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COMMERCE CITY — Commerce City Mayor Sean Ford took one for the team on April 24 in support of children’s health.
Kids First Health Care raised $40,000 with its first benefit roast at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, with Ford being on the receiving end of some friendly joking. The money raised will be used to provide health care services to more than 350 children in Adams County.
Attendees enjoyed cocktails and mingling before being welcomed by the evening’s emcee, Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
“Mayor Ford is a leader in every sense of the word. He cares about his community, his city, his region and his state. He was named the 2002 Citizen of the Year by the Commerce City Business & Professional Association,” Brough said. “This award is for someone who exhibits values, principles, ethics and lives by the Golden Rule. One who helps people and actively participates in our community.”
After dinner, the fun began with some good-natured grilling of Mayor Ford by enthusiastic roasters who shared numerous secrets and inside jokes. Roasters included Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Congressman Ed Perlmutter, representing the 7th District of Colorado; Dominick Moreno, member of the Colorado House of Representatives, 32nd District; Rene Bullock, Commerce City Mayor Pro Tem; and Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, who skewered Mayor Ford in song.
Following Mayor Ford’s rebuttal, he was presented with a truly unique award for his exemplary service to the community: a lacquered bison chip. The award was donated by Commerce City’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and had been salvaged from the refuge grounds and skillfully displayed in a customized glass trophy case.
“Our board of directors and staff are so appreciative of Mayor Ford’s willingness to help the children we serve. This event allowed our agency to announce our name change from Community Health Services to Kids First Health Care. We believe the new name better aligns our organization with its core mission to provide quality health care for children,” said Norma Portnoy, Kids First Health Care Executive Director.
Established in 1978, Kids First Health Care, formerly Community Health Services, has earned a strong reputation built on providing quality, affordable health care for low-income children ages birth to 21 years. The agency operates six pediatric health centers in Adams County that provide a vital health care safety net and a greater opportunity for children to stay healthy and in school.
The agency also enrolls children and families in health insurance plans and provides school nursing services in Adams County School District 14 in Commerce City and Adams County School District 50 in Westminster.