Saluting our Fallen Heroes Nashville Songwriters Show & Dinner Celebrates 25 Years of TAPS

Author: Christine Burtt

We did it again!  Directors Lynne and Bo Cottrell – along with a great Executive Committee, co-chairs Linda Cavanagh and Kevin Kreymborg, and 80 amazing volunteers, produced the 14th annual Colorado Celebrity Classic to Benefit TAPS – and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of TAPS.


Survivor and Legacy Mentor Angel Pansini was a featured speaker at the Colorado Celebrity Classic to Benefit TAPS.Survivor and Legacy Mentor Angel Pansini was a featured speaker at the Colorado Celebrity Classic to Benefit TAPS. She remembered her brother USMC Sgt Nichols Pansini, who died of suicide after serving two tours in Iraq and being honorably discharged. Photo: Dave Gill


By the numbers

Some statistics from our June 15 at the Grove Family Ranch in Centennial, Colorado:

  • Total raised from our generous donors and sponsors: $358,000. This doesn’t include all the in-kind donations we received for our Live and Silent Auctions.
  • Total volunteers: 80 of the most competent, most dedicated and kindest people you’ll know. Liza Patton and Micah Marmaro won the 2019 Tony David Award as Volunteers of the Year.
  • Total prime rib dinners served: 525 deliciously pit-roasted and served with all the fixin’s by the always-wonderful Coors Cowboys Chuckwagon Crew who drove all the from Amarillo, Texas and gave us their Father’s Day weekend. 
  • Total Silent Auction items: 46 unusual, fun, and valuable items that ran the gamut from signed sports memorabilia, game tickets, golf and ski passes, to high-end jewelry, historical souvenirs, useful sporting equipment, restaurant packages, adventure activities, and unique experiences. 
  • Total Live Auction packages: 6 amazing offerings sold by the energetic Roger Sierens (who donated his services as auctioneer.) They included a private House Concert with Nashville songwriters; private House Parties with Tony David & WildeFire (who performed live during dinner); an elite golf opportunity; a Nashville Insiders Tour; a Yellowstone Bison Experience; and providing meat bundles for eight Colorado TAPS families.
  • Total donors to the “Paddle” Auction: 262. Donors give in amounts from $100 to $5,000 to support TAPS programs such as the Survivor Seminars for adults and teens; Good Grief Camps; mentor training for the Good Grief Camps; for a TAPS family to attend the Bronco’s Military Day game; and for backpacks for the Good Grief campers.
  • Total stories told and #1 Hits sung by Nashville songwriters: 90 glorious minutes with Danny Wells, Billy Montana, Keni Thomas and Jimmy Nichols. Dr. Eddie Johnson, a former member of Bo Cottrell’s award-winning country band, The Lawmen, won a talent contest in California and contributed his $10,000 prize money to TAPS.  He performed at our show with his winning rendition of Toby Keith’s Don’t Let the Old Man In.”
  • Total laughs: too many to count. Emcee Steffan Tubbs manages the fine balance of bringing everyone into the spirit of the event, having fun, recognizing our VIPS – and staying on time!
  • Total tears: some of those, too. Because we are grateful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and we appreciate their families by honoring the memory of their lives.


Event Photos

Here are some great pictures by Lisa Perry with Blacktie Colorado, and from our official event photographers, Dave and Ann Gill; and a terrific centerspread published by The Greenwood Villager.


Celebrity Classic performers on stagePhoto: Dave Gill


Thank you to our Sponsors

A special thanks to our Premier Sponsors: The Coors Cowboy Club Chuckwagon Crew; Pete and Marilyn Coors; Tony David & WildeFire (Kerry Edwards, Susan Skojec and Frank Longobardi); the El Pomar Foundation; Gill Photography LLC; Steve and Marla Grove; Dave and Tami Ellicott and Innovative Foods; Eddie and Jane Johnson; Sold! By Sierens; Steffan Tubbs; and Wizbang! Solutions.

Liberty Infrastructure LogoAlso, we are very grateful to our Anniversary Sponsors: The Michael Condon Family and Tony and Lynn Krekeler at Liberty Infrastructure.

Thanks, too, for our Gold Sponsors: AAA of Colorado; Advantage Security; Boeing; Greiner Electric; MDC Richmond American Homes Foundation; Nestle Purina PetCare; and Pat Robinson and Dean Singleton and the Singleton Family Foundation.

We appreciate our Silver Sponsors: American Furniture Warehouse; Jane and Bill Ames; Paul and Joan Beninati; Rose Marie DelMonte; Dempsey International; Jewell and Nolan Hargrave; Hughes Law Firm; Jewell Insurance Associates; Arlene Johnson; Edie Marks; Kelly Martinez; Perfect Cloud Solutions; Bob and Lisa Terry; Eric Schierburg; Carol and Richard Waller; and Bea Wilhite.

Our Brilliant Executive Committee: Christine Quinn Burtt; Linda Cavanagh; Tony David; George Dempsey; Jay and Susan Dikeman; Wesley Dyk; Kelly and Bill Eustace; Lt Gen (Ret) Mike and Col (Ret) Paula Gould; Kelly Hernandez; Dave and Annette Jewell; Kevin Kreymborg; Edie Marks; Liza Patton; Pat Robinson; Eric Schierburg; and Tom and Jill Tarver.

See you next year for the 15th Annual Colorado Celebrity Classic to Benefit TAPS!

By Christine Burtt, TAPS Colorado Executive Committee