- The Washington Times - Friday, December 10, 1999

Money. It’s something the Heritage Foundation has in abundance these days. It has so much, in fact, that the conservative think tank’s president, Edwin Feulner, could not resist carrying the amount written on the back of a business card tucked in his pocket Wednesday night at its 25th Anniversary Leadership for America Finale Dinner, so named to mark the end of a two-year fund-raising campaign.
“Did you get that?” he asked a passing reporter at the JW Marriott hotel, pulling out the card and displaying it next to a gigantic grin. One hundred million, nine hundred and fifty seven thousand, three hundred and seventy two dollars, it read.
Yes, that’s $100,957,372 the result of a campaign during which organizers hoped to raise a mere $85 million. It was kicked off two years ago with a massive dinner at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Northwest featuring former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain as the guest speaker.
At that dinner, it fell to soft-spoken Heritage Foundation Chairman David Brown to bring up the sticky topic of soliciting funding for the organization. He recalled the occasion Wednesday night.
“Two years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of talking about money, and tonight Ed Meese gets to talk about money when it’s all a big success,” Mr. Brown said with a sardonic smile, referring to the evening’s master of ceremonies. “What have I done wrong, Ed?”
Apparently nothing, Mr. Brown. After the subject was broached, the funds began to pour in. Nineteen foundations or individuals gave at least $1 million, including the Sarah Scaife Foundation (represented Wednesday by Jay Gartland); the John M. Olin Foundation; B. Kenneth Simon of Pittsburgh, Pa.; T. Nash and Gloria Broaddus of Irvington, Va.; the Jay and Betty van Andel Foundation and the evening’s Clare Boothe Luce Award honoree, Joseph Coors.
Mr. Coors was being honored for his unfailing support for the foundation since he, Edward Noble and Richard Scaife kicked in the start-up funds for the storefront foundation that was then, as Mr. Feulner likes to say, the feisty new kid on the conservative block.
Today, the Heritage Foundation is an internationally respected forum for conservative thought with an eight-story office building two blocks from the Capitol, 180 employees and a $30 million annual budget. It has experienced the kind of growth that is a familiar concept for Mr. Coors, who watched his German-immigrant father build up the Adolph Coors Co. from very few resources to create America’s third-largest brewery.
But success for Coors was not without its struggles. In the 1920s, Prohibition threw a wrench into his father’s plans, Mr. Coors explained to an audience of America’s most prominent conservatives, including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Cato Institute President Ed Crane, writer Midge Decter, Empower America’s William Bennett and former Sen. Malcolm Wallop.
“Just about the time he had really made it, the voters of this country put him out of business,” Mr. Coors said of his father’s luck at the time of the government crackdown on alcohol. “That’s one of the reasons I started this thing,” he added with a chuckle.
Since then, the rewards of working with the Heritage Foundation have exceeded all of his expectations, Mr. Coors said.
“Nothing has ever happened in my life that has made me prouder than I am tonight to receive this award.”

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