Kirk Montgomery sets off for a land far far away

And speaking of 9News staff shifts …

Entertainment expert and all-around nice guy Kirk Montgomery got a snappy send-off Monday night at Panzano where friends and fans gathered to bid Montgomery adieu as he prepares to move to Lansing, Mich., and take over an anchor of the 4 p.m. newscast.

Montgomery pal chef Elise Wiggins put out a big spread to honor her friend. Additional party organizers were Kelly Rush, Tommy Collier and Mark Callaghan.

The crowd represented many members of Denver’s theater world, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and his actress-singer wife, Mary Louise Lee made a surprise appearance.

Panzano assistant pastry chef Isabel Burson crafted a cake worthy of Capt. Kirk (Montgomery) with authentic Klingon letters.

Spotted in the crowd were Jenny Schiavone and her husband, Travis; Melanie Mayner; MichelleMel” Gibson; Keri Christiansen; Denver Center Performing Arts scribe John Moore; PR princess Lynn Bronikowski; May D&F tower owner Holly Kylberg and stylist to the stars, Patti Shyne.

Kirk gave a speech thanking all his friends and saying Denver will always be home.

“There are no words. Overcome. Thank you,” Montgomery posted on his Facebook page. “Elise Wiggins, Kelly K. Rush, Mark Callaghan (and) Tommy Collier for putting together my goodbye party. So many special friends. So many surprises like Mary Louise Lee, Michael Hancock and Rich Ross — I love you Colorado — so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Kirk Montgomery with Panzano chef Elise Wiggins. Montgomery's send-off included a Star Trek themed cake. (Panzano photos)

Kirk Montgomery with Panzano chef Elise Wiggins. Montgomery’s send-off included a Star Trek themed cake (below). (Panzano photos) Kirk Montgomery cake