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2018 PUSH Gala

Event Information

650 15TH ST., DENVER, CO 80202

Hosted valet parking


5:30 p.m. Cocktails and Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Dinner and Program
9:30 p.m. Craig After Dark

Craig’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual PUSH dinner, raises money to support Craig’s programs and research.

Proceeds from the PUSH dinner fund Craig’s unique culture of care, programs like Therapeutic Recreation, Adaptive Technology, Music Therapy, Community Reintegration and education programs – which are generally not covered by insurance. PUSH funds also support research, including ongoing studies and clinical trials aimed at improving outcomes, reducing long-term complications, and enhancing quality of life for those affected by spinal cord and traumatic brain injury.

The PUSH paddle auction raises funds for the Craig Foundation’s Patient Assistance Fund, which helps patients with minimal income or inadequate insurance travel to and from Craig, purchase equipment like wheelchairs and shower chairs, remodel homes for accessibility, train caregivers, pay mortgages and rent, and meet other urgent needs.

2018 Inspiration Award Honoree: Sampson Briggs

Sampson grew up loving all things “Colorado” – an avid adventurer, sportsman, skier, and athlete. Throughout middle school and high school, he played multiple sports. He played baseball, basketball, and soccer, but especially came to love football, leading his high school football team as captain. In May of 2015, Sampson graduated with honors and had committed to Colorado State University for the Fall. He looked forward to pursuing his business degree and starting college life.

On June 15th, just 5 days after completing CSU orientation, Sampson had a catastrophic accident while at his summer job. A 30-foot fall to his head and face resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury, many broken bones, and weeks in the ICU. This was followed by months of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation at Craig Hospital. An accident that could have easily been prevented changed Sampson’s life forever.

While most people do not survive injuries of this nature, Sampson did. Turning tragedy into an opportunity to promote safety, Sampson is now sharing his story of recovery with others. His hope is to promote the importance of safety on the job site. Ultimately, Sampson wants to encourage others not to take a single day for granted, and to realize the impact that accidents can have on those that matter most. The truth is, with proper training and safety equipment, most accidents can be prevented. Sampson states, “If my story can save just one life…it will be worth it.”

After taking a year to focus on recovery, Sampson is thankful to now be studying Business Marketing as a sophomore at Colorado State University.

2018 Spirit of Craig Award Honoree: Jo Donlin

On May 6, 1990, one week prior to her graduation from Colorado College, Jo Donlin dove into a lake, hit her head on the sand below, and instantly became a quadriplegic. Her future plans instantly turned to a fight for survival. Jo arrived at Craig eight weeks later to spend the next four months putting her life back together. A native of Wyoming, she returned to Casper to continue her recovery and build new dreams.

Jo fought to maximize her independence and reignited her interest in public policy, state government and public service. She returned to Denver in 1993, earned her Master’s in Public Administration and began her career. For 20 years, she has formulated and implemented state public policy agendas, developed strategic communications, and built relationships with community leaders, policymakers, non-profit and business professionals. She continues her public service at the Department of Regulatory Agencies, serving as the Director of Regulatory Outreach and Education in one of its largest divisions. Jo is a strong advocate for and participant in community service, and served on Craig’s Board of Directors from 2003-2009. Currently, she serves on the CU School of Public Affairs Advisory Board, is a mentor in the Colorado College Public Interest Fellowship Program and plans to join the Board of Directors of Wilderness on Wheels in Spring 2018.

2018 PUSH Co-Chairs

Kent J. Thiry, Chairman and CEO, DaVita Inc.

Kent Thiry is chairman and CEO of DaVita, a FORTUNE 200 company with 75,000 teammates and approximately $14 billion in revenues. The company operates in 11 countries globally, delivering clinically differentiated health care to nearly 2 million patients.

DaVita has been the subject of case studies written by both Harvard and Stanford, and taught in many other schools and programs. Kent sits on the Harvard Business School’s advisory board and is regularly invited to speak on leadership and culture at top business schools, companies and not-for-profit leadership groups.

In 2016 he led Let Colorado Vote, a group that passed two ballot initiatives, one that re-established the presidential primary in Colorado and a second that opens Colorado’s primaries to unaffiliated voters. He is currently leading a redistricting reform initiative, Fair Districts Colorado, as well as a statewide Path to Shared Prosperity blueprint process. He also co-founded The Aspen Group with Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle.

Prior to joining DaVita, Kent served in several senior executive roles, including chairman and CEO of Vivra Specialty Partners, a specialty health care company; president and then CEO of Vivra, a NYSE health care service company; and partner at Bain & Company. Prior board seats include the non-executive Chairmanship of Oxford Health Plans.

Kent earned his B.A. in political science, with distinction, from Stanford University, where he also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in 1978. He earned his M.B.A., with honors, from Harvard Business School in 1983, where he was also elected to the Century Club.

Denise O'Leary

Ms. O’Leary has been a private venture capital investor and a corporate director since 1996. She is a member of the Board of Directors of American Airlines Group, Inc., Medtronic plc, and Calpine Corporation, where she currently chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee. She has also served on the boards of US Airways, Inc. until that company’s merger with American Airlines at the end of 2013, ALZA Corporation, America West Airlines Group, Inc., Chiron Corporation, Del Monte Foods Company and numerous private companies.

Ms. O’Leary is a Trustee of the University of Denver and of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. In 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper named her to the board of Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health exchange. Additionally, she is a member of the Smithsonian National Board. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she also served as Chair. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where she served as Chair of the Board, and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. She was a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees for 15 years, during which time she was Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Committee on the Medical Center. She was a member of the Presidential Search Committee at Stanford in 2000 and was awarded the Gold Spike for distinguished volunteer leadership in 2014.

A graduate of Stanford University (BS, Industrial Engineering, 1979) and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (MBA, 1983), Ms. O’Leary was a General Partner at Menlo Ventures in Menlo Park, CA for 15 years. She and her husband, Kent Thiry, have two children: Matt, 29, and Christina, 27.

PUSH Table Sales Committee

Peter Burg, Jake Burg, Steve Elken, Colleen Faddick, Amy Farnan, Mary Feller, Mike Fordyce, Nan Hinton, Mark Honnen, Don Kortz, Dan Morrison, Jim Roddy, Jim Schmidt, Al Troppmann, and Alan Weintraub, M.D.

Auction Committee

Maureen Brothers, Claire Cahow, Erica Castelo, Melissa Elken, Laurie Fenske, Mark Glaser, Candice Kiesow, and Shantelle Rockman.

Event Contact




Presenting Sponsor

  • DaVita

Video Sponsors

  • GE Johnson
  • Dave and Gail Liniger

Auction Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

  • Ellen Scott
  • Syntrinsic Investment Counsel

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

  • Alex L. Brewer Family Foundation
  • Dietrich & Company LLC
  • Stephen and Melissa Elken/Elkco Properties
  • Richard and Maureen Graff
  • Keating, Wagner, Polidori, and Free, P.C.
  • Lockton Companies, LLC
  • May Family
  • OraLabs-Schlatter/Weintraub
  • PCL Construction Enterprises, Inc.
  • Robinson Family
  • Jim and Carol Roddy
  • U.S. Bank