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Cherry Creek Schools Foundation celebrates 2024 ELEVATE Gala, raising $561,000

It was a night of celebration at the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation’s annual ELEVATE Gala, held at the Hyatt Regency DTC on March 28. The event raised approximately $561,000 to support students in Cherry Creek Schools with mental health programs, educator grants, emergency relief, and the Cherry Creek Schools Leadership Academy. 

The event was emceed by Foundation Board Member Charles Gilford III and Smoky Hill High School junior Hyojae Lee and included student performances by National Anthem singer Grace Lichwalla, who is a senior at Grandview High School, and the Bollywood Dance Team of Cherry Creek High School.

Valencia Culbreath, Foundation chair, welcomed the audience and shared her thanks to everyone in the audience for helping not only bring this event to life, but also to their dedication to supporting students.

“Serving on this board is more than just a role to me; it's a commitment to making a real difference,” Culbreath said. “Every decision we make, every dollar we raise, is a step toward elevating our students’ futures – equipping them with the resources they need to thrive in an ever-changing world.”

This gala was especially meaningful as a portion of the program honored Joe and Margie Adams, who not only have served as former board chairs, but are also long-time donors to the Foundation and fierce advocates for public education. A digital balloon display honored the pair through 8 speakers who had been personally inspired by Joe and Margie Adams. Each person shared a word that described what the Adamses meant to them, including “selfless,” “changemakers,” and “pillars.” 

Attendees helped support the Foundation by bidding on items in the paddle raise, silent auction, and live auction, which included a Fiddler’s Green VIP Experience, St. Thomas Dream Vacation, Wine Country Escape, Denver Nuggets Ultimate Fan Package, and Hot Air Balloon Experience. 

CCSD Superintendent Christopher Smith spoke briefly about the district’s Leadership Program, which provides a space of belonging and connection to students who are disproportionately impacted by gun and gang violence. The program allows students to grow their skills while having experiences to give them greater access to the futures they imagine. Kanye Herron, a graduate of Endeavor Academy, also spoke about the need for such a program. Herron had lost a friend to youth violence during his time in Cherry Creek Schools and implored Superintendent Smith to develop a way to bring students to a more positive path.

The event was generously sponsored by:

  • JHL Constructors
  • United Healthcare
  • The Aurora Housing Authority
  • CCS Facility Services
  • The Community College of Aurora Foundation
  • DLR Group
  • Haselden Construction
  • HealthOne
  • Joe and Margie Adams
  • Johnson Controls
  • Kacy and Ed Adams
  • MDC Holdings & Richmond American Homes
  • Piper Knoll & The Knoll Team at West Main Homes
  • Westerra Credit Union

Our Impact This Year

  • Grants Awarded to Educators


  • Students Impacted


  • Scholarships Awarded


  • Donated to Mental Health


  • JHL Constructors
  • United Healthcare
    United Healthcare
  • Westerra Credit Union
  • Ed and Kacy Adams
    Ed and Kacy Adams

    Ed and Kacy Adams

  • Margie and Joe Adams
    Margie and Joe Adams

    Margie and Joe Adams

  • DLR Group

    DLR Group

  • Aurora Housing Authority
    Aurora Housing Authority

    Aurora Housing Authority

  • CCA Foundation
  • Johnson Controls
    Johnson Controls

    Johnson Controls

  • Health One
  • Aon
  • 1st Bank
  • MDC Richmond Foundation
  • CCS Facility Services
  • CU Denver
    CU Denver
  • Butler Snow
  • Stifel
  • ANB Bank
    ANB Bank

    ANB Bank

  • Plante Moran
  • Saunders
  • Adolfson & Peterson Construction
  • MA Meyer Construction
  • GTC Construction
    GTC Construction
  • Aurora Chamber of Commerce
    Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Kore


  • Kaiser Permanente
    Kaiser Permanente
  • JP Morgan
    JP Morgan

    JP Morgan

  • Alpine Bank
  • Credit Union of Colorado
    Credit Union of Colorado
  • Cuningham Architecture
  • OS Schools
    OS Schools
  • Jacobs
  • Hord Coplan Macht
  • Meteor Education
  • Knoll Team
  • Jacobs
  • CCEA
  • BC Interiors
  • Hilltop Securities
  • Piper Sandler & Co
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • RTA
  • Meteor Education
  • Haselden
© 2024 Cherry Creek Schools Foundation

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