Thursday, March 31, 2011

Exotic Mediterranean Feast!

One of the fantastic Auction Items we had at January’s Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction was an “Exotic Mediterranean Feast."

The donor of this auction item was Highland Technical Staffing CEO Anahid Katchian. The item was valued at $1,500, but it sold TWICE at the Live Auction for $2,500 each. The first purchasers of the item were Gary and Sheila Horton from Western Disposal, who had the "Feast" at their home last Saturday, March 26.

Anahid (who was also one of the most generous donors on the evening of the Celebration) did all the shopping and preparing from scratch, creating an opulent and leisurely repast including a huge variety of both hot and cold small appetizers, a sumptuous main course, and variety of desserts.

Imagine! Foundation Board president Leona Stoecker volunteered to help prepare the meal, and had this to say about the experience:

Anahid had three different crews of volunteers helping at different times for three days. She took one day just to purchase the ingredients at a specialty store in southeast Denver. She is extremely organized with the menu and detailed instructions. Learning how to roll the grape leaves filled with lamb and beef, and roast the peppers over an open flame for the hummus under the expert guidance of Anahid was an amazing experience. We are so fortunate to have so many amazing people who are willing to put in their time and talents for the people Imagine! serves.

Anahid shared some photos with us from the event which you can see below.

Thanks to Gary and Shelia for purchasing the “Feast,” and to all the volunteers who helped make the meal so unique and special. Thanks also to Foundation Board member Walt Pounds and his wife Linda, who purchased the second “Feast.” Looks like you guys have a lot to look forward to!

Most of all, thanks to Anahid for her generous efforts on behalf of some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens. We are so grateful for all you have done!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Imagine! Shout Out

We mentioned last month that 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.

During his acceptance speech, Dr. Braddock said some very nice things about Imagine!’s SmartHomes project. Take a look below:

Were Thomas Jefferson living today, I believe he would stand for equal protection under the law and basic fairness and opportunity for the 55 million people with disabilities living in our country. He would likely stand as well for the additional one billion persons with disabilities living as outcasts primarily in the developing nations of the world. In recent years, we have finally begun to make promising strides toward equality of opportunity for people with disabilities and their families in the United States and in the Western World generally. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, however, has been ratified by 98 countries, but it has yet to be ratified by the United States.

For enlightened disability policy and practice, we need look no farther than the local developmental disabilities service provider here in Boulder and Broomfield Counties known as Imagine!. Under John Taylor and Mark Emery's exceptional leadership, Imagine! recently opened the nation's first two SmartHomes for people with developmental disabilities right here in Boulder and Longmont. These homes were explicitly constructed to empower people with developmental disabilities through the application of advanced support technologies.

Thanks, Dr. Braddock, for the kind words and your dedicated support for some of our most vulnerable citizens!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Imagine! On TV!

Last week, the Discovery Science Channel featured Alonzo Clemons (who receives support services from Imagine!, that’s him in the picture to the right) on the show "Ingenious Minds." You can see clips from the show here. If you attended our recent Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction, you may have seen Alonzo demonstrate his artistic skills. Alonzo is a gifted sculptor. According to his website:

As a toddler, Clemons suffered a head injury in an accident; this changed the way he thinks, learns and communicates. While much was lost due to the injury, something miraculous also occurred. He began showing a fascination with modeling materials and a tremendous inner drive to make sculpture. Even in situations where he did not have access to modeling clay, his determination to make models of animals was so great that he found materials in his environment that he could use for sculpting.

For over twenty years he continued to practice his art in obscurity until the early 1980's, when the movie Rain Man, which featured Dustin Hoffman in the role of a disabled man with remarkable skills of memory, brought international media attention to a phenomenon known as the Savant Syndrome.

Savant Syndrome is a descriptive term applied to individuals who have both a developmental disability and a spectacular, genius-level skill in a specific area. Clemons is recognized as one of the world's prodigious savants.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun In Ft. Collins

A big part of Imagine!’s mission is providing opportunities for the individuals we serve to engage in their communities. To that end, some of the staff members at one of Imagine!’s group homes took a quick trip up north to Ft. Collins.

In the photos below (left to right in all photos): Lauren, Cari, and Stephanie having fun at the Swetsville Zoo; Stephanie and Kati pose near a colorful horse in Fort Collins; and Stephanie, Kati, and Cari check out the Budweiser Clydesdales at the Budweiser plant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tour The Longmont SmartHome!

Exciting news! Free, guided tours of the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont are scheduled to begin in April.

The tours are available for anyone interested in seeing first hand how technology can be used to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

To respect our residents’ time and privacy, we have established a set schedule for tours. In March 2011, tours of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome (Boulder) tours will be conducted on the first and third Monday at 11:00 a.m. Beginning in April, tours of the Charles Family SmartHome (Longmont) will also be available.

The schedule from April on will be:

Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome (Boulder) Tours - First Monday of the Month at 11:00 a.m.

Charles Family SmartHome (Longmont) Tours - Third Monday of the Month at 10:00 a.m.

Tours take approximately one hour.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good Knights!

Last week, Dick Bryant, with the Knights of Columbus Boulder Council 1183, presented a check for $1158.78 (from funds raised by the Knights' Tootsie Roll Drive) to Jane Sprague with Imagine!’s Dayspring department. The Boulder Knights have supported Imagine! for years and have donated a total of $11,534 to us.