They're writing a new chapter in the Kidpower storybook. And they did it with the yummiest of chocolate, children's storybook characters and tales of romance as they helped empower children.
The always-sold-out Chocoholic Frolic, May 5 at The Pinery, drew almost 500 guests, who raised more than $77,000 to continue the nonprofit's work teaching "interpersonal safety and confidence-building skills to young people and the adults who care about them."
The backdrop was a giant "Kidpower Story" of those who have trained more than 50,000 young and old how to be safe. The story ended, "Verily, Kids Have Power," charting an ongoing tale.
Writing the Kidpower romance chapter were Dan and Kate Thomas. They met at the 2012 Chocoholic Frolic. A year later, at Chocoholic Frolic of course, Dan proposed to Kate Birkhead on the lawn at Garden of the Gods Club. In 2014 they took a break from planning their wedding to follow tradition with the Kidpower event. Each year they're there in support but this was extra special as they announced they will have a baby girl in August.
Another romantic chapter was written by Tony and Adrienne Roman, celebrating their 62nd anniversary with chocolate and son Greg and daughter-in-law Nancy Saltzman, longtime Kidpower board member.
Kidpower's top annual award went to Jeri DiGeorge for "integrity on behalf of children." Said the nonprofit's executive director Jan Isaacs Henry, DiGeorge is a longtime advocate "for the success and safety of individuals with special needs." She is a job coach for those with disabilities through the Falcon District 49 Transition Program "ELEVATES" and partners with Kidpower training the students how to protect themselves, especially on social media. Kidpower's is a changing story, said DiGeorge and Henry, "so all kids are safe."
Staff awards went to Karl Herndon, 20 years, Meredith Henry, 20 years, Chris Knoepke, 10 years.
The Chocoholic Frolic committee: Rebecca Baldwin, Mary Barry, Megan Barry, Donna Billek, Connie Brachtenbach, Vennita Browning, Rita Burns, Jennifer Dodd, Barbara Fanning, Jean Forsyth, Susan Gates, Jeannette Graham, Heather Guerrero,
Shelby Hall, Angela Hamilton, Jennifer Harlan, Wendy Haywood, Hannah Henry, Jan Isaacs Henry, John Henry, Paul Isenstadt, Jennifer Jackson, Robert D. Johnson, Kelly Kissell, Ann-Marie Manning, Linda Peiffer Moyes,
Clif Northam, Chris Park, Melissa Parkowski-Helmer, Debbie Pearson, Jim Stinson, Sara Sugerman, Kiersten Tarvainen, Russ Vogel, Karin Wayne, Susan Wheelan.