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2020 PUSH Gala

Event Information


650 15TH ST., DENVER, CO 80202

Craig's biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual PUSH Gala, raises money to support Craig's programs and research. The 2020 PUSH raised a record-breaking $2 million!

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.

Thank you to Michael and Karen Long, 2020 PUSH Chairs

Michael and Karen Long are proud Coloradans and active supporters of the community and education.

Michael Long is Chairman, President and CEO of Arrow Electronics, Inc. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin and attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is active in the Young Presidents' Organization and serves on the Board of Directors of AmerisourceBergen, UCHealth and the National Western Stock Show. Before being named CEO in May 2009, Long served as President and Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for all of Arrow's operations and business units. He also served as Senior Vice President and President of the company's Global Components business with responsibility for Arrow's semiconductor products and services businesses worldwide.

Karen Long is active in several community organizations. She supports ACE Scholarships, University of Colorado Leeds School of Business Mentorship Program and Americorps. She and Michael also support the Arrow Internship Program.

They are both equestrians and feel blessed to live in Colorado. They have four children, Brandon, Jordan, Bradley and Taylor, and two grandchildren, Royce and Brooklyn.

Colin Heffern
Dave and Gail Liniger Spirit of Craig Honoree

Colin Heffern is an advocate, traveler, educator, and wannabe occupational therapist. A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Colin sustained a C4 spinal cord injury bellyflopping from a tree branch into a pile of leaves during his freshman year at Colorado State University in 2004. Colin completed rehab at Craig Hospital and returned to CSU, earning his BS in Landscape Architecture in 2010. He then pursued Master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Southern California, graduating in 2013.

Following his adventurous spirit and love of nature, Colin began working for the National Park Service in 2014. As a Project Manager, he guides planning projects, some of them supporting accessibility initiatives to improve visitor spaces and programs at parks. He frequently travels for work and pleasure, routinely defies stereotypes placed on individuals with high injuries, and often laughs.

Since 2016, with support from Craig therapists Joe Fangman and Amy Shaw, Colin has led a biweekly class focused on independent lifestyles for patients with high spinal cord injuries. He also volunteers as a mentor with Craig's peer program.

The Buschling Family
Impact Award Honorees

Dane, Randy, Tammie, and Josh Buschling are the founders of Brain Buddies, a grassroots organization in St. Louis that works to connect individuals with brain injuries for mentoring, support, and social activities. The family started the organization following Dane’s brain injury and rehabilitation at Craig.

Dane earned a law degree and MBA from St Louis University in 2014 and worked as a real estate attorney with Cushman Wakefield.

Randy is a mechanical engineer who retired as Chief Operating Officer from LaBarge, Inc. Tammie is a civil engineer and worked in airframe structures. Josh completed his residency in family medicine in June 2019 and is currently practicing in Staunton, Ill.

In 2016, Dane stepped outside a restaurant to take a phone call. Ten minutes later, he was on his way to the hospital with a severe brain injury and a 5% chance of survival. It is not known what happened. After three weeks in a coma and three more in a long-term acute care hospital, Dane made his way to Craig.

Dane is currently still in full-time rehabilitation while volunteering at the Missouri Brain Injury Association, maintaining an active social life, completing required continuing legal education and co-founding Brain Buddies with his family in April 2018.

Robert Shroeder
National Anthem Singer

Robert Schroeder owns a dairy farm with his wife Jan near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In January 2019, he began having nosebleeds which he attributed to the cold and dry weather. He later began to suffer from migraines and lost peripheral vision in his right eye. Rob was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting.

Rob’s ITP had dropped his platelets to almost zero and caused spontaneous bleeds throughout his body and in his brain. Rob spent three weeks in the intensive care unit in a drug-induced coma. After 6.5 weeks in the hospital in South Dakota, he was transferred to Craig.

When he came to Craig, he could move his left arm, left leg, and right leg. He could not speak but could understand and nod. At Craig, Rob worked with speech and music therapists to address his aphasia, an impairment of language affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write.

Before his illness, Rob had always loved all types of music, from rock and roll to country, sang in his church choir, and was a self-proclaimed “shower singer.’

Annamarie Engelhard, Craig’s Music Therapist, used one of Rob’s favorite songs, “Sixteen Tons,” in therapy.

“I had a really hard time making full sentences, and talking-period,” says Rob. “Annamarie got me singing because music works on the other side of the brain. The more I sang, the easier it got to talk.”

His therapists also incorporated music into his physical and occupational therapy sessions to work on his balance and coordination.

Rob and Jan are now back on the farm and grew 80 acres of alfalfa this season, with plans to farm more of their land next year.

He attributes his recovery to God and to hard work. "At Craig, you don’t get the option to give up."

Event Contact

Caroline Craven, Event Manager



Presenting Sponsor

Live Auction Sponsor

Silent Auction Sponsor

Story Sponsors

  • Ellen Scott
  • Empower Retirement
  • FirstBank
  • Peter A. Kudla
  • Syntrinsic Investment Counsel

Gold Sponsors

  • Dob and Debbie Bennett
  • Jandel Allen-Davis, MD and Anthony Davis
  • Stephen and Melissa Elken/Elkco Properties
  • Jane and Joseph O'Leary
  • PNC Bank
  • Polsinelli PC
  • Jim and Carol Roddy
  • Al and Frances Troppmann

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors