Friday, February 25, 2011

Imagine! Success Story

Occasionally we like to share success stories from some of the people we serve at Imagine!. It is a great way to demonstrate the powerful impact supporting the Imagine! Foundation can have on some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.

Today, enjoy this story about Tye McCarthy:

Tye McCarthy’s success goes far beyond his productivity at his job. Tye rolls silverware in napkins at Rock Bottom Restaurant as a member of a work crew with Labor Source, the vocational component of Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department.

“Tye is interacting more frequently and with increased verbiage and clarity with his coworkers, staff members, and community members,” Marsha Robichaux, an Employment Specialist with Labor Source, told us. “He is not just more aware of others; he is looking out for them. He lets his coworkers know that he looks forward to seeing them, and that he likes working with them. Tye’s presence is noticeable, he is there and you know it. The great thing about that is if you’re not invisible to others, you’re not invisible to yourself. Tye’s success is far past encouraging.”

Tye’s parents, Dan and Nancy McCarthy, shared with us, “We have been very pleased with the progress that Tye has made with Labor Source. The staff has been excellent in helping Tye with his work and increasing his skills. They get the best out of him and he feels good about his job. He enjoys his co-workers and the staff is the best. Tye is always telling friends and anyone that he meets, that he rolls silverware at Rock Bottom and is very proud of it. Special thanks to Labor Source for doing such a good job and to Rock Bottom for providing the opportunity for employment.”

Tom Boller, an Employment Specialist with Labor Source, said, “Tye McCarthy has been working with crews in Labor Source for a couple of years. He tried several different jobs before settling into his job at Rock Bottom, and he is really growing into the job! The quality of his work is very good and his production on a daily basis continues to increase. Tye works three days each week, and his crew members see him as a valuable member of the team. They appreciate his greetings at the start of the day and his willingness to assist them in ways that show he is a real gentleman.

“Tye stays focused on his work and there are times when you might think that he isn't paying attention to anyone or anything around him,” Tom added. “Then, Tye responds to someone's humor with his infectious laughter and you know he is paying attention to his environment. He is simply committed to his work. Tye leaves the worksite saying to the restaurant staff, ‘See you tomorrow,’ which lets them and all know he enjoys and is committed to his job.”

Tye has recently added an afternoon of work at the Outback restaurant in Louisville where he also rolls silverware in napkins. The new site adds an extra fork to the roll and asks for a very high quality of work. Tye has stepped up to the challenge of meeting those high standards with a smile and ease.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Celebration Pics!

Last week we provided you with a nice wrap-up of our very successful 10th Annual Imagine! Celebration and Dinner. Today, please enjoy a few photos of some of the more than 415 attendees.

Imagine! Foundation Board of Directors President Leona Stoecker

Director of Imagine!’s Family Services Jan Rasmussen and Imagine! Board of Directors President Kevin Nelson

The evening’s emcee was George Karakehian (left), pictured here with Carol Riggs and David Edwards

Paige Lawrence served as Imagine! Celebration Co-Chair. Paige's husband, Don Sullivan, did all of the displays for the Silent and Live Auctions

Dawn Marie Candelaria-Bisgard was honored as Imagine!'s 2010 Consumer of the Year

Colene Van Winkle served as Imagine! Celebration Co-Chair

Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebration Wrap Up

On Friday, January 28, 415 people gathered at the Plaza Hotel Longmont for the 10th Annual Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction. The event was a resounding success, raising more than $217,000 to support Imagine!’s mission of providing supports and services to some of Boulder and Broomfield counties’ most vulnerable citizens.

The evening began with a silent auction featuring 221 items donated by generous local businesses and individuals.

Following a delicious dinner and the end of bidding on silent auction items, the program for the evening began. Emcee, Foundation board member, and longtime friend of Imagine! George Karakehian once again was the glue that held the program together, moving from highlight to highlight with ease and with great humor. And the highlights were many!

The program started off with a bang by honoring the 10th Anniversary of the Imagine! Foundation, Imagine!’s fundraising arm and the organization responsible for putting on the annual celebration. In its 10 years of existence, the Foundation has raised more than $4,000,000 to serve local individuals with developmental disabilities.

Check out this video marking the Imagine! Foundation’s 10 years of supporting Imagine!’s mission.

After honoring the Imagine! Foundation’s success, George introduced the crowd (the largest ever to attend the event) to Dawn Marie Candelaria-Bisgard, Imagine!’s 2010 Consumer of the Year. Dawn’s story is one of perseverance and hard work, as she struggled to overcome not only the barriers presented by her disability, but also barriers she placed upon herself through poor choices. In recent years she has really put forth a tremendous effort to turn her life around and become the outstanding young lady she is today. Now Dawn stands as a role model for all of those served at Imagine!, all of those who work at Imagine!, and indeed, the community at large.

The presentation of the Consumer of the Year is always the emotional high point of the annual festivities, and this year proved no exception. A standing ovation greeted Dawn after she gave her heartfelt acceptance speech upon receiving her award.

Enjoy this video about Imagine!’s 2010 Consumer of the Year, Dawn Marie Candelaria-Bisgard.

Once the program portion of the evening was completed, attendees took part in a spirited (and quite successful) live auction. Auctioneer Gary Corbett deftly enticed the crowd to bid higher and higher dollar amounts on 13 auction items including a trip to Greece, an elk hunt, a fly-fishing expedition, and an African photo safari.

Corbett also expertly led final event of the evening, a Special Appeal where funds were directed to Imagine!’s SmartHomes project.

Here’s a video about Imagine!’s SmartHomes, which ran before the Special Appeal began.

Many thanks to the generous community members who came out in huge numbers to support Imagine!, including current and former members of Imagine!’s Board of Directors, current and former members of the Imagine! Foundation Board of Directors, business leaders, consumers, family members, and so many others interested in supporting the work of Imagine!.

Special thanks to the 20 Imagine! staff members who volunteered their time during the event, to the Imagine! Celebration Committee (see below) for all of their efforts before and during the event, and to all of the event sponsors who are listed here:

Imagine! Celebration Committee

Colene Van Winkle, Chairperson
Paige Lawrence, Chairperson
Denice Chenault
Lisa Fiero
Deea Frisbie
Deb Gravelle
Evelyn Josephsohn
Cherlina King
Michelle O’Brien
Pat O’Brien
Stacey Pierson
Sara Stoecker
Don Sullivan

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Congratulations Dr. Braddock!

Dr. David Braddock, Ph.D., was recently named a 2011 recipient of the University of Colorado's Thomas Jefferson award, one of the university's highest honors. Dr. Braddock is Executive Director of CU's Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, and has been a longtime supporter of Imagine! and our SmartHomes project. Learn more about Dr. Braddock and this prestigious honor by clicking here.

That’s Dr. Braddock in the picture to the right, along with his wife Laura, at the recent Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction.

Congratulations Dr. Braddock, and thank you for all you do for individuals with developmental disabilities locally and across the nation!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Congratulations Dawn Marie!

One of the highlights of our recent Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction was the honoring of Dawn Marie Candaleria-Bisgard as Imagine!’s 2010 Consumer of the Year. Check out the video below to see why she was so deserving of this honor.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Celebrating 10 Years!

The Imagine! Foundation supports Imagine! through fundraising and education. In ten years, more than $4 million has been raised by the Foundation to provide extensive support for more than 2,600 people with developmental disabilities (and their families), primarily in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Check out the video below celebrating those successes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thanks To Our Celebration Sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors, more than 200 in-kind donors, and the generous support of the community for their support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families living in Boulder and Broomfield counties at our 10th Annual Celebration Dinner and Auction, held Friday, January 28, 2011.

We'll give you more details from the event soon, but for now, please take a look at our sponsors below.