As the Executive Chef at Elway’s Cherry Creek, I look forward to Denver Restaurant Week every year.  It’s a 2 week period where folks can take advantage of outstanding values for memorable dining experiences around the city of Denver.  Elway’s Cherry Creek is proud to welcome diners to visit us and sample the culinary creations we dream up for this event.  In addition to encouraging folks to participate in Denver Restaurant Week, I’m excited to join forces with Food Bank of the Rockies in promoting their Dine and Donate campaign.
Although most people wouldn’t assume it to be true, hunger is a prevalent issue in our state.  One in seven Coloradans don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  These folks won’t be fortunate enough to participate in Denver Restaurant Week.  During this two week period, we’re asking people to DINE at a participating restaurant and DONATE $52.80 to Food Bank of the Rockies on behalf of our neighbors in need.  We’re aiming to raise $5,280, which will provide 21,120 meals.   
Click HERE to help us reach that goal of $5,280 this week!  Hope to see you at Elway’s Cherry Creek very soon.

#28, A Hunger Fighting Chef Extraordinaire

Tyler Wiard, Executive Chef, Elway's Cherry Creek
“I’m proud to be able to call Colorado home and to put my love for food to work in here in Denver.  When Food Bank of the Rockies asked me to participate in their Celebrity Council, I couldn’t think of a better way to serve this generous community better than working through a hunger relief organization.  The work Food Bank does for those who can’t afford to eat healthy food is outstanding.  I’m excited to join forces with them in finding ways to give back to those who need a helping hand.”    
About Tyler:
The road to the ELWAY’S CHERRY CREEK kitchen for Executive Chef Tyler Wiard began in Boulder, Colorado working alongside local chef legends John Platt and David Query on the line at Q’s Restaurant in the Hotel Boulderado. After a stint at Jax-Boulder, another Query restaurant, famed Denver restaurateur Cliff Young recruited Tyler as the opening executive chef of his Napa Café where Tyler’s imaginative, exciting and superbly balanced food drew raves from critics.

Two separate stints as executive chef at Mel’s, the brainchild of wine man and consummate maitre d’ Melvyn Master and his wife Janie, provided Tyler with the chance to experience the culinary world while doing guest chef work at Aqua with Michael Mina, Citronelle with Michel Richard and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio with David and Stephen Rosenthal. Separated by his 2 years at The Fourth Story, Tyler’s 7 year stretch at Mel’s came during it’s lofty position as Cherry Creek’s hottest spot and Tyler twice scored Top Denver Chef honors from 5280 magazine for his exquisite menus and flawless execution. Two invitations to cook at the James Beard House were amongst the highlights of his Mel’s experience.

While at the helm at Elway’s Tyler has garnered numerous accolades including critical acclaim in nearly all of Denver’s print publications, multiple television appearances and even a feature in Food Network chef’s Paula Deen Magazine. For four consecutive years, Tyler has returned to the “Carnegie Hall for chefs” with Denver’s top chefs to cook at the prestigious James Beard House. Tyler beat out 22 other chefs from across the country to take top prize in the 19th Annual Taste of Elegance, a national competition sponsored by the National Pork Board. A tireless supporter of local charities, Tyler appears in numerous fund-raising events each year on behalf of Elway’s Cherry Creek including the hottest party of the summer, the multi-chef slider competition Hot Rocks Griller Challenge in the Elway’s backyard successfully raising thousands for the mens’ programs of the Denver Health Foundation.

Tyler lives in Denver where he and his wife Jennifer welcomed their daughter Lilliana into the world in February 2011.

#27, Go-To Sports Guy

Vic Lombardi, Sports Anchor on CBS 4 News
“I love Colorado. It’s home for me and the people here are like family. The fact that so many Coloradans are hungry day to day is just not right. It’s an honor for me to be a part of an organization trying to alleviate this horrible problem and make life easier for so many of my neighbors in need. I would encourage folks to give back to fight hunger in whatever ways they can.”

About Vic:
He was 10-years-old and watching a local newscast … “It just clicked” says CBS4 Sports Anchor Vic Lombardi. He says he grew up in Colorado always wanting to work in Denver TV. Born on Denver’s North Side in 1969, Lombardi interned at CBS4 as a student and later joined CBS4 in June of 1998. He graduated from Holy Family High School in Denver, attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated from Notre Dame University in 1991.

Before landing a job in his hometown, Lombardi worked as a sports reporter in South Bend, Indiana, Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Ariz. Already, he is a 23-time Emmy Award winner; 13 of which are for Best Sports Anchor, which he has won 10 years in a row. Vic has now added a radio show to his repertoire. You can listen to Vic Lombardi and Gary Miller every morning, Monday through Friday, 7-9 am on 102.3 The Ticket when they’ll be interviewing all the movers and shakers in Colorado sports.

The most exciting stories he’s covered? Lombardi says the 1998 Super Bowl. “Need I explain?” he asks, as well as the 1994 World Cup. Lombardi says living and working in Denver means everything. “I’m home again with my family.” Vic is married to Terri, a Denver schoolteacher. They have one son, Dante, and two daughters, Alexis and Isabella.

Lombardi also spends a lot of time with his large Italian family. His father came to the United States from Italy with a sixth grade education and became very successful here. That, says Lombardi, provides a great deal of inspiration. Vic says his biggest challenge in life was landing his job in Denver, and his greatest disappointment was not getting the job earlier.

#26, Mr. Funny News Man

Tom Green, Morning Anchor, Channel 2 News
"Food Bank of the Rockies plays a critical role in our community every year, but in these tough times we need to do even more to help them make the difference in the lives of those who need it most.  The Food Bank is one of the most efficient charities I've ever seen.  They can turn both cash and food into many meals for those in our community who need it most.  Donations to FBR are one of the most effective ways to make a difference in the metro area, and beyond."
About Tom:
Tom Green anchors the Emmy-award winning Daybreak on Colorado's own Channel 2, the morning show which airs on KWGN from 5-9 a.m. Monday through Friday.  Tom is a news and sports veteran within the Denver market, with almost 30 years experience and 10 Emmy awards.
Tom made the transition to news anchor when he joined KWGN after three years as the main sports anchor at KMGH-TV (ABC) in Denver, CO. Tom's experience also includes play-by-play, color and sideline reporting for ABC and Fox Sports, hosting a national game show (Sports On Tap) for ESPN. Tom also was radio host for KKFN-AM where he inaugurated shows featuring then-Nuggets head coaches Doug Moe and Dan Issel. Previously Tom was sports anchor for more than 13 years for KUSA-TV ( NBC) in Denver, CO after working for ESPN.
In addition to 10 Emmy awards, Tom was named the Colorado Sportscaster of the Year 4 times by the National sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

#25, A 9NEWS Hunger Champion

Mark Koebrich, 9NEWS Anchor
“All of us at 9News are deeply committed to the cause of food security. We support Food Bank of the Rockies and their mission to keep families and at need individuals from going hungry.  With 1-in-7 Coloradans struggling with hunger, the need has never been greater, the mission has never been more urgent.”
About Mark:
Mark Koebrich joined Channel 9 in September 1981 from WLKY-TV in Louisville, Kentucky. Koebrich came to 9NEWS as the Southern Bureau reporter in Colorado Springs. Later that year, Koebrich helped launch 9NEWS 6:00AM with Bertha Lynn, Larry Camp and Krista Bradford. Koebrich anchored the early morning news for six years and was then assigned to anchor 9NEWS at 12:00pm and 9NEWS 4:30pm with former staffer Linda Benzel.

Mark Koebrich is now the anchor for 4 o'clock @ 9NEWS and 9NEWS at 5, 6, and 10 pm. He is also the 9NEWS Consumer Reporter.  Koebrich's enthusiasm for each project assigned has merited him a variety of experiences. In 1986, Koebrich was a finalist for NASA's Journalist in Space project. In 1988, Mark was loaned from 9NEWS to the Grant Tinker-Gannett program "USA TODAY - The Television Show" as a national correspondent. Beginning in 1992 until its last telecast in September 1994, Koebrich hosted "Good Afternoon Colorado" weekday afternoons on Channel 9. "Good Afternoon Colorado" launched a spin-off craft, hobby and collectibles program for the Discovery Channel daytime lineup called "Start to Finish." The program aired on Discovery for eighth seasons.

Koebrich has covered the Olympic Games in China, Salt Lake City and Atlanta for both NBC News Channel and KUSA. He spent three weeks in the jungles of Guatemala following a group of Kentucky doctors and nurses, and he followed the Denver Broncos to four Super Bowls. He has won a dozen Emmys for his work, including awards for best spot news coverage, best anchor and best documentary.

Koebrich is a native of Illinois and graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He received a degree in Journalism with special emphasis in radio and television with a minor in speech and public relations. His television career was launched in Terre Haute, Indiana at WTHI-TV as News Director/Primary Anchor from 1974 to 1978. Koebrich moved to WLKY-TV in Louisville, Kentucky serving as Bureau Chief before coming to 9NEWS.

Koebrich gives a great deal of time to local charities and is a popular program speaker. He and his wife, Cathy, have two grown children.

#24, A Little Opie Goes a Long Way

Jake Schroeder, Front Man of Opie Gone Bad
“I’ve partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies for the past few years and plan to continue in that partnership for years to come.  The work they do in fighting hunger in our own communities is outstanding and I can’t think of a cause more worthy than providing a basic necessity that none of us could live without.  I’m honored to lend my voice to both advocate for such a worthy organization as well as entertain their supporters at various events throughout the year.”   

#23, a Lovely Lady & Hunger All Star

Kathie J, Morning Show Host on KS 107.5
"Before KS1075 started partnering with Food Bank of the Rockies for the KS 1074 food drive, I had no idea how many children and adults Food Bank of the Rockies feeds.  I don't think most people are aware that churches, schools and other food pantries rely on Food Bank of the Rockies for their own supplies to give to people in need.  I’m honored to be on the Celebrity Council because I want everyone to be aware of the issue of hunger in our communities and how easy it is to help.”
About Kathie J:
Kathie J is co-host, along with Larry Ulibarri and Kendall B, on Denver’s #1 morning show, the KS1075 Morning Show. The show has aired for over a decade and has been consistently ranked #1 in the station's target demographic.  Kathie J grew up on Thornton and had an early passion for volunteering. She was active in Girl Scouts and Student Council throughout her school years. In college, she was a Domestic Violence Ambassador for the El Paso Courts. She has also volunteered weekly at local Denver area animal shelters for over 10 years. Her relationship with Food Bank of the Rockies began with the yearly KS1075 Food Drive for Food Bank of the Rockies.

The Dynamic 4 Duo, #21 & #22

Jim Benemann & Karen Leigh, Anchors on CBS 4
Photo by Hans Rosemond
“In good times and bad, there is big demand on Food Bank of the Rockies to feed hungry people in our community. Without Food Bank and the generous Coloradans who support their vital mission, many people would not be able to provide food for themselves and their families. Their mission of fighting hunger and feeding hope comes down to basic human dignity.  The staff and volunteers at Food Bank of the Rockies serve up dignity and hope with every box of food distributed.”

About Jim:
Emmy-award winning journalist Jim Benemann and Karen Leigh are co-anchors of CBS4 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.  Jim is an outstanding journalist and an exceptional communicator. His passion for his work and his commitment to this community make him one of the most respected broadcasters in Colorado. Jim’s anchoring and reporting background has included major assignments on local, national and international stories.

He established a broadcasting bureau in Washington D.C., where he covered Capitol Hill, political campaigns and sent home reports from Cuba, Korea, South America and Europe. Jim is a Chicago native. He attended Colorado State University, earning a degree in broadcasting in 1978.

His TV news career began in Davenport, Iowa but Jim and his family have always felt at home in Colorado. Prior to returning to CBS4 where he anchored in the early 1990′s, Jim worked at Denver’s KUSA-TV and at KGW-TV in Portland, Ore. In his spare time, Jim likes spending time with his family, golfing and getting into the beautiful Colorado back country.

About Karen:
CBS4 Anchor Karen Leigh is thrilled to be in Denver and at CBS4.  “From the moment I arrived at the airport I noticed something special about the people here,” Karen said. “Everyone looks you in the eye, greets you with a smile and is quick to chat. There’s warmth to the folks here that I’ve been looking for in a community. I already love this place!”

Karen joined the CBS4 News team in 2008 as anchor of CBS4 news at 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, and 10pm from WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she served as an Emmy Award winning morning show anchor since 2004.

Prior to WCCO, Karen worked for two years in her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas as the 5 and 10pm weekday anchor for KTHV-TV. She spent most of her career reporting in the field from WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee where she won two other Emmys – one for reporting live in the field and the other for a hard news series.

And most recently, Karen added another Emmy to her resume, picking up one locally for anchoring a Beating the Recession special in 2009.  Karen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Arkansas State University.  Karen says: “Since finding my home in Colorado, my blessings just keep coming. I have not only fallen in the love with the people here, but I met and recently married Colorado native Jim Peros, and together we have an amazing daughter named Elle.”  Karen enjoys spending time at home with her family and doing anything outdoors.  Karen is passionate about family, work and helping the community.

Announcing #20, Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Congresswoman Diana DeGette
“Keeping our families healthy has been a primary focus of my time in Congress, and that commitment is borne out of the same commitment Food Bank of the Rockies demonstrates day-in and day-out: that access to safe, healthy food is something every American deserves.  In these difficult economic times, many families who perhaps never thought they’d need the services of a food bank are struggling to put meals on the table, and the Food Bank of the Rockies goes a long way to filling that need.  They deserve our thanks, and perhaps more importantly, our assistance for everything they do for the people of this region, and that is why I am honored to work with Food Bank of the Rockies to help in the fight against hunger.”  

About Congresswoman DeGette:

Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette is serving her 8th term in Congress as Representative for the First District of Colorado. As a member of the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce, an exclusive congressional committee with vast jurisdiction over health care, trade, business, technology, food safety, and consumer protection, she is one of the leading voices in the health care debate in this country. She also serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which conducts the oversight of, and investigations into, issues falling under the jurisdiction of the full committee. As a member of the Democratic leadership, she played a vital role in the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, has fought for tough food safety legislation, and was a key player in crafting a comprehensive consumer product safety bill.

U.S. Rep. DeGette is also the chief architect of legislation to expand stem cell research, which has been passed twice with broad, bipartisan support in Congress. The measure was vetoed twice by President George W. Bush – including his very first presidential veto. A life-long Coloradoan, U.S. Rep. DeGette is guided by traditional Western values. She’s also the author of the landmark Colorado Wilderness Act, which would protect and preserve pristine land across Colorado for generations to come. She has fought to enhance her constituents’ access to affordable quality health care, expand mass transit, improve transportation in the Denver area, clean up environmental waste sites, and improve opportunities for small business.

Mr. Radio, #19

Bret Saunders, KBCO Morning Show Host
Photo by Hans Rosemond
“Hunger has become an epidemic. We need to take care of one another and Food Bank of the Rockies makes sure that people are getting at least some of what they need in these difficult times. It’s my honor to be involved and I hope that you will help in any way that you can.”

About Bret:
Bret Saunders has been involved in Denver area radio for nearly twenty years, including a 14 year and counting stint as the morning show host at KBCO-FM. He began broadcasting as a teenager in suburban Detroit, Michigan in the 1980s before stumbling around various parts of the US in search of a distinct style, which still eludes him to this day. He likes ‘esoteric’ music, uncomfortable silences in conversation, and dachshunds.