photo - Ed and Linda McKee, center, parents of Junior Achievement president/CEO Carrie McKee, visit with Lenora and Greg Tabor at the Black & White Gala. 040817 Photo by Linda Navarro
Ed and Linda McKee, center, parents of Junior Achievement president/CEO Carrie McKee, visit with Lenora and Greg Tabor at the Black & White Gala. 040817 Photo by Linda Navarro 

The 350 party guests were bent over their smartphones all evening, and this time hosts didn't mind at all. In fact, they encouraged everyone to do it.

The Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado Black and White Gala committee led by Cheryl Potman had brought in the popular phone-app silent auction bidding system and bidders couldn't have been busier. Volunteers were on hand to help walk them through it.

Most popular was an impressive lot of sports memorabilia and tickets. Lots of Cubbies and Rockies and Muhammad Ali competition going on with these.

It was an enjoyable, and noisy, way to support Junior Achievement's financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness programs for thousands of students elementary through high school. By evening's end on April 8, more than $116,000 had been raised at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

JA President/CEO Carrie McKee told guests about the 24,000 students impacted and the 900 JA volunteers in the classrooms. Coming up: Biz Town and Finance Park.

Self-confident third grader William Flaxenburg told how he puts the JA programs to use. And, he said, he had also asked his willing mom, Dr. Cynthia Crespin to be a JA classroom volunteer. Featured speaker Yemi Mobolade, a partner in Wild Goose Meeting House and soon-to-be-father of two, is successful in business and life but wishes he had learned the JA programs as a child. "The skills you learn in entrepreneurship are transferable to almost anything you do in life. Stimulating our local economy starts at a young age."

Upcoming JA events: Castle Pines Golf Invitational, May 11-12; Pueblo Walking Stick Golf Tournament, May 20; 15th annual Colorado Springs JA Golf Classic, Aug. 4, Cheyenne Shadows; Rock 'n' Bowl, Harmony Bowl, February 2018, JA-SoCo.org.

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