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Carousel Ball Raises Over 1.65 Million Dollars for Children’s Diabetes Foundation

The gala’s 31st year included performances by Lenny Kravitz and George Lopez



Dana Davis, Lenny Kravitz (Photo by Jensen Sutta Photography)

On Saturday, October 7, 2017, over 1,000 patrons, as well as celebrity guests Lenny Kravitz and George Lopez, gathered at downtown Denver’s Hyatt Regency to show their support for the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. The event—which is hosted biennially in the Mile High City—raised over $1.65 million, making it one of the highest-grossing Carousel Balls in the event’s 31-year history.


Photo by Laura Pilz

Ernie Blake, Sharon Magness Blake, Robin Pringle Hickenlooper, Governor John Hickenlooper (Photo by Jensen Sutta Photography)

The proceeds will benefit the state-of-the-art programs, care and research provided by the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, where thousands of children and adults receive clinical treatment for Type 1 Diabetes. Along with her husband Marvin, Barbara founded the Children’s Diabetes Foundation in 1977 to advocate for families battling the disease. The Davises’ daughter, Dana, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 7 years old and is now the executive director of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. Dana thanked guests for their "unbelievable generosity and support," adding that "your gift will support clinical care and groundbreaking research for Type 1 Diabetes."


Photo by Laura Pilz

The star-studded night kicked off with a silent auction, where guests in black-tie attire enjoyed cocktails and hors d’ouevres while bidding on hundreds of products and services—including a Les Paul guitar autographed by Lenny Kravitz, a wide selection of Kendra Scott jewelry, VIP tickets to see Ellen live, a two-night stay at Aspen’s Hotel Jerome, and a Children’s Corner full of kids’ toys and games.


Photo by Laura Pilz

Photo by Laura Pilz

The Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Lounge, presented by D’Amore Interiors, was definitely a highlight of the silent auction, with exquisite furniture and chic accessories up for bid.


Photo by Laura Pilz

Photo by Laura Pilz

The evening continued with emcee George Lopez, who presented the Founder’s Award to the family of the late Jules Amer, a Denver pediatrician who encouraged the Davis family to found the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. Other speakers included governor John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. During a decadent three-course meal, Doug Tisdale hosted an energetic live auction, where patrons bid on fabulous products and services including VIP tickets to the ESPN X Games, seats at the Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs game, and backstage passes to an exclusive Steven Tyler concert in Palm Springs. Attendees also raised their paddles to fund medicine, equipment and care for Type 1 diabetes patients. Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake—prominent philanthropists and owners of the Denver Broncos mascot, Thunder—were also awarded the High Hopes Tribute Award for their commitment to the Colorado community.


Photo by Laura Pilz

Photo by Laura Pilz

Type 1 kids with Lenny Kravitz (Photo by Kent Meireis Photography)

To round out the night, four-time Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz brought the crowd to its feet with powerhouse hits like “Let Love Rule” and “American Woman.” Even a few of the event’s “CDF Advocates”—children with Type 1 Diabetes who were ambassadors throughout the night, educating guests about Type 1 diabetes—received hugs from Kravitz at the end of his performance. 

See more event photos in the slideshow below! 

If you missed the 2017 Carousel Ball, you can still donate here.

(Photos in slideshow by Laura Pilz)SaveSaveSaveSave
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