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Campus Life

Inspirational story highlights Friends of the Haven gala

Event raises a record $177,000 for treatment, education services

Author Staff | Publish Date July 2, 2019

A hugely successful annual gala put the focus on the Friends of the Haven, with proceeds going to support unfunded programs and services at the Haven and Baby Haven. The programs are located within the Addiction Research & Treatment Services (ARTS) organization in the Department of Psychiatry, CU School of Medicine.

Kristen-Dixion_JoeRuble_GalaINS1-588x331A crowd of 229 guests, including more than 100 new supporters, attended the springtime event at CU South Denver in Lone Tree. The gala raised $177,000 – the most in the event’s history.

The Haven and Baby Haven

Friends of the Haven is a nonprofit 501 [c]3 organization formed in 2006 by a group of concerned and committed community leaders with a mission to generate new resources and to advocate on behalf of The Haven and Baby Haven. The Haven provides long-term intensive residential substance use disorder and mental health treatment services for women, including pregnant and post-partum women.

At the Haven Mom’s House, infants reside in the program with their mothers and receive comprehensive assessment and a continuum of developmentally appropriate early education services at the Baby Haven.

Inspirational story


Tom Crowley and Tom Brewster

Tom Crowley, emeritus professor of psychiatry, left, presented the 2019 Changing Lives Award to Tom Brewster for a career dedicated to supporting the recovery community.


The gala, sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry, featured a former Haven graduate who provided a powerful story about how substance use personally affected her and her family and how long-term treatment at the Haven completely turned her life around and led to personal and professional success. She shared the stage with her 19-year-old daughter who remarkably was once a baby at the Baby Haven and now attends college in Colorado.

Following this inspirational story, the gala’s keynote speaker, state Rep. Leslie Herod described her passion and work in support of criminal justice and mental health at the legislative level and also shared her own family experience with substance use disorders.

For the first time in the gala’s history, Tom Crowley, MD, emeritus professor of psychiatry (retired) and former chair of the Division of Substance Dependence in the Department of Psychiatry presented the 2019 Changing Lives Award to Tom Brewster for a career dedicated to supporting the recovery community. As the retired founder and former executive director of ARTS, Brewster was recognized for visionary leadership and for saving many lives over the course of his 40-plus-year career.

Friends of the Haven plans to host the spring 2020 gala in the same venue.