Mad Hatter's Garden Party Committee
Thank you to our wonderful committee who have worked tirelessly to create such a wonderful event!
Event Chair - Michael Ditchfield
Humanitarian Michael Ditchfield – best-selling author, sought-after speaker, entrepreneur and former professional athlete – originally hails from Lancashire, England. Committed to addressing the humanitarian plight of developing countries, Ditchfield speaks widely on promoting empowerment while inspiring change in different cultures and individuals.
Ditchfield works with orphans of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, establishing a branch of the Sports for Peace Foundation along with promoting the Sonrise School. He also works with the international Nobel Laureate group PeaceJam, and is a consultant to the Born To Be Free Foundation and Mandela Academy in Ghana. He is an advisor to the international sports company, the Aspire Group, which takes individuals, businesses and teams to greatness.
Ditchfield was instrumental to incorporating sports into Project Mercy’s work in Ethiopia, and served as President of the Sixteenth of May Foundation which helped rebuild villages in South Sudan. Additionally, he participated in the Save Darfur campaign, speaking at the Olympic torch ceremony as the Team Darfur representative for athletes worldwide.
Ditchfield graduated from the University of Bradford before he relocated to the United States, completing graduate coursework while coaching at Penn State University. He resides in Denver, Colorado, where he served as Board President of the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action. Ditchfield remains dedicated to transforming lives by advocating for human dignity and decency across the globe.
Event Chair - Laura Calabrese Kruger
Laura Calabrese Kruger resides in Aspen, Colorado and is a part time resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is a board member for The Shining Stars Foundation and acts as Director of Events and Philanthropy. Her involvement with the Shining Stars Foundation also includes being a volunteer buddy to the children for the last 10 years. She has helped to raise significant funding by chairing events held in Aspen to benefit the Shining Stars. Mrs. Kruger is also a large supporter of other organizations which benefit children. “My desire is to make a difference in the lives of children. I feel that it is my calling to give, not just monetarily, but of my time and support. Shining Stars is my heart."
Laura is originally from New York and her other hobbies include cooking, hiking and traveling. She is married to Warren F. Kruger, a business man from Tulsa, OK, and has two step children.
Event Planner - Jan Blankennagel
Jan T. Blankennagel, President of JTB Events, Inc, has over 25 years of special events, public relations and marketing experience. She's a professional event planner with extensive and diverse experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors.
JTB Events, Inc. specializes in various types of events, from Charity Walks and Golf Tournaments, Fundraisers and Galas, Grand Openings and Launches and retail fashion show events.
Clients Include: Macy’s Department Stores, Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association, Bessie’s Hope, Invisible Disabilities Association, Goodwill Industries, Shining Stars Foundation and many more.
Live Auctioneer: Doug Tisdale is known as Mr. “It’s for Charity!” - An energetic and passionate master of ceremonies and live auctioneer for nonprofits throughout Colorado and California. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Regional Transportation District and is the RTD Director for Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Littleton, Columbine Valley and Highlands Ranch. He serves as Executive Vice President of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and is the Chair of the Colorado State Board of Registered Psychotherapists at DORA and a member of the Board of Governors at the Denver Zoo. As the CEO of Tisdale & Associates LLC, he is a globally-recognized attorney, facilitator, problem-solver and champion of causes.