Penny Parker On The Town: Duck Dynasty stars flying into Castle Rock

April 17, 2013

The Rock Christian Academy in Castle Rock has bagged Phil and Willie Robertson, two of the stars of the wildly popular “Duck Dynasty,” A&E’s reality series, for a speaking engagement and fundraiser beginning at 6:30 p.m. May 19 at The Douglas County Events Center.

Event organizer and Rock Academy parent Michael Brumbaugh took dead aim at the Robertson clan months ago by contacting the family’s agent and refusing to give up. His persistence paid off.

Phil and Willie will speak about “Faith, testimony, business, the importance of raising children with biblical principles and a Christian education.”

“We need to do a big event every year to continue to fund the scholarship fund,” Brumbaugh said. “I thought about it for a couple of months, then started watching ‘Duck Dynasty’. I thought, ‘These guys are great! I wonder if they do speaking engagements since they come from a Christian family?'”

The persistent parent hounded the agent until he got a “confirmed” answer. “When your heart is in something and you believe in something as strong as the Rock Academy, and how God is moving in that school, you fight for what you believe in,” he said. “This year God blessed us with ‘Duck Dynasty.'”

With 8.6 million viewers, A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” is the highest-rated reality show on cable TV. The money raised from the event’s ticket sales will help fund a 10,000-square-foot expansion of the existing building, build the school’s playground and provide financial aid and scholarships to families who can’t afford the $4,700 annual tuition.

VIP tickets (with a pre-event meet and greet) are $150; other tickets are $60 for general admission to $80 for “gold seating” right behind the VIP seats.

 “Duck Dynasty” stars Willie Robertson, top, and his dad, Phil, above, will speak at the Rock Christian Academy in Castle Rock on May 19. (A&E network photos)


Die-hard dancing Dyer

He didn’t win, but he nearly died trying. Denver philanthropist and Bouquets flowers owner BJ Dyer donned his dancing shoes and black tux to dance with partner and Colorado Ballet’s professional ballerina Casey Dalton Saturday night to compete in Dancing With Our Stars, part of Balletto di Gala, a benefit for the Colorado Ballet’s education and outreach programs.

Community leaders were paired with pro dancers to give a short performance of traditional ballroom dances such as tango, waltz, samba and more.

Each pair spent roughly six to eight hours in rehearsal and dance lessons to create a routine. The dancing amateurs were: Holly Baroway, VP investments, Stifel Nicolaus and Company, Inc.; Amelia Earhart, 9News reporter; Kathy Konopka, Denver Ballet Guild incoming president; Terri Lombardi, actress/wife of CBS4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi; Joe Maslowski, Colorado manager, Key Private Bank; Scott Sax, VP First Choice Bank/First Choice Investments; Douglas Tisdale, Cherry Hills Village mayor and Dyer.

Baroway and Colorado Ballet dancer Jesse Marks won the coveted “mirror ball trophy,” so to speak.

Though Dyer didn’t end up a dancing trophy, he did leave with his dignity in tact.

“The choreographers (said) that I had the most complicated choreography of the eight dances, as well as the most tricks (I flipped Casey over my arm, swept her through my legs, bounced her off both hips, caught her in a mid-air jump, etc. etc.),” Dyer said. “This is work for a 25-year-old, and I’m twice that. It was loads of fun, but the body didn’t recover as quickly after rehearsals as I expected. Yup … dang middle age.”

Nonetheless, Dyer played the Fred Astaire part by dancing jive to “Puttin’ on The Ritz” (the remix disco version) at The Ritz-Carlton Denver.

“The biggest winner was The Ballet, raising $140,000,” Dyer said. “I have a raised respect for the dancers and their talent. Dancing is tough on the body.”

Denver philanthropist and Bouquets flowers owner BJ Dyer, right, teamed with ballerina Casey Dalton Saturday night in Dancing With Our Stars, part of Balletto di Gala, a benefit for the Colorado Ballet’s education and outreach programs.


Dine out on April 25 

Denver-native and Project Runway All-Star winner Mondo Guerra is Dining Out for Life in Denver on April 25, and so should you.

“Dining Out for Life is our opportunity to celebrate friends, food and being truly fabulous in helping others,” says the designer, who revealed his HIV-positive status on Runway and has since become a forerunner in HIV/AIDS advocacy.

With 300 participating restaurants all over metro-Denver and Boulder donating 25 percent of the day’s sales to Project Angel Heart, there are no excuses for not dining out. So grab your family and friends and make plans to go out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on April 25.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to

Mittleman’s da man

Carl Mittleman, regional vice president for Aramark Sports and Entertainment, a provider of hospitality services at more than 150 sports and entertainment venues throughout North America (including the Pepsi Center and Coors Field), has been selected as a recipient of the “SportsBusiness Journal” Forty Under 40 Award in the Class of 2013.

The prestigious award recognizes the best and the brightest of the rising generation in sports business under the age of 40. Mittleman received the award at a ceremony earlier this month in Naples, Fla.

“Carl’s passion for and dedication to enhancing the fan experience have been instrumental in helping position Aramark as a leading hospitality partner in the sports and entertainment industry,” said Marc Bruno, president of Aramark Sports and Entertainment and a member of the Forty Under 40 Class of 2010. “This well-deserved honor not only recognizes Carl’s industry contributions, but celebrates Aramark’s commitment to nurturing talent, promoting innovation and delivering meaningful client results.”

Mittleman has spent his entire sports and entertainment career with Aramark. As a regional vice president, he is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and management at more than 60 sports venues, amphitheaters and convention centers spanning the Midwest from Colorado to Ohio.

A pairing a mother can love

Treat the mother in your life to laughs and lunch (rather, brunch, but it doesn’t rhyme) on Mother’s Day May 12.

Comedy Works South in the Landmark development is having a special brunch ( followed by a matinee show with Stand-up comedian and my former Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post colleague Sam Adams.


Eavesdropping on a wife and husband: “What are you making for breakfast on International Women’s Day?”

“I’m making you an apron so that you can put it on and make me breakfast.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email:

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