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By Gwen Clayton

It’s a beautiful sunny day with mountains to the north and the Denver skyline to the south – an easy sell, even if you’re not a Madison Avenue advertising executive.

But it wasn’t Don Draper who brought more than 200 people to The Club at Rolling Hills on the weekend of June 24 through 26. It was the local community as they attended the Mad Men on the Rocks Gala and Annual Golf Tournament.

The Foundation at Rolling Hills is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 1999 with the mission of raising funds for the benefit of worthy charitable causes in the local community. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $2 million, with most of the money staying in Jefferson County. Every year, the Foundation Board chooses a different beneficiary. In 2017, that recipient was the Red Rocks Community College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1991 with the vision of removing the financial barrier and helping students of all income levels access higher education.

“We look for organizations that have very low administrative costs as we like to know that our donation is going back to the community, which is why we donate,” said Foundation Board member Barb Lutz.

The main beneficiary receives 75 percent of the proceeds of the gala and golf tournament. The remaining 25 percent is distributed among smaller organizations requesting donations.

Each year’s gala has a different theme, which is chosen by the main beneficiary. This year, the RRCC Foundation chose Mad Men on the Rocks – inspired by the contemporary television show set in the 1960s about an advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City. Festivities included a poolside cocktail party, followed small bites the club house and live music by “Rat Pack” singer Steven St. James, as well as party games, a photo book and a helicopter ball drop.

In addition to the admission price, the gala raises funds raised through live and silent auctions.

Beneficiaries for the Foundation funds are chosen a year in advance. For the 2018 gala and tournament, the Board has chosen the Arvada Food Bank. Last year’s theme was Superheroes. The event brought in $168,843 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Rocky Mountains. Funds for this year’s gala and golf tournament have not yet been totaled.

For the Saturday night gala, the club itself donates the facilities and food and everything else, excluding labor that the Foundation needs each year. For the Monday tournament, the club donates the course as well. Attendees this year totaled 176 for the golf tournament and more than 200 for the gala.

The Foundation’s Board, comprised of Rolling Hills members, receives and reviews applications from potential beneficiaries each year.

“When choosing our main beneficiary,” said Board Member Aimee Petri, “the Foundation looks for a self-sustaining organization that can field a golf tournament and fund-raising gala.”

The beneficiary’s responsibilities will include fund-raising, sending invitations and other tasks affiliated with event organization.

“I think the Foundation is one of the things that makes the club so special,” said Marta Kostelny, marketing and membership coordinator for The Club at Rolling Hills. “We are one of the few clubs across the nation that has an active foundation. On top of that, we have a really great, welcoming, warm membership.”

The Club at Rolling Hills boasts ones of the premier golf courses in the Denver metro area. They also have family programs such as junior golf, junior tennis, junior swim and junior dive.

“We’ve got a mountain scenery and feel up here, but we’re not too far from the city, which is nice,” Kostelny added.

The Club at Rolling Hills values philanthropy.

“We have a lot of great, influential people who are members of the club,” Kostelny said. “[The Foundation is] an avenue for them to volunteer and give back and help the community.”

Donors wishing to contribute to the Foundation or the annual gala do not need to be members of the Club at Rolling Hills.

“If you have anything that is close to your heart, or anybody is working with an organization that is looking for donations, you can find applications on our public website,” Kostelny noted. “We encourage people to reach out and ask for donations, give donations, and keep an eye out for the annual gala and golf tournament.”

The Club at Rolling Hills is located at 15707 W. 26th Ave., in Golden. For more information, call 303-279-3334 or visit www.theclubatrollinghills.org.