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Spotlighting the highlights of a long year
Photo courtesy: King Soopers/Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo, Kayley’s Kupcakes,

By Joshua Pilkington

Much like the year before it, 2018 has been a year of scathing revelations, scandalous stories and scary omens for the immediate future.

Regardless, we power on because it is physically impossible to change the past. In this annual recap of the year’s events we focus on those stories that served as highlights in a long and often dreary year.

January brought the unique opportunity to watch a premier of the Warner Bros. film 12 Strong. Though we were not able to meet acting protagonists, Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, we were able to meet the real-life soldiers they portrayed in the film namely Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Pennington and Capt. Mark Nutsch who led the Green Berets of ODA-595, better known as the “horse soldiers”, to battle in Afghanistan.

“There are incredible stories yet to be told,” Nutsch said of the attention he and his officers had received from the film. “We hope that this film will help shed some light on that and inspire people to read more and learn more about the real men and women and the real missions that happened in that historic period right after 9/11.”

Being the month of lovers that it is, February presented a unique opportunity to get to know a couple that had been together for over 50 years.

Germán Alvarez and his wife Francisca met at a church function and slowly, but surely came to form a long-time relationships as friends and companions. Both said that the secret to their success is faith. Faith in each other and in themselves, even when the task at hand seems daunting.

“When I proposed I was doubtful that she would say, ‘yes,’” Germán said. “I knew I wasn’t husband material and that she could do far better, so I asked her if she would take a leap of faith and be my wife. When she turned around and asked me to do the same thing so she could go to nursing school in Colorado, I couldn’t say no.”

In March we remembered the legacy of Eva Nuánez a 4-foot, 5-inch giant who wowed anyone who had the chance to hear her play the violin.

According to her nephew Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo - himself an accomplished musician and affiliate professor of music at Metropolitan State University of Denver - Nuánez was as influential as they come.

“She was my greatest influence as a musician and vocalist,” he said. “I would watch her play with her group when I was a child and would love to mimic her songs even to this day. My style of music is profoundly rooted in the pieces and music I learned from her.”

May gave us a chance to catch up with King Soopers and their partnership with Kaley McGill, whose cupcakes, known as Kayley’s Kupcakes, were sold in stores throughout 2018. Though dealing with the complications of skeletal dysplasia and dwarfism, Kaley McGill decided to give back to the Children’s Hospital community that had given her so much through multiple visits and surgeries, so she created a cupcake whose proceeds would be donated directly to Children’s Hospital of Colorado.

An equally heart-warming story come from Arc Thrift Stores whose conscious effort to employ people with disabilities continues to serve a community and lift the hearts of patrons and employees alike.

“They add to the value of what arc Thrift is about,” said Erick Martinez, Vice President of Retail Operations of the companies ambassadors. “What we’ve found is our employees really appreciate that. When they are working alongside our ambassadors they get to connect with them more. They get to hear their struggles and their successes and I think it brings a lot more meaning to their work, to know that what they’re doing is benefitting people.”





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