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CKF Honors Key Donors at Founders Circle

The evening of August 22nd was a special night for the Chris Klug Foundation. The night marked CKF’s Third Annual Founders Circle Dinner; an event created to recognize and honor key stakeholders and supporters of the Foundation.

The work of CKF is made possible largely because of the generous contributions of numerous community members. These individuals contribute time, talents, and monetary gifts to support the Foundation’s efforts to advocate for organ donation and inspire individuals to register as donors.

On this night, CKF hosted more than 70 community members at the Klug residence to express gratitude for the continued confidence and generosity shown toward the mission of the organization. CKF staff, board members, financial contributors, and other key stakeholders attended the event.


During the evening, Founder and CKF Chairman, Chris Klug expressed thanks for the contributions of those present and highlighted key organizational accomplishments. Executive Director, Lauren Pierce also expressed her gratitude and introduced the evening’s special guest, Steve Ast.

Ast, of Denver, Colorado was invited to serve as the guest of honor. Just seven months after his heart transplant in October, 2017, he completed the grueling mountain bike race, “Ride the Rockies.” The six-day race totaled nearly 450 miles and challenged riders with elevation gains in excess of 7,000 feet in a single day. After receiving his transplant, Ast trained relentlessly for the race, while using his efforts to raise money for the Chris Klug Foundation.

Ast inspired event attendees with an emotional recounting of his transplant experience. He also emphasized the importance of recognizing and supporting the caretaker of new transplant recipients, as he acknowledged the critical role his family played in his recovery. The message made an emotional impact on the group, drawing applause and moving many to tears. His message, “I’m here because someone chose to donate,” reflects the CKF mission, to save lives.

Live music provided by Mack Bailey and food from Slow Groovin’ BBQ created a pleasant atmosphere for those in attendance. During the evening, attendees engaged in conversation centered on their common passion to promote organ donation. The genuine desire to support the CKF mission was on full display throughout the night.

Additionally, CKF Founders Circle members will receive recognition on a plaque to be displayed at UCHealth in Denver. The plaque will hang alongside the painting featured here titled, “Chance at Gold,” donated by Aspen artist, Nancy Kullgren.

CKF is grateful for the opportunity to highlight key contributors annually at the Founders Circle Dinner, and now at the display at UCHealth. These supporters continue to make the lifesaving work of the Foundation possible.

CKF would also like to express special thanks to Mack Bailey for donating his musical talents during the evening and Aspen Square Hotel and Warren Klug who continue to support the Foundation in numerous ways.  CKF is also grateful to Slow Groovin’ BBQ for helping provide delicious food, to Aspen Sojourner for donating wine, and Roaring Fork Beer Company for donating beer for the evening.




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