Your Giving

Profiles of Philanthropy

Dick Winton

Colleen Abdoulah 

Hannah and Allen Levy

Dean Prina, M.D.

Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.

Gail and Dave Liniger

K.C. Gallagher

Mark Berzins

Michelle Sie Whitten

Robert and Judi Newman

 

Dick Winton
A Good Man

Born in Illinois, Dick Winton came to Colorado for a job and loved the state so much that he stayed. He worked for Gates Rubber Company for 30 years, and became deeply connected to Denver. He rode the Rockies, cheered for the Broncos, and joined the University Club. He dearly loved the mountains, where he hiked, biked, and skied.

Despite his outgoing personality, there was a private side to Dick: his philanthropy. He gave quietly and thoughtfully to the causes that mattered to him, especially the University of Illinois and national medical organizations addressing heart disease and cancer. He didn’t widely discuss his giving; he just did it.

He first met The Denver Foundation in 2008, when the economy was crashing and Colorado’s emergency food system followed suit. He had heard media stories about the Foundation’s work to put money quickly into food pantries so they could serve the ever-increasing flow of families in need. He read up on the issue, met with our staff, and made the first of a series of gifts to the Critical Needs Fund.

The Foundation activates this fund when there is a situation looming that requires a combination of vision, collaboration, and funding to address or mitigate it. Since creating the fund in 2005, the Foundation has used the fund for energy audits and building modifications for nonprofit shelters and hospices; for emergency food and systemic work for the state’s hunger crisis; and most recently to house at-risk unaccompanied homeless women in Metro Denver.

Between 2008 and 2012, Dick made a series of gifts to the Critical Needs Fund for emergency food grants, food pantry collaboration and capacity building, and food delivery systems advocacy. He also updated his estate plan, naming The Denver Foundation’s Critical Needs Fund as a 25% beneficiary in his will. This quiet generosity is the capstone to Dick Winton’s remarkable life. Philanthropy was his “second act,” a role through which he will help thousands of people who never had the pleasure of knowing him except through his personal giving.

Dick passed away earlier this year, but his generous bequest will ensure lasting legacy in our community. Dick’s favorite saying was “Be good…but only if you have to.” It seems Dick felt he had to, because he certainly was, and we thank him for it.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Colleen Abdoulah

A Model of Generosity

Colleen Abdoulah grew up in the prairie province of Saskatchewan, Canada, the fourth of five children in a family that was a model of tenacity and generosity.  “My father had to begin working from the age of six to help his family,” she says.  “He and my mother passed down that same strong work ethic to all of us children.  They owned a restaurant, while we were growing up, and we all had to chip in and help.”

The work ethic her parents instilled in Colleen has paid off.  She received a Degree in Public Relations/Marketing from Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta, and later went on to receive her MBA at the University of Denver.  Today Colleen is the CEO/President of Wide Open West (WOW!), regional Internet, cable, and phone provider headquartered in Denver and she sits on four boards in addition to the WOW! Board:  the American Cable Association and C-SPAN, and two community boards, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and Women’s Vision Foundation.

It was also her family culture that embedded a philanthropic nature in Colleen, long before she even knew what the word meant.  “We worked really hard and when the restaurant did well, every one of the staff would get a bonus,” she says.  “My dad felt that when things go well, you have to share the wealth, and you could not go around feeling like you deserved it.” She says it was also common that if one of the workers had illness in their family, everyone chipped in to help. “They were very generous with everyone and not just family,” she says of her parents.

So, in 2006 when Colleen sold WOW!, she knew that she wanted to contribute a significant amount of her earnings to the nonprofits with which she was involved.  To help accomplish her goals, she created a donor-advised fund at The Denver Foundation.

“It was my financial planner, Jason Maples, who suggested The Denver Foundation,” Colleen shares.  “And I really have enjoyed what I have found there and the ease of the commitment.  All I do is give them a call or go online and I don’t have to personally keep track of things, which is great because I do give a lot of grants.”

Colleen believes that philanthropy is spiritually based:  “We are here not to just care for ourselves but to care for others. I just couldn’t enjoy the blessings I have been given without sharing a large portion of it with others, especially others who have not had the opportunities that I have had.  The reality is that none of us can choose the circumstances into which we are born, but it is my obligation, as a human being, to help others who don’t have the opportunities I do because of the circumstances in which they live.”

Colleen, who adopted her daughter Alex (now 24), at the age of 11 says her top priority in giving is to causes affecting women and children, especially those who are marginalized.  She also gives to organizations that help combat abuse and hunger both locally and internationally.   Another priority for her is helping to fight diseases such as juvenile diabetes, with which her niece was diagnosed at age four; Cystic Fibrosis, to which she lost a friend at the age of 20; and heart disease.  Cancer is also high on her list.  Colleen herself was diagnosed in 2005 with stage three breast cancer and underwent ten months of treatment including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.  After losing her hair, she simply went to work bald and continued with her many commitments, refusing to let the cancer be the central theme of her life. She got through it with the help of friends and family. She says the experience helped reinforce what is important in life. “The reality is that we come into this world alone and with nothing, and we leave the same way.  What matters is who you touched along the way,” Colleen states.  “That’s all that matters.”

She says that she has also given a lot of thought to her levels of giving.  “I currently give over 30% of my income, but am constantly challenging myself to do more.”  The more that I have, means the more that I have to give.”  Recently inspired by reading about the 50% Club, a group of donors who contribute 50% of their income, Colleen says she is not there yet and admires those that are.

Colleen gives to causes she believes in and wants her legacy to be simply how she loved and how she modeled love.  She constantly challenges herself to do more, to give more, and to help others.  Thank you, Colleen, for challenging each of us, as well.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Hannah and Allen Levy

Valued Members of our Philanthropic Family

Hannah and Allen Levy may have returned to Denver only a few years ago but their commitment to the community runs deep.  Hannah, a New York native, met Allen, a Denver native, in the mid-1980s; she was an ARCO executive and he owned Allen Levy Builders, Inc.  The couple has lived in both Los Angeles and Anchorage, but they always considered Denver home, and now live full-time in the Metro area.

When their estate attorney suggested The Denver Foundation as a charitable planning resource, the y acted quickly.  “We had always planned to leave our estate to charity,” explains Hannah.  “Over the years our wills reflected our intentions.  We recently designated The Denver Foundation as our formal partner in achieving the goals for our estate.”

Passionate about supporting hu man service or ganizations, the couple has a special interest in hunger and homelessness—particularly as they affect children.  Among their many volunteer activities, Allen serves on a committee that is building a kitchen for Food Bank of the Rockies and its Kids’ Café.  Hannah works with Metro Volunteers on a Boomer Volunteer Engagement program.   Hannah received a graduate degree in Children’s Services while in Alaska; and worked as a Family Coach in the Early Intervention Autism Project. Allen played a leadership role in the Interfaith Council of Anchorage; and was appointed to the Alaska Commission on Interfaith and Community Initiatives. They are both proud to be Leadership Denver graduates (1984 and 1986).

The couple is in the process of building a new home in Denver.  They both enjoy hiking and biking, as well as skiing. “We also took up flyfishing while we lived in Alaska and look forward to fishing in Colorado.” The two have a new puppy, Zoe, their 7th Weimaraner over the years. “We are stuck on the breed because they are so smart,” Hannah says.  “They are people dogs and they “demand” to be a full-fledged member of the family.”

We enjoy welcoming Hannah and Allen Levy to The Denver Foundation family.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Dean Prina, M.D.

Pediatrician/Volunteer Extraordinaire 

What recent fundraising events have you chaired?
Women's Foundation Annual Luncheon, Adam's Camp Annual Dinner at Tula, Judi's House Annual Dinner at Luca D'Italia, Jewish Family Service Executive Luncheon, Denver Film Society Party with Oscar...etc.

What do you do to relax?  
Prepare agendas for meetings...no, really, I like to travel.   

Favorite travel destination?
Paris  

What makes your heart sing?  
Working with children and their parents through my practice at Partners in Pediatrics.

Favorite partner in philanthropy?  
The Denver Foundation, hands down.

If you want to join donors like Dean Prina in making a difference, call The Denver Foundation.  We specialize in personalized donor advised funds and tax-sensitive estate planning.  To find out how we can help you, call 303-300-1790, ext. 133 or click here to learn how to get started.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.

Diana Lee, Corporate Executive and Roy Stahlgren, M.D., Surgeon

Roy, what made you start collecting art?    
I've always been a collector -- as a child it was shiny stones and polliwogs.  Later I grew to love books and art.   

Diana, how did you two launch your incredible collection of Asian Art?  
Fortune smiled on us during our honeymoon in Hong Kong, where we had the opportunity to focus on Neolithic and Han Dynasty ceramics.

How else are you involved in the art community in Denver?
We work with the Denver Art Museum to bring in top Asian art collectors and connoisseurs to share their knowledge and passion.  

Do you love living with such beauty?  
Yes, but we're only temporary custodians of the art.  We're preserving it for future generations to enjoy.  

Who's your favorite partner in philanthropy?
The Denver Foundation, hands down.  They're helping us create a legacy to care for and exhibit our art so future generations can enjoy and learn from it.  

If you want to join donors like Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren in making a difference, call The Denver Foundation.  We specialize in personalized donor advised funds and tax-sensitive estate planning.  To find out how we can help you, call 303-300-1790, ext. 133 or click here to learn how to get started.  

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Gail and Dave Liniger

Owners, ReMax International; Philanthropists  


What drew you into philanthropy?
Actually, Sanctuary Golf Course was the catalyst.  When we started to offer the golf course to nonprofits for fundraisers, we learned of many, many needs in the community.  

What are some of your favorite nonprofits?
Craig Hospital, Wildlife Experience, Children's Hospital, Food Bank of the Rockies.  

What is your favorite thing about being philanthropists?
The positive impact on the quality of life of the groups we are involved with.        

Favorite partner in philanthropy?
The Denver Foundation, hands down.  They take care of the details and let us concentrate on making a difference.  

If you want help with your charitable giving, join the Linigers and call The Denver Foundation at 303-300-1790, ext. 133 or click here to learn how to get started.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
K.C. Gallagher

President and CEO, Gallagher Industries    

Is philanthropy a Gallagher family tradition?  
Definitely. Through our foundation, the whole family works together to support the Denver community we've made our home.   

What are some of your favorite causes?  
One key focus is helping promising, underprivileged kids achieve their dreams through education.   

How do you know you're making a difference?  
When I'm involved directly in schools.  For example, I've been on the board of Parent Pathways which runs Florence Crittenton School for teen moms.  It's amazing to see those young women changing their lives for the better.  

Favorite partner in philanthropy?  
The Denver Foundation, hands down.  By helping manage the Gallagher Family Foundation, they let us focus on the giving.    

If you want to join donors like K.C. Gallagher in making a difference, call The Denver Foundation.  We specialize in personalized donor advised funds and tax-sensitive charitable gift planning.  To find out how we can help you, call 303-300-1790, ext. 133 or click here to learn how to get started.  

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Mark Berzins

Owner of the Little Pub Company

Mark Berzins has chosen The Denver Foundation as his partner in philanthropy.   The Foundation helps Mark give to support his charitable interests...especially art.

We know you're a beer aficionado - why art?  
The Art Students League of Denver gave me my first experience as a Board member and Board chair.  Now I'm heading up their 20th Anniversary Celebration.    

Do you consider yourself an artist?  
My junior high art teacher wasn't encouraging...but a friend and I recently took a life drawing class.  Let's just say I surprised myself.    

Where's the most recent member of the Little Pub family?
Patrick Carroll's at 40th and Tennyson - named after my wife's great-grandfather, an Irish blacksmith.    

Who's your favorite partner in philanthropy?  
The Denver Foundation, hands down.  While I grow my businesses, they keep track of my philanthropy.      

If you want help with your charitable giving, join Mark Berzins and call The Denver Foundation at 303-300-1790, ext. 133 or click here to learn more about how to give.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Michelle Sie Whitten

Executive Director, Anna and John J. Sie Foundation   

You used to be a high-flying corporate exec - what changed your life?
When Sophia was born, I knew I couldn't spend 80% of my time on the road.  

Do you miss the corporate world?  
I love my new job. It's great working to make a difference.  And I can't express how much I love spending time with my kids.  

What do you love most about Sophia?
Her wisdom, her determination, her sense of humor.  She's brilliant.  

What's the focus of the Sie Foundation?
Our focus is to make Colorado the best place for people with Down Syndrome to live.  

So, why did you call The Denver Foundation?
They offer expert assistance to the Sie Foundation in accomplishing many of our goals.                          

If you want to join donors like Michelle Whitten in making a difference, call The Denver Foundation.  We specialize in personalized donor advised funds and tax-sensitive estate planning.  To find out how we can help you, call 303-300-1790, ext. 133 or click here to learn how to get started.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman

 
Robert and Judi Newman

Philanthropists, Art Lovers on Stage at The Newman Center, University of Denver

Judi, where did your passion for the arts begin?  
As a child, I enjoyed the summer theatre. Bob and I both sang in youth choirs.  Our love of the visual arts has evolved.

Bob, how are you involved in the arts community?  
Judi's on the Symphony board, and I'm on the board of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  We focus on connecting kids with theatre, music, and visual arts.  

How did you hear about The Denver Foundation?  
When our business went public, we wanted to do something charitable, but we needed to act fast.  Some friends recommended we start a fund at The Denver Foundation.   

The Denver Foundation helps donors like Bob and Judi Newman connect with the causes that matter to them.  To learn more call us at 303-300-1790, ext 133, or click here to learn how to get started.

Dick Winton
Colleen Abdoulah 
Hannah and Allen Levy
Dean Prina, M.D.
Diana Lee and Roy Stahlgren, M.D.
Gail and Dave Liniger
K.C. Gallagher
Mark Berzins
Michelle Sie Whitten
Robert and Judi Newman