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Community involvement runs deep for Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld

Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld are the recipients of the 2007 Founders Day Evans Award. Photo courtesy of Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld

Arlene Hirschfeld (BA English ’66) doesn’t talk about her own achievements, so it’s a good thing she’s married to a man who isn’t afraid to gush about her. Barry Hirschfeld (MBA ’66) says he’s not half as busy as Arlene. She, on the other hand, reminds him of his business genius and myriad community efforts that keep him going morning ’til night.

Passion for community, great teamwork and humility — it’s no wonder the Hirschfelds are recipients of the 2007 Founders Day Evans Award.

The two grew up as friends, and after an extended courtship — “I only started to like him after we broke up,” Arlene says — the two married in December 1966. Arlene taught English at Abraham Lincoln High School then stayed home to raise their two sons while Barry ran the family business, A.B. Hirschfeld Press (now known as National Hirschfeld), which was founded in 1907.

The Hirschfelds’ community involvement runs deep. Most recently, as a member of the Denver Art Museum’s board of trustees, Arlene helped raise $47 million for the museum’s Hamilton Building. She also chairs the Rose Community Foundation and previously served as a board member or volunteer for the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Women’s Foundation, Breathe Better Foundation, Children’s Diabetes Foundation at Denver, Mizel Museum, Harvard University Divinity School, Junior League of Denver, Graland Country Day School, and more.

“People like to be associated with a winner,” says her husband. “Everything she touches works.”

“That’s the pot calling the kettle black,” Arlene quips.

Barry was instrumental in establishing the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and says he’s most proud of its initial passage by Denver voters during a tough economic period. (“People taxed themselves to fund the cultural arts. That’s extraordinary!”) He also serves or has served as a board member or volunteer for Xcel Energy, Mountain States Employers Council, Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Colorado Concern, Colorado Forum, Clyfford Still Museum, Denver Art Museum, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, National Jewish Center, American Transplant Foundation, Up With People, Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Graland Country Day School and the Boettcher Foundation, among others.

Dick Robinson, co-CEO of Robinson Dairy, has known Barry and Arlene their entire lives and has volunteered with both of them.

“I don’t think either one of them sleeps! You can call them at three in the morning and they’re up talking to each other,” he says. “Talk about the Energizer Bunny! They keep on going and going and going.”

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