Wednesday, October 13, 2021


2021 Annual Gala




Annual Gala 2021 Logo - Orange graduation cap with white cursive writing

2021 DSF

Presented by Stead Family Foundation

Join us for the 2021 Denver Scholarship Foundation's (DSF) Annual Gala! At this year’s event, guests will celebrate and connect with DSF Scholars, learn more about our nationally recognized programs, and hear inspirational remarks from guest speakers. Proceeds from the DSF Annual Gala will make it possible for thousands of Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) graduates to complete a college degree.




Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center



Masks are required when not actively eating or drinking. Thank you for celebrating with us, and helping to keep one another safe!
*With the health and safety of our community as our top priority, event details are subject to change based on CDC, Hyatt, and DSF guidelines.

Christopher Gray wearing a blue button up shirt, crosses his arms in front of a gray wall. He is smiling.


Christopher Gray

Christopher Gray is the founder and chief executive officer of Scholly, a mobile and web app that helps students find scholarships for college. Scholly was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, landing a deal with Daymond John and Lori Greiner and sparking the biggest fight in Shark Tank history.

Raised in poverty and often homeless, Christopher's dreams of attending college seemed unattainable until he won $1.3 million in scholarships. While a student at Drexel University, he turned his experience into an enterprise and created an app - Scholly. Christopher wanted other students to have a way of easily finding and applying for scholarships that would enable them to attend college, advance their earning potential, and keep them out of debt. There was and is a lot of scholarship money available. The problem was finding it.

Since its inception in 2014, Scholly has helped its 2 million subscribers find more than $100 million in scholarships to pay for higher education. Scholly is the 2017 National Parenting Product Award Winner in the mobile app category. In early 2018, Christopher launched Scholly Scholarship Summit, a live touring event and workshop that provides educational guidance and equips young Americans with the tools necessary to achieve their higher education goals.

Student debt in the United States is $1.3 Trillion. Now, more than ever, students need to find creative ways to pay for college. Scholly makes finding and winning scholarships easy. The app allows users to apply for multiple scholarships at once - customizing each individual search thereby allowing users to save time. Scholly’s core value is to make quality education accessible and affordable for everyone.

Christopher has been featured in the New York Times, People, O Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and more. He made the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Social Entrepreneurship, making the top of the list. Christopher is one of Oprah’s Inaugural Super Soul 100 honorees, Oprah’s list of her favorite people. He is a regular contributor to

Christopher has been a speaker at events such as the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Summit, Steve Harvey’s Disney Dreamers Academy, Usher’s New Look Conference, The Will and Jada Smith Foundation CIE Tour, The Smithsonian Museum, Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, Forbes’ I.D.E.A. Summit, Coca-Cola Scholars Program, Asomugha Foundation College Summit, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, TEDx San Diego and Best Buddies International Leadership Summit. He has served as a guest lecturer at Stanford University. Christopher is also a U.S. Embassy Speaker for the U.S. State Department, speaking at U.S. Embassies across the world about social entrepreneurship, tech, and diversity. Christopher is the recipient of Information Technology Senior Management Forum’s (ITSMF) 2018 Beacon Award and the 2016 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.


Thank you to our sponsors!  

Our 2021 Presenting Sponsor

Stead Family Foundation

$100,000 • Success Sponsors

Aimee and Jonathan Coleman

Cydney and Tom Marsico 

$25,000 • Scholar Sponsors

The Anschutz Foundation Logo
Bohemian Foundation Logo
Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman

Delta Dental of Colorado Logo
The Fulenwider Family

Erin and Andy Miller and Erin and Andy Miller and Copley Equity Partners Logo
Tom Wattles

Britney and Richard Weil


$10,000 • Impact Sponsors

Libby Anschutz and Jeff Allen

Colorado School of Mines

Comfort Dental

John Elofson and Davis Graham & Stubbs


HealthONE Hospitals

Robin Hickenlooper and Senator John Hickenlooper

Marisa Hudson-Arney and Ryan Arney

Therese Ivancovich and Greg Sissel

The Madison Group, Inc.

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Alex and Shawn Neville


Linda and Richard Schierburg

Thiry O'Leary Foundation

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Denver

Sheila and Willy Walker

Kristin and Bill Waters

$3,000 • Opportunity Sponsors

Alpine Bank

Rachel and Tom Brady

Colorado Community College System

Shirika and James Cousin

dovetail solutions

Empower Retirement


Hilary and Adam Haynes

Alisha Hubbell and Graig Bears

Ibex Investors

Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC

HuyenThi Le

Evi and Evan Makovsky, NAI Shames Makovsky

McGeady Becher P.C.

Moye White LLP

NexGen Resources Corporation by Judy and Charlie McNeil

PDC Energy

Plante Moran

RevGen Partners

Wouter van Kempen

Media Sponsors

$15,000 • Access Sponsors

Linda and Roger Bowman

Dana and Barry Dorfman

Cathey and Richard Finlon

Jody and Scott Nycum

$5,000 • Pathway Sponsors

Melinda and Ash Alankar


Ball Foundation

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Colorado State University System

Shannon Connery and James Angell


East West Partners



First Western Trust Bank

Robin and Jonathan Gear

Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Steve Kelso

Michelle and John Hanley

Holland & Knight LLP

Eric Holt

Janet and John Hudson

Karen and John Ikard

IMA Financial Group

Gayla Lewis and W. Duke DeGrassi

Liberty Global

Katie MacWilliams

Maria Arias Solutions

Dianna and Craig May

Rebecca and Kevin McMahon

Metropolitan State University of Denver

PNC Bank


Ready Foods

Robinson Waters & O'Dorisio

Julie and Ron Sachs

University of Colorado Denver

U.S. Bank

Xcel Energy

Click the buttons below to explore sponsorship opportunities or reach out to our team to purchase a sponsorship


789 Sherman Street, Suite 610
Denver, Colorado 80203
303.951.4140 |

For scholarship questions:
303.640.6564 |

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