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2016 Craig Hospital PUSH Dinner

Event Information

650 15TH ST., DENVER, CO 80202

An inspirational evening that helps Craig Hospital patients and their families Redefine Possible

Presenting Sponsor

Craig Hospital’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual PUSH dinner, raises money to support Craig Hospital’s programs, research, and patients. The 2015 event was attended by more than 1400 people and brought in nearly $1.3 million for Craig Hospital programs and patients.

Craig Hospital is a world-renowned center for specialty rehabilitation and research for people with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Craig is a 93-bed, private, not-for-profit, free-standing long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospital that provides a comprehensive system of inpatient and outpatient medical care, rehabilitation, neurosurgical rehabilitative care, and long-term follow-up services.

PUSH Proceeds Support:

  • Programs of Excellence: These funds pay for innovative programming like Therapeutic Recreation and Music Therapy, not covered by insurance companies, yet vital to patients’ health and independence.
  • Research: The Craig Research Department conducts a wide variety of ongoing studies related to improving the lives of people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Patient Assistance Funds: These funds help patients with minimal income or inadequate insurance purchase adaptive equipment, remodel homes for accessibility, train caregivers and meet other unexpected needs.


The success of PUSH depends on the support of generous donors. Please check back in a few weeks for information about PUSH sponsorships.

2016 Inspiration Award Honoree: Mike Utley

The Inspiration Award recognizes an individual who stands out as positive and influential role model for the community Craig serves. Award recipients have positively impacted others around them and have contributed meaningfully to increasing the quality of life for people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, while achieving significant success in their personal and professional lives.

The 2016 Inspiration Award will be given to Mike Utley. On November 17, 1991, the Detroit Lions’ offensive guard was paralyzed during an NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Silverdome in Detroit, MI. Mike’s courageous “Thumbs Up” gesture as he was carried from the field has come to symbolize his fighting spirit.

Utley rehabilitated from his injury at Craig Hospital. With the help of his agent, Bruce Allen, Mike went on to found the Mike Utley Foundation. Established to find a cure for spinal cord injuries the Foundation supports select research, rehabilitation and education for SCI.

Dave and Gail Liniger Spirit of Craig Award Honorees: Brian and Alice Brown

This award recognizes a Craig graduate who, through their community service, professional achievement, and personal support of Craig’s patients, graduates, and mission, significantly brings to life the spirit of Craig Hospital to others in the community.

The 2016 Dave and Gail Liniger Spirit of Craig Award will be given to South Metro Fire Fleet Services Bureau Chief Brian Brown and his wife Alice. In 2006, Brian sustained a severe traumatic brain injury when in a cycling accident on Mt. Evans. His rehabilitation at Craig made it possible for him to return to work 11 months post-injury.

Brian and Alice became passionate Craig supporters, founding and organizing the Racing For Hope Cycling Classic, a competitive race to raise money for Craig. As faithful volunteers, the Browns have served at Craig’s Family Night and have shared their story in Craig Hospital solicitations, media interviews, and the recent Redefining Possible portrait series. Alice is an active PUSH volunteer.

2016 PUSH Chairs

Don Childears, CEO and president of the Colorado Bankers Association
Linda Childears, CEO and president of the Daniels Fund

2016 PUSH Committee Members

Peter Burg
Mark Campbell
Don Childears
Linda Childears
Steve Elken
Amy Farnan
Mary Feller
Mike Fordyce
Mark Glaser
Don Kortz
Bill Lindsay
Suzanne Lynch
Steve Peters
Art Seiden
Mary Sissel
Dr. Alan Weintraub
Skip Weller

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