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Lakewood months of dating

The divorce papers took Vickie McGinty by surprise. Distraught and alone after 22 years of marriage, she turned to friends and family — and to a stranger with a soothing voice and a sunny message. She had discovered Joel Osteen's sermons a few months earlier.

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He pulls up at the house at the agreed upon time, sharp. He adjusts his tie and leans back to grab the hat lying on the backseat. After politely turning down a glass of seltzer, making small talk with the parents, and stuttering through a retrospectively too-complex dvar Torah, the girl finally makes her appearance and the couple leaves the house. As they drive down the highway making light chitchat, music plays softly in the background. When they reach the tastefully decorated hotel lobby, he orders a Coke and she opts for water.

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Basquez, has built a business bringing people together and not just Catholics.

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She says she creates a space where "intentional dating" can take place, with an aim towards marriage, not just "falling into the big dating pool in Denver," she said. Lakewood's historic Casa Bonita restaurant was the site of Basquez's most recent speed-dating event Sunday.

Fourteen men and women met to chat for five-to-seven minutes and possibly find someone they might want to follow up with later.

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Basquez started the event with a prayer and gave a pep-talk to the nervous daters. Maybe you don't know 'this is definitely going to be the person I marry,' the second you meet them," she said. A former daily newspaper journalist and food critic, Basquez started with a traveling Catholic dinner group called the Last Supper Club.

She keeps on the lookout for restaurants where she can bring people together. Perhaps as an advance glimpse of married life with small children, Casa Bonita was in its full glory Sunday with raging waterfalls, stage shows and a stunt person in a gorilla suit.

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No flame jugglers were working this particular lunch, but some speed daters appeared to flinch at the fake gunshots punctuating their conversation. The over-the-top Mexican restaurant opened in a mall in and has been a Denver-area institution for decades on West Colfax Avenue. Several daters said they hadn't been inside Casa Bonita since they were.

Others said they'd seen it parodied on the show South Park. Daters did not partake of the arcade games or stumble through Black Bart's Cave, the haunted tunnel.

They had some speed-dating to do. Basquez ased them to partners, then rang a bell to al it was time to switch seats and make notes on a cheat sheet. So far, Basquez says her company, Catholic Speed Dating, and affiliated blind dating match service Faith Match, have been credited with 30 marriages — and even more people have used her service and later found someone to marry. She said many are professionals, doctors, dentists, FBI agents, people who travel for work and don't really socialize with people who would make good marriage partners. A string of nuptials after her first event led her to think she was providing a service that was needed -- and divinely inspired.

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We're not in high school anymore," she said. For some, taking part in the exercise opens their eyes to the redeeming qualities of an old flame.

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Basquez said she's had several people who "reconciled" with an ex after participating. She's been married for 57 years. After that, people are less jittery.

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John from Westminster, a repeat customer, said he usually asks women about their interests and how they spend their leisure time. Seamus, an IT professional, said he never has any set questions for women because he likes to "see if there's chemistry. Plus, it forces you to get out and spend a couple hours talking to people," he said.

Denver catholic speed-dating at casa bonita

Basquez always cautions daters to never write someone off. A priest she knew gave the best dating advice, she said. Look for someone who is both emotionally and spiritually mature. But "there is peace in the presence of others, even in the absence of answers," she said, quoting a favorite author. When we are intentional and focus, we can get ," she said. At Casa Bonita, love is a cowboy show, a foot waterfall and a guy in a gorilla suit. Find out what's happening in Lakewood with free, real-time updates from Patch.

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