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joanne davidson

Smooth sailing for benefit

By Joanne Davidson
Denver Post Columnist

May 19, 2000 - The hardy band of sailors who spent An Evening at Sea with Rocky Mountain chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation never did leave port, but no one missed the steamy South Pacific or the sunny Mediterranean once they realized they were on a voyage toward a cure.

It was a land-locked voyage, to be sure, but the 300-some passengers were treated to a nonstop whirl of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, fine dining and casinostyle games. And they happily left behind many thousands of dollars for research and educational programs relating to these chronic and potentially devastating intestinal diseases that affect 1 million Americans.

The "ship" was in fact the Westin Tabor Center, where dinner tables were decorated with anchors, life preservers and captain's hats. The casino, with its just-pretend games of chance, was set up in the lobby, where waiters circulated with a seemingly endless supply of gourmet snacks.

An awards ceremony followed dinner, and four valued contributors were honored for their continued support. Barbara and Dr. Bob Nieder received the Joseph Sigman Memorial Award of Excellence for their five-year commitment to the cause; Dr. Robert Khoo accepted the Premier Physician's Award for his work with Crohn's and colitis patients; and Rose Medical Center was recognized for the specialized care it provides.

The Nieders' involvement began when their son, Brian, a stock trader, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Bob Nieder, a retired anesthesiologist, recently finished his second term as president of the Rocky Mountain chapter board and currently is its vice president. Barbara started a Crohn's and Colitis Guild and, with her husband, has chaired the last three of the chapter's benefit dinners.

Their guests included Bob's parents, Myrtle and Dr. Sam Nieder of Walnut Creek, Calif.; his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Joseph and Helaine Nieder of New York; and Barbara's sister, Joyce Persky, of Chicago.

Khoo, a native of Australia, came to Denver in 1992 by way of Canada, where he had practiced colon and rectal surgery since 1987. His Colorado Center for Colon and Rectal Surgery is the state's premier center of its type.

Khoo was accompanied by his wife, Sheryl; sons Justin, 15, who plays lead guitar in the rock band Delerium, and Jonathan, 7, and his parents, Patricia and Dr. Anthony Khoo, a general practitioner from Canada.

Other well-wishers were Dr. Donald Safer, president of the chapter board, and his wife, Ricky; President-elect Roxie Harrington; Muri Sigman, after whose late husband the Award of Excellence is named; state Rep. Joe Stengel and his wife, Bettye, and aide Michele Austin; Norman and Jacqui Levy; Jack and Evie Baraash; Moneta Axler; Cynthia and Dr. Michael Grossman; Jan Bailey; Betty Karsh and Barry Collins; Ian and Sara Zucker; Esther Shaoul and Joe Golinsky; Dr. James Ehrlich; Elyse and Jeffrey Kaman; Andre and Katherine Merage; Paul Kamensky; Phil and Norma Sierota; Marlene and Arnold Siegel and Jerry and Linda Kernis.

Send an e-mail to Joanne about this column

Denver Post Society Editor Joanne Davidson's column runs every day except Saturdays.

Copyright 1999-2000 The Denver Post. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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