Grand Prix of Denver: Dahlia: Prix celebs paint town, masks
By Dahlia Jean, Rocky Mountain News
August 16, 2005
Fast-paced events surrounding last weekend's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver raised some quick cash for charity and will continue to do so, thanks to a few celebrity painters.
Hospice of Metro Denver set up a celebrity paint party, which took place right before the BoSPOKER .com Celebrity Bowling, Billiards & Texas Hold'em Charity Tournament Wednesday at Lucky Strike Lanes.
The event, presented by Frontier Airlines, featured 12 teams with two celebrities per team competing in bowling, billiards and poker to raise funds for The Grand Prix of Denver Foundation Inc., as well as a charity selected by the winning celebrity.
The foundation was formed in 2002 in conjunction with the inaugural Denver Grand Prix to support nonprofits such as Children's Hospital Colorado, Gold Crown Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, Hole in the Wall Gang Foundation, Auraria Campus Foundation Scholarship Fund, YouthBiz, Limb Preservation Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Cure Autism Now.
Actor Anthony Edwards, Dr. Green of ER fame, picked the Cure Autism Now Foundation as his designated charity.
Edwards also painted an ER-themed mask to be sold to the highest bidder during The Mask Gala, which will be held this fall to benefit Hospice of Metro Denver.
Other celebrity painters creating mask masterpieces included the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver grand marshal, former race-car driver Jason Priestley, star of Beverly Hills 90210, and his wife, Naomi; Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page; Benito Martinez from the F/X television hit The Shield; sports announcer Michael Buffer, who uttered the famous line, "Let's get ready to rumble"; twin sisters, actresses and former Playboy models Julie and Chanie Costello; actor Chris Beetem, from JAG; actor James Wilder, from Melrose Place; Colorado Mammoth lacrosse players Nick Carlson, Scott Stapleford, Mark Miyashita and Tom Ethington; endurance driver Troy Hanson with Olga Paulson; and Champ car drivers such as the eventual winner, Sebastien Bourdais, who earned his second first-place finish in Denver. His portrait was painted at the fete by artist Malcolm Farley.
Other Champ drivers on hand included Thornton's A.J. Allmendinger, who finished third, and Oriol Servia, Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who painted a mask, as did his lovely girlfriend, Rebecca Gordon, the sister of driver Robby Gordon.
Among the generous patrons were Julie and Bob Sutton, chairman and CEO of Centrix Financial and board chairman for the Grand Prix of Denver Foundation Inc.; Grand Prix vice president and general manager Jim Freudenberg and his wife, Cindy; The Mask Project 2005 co-chairmen Geri Bader-Saltzman and Meyer Saltzman and Andrea and John Horan; and Mask Project founder Mickey Ackerman.
Ackerman will be honored at an upcoming Hospice of Metro Denver and Angels Befriending Children event called "It's Playtime," 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Plaza at the Denver Merchandise Mart.
For more information about the playtime party, Hospice of Metro Denver or The Mask Project, call Mele Telitz, 303-398-6226, or visit www.hospiceofmetrodenver.org.
For more information about The Grand Prix of Denver Foundation, call Lavern Martinez, 720-873-5021, or e-mail email@example.com.