It’s hard not to love someone who gives passionately to what they are involved in and does whatever it takes, especially when it’s charity work that involves abused and neglected children. That’s my friend - and up and coming community super star - Teresa Kennedy.
Teresa moved to Denver from Ohio 11 years ago. In that time, she established a new career; met some outstanding friends; and has endeared herself to the charitable community in Colorado. Teresa is the perfect example of a selfless person who comes up with creative ideas to help the nonprofits - clamoring for her time - raise money.
Already having served on numerous fundraising and event committees, Teresa recently appeared on Channel 9’s “Colorado and Company” with Denise Plante to promote the July 31, 2010 Kempe Alliance’s “Salt on the Rim” event at the home of Mike and Peggy Shanahan – and boy did she show what a winning stage presence she has!
Teresa feels so fortunate to have a wonderful, supportive family with a mom and dad who have had a great marriage for 53 years (they still hold hands) and are always there for her. Teresa says: “This is why I feel so strongly about giving back to others, especially children that haven’t been as lucky as I have. It makes a big different in someone’s life when they have a kind and loving family, and it’s heartbreaking to see how many kids suffer, are abused and aren’t cared for.”
Teresa Kennedy has a huge heart and just radiates with love. I keep telling Teresa this is her time to shine… Calming, compassionate and supportive - you’d be in good company if you had Ms. Kennedy on your team.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? Well, if we change it to "most interesting person I know" - I would say my mother... such an interesting mix of characteristics. She has such a sweet and gentle nature - a pure heart with naiveté and a little perfectionism mixed in. Amazing strength, courage, and stoicism - I have never seen her cry. She married my father at the age of 17 and was a stay at home mother and fearless in her mission to raise us well. We were all in 4-H, and she would drive a large horse trailer on very narrow winding country roads to get us to a fair, parade, or market. She was always baking or helping us with a sewing project, or quizzing us for a spelling bee... cleaning saddles, sheering sheep, and on a snow day, playing Monopoly with us. My parents are still married, going on 53 years.
What words best describe your life right now? Ever changing, in transition... In many ways, I have never been happier.
In your eyes, what is the perfect job or career? When you are passionate about what you are doing and cannot wait to get to work or get started on a new project - that's when you know you are where you want to be.
What do you think of Denver's singles scene? It's YOUNG! - And I am not a “cougar.” I still like the car door opened for me and some of the more "old fashioned" courtesies. Instead of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” this blonde prefers a gentleman.
What charitable organizations are you – or have recently been - involved with? I am most involved with The Kempe Alliance Foundation...it is a fundraising arm for The Kempe Foundation focused on the treatment and prevention of abused and neglected children. We have our annual event "Salt on the Rim" coming up this week - Saturday July 31st at the Shanahan's home. Our yearly gala is in April (Child Abuse Month) - and this past season, we did Kempe Takes Manhattan. I chaired the Theme and Décor. It was so much fun; and we raised a good amount of money! Most of the charity work I am actively engaged in involves children’s needs: Rwanda Leadership Foundation for school support for kids in Africa, Project C.U.R.E.; and I am also chairing the Food and Wine Committee for the Taste of Greenwood Village coming up on September 30th.
Is there a non-profit event you really look forward to attending each year? "Salt on the Rim" - just a great, fun summer garden tent party!
What is your fondest childhood memory? Baking pies and making jam with my mother. Definitely NOT feeding the chickens, or driving the tractor while the boys were loading hay... though I did have a few crushes as a result.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation? Anywhere that involves all the senses and engages my mind... beautiful scenery to view, walking everywhere, smells of great street food, tastes of local cuisine, lazy afternoons and a nap, lounging over dinner at a fantastic restaurant, sounds of the city or the ocean waves, learning the history of a place.
What are your favorite leisure time activities? If I'm not cooking or entertaining, I love to be outside - walking or jogging, tennis - and a new love - golf, definitely a work in progress. I also love to travel!
Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!” When I broke my back snowmobiling...very close to paralyzed - long recovery - really realized how short life is and how time is so precious. I should have learned this lesson when my brother passed of cancer at the age of 33... It took twice for me. I was a workaholic, not taking vacations, and one-track minded on my career. Now I make the time to enjoy life as well as enjoy work and whatever charity I am supporting. More time with friends and family.
What magazine do you absolutely love to read? It's a toss up: Fine Cooking, Vogue, and Architectural Digest have been my favorites for years. My newly added favorite is The Week - I am bit of a news junkie.
Do you have a “fashion addiction?” Yes. But do a get a "pass" since my degree is in Fashion? I am not about the super trendy... it's all about the sophisticated classics with great fabrics, craftsmanship, and lines.
When you have to have a (decadent) snack, what would it be? I'm not really a snacker. I love full course meals and lounging over dinner... But since you asked, decadent snack - love aged softened brie with homemade fig preserves, French bread and a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Well, ok, I could make that dinner!
What do you like the most about yourself? My optimism - even during tough times. It's not a lack of hold on reality, it's the reverse - truly knowing what's really important and “getting” how lucky I am, and what a blessed life I have lived with my family - and as an American. Most of us have so much and so many opportunities to make choices that can improve our lives and those around us... and a positive attitude can be contagious.
What’s in the future for Teresa Kennedy? Stay Tuned.
What would you still like to learn how to do? Speak French fluently.
Do you believe you are where you are supposed to be in life? Absolutely. Where I am supposed to be is not always where I want to be, however, there are many more things I wish to accomplish, but I still try to enjoy each day and where I currently am while on that path.