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January 23, 2010 - A Celebration of 150 Years of the National Guard

What: Colorado Military Ball

Where: Colorado Convention Center

When: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Time: Cocktails at 5 p.m.; Ball begins at 7 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $30-$75 depending on rank; Sponsorships from $2,500 to $15,000

Beneficiary: National Guard Assn./ veterans and military

Executive Director: Adjutant General of Colorado: Major General H. Michael Edwards

Invocation: Chaplain Andrew Meverden

Libations: Stoney Creek Chardonnay and Cabernet

Catering: Centerplate

Entertainment: 101st Colorado Army National Guard Band

Sponsors: GOLD: Mr. Christian P. Anschutz, El Pomar Foundation, First Data; SILVER: MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation, Eaton Metal Products; BRONZE: General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, Bandimere Speedway, 9Health Fair, Colorado 30 Group; TABLE SPONSORS: Cisco Systems, IntraNext Systems, Leanin' Tree, National Guard Assn. of Colorado, Better Business Bureau, Wells Fargo, Qwest,.

Quote of the evening: And 150 years ago, the Raiders still sucked."--Rick Crandall, in joking about what it was like 150 years ago when the National Guard was formed

Menu: Grilled hearts of romaine with prawns, fresh herbed croutons, shaved Asiago cheese, tear drop tomatoes, shaved red onion and white balsamic vinaigrette; ale braised short rib over parsnip and Yukon gold mashers and Cabernet demi, accompanied by spaghetti squash confit and a baby vegetable bouquet; dessert trio including carrot cakelette with vanilla poached blueberries, chocolate mousse shooter and tuxedo strawberry.

Attendance: 700+

Attire: Military dress or service dress

Special Thanks: Vendors: CEC Document Services, sweet pea flowers, Altitude Sports & Entertainment, Colorado Convention Center, Frame de art, Centerplate, Steel Images, B*N*D Mobile DJ Service, Swank Audio Visuals, Cottrell Printing, aaronbrothers Art & Framing, Colorado Sculptures, Blacktie-Colorado, Hyatt Regency Denver, JRT Photography

Blacktie Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Laury Edwards, left, MG Michael Edwards, HRH Prince Faisal and BG Trulan Eyre
Laury Edwards, left, MG Michael Edwards, HRH Prince Faisal and BG Trulan Eyre

Back in the day, the day being more than 150 years ago and prior to the Civil War, citizens had terrorist and security threats of their own, and in 1860 in the Auroraria region of the territory of Jefferson, a militia was formed to protect the people. The Auroraria region became the city of Denver and the territory of Jefferson became Colorado, and the militia became the National Guard.

The volunteers who served were brave and determined, and they remain so to this day. Their service expanded from defending the local territory and fighting hostile Indian tribes and Confederate infiltrators to serving in the Civil War and ultimately in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Desert Shield, among others. But the dedicated guards didn't stop there--they now are involved in any emergency, national disaster or type of mission you can think of, including the provision of security during the Columbine tragedy, helping victims of floods, tornados and blizzards, fighting against drug infiltrations, providing rescue missions at 14,000 feet at midnight and providing education and resources throughout the state and the world.

More than 1,100 supporters, including military, civilian, government and even royalty, converged at the Colorado Convention Center Saturday evening to pay tribute and say happy 150th birthday to the Colorado National Guard. The Colorado Assn. of Living History as well as the Military Vehicle Collectors of Colorado showcased combat and military paraphenalia, and a virtual who's who of the National Guard ranks were there to express thanks and appreciation for all those who serve. His Royal Highness Prince Faisal was there, to support the State partnership with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The first 4-star General from the National Guard, General Craig McKinley, flew in from Washington to say a few remarks. Governor and Mrs. Ritter helped to host the gathering, with Governor Ritter ultimately abandoning the speech prepared for him to speak from the heart about his appreciation for the National Guard, their families and supporters.

Michael Edwards, Adjutant General of Colorado, also spoke from the heart as he thanked all the people involved in the National Guard effort--from the volunteers to their families to their employers who give them the leeway to serve to the sponsors and benefactors--the list was long and impressive.

KEZW's Rick Crandall, well known for his support of the military, provided excellent commentary as emcee. "Don't forget that 150 years ago, you could have purchased a horse for what you paid for parking tonight," he quipped, and continued to deliver tongue in cheek barbs and jokes from our military's finest.

And as if all that wasn't enough, the crowd was treated to a tour through history by keynote speaker, Dr. Geoff Hunt, historian and chair of Social Sciences at Community College of Aurora. By the time everyone witnessed these tributes and accolades for the 150 years the National Guard has been in existence, they were ready to blow off some steam in dancing to the 101st Colorado Army National Guard Band and BND Mobile DJ.  

Celebrating their centennial year, the National Guard Assocation of Colorado, Inc. is hosting the 150th anniversary celebration of the Colorado National Guard, and will continue to partner with the Adjutant General's 150th anniversary events committee to bring events throughout 2010. Read all about the history and details of the service of the Colorado National Guard at this link:


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