Missed our Do Tell! event at Union Colony Civic Center & or would love to relive the experience again? Watch Past Do Tell! Presenters on YouTube!
“Do Tell! – Greeley Voices that Inspire” will feature compelling stories presented by local residents on stage at the Hensel Phelps Theater. The stories are not the work of professional presenters, but are based upon the experiences of “real people” who have been selected through an audition process to tell their story. The storytellers will offer an array of topics with personal and unique perspectives that have had a significant impact on the storyteller’s life in some way.
“From Canterbury Tales to modern day TED Talks, storytelling remains an enduring means to relate the human experience,” notes Becky Safarik, Greeley Creative District President.
Follow our event on Facebook for more information! Click each performer for more about what story they will be telling.
Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ: You have defining choices in life – be eaten by the dragon or be the slayer of the dragon. Dr. Wooten will share the story of some of her personal ‘dragons’ and how she faced them down. Dr. Wooten is a veterinarian, transformational speaker, wordsmith, and a woman on the verge. A 2002 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Wooten practiced small animal medicine for 16 years until she followed her true calling and became a nationally known writer and speaker. Dr. Wooten has lived in Greeley for 13 years with her husband and three kids, and together, they own two restaurants in downtown Greeley – Cranford’s Tea Tavern and the Greeley Chophouse. She is also a triathlete ambassador for Team LC, has finished a half Ironman, and competes to empower more women to the sport. In her free time, she enjoys diving with sharks, downhill skiing in Colorado, and climbing 14ers.
Rosalva Haro-Lyons: Rosalva will share the story of her rich and colorful life as a young child in Zacatecas, Mexico, her long journey to the United States, and her struggles and joys growing up as an immigrant in the United States. Rosalva lives in Greeley with her husband and two young children. She grew up in Mexico and Kersey, and attended the University of Northern Colorado where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Her first career was as a schoolteacher; she later transitioned to work with the federal government. Rosalva has been involved with numerous community activities and civic boards. Her parents and five brothers continue to live in Greeley and the surrounding area.
Mitzi M. Moran: A story about gratitude, winding through a rare illness with odd symptoms and how a kind intervention by a stranger helped my husband to diagnosis and ultimately treatment. Born in Colorado, Mitzi was raised as the 4th generation on the family farm in Yuma, and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. While attending UNC, Mitzi’s work in health care began at North Colorado Medical Center, where she held a variety of positions. Her expansive experience led her in 1988 to become the clinic manager, and later CEO, at Sunrise Community Health. Mitzi was recognized as a BizWest Media Northern Colorado Women of Distinction Honoree in Health Care and as a North Range Behavioral Health Community Champion, and volunteers on several state and local boards, including Colorado Access and KUNC. She and her husband, Jeff Fisher, have 3 children. Hanging in Mitzi’s office is this grounding thought: “We are completely at choice who we will be today in our interactions with others. Compassionate, kind, giving, and forgiving will create one set of probabilities. Angry, judgmental, critical, and defensive will create another one altogether.”
Jordan Yates: Diagnosed with depression at age 13, Jordan struggled to find her place as a young person unabashedly honest and lighthearted about her own mental illness — until she stumbled upon an online community of writers, and used her story as a force for change. Jordan is a writer, Wyoming native, and mental health advocate. She works as a social media ghostwriter and has been featured on Huffington Post, Apple News, and The Mighty. She is also an English major at the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time, she enjoys acting, building puzzles, and spending time with her dog nephew, Thor.
Diana Vasquez: As a young girl working alongside her migrant parents in the fields, Diana dreamed of a better future. She will share her struggles, the negative messages; the discrimination of her growing-up era and how she overcame those obstacles, to not only achieve her dream, but surpass it as she went from working in the fields to managing millions of dollars for organizations. Diana will use her love of dance to convey her special story about overcoming obstacles and trauma and fulfilling her dreams. Diana has served as CFO and Vice President of Finance and Administration of multiple organizations. She is the past president of the Hispanic Chamber, the Hispanic Women of Weld County and a former member of the Greeley-Evans Board of Education. She has two sons, two grandchildren and one daughter-in-law. Now retired from her financial career, Diana teaches dance and choreographs dances for special events.
Allison M. Dunning: Growing up with recovering alcoholic parents, to her own recovery from drugs and alcohol, Allison found her passion and embraced the drive to build an unlikely business. Her story shares some of the crazy adventures and trials as both a practicing alcoholic and a recovering alcoholic, and shares the journey to her success as a world-recognized balloon artist. Allison Dunning has lived in Greeley with her husband Brian and their three daughters for 18 years, building the Merry Makers LLC and Balloon Art by Merry Makers businesses into what they are today. Merry Makers LLC is an entertainment business that provides Award Winning balloon artists, face painting, glitter tattoos, caricatures, magicians, and even Santa! Balloon Art by Merry Makers works with corporate and company event planners to create fun, fabulous and friendly events out of balloons: including Award Winning dance floor canopies, arches, columns, balloon drops, and bouquets that will make your event stand out from the rest! Allison is on the board of the Greeley Creative District as well as numerous other community organizations, is also a ceramic & stained/fused glass artist, as well as a Bee Guardian and avid gardener.
Dr. Robert Kahn: Born in Mainz, Germany in 1931 young Robert viewed firsthand the rise of Nazism and watched as his father and grandfathers were arrested by the Gestapo, who entered the family home on ‘Crystal Night.’ Dr. Kahn will relate how his mother secured the release of his father from the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and how they reunited in Holland, and will tell of attacks by Hitler Youths, school problems, and other experiences arising from this sad page of history. Dr. Kahn has spoken extensively to schools, churches and Synagogue, at the Holocaust Memorial, area service clubs, and the Story Corp in Cheyenne WY.
Shawna Cranmer: Perseverance has been Shawna’s response to not one, but multiple life challenges: enduring as a teen mom, surviving domestic violence, and battling substance abuse. Through it all Shawna has found herself through helping others. Shawna will share her story of recovery with slides and a view to the strength within that comes with service to those who are struggling with similar challenges. Shawna works at North Range Behavioral Health and is also a student.
Josh Aho: The quest to climb all of Colorado’s fourteen-thousand-foot peaks stretched into an eleven-year adventure for a golden retriever named Sawyer and his owner, Josh. Attempting to be just the second dog/man team in history to achieve this ambition proved a life-changing event. Josh will share the story of friendship, failure, and faith and what fueled this enduring challenge. Josh chronicled his story in a self-published book and website. When he is not climbing Colorado’s mountains, he is the Graphics Technician for the High Plains Library District.
Michael Olivier: Childhood abuse left its painful marks of anxiety and depression. But, seeking –and finding – community in art and music became a catalyst for positive change and healing, and formed a talented musician. Michael will accompany his story with guitar playing and singing as he shares his journey to leave the past and embrace positive change. Michael is a gigging musician, professional audio engineer, and member of the Greeley arts community.
Danielle Bock: Selecting a public restroom or changing room is a straightforward decision for most. Not so, for those who identify in non-traditional gender roles. This story presents a personal perspective on the opportunity to support diversity in a broader and more inclusive way in our community. Danielle will share the experience of living as a gender-neutral adult in Greeley with the hope that this story will offer others, especially children, the ability to overcome a fear of not belonging anywhere in this world. Danielle is the Director of Nutrition Services for Greeley-Evans School District 6, a partner, and parent.
Sandi Elder: A young girl transcends from a childhood full of difficult struggles to adulthood, but learns that she has inherited the polycystic kidney disease that took her father’s life when she was 10 yrs. old. She has married, raised two children, and welcomed grandchildren, when the disease finally threatened to take its deadly toll on her, too. Sandi will share a video and her story of courage, faith and the commitment and that of her and her live kidney donor, and her gift of life. Sandi has served on the Greeley City Council for the last 8 years and in numerous related leadership and community service capacities. She is a dedicated volunteer and community advocate; she and her husband, Willie, are the proud parents of a son and daughter who each serve Greeley in public safety careers.
Everett James Gonzales, Jr: Everett takes the term ‘over-achiever’ to new limits but does so, remarkably, with an anxiety disorder. His story “Gold Stars or Fool’s Gold?: Achievement for Anxiety’s Sake” will illuminate the reality of the effects of setting the bar dangerously too high, and will convey how achievement, as with all things, should be done in moderation.
Yendra Tencza: Two strong family matriarchs offer powerful testimony to the role fear, and bravery, have over a lifetime. Yendra will share her personal journey gleaned from these women who hailed from different cultures, socio-economic groups, traditions and cultures. In her talk, “A Heritage of Fear”, she will share how she reconciled who these women were with the fear that seemed to hold them back.
Roger DeWitt: The massacre of Israeli athletes and coaches during the Munich Olympics in 1972 left a wounded city and surreal aftereffects for Germans, for Arab workers in the city, and for Jewish colleagues who shared employment with Roger through the Olympic Committee. The “Knappertsbuschstrasse Encounter” is Roger’s story of a surprising encounter with a young German couple and an elderly citizen of Munich which introduced him to a powerful, human urge to make something right at a time when everything had gone horribly wrong.
Patti Paiz-Jones: As a career educator, Patti looks forward to assisting her students’ growth as artists both in technical skills and personal expression. She had a special mentor, a high school teacher that changed her life and greatly influenced the path she would follow for the next 35 years. “Leading the Way” is her story of gratitude.
Jessica Cooney & El Teatro: In the course of teaching her refugee and immigrant students, Jessica bears witness to their resilience and ability to overcome adversity. Through their experience Jessica, too, has changed and discovered inspiration in her life and within all of us. “What Makes You Beautiful” is the title of her talk.
Goldie Augustmoon: A lifetime of challenges and trauma can define a person. Goldie will share how she has taken her experiences and found a way to thrive through them with her talk: “I Choose Life, Mud and All”.
Felecia Burke: In her talk, “Family Obligations – If you like it or not”, Felecia will share her tale of meeting extraordinary life and death challenges with her family, not once, but multiple times, and how she views such situations as a small price to pay for the benefits of family love and support.
Dan England: In his talk, “Scaring my self-esteem straight”, Dan will share his story of one climb that probably should have killed him and relate how, when mountain climbing at times may have nearly cost him his life, it also probably saved it.