7th Annual Casino Night Fundraising Event to Benefit Minds Matter of Denver

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Minds Matter of Denver, Inc., a 501(c) 3, non-profit, tax exempt organization, committed to providing mentorship services for underserved high school youth in Denver County is hosting its 7th Annual Casino Night Charity Event at the Cable Center Friday, April 29, 2011.

Enjoy an evening of "Vegas-style" entertainment while you help accomplished high school students from low-income families reach their educational dreams. The 7th Annual Casino Night Fundraising Event is set for 6 p.m. to Midnight, Friday, April 29, at the Cable Center, 2000 Buchtel Boulevard, Denver, CO 80210.

The theme, "Stand Beside Me," includes an incomparable evening of dancing, sophistication and elegance with the very best selection of live entertainment, a live auction and mock Las Vegas style gambling. Admission is $100 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks, a sit down three-course dinner and inspiring student and keynote speakers. Organizers also invite "silent players" to purchase tickets to support the organization even if they are unable to attend. All proceeds will benefit Minds of Matter of Denver, Inc.’s (MMD) educational programs and services as well as provide scholarships for students.

Created in 2004, MMD has knocked down barriers for high-achieving, low-income students to attain a college degree by fine-tuning their academic skills, helping them navigate the college application process and obtaining financial aid to make their dreams of a higher education a reality.

“Only 11% of low-income, minority students graduate from college compared to the national average of 56%.” said Andy Seth, Co-President & Director of Development of MMD. “Minds Matter provides our high-achieving, low income students with mentorship and a college-prep curriculum geared toward helping them gain acceptance, along with scholarships, to the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Since our 2004 inception, 100% of our students have been accepted to a four-year university and 100% have received scholarships.”

The acceptance into the MMD program is highly competitive. At the beginning of each academic year, MMD asks high school counselors from participating schools to nominate sophomores for the program. The students who are accepted are then paired with two mentors who oversee three years of intensive lessons in math, writing and critical thinking skills. MMD also provides students with SAT preparation, writing critiques, public speaking forums, college application preparation, and financial aid education.

“For low-income students, access to college is not just about good grades,” added Seth. “It’s also about figuring out college admission requirements, accessing courses that will prepare them well for college, and reducing the fear generated by perceptions of college costs and loans. As a result of our work, Minds Matter students are being accepted into Ivy League institutions, awarded prestigious full-ride scholarships, and improving SAT scores by 100 points or more”.

Another key aspect of the organization’s mission is preparing students for the all-consuming, life-changing experience of college. All sophomores and juniors of the program apply to and attend summer college preparation courses at leading four-year universities. These summer enrichment programs provide first-generation, college-bound students with the opportunity to learn about campus life and what it takes to thrive there.

In 2010, MMD students had the opportunity to study at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including Cornell, the University of North Carolina, New York University, the University of Colorado in Boulder, Northeastern University and 20 other institutions of higher learning.

Sponsorship opportunities for the casino night are available. Sponsors receive company signage at the event, admissions tickets, and a listing in the event program. Merchandise donations for the auctions also welcome. All donations are tax-deductible.

As a non-profit, MMD exclusively relies on private and corporate donations to close the gap between students’ tuitions for summer college prep courses and mentoring services throughout the school year. Ultimately, Minds Matter also seeks to provide scholarships to supplement students’ financial aid once they are in college.

Unlike many non-profits, 100 percent of all donations go directly to supporting the students served.

“Minds Matter is an organization managed exclusively by professional volunteers in the Denver community,” stated Seth. “These volunteers donate over 8,000 hours per academic year to help underprivileged high school students earn admission to college and summer programs.”

About Minds Matter
Minds Matter is a national 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that brings bright and motivated low-income high school students together with dedicated mentors to achieve academic excellence and expand educational horizons. One of eight chapters across the United States, Minds Matter of Denver is in its seventh year of existence and has served 109 students in the Denver community. The Minds Matter of Denver program aims to increase academic performance, improve leadership skills, and obtain college financial aid/scholarships for disadvantaged Denver Public School high school students so they can attend a four-year university. For more information visit the Minds Matter Web site, http://www.mindsmatterdenver.org.

For additional information about Casino Night or to purchase tickets please visit the website: http://mindsmatter.kintera.org/casinonight2011.
Carolyn Misage, Co-chair of Events


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