When Ben Hinnen initiated the creation of an organization to raise awareness about Fragile X Syndrome, a condition that his own son suffers from, he never expected such a strong showing of support from his University of Denver classmates and community.

The Colorado Fragile X Foundation, founded in 2010 by Ben Hinnen’s Daniels College of Business Executive MBA cohort, strives to raise awareness about Fragile X Syndrome. Manifestations of the condition, a hereditary mutation of a gene on the X chromosome, include learning impairments, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities. The Foundation has organized fundraising events such as the Wild West Relay and the Elephant Rock cycling event (see photos), and has seen an enthusiastic response from the community. The alumni that created the organization maintain a high level of involvement and continuing support.

Hinnen says, “The Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver provided the framework to create the Colorado Fragile X Foundation which has been a goal of mine since my son was diagnosed”, and is pleased with the organization’s progress and impact. Individual donations and company sponsorships helped the Foundation to raise over $500,000 in 2011 alone, funding which goes toward improving caregiver education and creating events such as the Fragile X Conference that took place at the Denver Children’s Hospital on November 7, 2011.

With such a strong base of community reinforcement, the Colorado Fragile X Foundation surely has years of meaningful work in its future. Hinnen’s idea is a great example of the impactful work achieved by Daniels graduate students, and he adds, “the continued support of the foundation’s fundraisers by my fellow alumni continues to be an inspiration.”