Newsletter - Summer 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Please click HERE to download a copy of our most recent newsletter.

You make it happen. You Fuel the Future of pediatric cancer research. You save lives

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Happy Summer Everyone!

July is nearly over already (!) and, as usual, things are really cranking up around The Morgan Adams Foundation offices as we finalize the preparations for our busiest, most fun part of the summer months! So many things are happening that I hope you’ll read through this newsletter and plan to join us for as many of our festivities as you can.

They’re all so great, that it shouldn’t be a question of:

"Which one to attend?"

It should be:

"Honey, how are we going to get them ALL in?!"

There are surprises for you everywhere this year, too. Some we’ll tell you about and some we won’t—until we share the highlights in our summer events wrap-up later in September. If you want to know, it’s probably best to be there!

As with everything we do, the fun and celebrations are important, but the more important thing is the reason we do what we do.

Last year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance, we had the distinct honor of introducing you to our 10 for 10 Ambassadors. 10 young survivors who represent all the kids your investment in research has impacted.

Our 10 Ambassadors for 2012 helped us remember WHY we do these events. They helped us celebrate the last 10 years of accomplishments. And they will be there again this year to help us remember.

This year, we look forward to introducing you to our new Ambassadors, who are helping us kick off our next campaign: FUELING THE FUTURE.

Because that’s what it is ALL about: This summer event madness is all about looking forward. Asking and answering, where do we go from here? Well, we keep up the good work.

Remember: Pediatric cancer research is funded almost entirely by gifts from the private sector. YOU fund them. YOU enable the advances that are made. YOU FUEL THE FUTURE.

For that—and for everything you do—we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We cannot wait to see you all at our events. We look forward to introducing you to more kids who are growing and living fuller, richer lives because you choose to be involved and do what you do.

So read on, and remember to plan your calendars accordingly! We look forward to seeing you everywhere in the next few months!

As always,

Joan Slaughter, Executive Director 

The Race for Grace Rakes in 44K

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A beneficiary of gene chipping data gives back helping raise funds for research into more targeted therapies with fewer side effects.

 Grace Petroff signs a check for $44,000 to fund Nick Foreman's research at Children's Hospital Colorado. Grace is leading a normal, healthy life after surviving a tumor that was treated according to MAF-funded gene chipping data.

On May 5, more than 700 participants took to the track at Homestead Elementary in Centennial to help raise nearly $44,000 for The Morgan Adams Foundation. The Petroff family organized the race to help MAF continue funding research that directly benefited Grace. Grace recently survived a malignant brain tumor, which was treated according to gene chipping data and research funded by The Morgan Adams Foundation. Better tumor identification and more accurately targeted treatment options combined to allow Grace to live a normal, healthy life. If you’re interested in planning an event to benefit MAF, contact our Events Manager, Liz Vehlow, at 303.758.2130.


Employee and Intern Spotlight

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Amy Sarrazin (left), a Colorado native, comes to us from a long history of corporate relationship building. Forging partnerships and relationships on which to build solid foundations is what makes her thrive. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and is currently earning her paralegal degree. She is very excited to make the jump from corporate world to the intimate nature of The Morgan Adams Foundation.

Liz Vehlow (right), Our new Events Manager, Liz Vehlow, has focused her career on nonprofit event management, development and outreach. She attended Xavier University in Cincinnati and graduated with a degree in organizational communications. Liz has since worked as an event coordinator at the American Cancer Society in her hometown of Chicago, and in Colorado at the Crested Butte Land Trust. She has volunteered with a number of nonprofit organizations since high school, collaborating on a wide array of events. Liz recently moved to Denver and is enjoying exploring all that the Mile High City has to offer.



Shane Fisher (left), a student at Loyola Marymount, helps with errands, events and organizational tasks. As a kindergarten classmate of Morgan’s, Shane says, "I know the effect cancer can have on a family and I wanted to contribute in any way that I can."

Morgan Douglas (middle), a student at CSU, eagerly assists our Events Manager. According to Morgan, "The Foundation is an amazing cause, I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to give back to the kids and their families affected by cancer."

Cody DuFresne (right), has a B.A. in business administration from DU, is helping plan, recruit and prepare for the Morgan Adams Concours. "Everyday I work with talented and truly selfless individuals who strive to improve the quality of life for struggling children," says Cody.  

A'Very' Special Life Inspires Our Newest Ambassadors

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Avery Dudasch is one of the reasons we are all here at The Morgan Adams Foundation. You’ll start to see her featured on the memorial posters at our events, where we hope you will meet her inspiring parents. After their 11-year-old daughter Avery passed away a year ago, her parents, John and Vicki Dudasch, became passionately involved with MAF. Last August, the couple discovered MAF at the Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance. They were so overwhelmed and impressed by the event, the cause and the Foundation, that they knew they wanted to help. John is now on the Board of Directors, focusing on operational and organizational planning, while Vicki assists with the Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance auction.

Unfortunately, the story behind the Dudasch family’s introduction to MAF is all too familiar. Avery was a happy and passionate 10-year-old girl who loved every moment of riding her new pony. According to Vicki, her life stopped on a dime on Aug. 2, 2011. In her words:

After a few bouts of what we thought was a recurring stomach bug, we found ourselves sitting in the ER, trying to understand how our sweet girl could have a brain tumor. Within hours of that first MRI, we were rushed to Children’s Hospital and admitted into the Pediatric Oncology program. Over the following two weeks Avery had a brain biopsy, a port inserted into her chest, and started 10 months of therapy to destroy the Diffuse High Grade Glioma growing in her brain. Diffuse High Grade Gliomas are evil and deadly and almost impossible to kill. While the doctors treated her cancer, Avery’s pony, Gracefully Dun, treated the one thing no one else could touch or truly understand—her soul. She rode Grace during her entire treatment; it made her feel alive, normal and FEARLESS. Although Avery’s cancer was aggressive, her scans consistently showed she was beating it. She relapsed on May 8, 2012, just three weeks before her last treatment. On June 27, 2012 heaven got another angel and we will forever live without half of our heart. Avery’s short life was full of grace, and it truly was A‘very’ special life.

The Morgan Adams Foundation Mentioned on The Sweet William Market Blog

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sweet William Market

The Sweet William Market is celebrating its eighth season in Stapleton, and the vintage & lifestyle event is bigger than ever.

Its 80 vendors bring everything from clothes and artwork to crafts and candles to The Green every month.

“The thing that I’m excited about is the thing that I’m always excited about, which is I love sharing my vendors with Stapleton, said Realtor and market owner Kim Kouba. “It’s amazing to watch shoppers with their mouths wide open, just so happy about what they’re seeing that they can’t find anywhere else in the city.”

Sweet William fits the community.

“The people who live in Stapleton are urban-minded people,” Kim said. “They really want something clever and unique … so I think that’s why the market’s fun for them.”

She has also seen residents make a day of it.

“The market is very social. The wives will come down and shop, and the husbands will come down later with the kids and they’ll all go to lunch,” she said.

Jennifer Carabetta has been a vendor at the Sweet William Market since the beginning.

“It’s just the kind of market that I would shop at … I tend to only sell at markets that would draw me in as a customer,” she said. “I also love that it’s in our neighborhood.”

Jennifer’s business, Dizzie Izzie, sells handmade skirts, tutus, lounge pants, women’s clothing, accessories and a lot more. She named the company after her daughter.

“It’s honestly a homegrown business. I didn’t even go out with a business plan,” she said. “I just made a bunch of tutus and a bunch of reversible skirts and then I started adding to the line as my daughter grew.”

She said the market brings something special that people don’t always find every day.

“So many things are right at our fingertips to buy … we’re all on the hunt for something special for our friend, for our mom or for whomever,” Jennifer said. “When you go to a market like this, you feel proud of what you find.”

Now Jennifer greets customers who have stopped by her market booth year after year.

“It’s so cute because people have been coming to my booth for so long – it’s so rewarding,” she said. “You kind of have a routine. You have lunch from the food vendors … and now, moms I’ve known bring their daughters. But as Stapleton grows, every single weekend I meet people I’ve never met before.”

Andrew Schurger is one of those food vendors.

His Bombo’s Rocky Mountain Shave Ice business serves up cool favorites every market day.

“The first Sweet William of last year was actually our first event,” Andrew said. “We had assumptions on how shave ice would be received in the neighborhood based on the number of kids … but we were pleasantly surprised about how well it did.”

Andrew found a new appreciation of shave ice when he visited Hawaii recently. It’s everywhere on the islands, and he brought back some traditions with him.

“If you go to Hawaii, one of the most common things you’ll find is the sweetened, condensed milk on shave ice,” he said. “It’s called a snow cap.”

Andrew also offers ice cream, toppings and ice-flavor combinations that he has sourced across the nation.

“We have 33 flavors that range from your common strawberry or cherry to blue raspberry, which is probably our best seller because the kids love it,” he said.

While stops like Bombo’s provide the treats, Ethan Koehler’s band provides the ambience.

The Binding plays at each market, and all of the band’s members live in Stapleton.

“Amazingly, we all live on the same block. We share an alley … word kind of got out that three of the fellas were getting together and just tinkering,” Ethan said. “They had guitars so we started getting together in one guy’s basement.”

He plays the keyboard and sings. The six-piece band also plays at area venues and performs at Stapleton Rocks … a Concert for a Cause.

“It’s still a casual, fun thing … it’s somewhere we invest energy beyond our day-to-day responsibilities,” Ethan said. “I think the music brings energy and a different mood to the market. A market can be pretty quiet, but this takes it to a new level.”

The Sweet William Market also has philanthropic partners that receive complimentary booth space at the event.

The Morgan Adams Foundation is one of those partners. The foundation raises money and awareness to help children and their families affected by cancer.

“Ultimately, our objective is to underscore the need for better, less toxic treatments for cancer,” said Joan Slaughter, the foundation’s executive director. “There isn’t a lot of funding for pediatric needs and pediatric research, in particular, but we’re also focused on quality-of-life and aiding the long-term effects of treatment.”

Joan began the foundation after her daughter, Morgan, died of a brain tumor in 1997. Now the foundation serves a crucial community need.

The Sweet William Market is also named after Robin French Haight’s son, Will. He was battling cancer during the market’s first season in 2005. Once he was diagnosed at age 2, Robin and her husband turned to the Morgan Adams Foundation.

“Will just turned 11 … he faces struggles every day related to the treatment that saved his life, but what really drew my husband and I to the Morgan Adams Foundation was they really do have this two-pronged approach of focusing on the treatment as well as the long-term effects of cancer.”

Learn more about the Morgan Adams Foundation.

Check Out These Great Stories

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Check out this STORY about our friend Eli and his family. Eli's dad, Jacob, has been working to find a better treatment for craniopharyngiomas, and we're proud to have been able to help with his research!


Then, a HUGE HUGE thank you to everyone who came out and ran, volunteered at, supported, and donated to Grace's Race on May 5th! The race was a fabulous success with more than 750 registered runners for the inaugural event. Congratulations to Grace Petroff, her parents, Girl Scout Troop #62540 and the entire race committee (thank you Erin Rapp, Ben Frommelt, Eric and Suzanne Steinberg!!!). And a special thank to Fox 31, who shared Grace's story on KVDR last Friday! Check it out below:

Grace's Race on the Cover of Colorado Parent Magazine

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Morgan Adams Foundation Ambassador, Grace and her mother Karen are on the cover of the May 2013 issue of Colorado Parent Magazine!

Click HERE to read the online article about Grace's Race


Join Us on May 2nd to Honor Noel and Tammy Cunningham

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Please join us on May 2nd to honor Noel and Tammy Cunningham at the
1st Annual Irish Network Colorado's Ambassador's Gala.

Tickets are $75 per person/$145 per couple.

The Morgan Adams Foundation is honored to have been selected by Tammy Cunningham and the Irish Network as the charity beneficiary for this event. 

For more information and to register for this event, visit


To learn more about why the Cunninghams mean so much to MAF, please read the following article from our Winter 2011-2012 Newsletter.


by Joan Slaughter and Steven Adams

As so many of you know, our daughter, Morgan, "presented" her brain tumor emergently in the wee hours of a snowy night in December 1997 when she was 5 years old. And you all obviously know that her battle against brain cancer and the lack of kid-oriented cancer treatments is what led us to want to help fund more research for pediatric cancer. And many of you also probably know more about that journey than I might think - because we share it with you all so often.

But do you know about a quiet little love affair that was struck later that month between a 5-year-old girl and a local chef?

When Morgan woke from her surgery, she had a lot of collateral damage - and not the least of the troubles we battled that month was not being able to get her to eat. At the time, our girlfriend and then neighbor, Dawnie, was working at Strings Restaurant on 17th Avenue. One night she told Noel Cunningham, the owner, about Morgan and her struggles.

"You find out what that kid's favorite food is!" he said to her. Then, he insisted on cooking up a batch of something and having Dawnie bring it to us at the hospital. It was awkward for us - we didn't know him and it felt so crazy that a total stranger wanted to help. We told her not to worry him about it. But night after night Dawnie called, saying, "Listen, Joan, he's driving me crazy. He said to tell you he can only do two things: He can pray and he can cook. And he's already praying, so why won't you let him cook?" How do you argue with that? We finally said OK, and Dawnie arrived 10 minutes later with fettucine alfredo and chocolate mousse from the restaurant...and Morgan ate the entire thing! Her first solid meal, and it was from Strings.

When Morgan was well enough to leave the hospital, she just wanted to stop in and say thank you to Noel - and from that day forward, a crazy little love affair started. After every single treatment, we went to Strings for lunch where Morgan had her own special table. No matter what happened, we went and had lunch. And crème brûlée. That Morgan made. With a blowtorch. At 5 years old. Because he LET her. And because he told me, in no uncertain terms, that it was his kitchen and there really wasn't anything that I could do about it. He was letting my kid (blind in her right eye since the surgery, no less) wield a flame thrower. Nice.

After Morgan died, and Steven said he wanted to do a fundraising event, we went to Noel and asked him for his help. We had no idea what we needed to do - how to get food, how to get enough booze, how much we might need. Noel just said he was in. He'd do ALL the food and all the booze and he would make the magic happen. Because he had fallen in love with Morgan, and he wanted to see something good come out of the sadness.

I remember sitting in the restaurant telling him I thought it was crazy - and him telling me that we would MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

And it did. Our hallmark fundraising event artma was born. And magic happened. Because it was sprinkled with a huge helping of Irish Fairy Dust in the form of Noel Cunningham. My friend Kelly reminded me the other day of his character: "I can remember him at that first artma, pushing a trash can around and cleaning up himself." Because that was what he did. And because he loved my kid - and because he loved all kids. And because he gave and he gave.

His spirit lives on in The Morgan Adams Foundation. We can continue our work because of all the people who believe in what we do and because of all the goodness this community chooses to invest back into itself. Noel believed. He shared. And he gave.

I know there are thousands of people who have similar stories to tell, who will immediately produce for you a "Noelism" when you mention his name. Who will immediately share with you the way in which he touched their life or the life of someone they know. Stop and listen - he was a wonder and the stories are fabulous. He gave us his strength and his passion. He loved our daughter. Noel was our friend for many, many years and we will miss him madly.

Concours 2012: A Landmark Year for The Morgan Adams Foundation

Friday, September 28, 2012

The weather on Saturday, August 25th was nothing short of exceptional, setting the stage for the best year in the history of the Morgan Adams Concours d'Elegance.  Experience the event through photos HERE, thanks to our wonderful photographers: Al Axelrod, Blacktie Colorado, Tom Carlisle, Julie Kemerling, John Little and John Waugh. We'd like to begin by thanking every generous person and business who made this year's event a resounding success!


TO OUR GUESTS: We send our thanks and hopes that next year, you'll join us with a new friend by your side who's never experienced all that is Concours.

TO OUR VOLUNTEERS: You're the heart of MAF. We wouldn't be able to meet our mission year after year without your generosity, time, and support.

TO OUR AIRCRAFT, AUTOMOBILE & MOTORCYCLES OWNERS: You're the drive and sparkle behind this event year after year. We'd be lost without you and your passions!

TO OUR SPONSORS: You are exceptional and your ongoing commitment to helping us put an end to pediatric cancer is worth more than our gratitude -- you are the reason we can do everything we do and share our mission, year after year.

If you didn't have the opportunity to review the sponsorship signage or information in The Morgan Adams Concours d'Elegance
CATALOG, please take a moment to stop by our SPONSORS PAGE and visit the businesses that made this year's event possible. We thank you for simply being the best partners a nonprofit organization could ever hope to have -- and we hope to one day not need your support as we work towards the eradication of "pediatric cancer" from vocabularies worldwide.

TO OUR AMBASSADORS & THEIR FAMILIES: Your partnership, courage, and willingness to be the faces and voices of Concours 2012 goes beyond our thanks -- you are ALL why we're here. And we thank you for your trust, time, love, and willingness to be a vocal part of our biggest year ever and ongoing mission. You can learn more about our Ambassadors and their stories here.

This post is our way of sharing three very special pieces of news: our estimate of funds raised, auction results, and announce our Best in Show results. Here we go!

MEETING THE CHIP CHALLENGE: 10 CoPilots committed to make a difference in the lives of 10 future children battling cancer by contributing $10,000 — the equivalent of 10 research chips to analyze cancer tumors. Each CoPilot sponsored one of our survivors, who served as Ambassadors for the night. The room rose to meet this "opening gambit" and the CHIPS alone brought in over $280,000 -- and counting! It was an honor for us to share with you the real success behind the event -- the kids whose lives are impacted by your generosity. Thank you for your truly amazing support!

Mr. & Mrs. Peter Taylor - In Celebration of
Dr. Timothy Allen - In Celebration of Eli
Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Kauffman - In Celebration of Tayler
Mr. & Dr. J. Kent Miller - In Celebration of Kuhu
Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Petroff & Ms. Patty Jenkins - In Celebration of Grace
Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Kooi - In Celebration of Myles
Mr. & Mrs. Curt Zeigler - In Celebration of Caitlin
Mr. & Mrs. Dennett Hutchinson – In Celebration of Aaron
Mr. & Mrs. Pat Wiesner - In Celebration of Christian
Mr. Joseph Thibodeau - In Celebration of Whitney
Dr. Denny O’Connell - In Celebration of our 2013 Ambassador...

AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS: Thank you to our wonderful donors, bidders and auctioneer! The live auction really moved the room and the top selling items were: 

  • Lear Jet to Vegas. Sold! Thank you to the generous donor who offered a flight for six on his Lear jet, formerly owned by Johnny Carson!
  • Just in Time - A United Kingdom Adventure. Sold! Thank you to Bremont Cronometers and Oster Jewelers for a fabulous trip for two that includes a Bremont SOLO timepiece.
  • Flight in a Citation Mustang Jet to Napa Weekend with Five-Star Accommodations. Sold! Thank you to David Fetter for donating this great package for four.
  • Alaska Sport Fishing Adventure at Sportsman's Cove Lodge. Sold! Thank you to donors Mike & Connie Young and Sportsman Cove for this spectacular three-day fishing adventure.
  • The Morgan Adams Concours d'Elegance Coveted Doctors' Dinner. Sold! Thank you to research doctors Michael Handler, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Nick Foreman, Director of Pediatric NeuroOncology and Arthur Liu, Director of Pediatric Radiation Oncology, who will cook the five-course meal (no hired help here!).

Please SHARE your thoughts with us about the electronic bidding used in our auction.

BEST IN SHOW AND PEOPLE'S CHOICE RESULTS: Every year, Concours guests vote for the best among the stunning aircraft, automobiles and motorcycles on display. Here are the results of this year's show -- and again, a hearty and heartfelt thanks to all of our generous owners who make this feast for the eyes possible.

People's Choice Aircraft: 1943 North American T - Vern Randall

People's Choice Automobile: 1952 Allard J2X - Peter Freytag

People's Choice Motorcycle: 1953 Indian Chief - Gary Re

The Lyndsey R. Cunningham Award: Peer's Choice - Aircraft: 1984 Aerovodochy L-39 - Richard Bacon

The Joshua L. English Award: Peer's Chocie - Automobile: 1933 MG L - Bill Bollendonk

The Christopher J. Henderson Award: Peer's Choice - Motorcycle: 1929 Henderson KJ - John Weber

The Brett M. Derosier Memorial Award - Best in Show: 1944 North American B25 Mitchell - Bill Klaers