Thursday, December 30, 2010

Congratulations Eric!

We’d like to send our congratulations to Eric Wallace, who recently was honored by the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce with the 2010 “Making a Difference” Award.

We can’t think of a more deserving recipient. Not only does Eric serve on the Imagine! Foundation Board of Directors, he also demonstrates Imagine!’s mission in action by providing employment opportunities at Left Hand Brewery to many of the people Imagine! serves. Eric is the President and co-founder of the popular Longmont-based brewery, which has hosted a variety of fundraising events in the past for many great causes.

In addition to serving on the Imagine! Foundation Board, he also serves on the Colorado Shakespeare Festival Advisory Board, and is the President of the Colorado Brewers Guild.

Thanks Eric for all you do for Imagine! and for your community!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Colorado Gives Day Update

Colorado Gives Day on December 8, 2010, a new initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving, resulted in $4,405 in donations to Imagine!, including $820 from Imagine! employees.

A portion of this amount will be matched by Community First Foundation’s Incentive Fund to augment this total.

Thanks to the generosity of our employees, the employee campaign – Transcend $10,000 – is now at nearly $5,000 donated on behalf of Imagine!’s consumers.

Thanks to all who contributed!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Colorado Gives Day Is Today

Donate to Imagine! this Holiday Season and increase the value of your gift TODAY, December 8.

Imagine! is participating in this new initiative that will help raise $1 million in one day for charities. Help us bring in our share!

TODAY UNTIL MIDNIGHT, you have an opportunity to increase the value of your gift. FirstBank has provided $250,000 as the lead gift for a Colorado Gives Day Incentive Fund that will leverage donations made through The Incentive Fund (now at $320,000!) will be proportionally allocated across all donations received today, increasing the value of each gift. In addition, 100% of your online gift and the extra incentive will go to Imagine! – no bank fees! Just go to the Imagine! website at: and press the Donate Here! button on the right hand side. It will take you directly to Imagine!'s page on the Giving First website. Note: Imagine! Celebration ticket, table, and sponsorship purchases (because you receive goods -- dinners -- back in return) are not eligible.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanks To Dave Query and Big Red F Restaurant Group

This past Thursday, Dave Query, owner of Big Red F Restaurant Group, once again treated Imagine! clients and their families to a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.

Query donated the makings for a delicious Zolo-style repast with all the trimmings, and the wait staff volunteered its time. There was no charge for the meal for the clients and their families, and no tips were necessary. Query said that he just likes to make the day a little easier for families associated with Imagine!.

This is the seventh year Query has offered this generous opportunity, and in the last six years, The Big Red F Restaurant Group has donated Thanksgiving dinner to over 2,500 Imagine! clients and families.

So here’s a post-Thanksgiving thanks to Dave and his staff for providing such a fantastic holiday meal to Imagine! families.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Imagine! In The News

Imagine! staff members work hard to share the successes of our organizations and the people we serve with the community at large, so everyone can see the contributions individuals with developmental disabilities can make if given the opportunity.

One way we do this is by sharing stories with members of the local media. A couple of examples are below.

You may be aware that some students in a CORE/Labor Source journalism class have been having articles they have written appear in the Times Call. The one linked below, which ran in the paper on November 14, is especially thoughtful, as one of the people we serve discusses what it is like to live with a disability.

Check it out.

And a very nice story appeared in the November 20 edition of the Longmont Times Call about a group of special visitors to the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont.

Have a look.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Imagine! Through The Eyes Of One We Serve

Sometimes, the best way to learn about an organization like Imagine! is to hear from the people the organization serves. The story below initially appeared in the Longmont Times-Call on Sunday, November 14, 2010. I think you’ll find what Mike has written truly captures the mission of Imagine!.

To see more of what the CORE-Longmont Reviewers have written, click here.

Living With Disability: The Way I See It

By Mike Williams of the CORE-Longmont Reviewers

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike Williams, and I am one of the CORE-Longmont Reviewers. The topic of my article is how society views the disabled community.

You know, folks, sometimes society makes me sick with the way they view us: the disabled community. Everywhere I go, there is always someone giving a disabled person a hard time by giving them a dirty look, cracking a joke about that person or just talking about them behind their back.

Folks, I don’t know you, nor do you know me, but allow me to tell you a little about myself: I am 25 years old, and I was born with autism. I can’t even begin to tell you how badly it hurt me with the way society treated me.

Thankfully, Colorado has an agency dedicated to helping those with disabilities. It is called Imagine!, a nonprofit organization based in Lafayette. I have been a client for seven years.

Not only does Imagine! help those with disabilities, but it also has helped thousands of clients to learn to live on their own. Sadly, some of their clients may never know what independent living is like due to their disabilities. Luckily, Imagine! has homes for them, be it a group home or with care providers. Imagine! also helps its clients find gainful employment through Labor Source, which teaches individuals work-related skills by working on a work crew.

Imagine! has many day programs, so the client isn’t always sitting around being bored. One of the day programs is called CORE: Community, Opportunity, Relationship, Education. There are two of these day programs. One is in Boulder and the other in Longmont. CORE offers many different classes, such as music, cooking, hiking, swimming, and (my personal favorite) photography.

If you have any questions about Imagine! or its services, visit

Until next time, your friend Mike Williams.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CORE/Labor Source Art Show and Performance

On Friday, Nov. 5, approximately 250 people crowded into the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder for an art show opening and performance by artists and performers in Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source classes.

Donna read a story about all the great things that have happened to her in the past year or so, including moving into the Charles SmartHome in Boulder and getting married.

Bobbi with one of her art pieces.

The demand for one of Gerald's pieces of art was so great that six prints of his paintings are being made!

Wes with one of his pieces of art.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Left Hand/Instant Imprints Fundraiser a Success

On Wednesday, November 3, 2010, Left Hand Brewing Company and Instant Imprints hosted a fundraiser for Imagine! at Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont. Left Hand donated $1.00 per pint of beer sold, and Instant Imprints donated special Left Hand/Imagine! t-shirts, which were sold during the evening, with proceeds going to Imagine! as well.

In all, more than $500 was raised for Imagine!’s programs and services!

Thanks to Eric Wallace, an Imagine! Foundation board member and president of Left Hand Brewing Company, and Foundation board member Forrest Fleming, owner of Instant Imprints, for organizing the event.

Extra special thanks to all who showed up to support people with developmental disabilities.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great Video

You know, the best endorsements of what we do at Imagine! come not from us, but from the folks and the communities we serve.

Broomfield United Methodist Church made this video below and showed it at their services on October 3rd. The video includes comments by Carl, the church’s custodian who receives support services from Imagine!, and his brother Scott, regarding the partnership between Broomfield United Methodist Church and Imagine!.

Thanks to the good folks at Broomfield United Methodist Church for their support of Imagine!, but more importantly, their support of Carl.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SmartHome Data Very Promising!

Our generous donors are aware that much of our fundraising efforts are directed toward supporting Imagine!’s SmartHomes. The goal of the SmartHomes is to demonstrate that technology can serve as a cost efficient way to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, as well as related conditions. The results from the first study of the effectiveness of our SmartHomes are in – and they are extremely promising!

A couple of weeks ago, members of Imagine!’s SmartHomes team met with researchers from Colorado WIN Partners to discuss some of their findings from their year-long study involving residents of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder. The researchers were looking at how the technology in the SmartHome was impacting the residents’ lives, and recently they presented some of their preliminary findings.

The overall findings matched well with the goal of our SmartHomes project. For instance, the research showed a large increase in residents’ perception of their control over their own lives. One of the key reasons for using technology was to provide the individuals served in the home the opportunity to become more independent, so we were very pleased to see this result.

Other areas where the research showed positive increases among residents included: feeling safer in their new home, feeling respected by others around them, number of personal relationships, and access to resources the residents felt they needed.

Another interesting finding, one that fits well with our goal of delivering services in a more cost effective manner, was that the increases above were noted while residents also reported a decrease in the number of services and staff interactions. Given the current state of the developmental disabilities service delivery and provision system in Colorado and the nation, that is exactly the result we are hoping for, as it demonstrates that it is possible to provide quality services even as the resources available for providing those services continue to dwindle.

The research data showed us that we still have some things to work on, though. For example, the data showed little change in how involved residents felt they were in their community. Community involvement is the cornerstone of Imagine!’s mission, and we believe that technology provides an opportunity for increasing such involvement. As more technologies go online at the SmartHome, we feel we will start seeing an increase in community involvement. But seeing the current data reminds us we still have a way to go and encourages us to redouble our efforts.

We’d like to thank the researchers from Colorado WIN Partners for their hard work and dedication. Danette Muselman and Elizabeth Woodruff, along with their research mentor Yvonne Kellar-Guenther, have provided us with a great deal of actionable data. Thanks also to I.B.M., who provided a $10,000 grant to support the research.

The researchers will be creating a white paper detailing the results of the study, and we will share that with you when that is complete.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fundraising Event at Left Hand Brewing Company

Come celebrate or commiserate the day after Election Day and help raise money for Imagine!. On Wednesday, November 3, 2010, from 5:30-8:00 p.m., Left Hand Brewing Company at 1265 Boston Avenue, Longmont will donate to Imagine! $1.00 per pint of beer sold. Left Hand has a large Tasting Room, and entertainment and food will be provided. Eric Wallace, an Imagine! Foundation board member, is the president of Left Hand Brewing Company, and Foundation board member Forrest Fleming is organizing the event. Special Left Hand/Imagine! t-shirts donated by Forrest Fleming's Instant Imprints store will be available for sale for $10, with proceeds given to Imagine!.

As Left Hand’s website says, “From a golden crisp Polestar Pilsner to a roasty, black Imperial Stout, our balanced portfolio of handcrafted ales and lagers will keep your mind and your palate in a happy state of equilibrium.” Plus, you will be helping all of the individuals whom Imagine! serves! Join us!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good Knights!

The Longmont Knights of Columbus recently donated an additional $999 from last fall’s Tootsie Roll Campaign to Imagine!’s Dayspring department to help fund Community Calendar Activities! Generous local Knights chapters have supported Dayspring’s activities for quite some time. In fact, the Councils of the Knights of Columbus in Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, and Longmont have donated more than $35,000 to Imagine! over the past 9 years. Their kindness is inspiring and amazing, and we are so grateful!

That is why we are encouraging you to please help them (and Imagine!) out this weekend. The Boulder Knights of Columbus will begin their annual Tootsie Roll Drive this Saturday (September 18) at two Boulder King Soopers locations: Arapahoe & 30th and Table Mesa & Broadway! You will find them in yellow aprons, collecting donations for individuals with special needs.

Join them if you can, and don't forget to tell all of your friends!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Safeway Check for $10,000 Arrives!

Kris Staaf (left), Safeway's Regional Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations, presented Imagine! with a check for $10,000 at the Imagine! board of directors meeting on Tuesday, August 31. Joe Hansen (center), an employee of Safeway and a member of Imagine!'s board, had written a letter of support to accompany the Foundation's grant application. Imagine! CEO Mark Emery (right) accepts the check!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Greg Wellems Speaks at Charles Family SmartHome Dedication in Longmont

Interested in learning a little more about why Imagine! built its SmartHomes and what the next steps are? Then check out the speech Greg Wellems gave at the dedication of the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bob Charles Speaks at Dedication of Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont

Want to hear a great testimonial as to why contributing to Imagine! is such a rewarding experience? Then please take a couple of minutes to watch Bob Charles speak at the dedication of the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. Bob does a great job of explaining why a home like this is so important. Fun to watch, and you may even get a tear in your eye!

Monday, August 9, 2010

$6,000 in New Grants

We are delighted to report that the Foundation has recently received two grants:

1. $5,000 from the Kenneth King Foundation in support of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome. This brings the total raised for the Boulder SmartHome to $902,952 or 59% of the total cst of the home and technology. We appreciate the help of board member Sandy Bracken in securing this grant.

2. $1,000 from the Herbert Parker Foundation at Wells Fargo Bank in support of Imagine!'s Community Calendar Activities Program, which extends early intervention services for children aged 0-3 with developmental disabilities and delays into a variety of recreational, education, and fitness activities alongside "typical" children in inclusive community settings.

Special thanks to our grant writer, Christina Craigo, for preparing these applications and all of our other submissions throughout the year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Our Partners Are So Important

The collaborations and partnerships that Imagine! and the Imagine! Foundation have developed throughout the community have led to new discoveries, better care for our clients, and improved service delivery. Check out this great story in the Boulder County Business Report about our relationship with CaraSolva to see just one example.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Safeway Foundation Pledges $10,000

The Safeway Foundation has pledged $10,000 to Imagine! based on a grant request that was accompanied by a letter from one of Imagine!'s clients, Joe Hansen, who has worked at Safeway since 2001, and a letter from Joe's mother, Jeannette Hansen.

Joe's letter notes, "I started working at Safeway when I was a senior in high school. I am a courtesy clerk. My work at Safeway has given me financial independence. I use my Safeway pay check to buy groceries and for spending money. I really enjoy the people at work and am proud that I am helping people in my community." Jeannette's letter states, "As a mother, I am very grateful to both Imagine! and Safeway. Services from Imagine! and a job at Safeway have made Joe's life so much richer and happier. I am very proud of Joe and delighted to see how happy he is today."

Joe serves on Imagine!'s Board of Directors, and he and his mother will be on hand when the Safeway Foundation presents the $10,000 check to Imagine! at the board meeting on August 31. Thanks so much, Joe! We believe your letter and your mom's were the deciding factors in our receiving this generous grant!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jane Butcher Honors Jack Stoakes

Jane Butcher recently made a $1,000 gift to the Imagine! Foundation in honor of Jack Stoakes. This is Jane's second-year gift of a three-year pledge. Jack was one of the original Imagine! Foundation board members, served as President of the Foundation for two years from 2004 through 2006, and is now an Emeritus member. Jack has strengthened the Foundation in numerous ways. In addition to being a top fund raiser and serving on several committees, he has generously contributed beverages for Foundation events for many years from Liquor Mart, Boulder where he serves as Store Operator.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Foundation Raises $965,831 in 09-10

The Foundation just closed out its 2009-2010 year having raised a total of $965,831 -- a 45% increase over the previous year. We are especially grateful to the City of Boulder grant for the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome, and the City of Longmont and State of Colorado grants for the Charles Family SmartHome. We were also thrilled to receive a generous bequest from the Elizabeth Tarvin Trust at the time of the passing of Imagine! client Richard Tarvin last fall.Since it's inception in 2000, the Foundation has raised $3,899,378! We will let you know when we reach the $4,000,000 mark sometime this coming fiscal year!