ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --This May, the Mizel Institute will honor Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen for his philanthropic leadership throughout the state of Colorado.
He is set to receive the 2013 Community Enrichment Award at the institute's Annual Gala Dinner at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on May 22.
In the meantime, Colorado's leaders have chimed in on how deserving Bowlen is of the recognition.
"Pat Bowlen's passion is not just about fielding a great football team," said Governor John Hickenlooper, who will be featured in a video acknowledging Bowlen before he receives the award. "He brings a unique intensity to everything he does and that's lead to a Broncos brand that's bigger than football, it has become part of the fabric of the community, and Pat is part of this city's heart and soul."
Bowlen, owner of the Broncos since 1984, is being recognized for a number of initiatives, not the least of which is Denver Broncos Charities, which has donated more than $25 million to charitable organizations in Denver and surrounding areas since the inception of the fund in 1993. Bowlen is the chairman of the board.
He has also served as the Honorary Chairman of the Colorado Special Olympics for the past 19 years and as Honorary Chairman of the Stadium Stampede (formerly the Colorado Family Classic) benefitting St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation for 28 years. Other organizations benefiting from Bowlen's leadership and participation include the University of Denver, Capuchin Friars, University of Northern Colorado, Rose Medical Center, American Ireland Fund, Irish Community Center, Hawaii Maritime Center, Alberta Bar Association, Law Society of Alberta and the Young Presidents' Organization.
He was elected to the University of Denver Board of Trustees in 1987 and is currently a member of the DU Athletic Affairs Committee. Previously, he served on the Institutional Advancement Committee and the Institutional Advancement/University Relations subcommittee.
Under Bowlen's leadership, the Broncos have partnered with and supported a variety of causes throughout the community, including Bonfils Blood Center, the NFL's Play 60 program, the Inner City Health Center, HealthONE's Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Food Bank of the Rockies, the Denver Metropolitan chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Denver Rescue Mission, the American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, The United Way and Denver Public School Athletics.
Hickenlooper, a previous winner of the award Bowlen is set to receive, said the Broncos owner provides far more to the state than just football.
"In Colorado we are struggling to find ways to give all kids a fair chance," Hickenlooper said. "No one tries harder than Pat Bowlen — he lobbies for kids, gives them a hand up and a running start toward their futures."
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will also be featured in the video during the awards banquet. Both Colorado leaders spent time at Sports Authority Field at Mile High last week to share their thoughts on Bowlen's humanitarian work.
The Mizel Institute is now in its 31st year as a nationally recognized institution comprised of two distinct programs -- the Mizel Museum of Jewish art, culture and history, and the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab.
For more information on the banquet honoring Bowlen, or to order tickets, visit MizelInsitute.org.