time to be a worker on the wrong end of the economic chain,” he states. “What we essentially have are market economies where the markets aren’t being regulated and the rules are essentially being rigged by those who can afford to do so, and that’s where you see extreme wealth emerging and people getting stuck.”

Some criticize the report, saying it buries the good news that the bottom 50 percent of income earners around the world actually are doing better than previously thought.

The report focuses on the inequality women face in the workplace. It says women provided an estimated $10 trillion in unpaid work caring for someone else in 2017.

Charlie Ergen, the founder of Dish Network, is Colorado’s richest man with a fortune estimated at $4.4 billion.

O’Brien says a lot of wealthy people contribute substantially to charities, but adds that the wealthy also have power to hurt the rest of society when they don’t share their prosperity.

“If human dignity is dependent on everybody having enough power and rights to be able to lift themselves out of poverty, to live with dignity, should any individual have that much power?” he says.

The Oxfam report has also been chided as overly critical of capitalism and free markets.

O’Brien says it’s the opposite – that the organization actually wants to see markets work for everyone.

“How do we actually create incentives for companies to grow, markets to work, without creating these extreme realities for people on both ends of the equation?” he raises.

O’Brien says governments should incentivize business structures that are more beneficial to workers, such as cooperatives, and find a way to compensate people who work in the care economy.

Eric Tegethoff/Roz Brown, Public News Service – CO

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Colin Kaepernick, J.J. Watt among five finalists for NFLPA’s Community MVP

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Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton have been named as the five finalists for the NFLPA’s Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP Award.

According to the NFLPA’s website, “The NFLPA Community MVP program recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one active NFL player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. The NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to the player’s foundation or charity of choice as well as an in-kind donation by Delta Private Jets to the player for being named the NFLPA Community MVP. All players nominated for the week will be celebrated the following Monday.

Starting this year, the weekly Community MVP winners will also become eligible for the annual Byron “Whizzer” White (BWW) Award, which was established in 1967 and is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player. The BWW Award winner, which will be announced in April, receives an additional $100,000 for his foundation or charity of choice.”

Watt was named the Community MVP for Week 0 after he “raised over $33 million in disaster relief funds for Houston after Hurricane Harvey.” Kaepernick was named Community MVP for Week 1 for continuing “his $1 million pledge to the community by giving $100,000 each to four charities.” Long was named Community MVP for Week 3 for “donating six game checks to fund scholarships at his Charlottesville alma mater.” Dalton was named Community MVP for Week 8 for “supporting seriously ill and physically handicapped kids in the community.” And Miller was named Community MVP for Week 17 for “donating more than 2,000 eyeglass frames to Denver kids from low-income families.”

The previous five winners of the Byron “Whizzer” White award are Malcolm Jenkins, Thomas Davis, Chad Greenway, Anquan Boldin, and Charlie Batch.

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The Broadmoor joins Colorado Springs’ food rescue movement with shelter donations

The Broadmoor Hotel photographed April 10, 2007. (Gazette file photo)

They were destined for the city’s largest homeless shelter.

An accelerating trend in Colorado Springs aims to provide leftover food from businesses across the city to nonprofits that serve meals to impoverished and homeless residents.

In December, for example, Catholic Charities of Central Colorado received a $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation for a new refrigerated truck to replace a vehicle that routinely broke down, hampering food runs for its Marian House Soup Kitchen.

And late last year, the Springs Rescue Mission received a combined $50,000 from the El Pomar Foundation and The Anschutz Foundation to purchase its first refrigerated truck for similar deliveries.

The Broadmoor is the first to provide the shelter with a steady supply of prepared food that otherwise would have gone to waste. And it’s calling on other members of the Pikes Peak Lodging Association to join the endeavor.

“When you’re thinking about the waste that occurs, that goes to the landfill, as well as the waste that occurs that could benefit somebody, the good far outweighs any potential negative,” said Jack Damioli, The Broadmoor’s president and CEO.

The Broadmoor is owned by the Denver-based Anschutz Corp., whose Clarity Media Group owns The Gazette.

The trend of so-called “food rescue” programs gained steam in recent years across Colorado Springs with the successes of the nonprofit Colorado Springs Food Rescue and the startup FoodMaven.

Still, the restaurant and hotel industries have long been reluctant to donate prepared food that went uneaten, amid fears that poor handling could lead to food poisoning, said Rochelle Schlortt, Catholic Charities’ spokeswoman.

“That thinking has really changed over the years,” Schlortt said. “Now, it’s a learning process – or was a learning process – in our community of getting people to understand that … soup kitchens understand how to handle food, and it’s OK to donate prepared food.”

Catholic Charities once had a similar partnership with the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. It now receives perishable food from 10 to 15 businesses, including Poor Richard’s and 7-Eleven. And it wants to expand with its new truck.

Schlortt voiced optimism that The Broadmoor’s partnership with Springs Rescue Mission could push some of the city’s other large kitchens and businesses to follow suit.

The hotel’s leftovers can be substantial.

The Broadmoor makes 5 percent in excess food for each buffet-style event to ensure it won’t run out, said John Johnstone, vice president of food and beverages.

In three trial runs last year, the hotel donated more than 3,500 pounds of food to the Springs Rescue Mission, said Michael Longo, the nonprofit’s executive chef and director of in-kind services.

None of the food given to the Springs Rescue Mission was previously served, or even removed from the kitchen. Its temperature is routinely checked to ensure nothing goes bad, Johnstone said.

“We’re treating this as if it was going to one of our guests,” Damioli said.

The partnership is expected to reduce the cost of feeding hundreds of people a day, which currently averages 29 cents a meal.

And in the process, the nonprofit’s menu gets a boost, Longo said.

The donated bison short rib and prime rib roast were used to make stews at the nonprofit, he said.

And a wild boar green chili stew was served as-is at the nonprofit’s dining hall, over a bed of rice.

“They need good nutrition,” said Longo, of the nonprofit’s guests.

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Former Aggie LB Von Miller honored by NFL for charitable work

Denver Broncos and former Texas A&M defensive end Von Miller was the NFL Players’ Association’s Week 17 Community MVP for donating 2,013 eyeglass frames to youth in need through the Anchor Center for Blind Children in Denver.

The donation is part of the former A&M All-American’s Von’s Vision foundation, which provides low-income Denver children with eye care and corrective eyewear.

Miller’s donation, which equated to a $503,250 contribution, was one of many charitable contributions he made last year. He also raised nearly $400,000 at his annual Celebrity Steak-Out dinner. Miller launched Von’s Vision All Year Long in September, committing more than $1 million worth of frames to in-need Denver children over the next two years. In 2017, Miller provided free eye care to 3,278 Denver students, bringing the total to more than 5,000 kids impacted since he founded Von’s Vision five years ago.

For Miller being named a Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice along with an in-kind donation to him on behalf of Delta Private Jets.

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Millennials Give More Generously To Charity, Study Says

CBS Local — Just in time for the holiday season, a new report from the United Kingdom says young adults are not only more generous when giving to charity, but are also savvier and more careful with their money when donating.

Researchers from the British government’s Charity Commission found that 18 to 24-year-olds made an average donation of nearly $42 during the Christmas season. 44 percent of millennials surveyed also said they would give up using their smartphone in December if it would raise money for their favorite charity. Only a third of all other age groups made the same pledge.

“I’m particularly pleased that young people give generously, but also that they are more likely to make basic checks before giving to their chosen charity than people from their parents’ generation,” the Charity Commission’s Helen Stephenson said in the group’s report.

Younger adults proved to be much more selective with their money, with over half of millennials polled saying they did a basic check of the charity’s record and financial transparency before making a donation. That number fell to just 29 percent among seniors 75 and older.

“It’s important for donors to remember that they are entitled to know what their donations are being used for and to consent (or not) to the ways in which their personal data will be used,” Stephen Dunmore of the charity watchdog group Fundraising Regulator said.

In the United States, the Better Business Bureau urges holiday donors to make a thorough check of a charity’s website for information on its mission and latest financial reports before giving.

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