Monday, November 25, 2013

Zolo Grill, Dave Query Making Thanksgiving Special For Imagine! Clients

Dave Query is once again treating Imagine! clients and their families to a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. This year’s event will again be at Zolo Southwestern Grill.

Dave is the owner of Big Red F Restaurant Group, including restaurants Centro Latin Kitchen, Bitter Bar, Jax Fish House – Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, and Glendale, LoLa Coastal Mexican, Post Brewing Company, West End Tavern, and Zolo Grill.

Query is donating the makings for a delicious Zolo-style repast with all the trimmings, and the wait staff is volunteering its time. There is no charge for the meal, and no tips are necessary.

This is the 10th year Dave and the good folks at Zolo have hosted this dinner, and it is immensely popular. There will be three seatings this year, and in all, 360 people will enjoy a fantastic meal thanks to Dave.

Thank you, Dave and Zolo Grill, for giving so many a happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thank You Thursday!

This week’s roundup of generous donors to the Imagine! Foundation includes:

Cash Donations

Bronze ($1,000-$2,499)
Anonymous – For Early Intervention
Robert Klutznick

Associate ($500-$999)
Andy & Connie Minden – Flood Relief

Friend ($1-$249)
Anonymous
Robert Drake
Allen & Jessica Feld
Walter Kingsbery & Jane Christman
John & Susie McFetridge
Marion Raines
Thelma Whitaker

In-Kind Donations

In-Kind Bronze ($1,000-$2,499)
Pink Fog StudiosImagine! Celebration Auction Item: Five separate coupons each for an in-studio photography session with David Zwick plus one 8 x 10 print

In-Kind Associate ($500-$999)
PEH Architects – Consultation regarding Bob & Judy Charles SmartHome
The Sink – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: $500 to use towards catering from The Sink Gourmet

In-Kind Supporter ($250-$499)
Colorado National Golf Club – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: 4-some of golf with carts
Longmont Kiwanis Club – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item and Gift Giving Drive: 58 wooden toys
YMCA of Boulder Valley – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: Three month Family Membership

In-Kind Friend ($1-$249)
Jeffrey K. Abrams Architect, P.C. – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: One hour architectural consult
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: $100 Gift Certificate
Denver Museum of Nature & Science – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: 4 general admission tickets
Flatirons Country Club – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: Two rounds of golf with cart
Foolish Craig’s Café – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: $40 Gift Card
Larkburger – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: $25 Gift Card
Peak Entertainment at 1stBank Center – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: Two tickets and VIP Parking for a future event
Renaissance Adventures – Imagine! Celebration Auction Item: $25 Gift Certificate

As always, we thank all of our generous donors.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Next Step Group Home Construction Update

Construction on Imagine!’s Next Step Group Home is moving forward quickly! Here’s a few photos of structural concrete being poured late yesterday.




The Next Step Group Home will serve as a home base for meeting the multiple and varied needs of six low-income seniors with developmental disabilities. This specialized care will allow the clients to live in a neighborhood setting while avoiding the more costly nursing home alternative. Construction is scheduled to be completed in late Spring 2014.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Bob Charles Story

Editor’s note – the story posted below originally appeared on Imagine! CEO Mark Emery’s blog as part of Imagine!’s ongoing “50 Years, 50 Stories” series. Since Bob Charles founded the Imagine! Foundation and continues to play a key role in its efforts, we thought we’d share his story with you today.

We’ve had many great stories in this series so far, but we’ve also realized that there are some people who have stories that should be told, but probably won’t share them on their own because they are too humble.

So Susan LaHoda, Executive Director of the Imagine! Foundation, has taken it upon herself to write up a couple of stories of folks who have stories that simply cannot be ignored. In that spirit, please enjoy the story below about Bob Charles, the Founder of the Imagine! Foundation and truly one of Imagine!’s most generous supporters.

"We" Was "Me"
By Susan LaHoda
 
This newspaper article from the 1960s demonstrates that Bob Charles has been dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities for quite some time.
 
In his typical dry-humored way, Bob Charles likes to tell the story of how the Imagine! Foundation got started in 2000. He says that John Taylor “cornered” him and told him that we were going to create a foundation to raise funds to offset governmental cutbacks and help address some very pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in our community. Bob says, “I looked around the room and realized that the ‘we” was ‘me’!”

When asked to take the leadership role in establishing the Foundation, Bob was technically “retired” from owning and operating 13 McDonald’s Restaurants in the area, although he was still very active as a volunteer on several non-profit and educational boards and committees. But Bob says, “My heart had already been softened to the idea of helping individuals with developmental disabilities because I had hired several for my restaurants, and I was intrigued with how well they worked.” So he agreed to launch the Imagine! Foundation and, because of the enormous respect he commands in the community, was able to put together a highly qualified and influential board of directors who joined primarily because they had tremendous admiration for Bob and his reputation for generosity, honesty, and commitment. Bob served for three years as the Foundation’s president, guiding and encouraging the fledgling organization all along the way. During that time, the Foundation was able to raise funds for the purchasing and paying down a significant part of the mortgages on five staffed homes for Imagine! clients.

It wasn’t long before Imagine! asked the Foundation if it would help raise funds for two SmartHomes that would serve as laboratories for testing technology to promote client self-sufficiency and improve staff efficiency. At this point, Bob was far past the two three-year terms of service offered in the Imagine! Foundation’s by-laws and was given Emeritus status, but remained as active as ever. He spearheaded the capital campaigns for the two SmartHomes, but, more than that, he and his wife Judy provided the naming gift for the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder, and he and his family, including sons Bob, Jr. and Dale and daughter Janice, provided the naming gift for the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. Bob is very involved in the SmartHomes and keeps up with the technologies that are being tested there and the progress of individual residents (even offering challenges to some to learn new skills!).

Though Bob has now served 13 years as a volunteer on the Foundation board, he doesn’t talk about leaving. He says, “Why would I walk away? I’m still very interested in the program and am as excited as I was at the beginning. You almost feel that you would be walking away from the people you are helping.” Bob is quick to give praise to the Imagine! staff, too. He says, “The successes of our clients are a credit to the Imagine! folks who work with them. The staff at Imagine! is incredibly capable. I see the impact Imagine! is having on people’s lives, and I get great satisfaction in seeing how effective it has been.”

Always humble, Bob says, “I think the biggest surprise to me over the past 13 years is how big the Foundation has gotten. I had no expectations. I was actually a little intimidated! I thought maybe we could find four to five people to help us try to raise some money. Who would have dreamt that ‘some money’ would be several million dollars?” (The Foundation has raised more than $5.5 million to date.). But it isn’t the dollars that matter most to Bob. He says, “My hope is that we continue to do well, impact more people, and keep improving people’s lives.”

There is no real way to adequately express our appreciation, Bob, for the difference you have made in the lives of those we serve. On behalf of all of the Imagine! community, we extend our deepest thanks.

“50 Stories, 50 Years” bonus video – Bob Charles speaks at the grand opening of the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont, discussing the origins of the Imagine! Foundation and why the work Imagine! does is so important.



Can’t see the video? Click here.

“50 Stories, 50 Years” bonus video #2 – a video honoring Bob and Judy Charles as Imagine!’s 2008 Donors of the Year.



Can’t see the video? Click here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Help Brighten The Holidays For Adults And Children With Disabilities

Imagine!’s 2013 Gift Giving Drive begins Monday, November 18. Last holiday season, more than 500 Imagine! clients were served through the Gift Giving Drive with the generosity of community support. We had a significant increase of families seeking support this year and all donations will help us reach our clients who are most in need this season. There will be donation drop off boxes at Imagine!’s Coal Creek and Dixon office buildings, or a pick up can be arranged for group donations!

Please help us continue to assist our families and children in need during this holiday season! For questions please contact - Elizabeth Hill- ehill@imaginecolorado.org or 303-926-6460.

Gift ideas include:

For Children ages 0-18
Educational Toys (Spanish or English)
Dolls and Accessories
Board Games Books (Spanish or English)
Craft Sets
Ball Set or Nerf Set
Car or Truck Sets
Remote Control Car
CD Player w/ Headphones
Legos
Art Supplies
Clothing Items: Hats, Scarves, Mittens, Gloves Gift Cards
 
For Adults
DVDs
CDs
Art and Craft Supplies
Body Lotion/Bath Sets
Hats, Scarves, Mittens, Gloves

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thank You Thursday!

This week’s roundup of generous donors to the Imagine! Foundation includes:

Cash Donations

Platinum ($10,000+)
Broomfield City/County – Grant for $25,000 for the Next Step Group Home 

Gold ($5,000-$9,999)
Alexander & Sally Bracken – Gold Sponsor of the Imagine! Celebration
Flood & Peterson Insurance, Inc. – Gold Sponsor of the Imagine! Celebration

Bronze ($1,000-$2,499)
The Steven Holmes Fund/Longmont Community Foundation – Grant of $1,500 for the Family Recruited Employees program
Dick & Linda Livingston – Flood Relief
Longmont United Hospital – Table Sponsor of the Imagine! Celebration
Sargent Bickham Lagudis LLC – Table Sponsor of the Imagine! Celebration

Supporter ($250-$499)
Fall River Elementary School Student Council – Flood Relief
Ed McDowell

Friend ($1-$249)
Margaret Berglund
Scott & Susanne Davis
Ken Hackbarth
Tom Kahn
Doc Nelson & Jeanie Valentine
Jim & Sue Rector
Jim & Mary Rianoshek
Art & Barbara Sward
Jim & Candace Williams

In-Kind Donations

In-Kind Supporter ($250-$499)
Boulder Community Hospital - For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Performance Bike Fit
Comedy Works – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Ten “Admit Two Free” Passes
High Country Motorcycle Rentals – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Three-day motorcycle rental and t-shirt
Qualcomm, Incorporated – 25 keyboards and 15 mice

In-Kind Friend ($1-$249)
Blue Mountain Arts – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Six vouchers for tickets to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Boulder Community Hospital – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Cardiac Scoring CT Scan
Eldorado Artesian Springs, Inc. – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Six passes to the Eldorado Springs Pool
Eldora Mountain Resort – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: two adult full day life tickets
Erie Community Center – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: 10-Visit Punch Pass
The Golden Hotel – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Overnight in a deluxe room with breakfast for two in the Bridgewater Grill
Jungle Quest – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: One and one-half hours of play time
The Little Jewel – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Sterling silver snake chain with five colored beads
Longmont Theatre Company – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Two show vouchers to an LTC production
Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: $50 in Gift Certificates
University of Colorado – For the Imagine! Celebration Auction: Four tickets to Women’s Basketball on 2/28/14

As always, we thank all of our generous donors.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thank You, Kiwanis Club Of Longmont


Elizabeth Hill, Imagine!'s Volunteer Coordinator and Chris Skultety from the The Kiwanis Club Of Longmont show off some of the 58 wooden toys handcrafted by the Club and donated to Imagine! as part of the Club's Craft Toys for Kids Project. Most of the toys will become a part of Imagine!'s Gift Giving Drive, while four of the toys will be featured in the Imagine! Celebration's silent auction on January 24, 2014.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thank You Fall River Elementary!

In the last week of October, members of the student council at Fall River Elementary School in Longmont held a fundraiser to help Imagine! recover from the recent flooding that damaged many of our homes. The fundraiser brought in $494.11! Wow! Thanks to all the students and teachers who participated! Pictured below, Imagine! PR Director Fred Hobbs accepts the check from student council treasurer Mason while Principal Dr. Jennifer Guthals looks on.

Fall River Elementary rocks!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thank You Thursday!

This week’s roundup of generous donors to the Imagine! Foundation includes:

Cash Donations

Gold ($5,000-$9,999)
Foothills Flood Relief Fund - $10,000 Grant for Flood Relief

Bronze ($1,000-$2,499)
Longmont Legacy Fund/Longmont Community Foundation – Grant of $1,750 for Family Support Grants for Longmont Families
George & Petrea Mah – Flood Relief/Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome
St. John’s Episcopal Church – Flood Relief

Associate ($500-$999)
Richard Ackerman – Flood Relief

Supporter ($250-$499)
Rick & Jackie Nelson

Friend ($1-$249)
Fletcher & Janie Brown

In-Kind Donations

Gold ($5,000-$9,999)
The Palmos Family – One week at a gorgeous Greek Island Villa – for the Imagine! Celebration Auction

In-Kind Supporter ($250-$499)
The Palmos Family -- $50 gift certificates to Agave, Arugula, Buddha Café, Murphy’s North, and Tangerine for the Imagine! Celebration Auction
Walt & Linda Pounds - Spanish Wine Basket and Italian Wine Basket for the Imagine! Celebration Auction

In-Kind Friend ($1-$249)
Clutter Consignment – $25 Gift Certificate for the Imagine! Celebration Auction
GolfTEC – 90 minute full golf swing evaluation for the Imagine! Celebration Auction
Melody McCoy – Brand new special needs step stool

As always, we thank all of our generous donors.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Colorado Gives Day Is December 10


Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 10, and we encourage you to participate! Donations made online at www.coloradogives.org/Imagine on December 10 will be eligible for partial matching funds. You may also pre-schedule your gift to have it recorded on December 10. Donating through Colorado Gives eliminates all processing fees for Imagine! for donations totaling up to $50,000 per year.

Colorado Gives Day was a great success last year. Our total was $44,125 from 74 donors, and included $867.28 in partial matching funds from the FirstBank Incentive Fund. This total was nearly four times the amount raised in 2011, thanks in great part to the donation of $25,000 from an anonymous donor for the new Next Step Group Home in Broomfield.

If you are thinking about making a gift to Imagine! before the end of the calendar year, please consider doing it online on Colorado Gives Day. Whether you go through our website (www.imaginecolorado.org) or directly to Colorado Gives, you will end up at the same place. You may also designate a particular Imagine! program in the “Any comments or special instructions” box if you would like. The only gifts that are ineligible are donations for which you receive something in return, such as tickets or sponsorships of our Imagine! Celebration. Mark your calendar for December 10—or pre-schedule your donation any time after November 1. Thank you!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Imagine! Is Building The "Next Step Group Home"


Imagine! is building a new group home in Broomfield specifically for aging individuals with developmental disabilities. The Next Step Group Home—modeled after Imagine!’s highly successful Foothills Group Home in Boulder—will serve as a home base for meeting the multiple and varied needs of six low-income seniors with developmental disabilities. This specialized care will allow the clients to live in a neighborhood setting while avoiding the more costly nursing home alternative.

Currently, 327 residents of Boulder and Broomfield Counties who qualify for comprehensive residential services are waitlisted due to limits in State funding for room, board, and supportive services for people with developmental disabilities. As the “safety net” for individuals with developmental disabilities in the two counties, Imagine! strives to address these critical needs and to anticipate future challenges. The Next Step Group Home is an example of both.

Construction on the home has already begun and is scheduled to be completed in late Spring 2014.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Save The Date - Imagine! Celebration January 24, 2014

How would you like to spend a week on a Greek island in a gorgeous villa that sleeps eight with tennis courts and a pool . . . or perhaps you would like to sit down for a one-to-one chat over lunch with the new CU Buffs football coach, Mike MacIntyre, or with CU’s legendary basketball coach, Tad Boyle.

To have the opportunity to bid on these live auction items plus much more, mark your calendar for Friday, January 24, 2014, 5:30-9:30 p.m. for the 13th annual Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction at the Plaza Conference Center in Longmont.

Buy your tickets ($95/each) or tables of ten ($1,250) online at https://secure.imaginecolorado.org/ssl/CelebrationRSVP.htm. Platinum ($10,000), Gold ($5,000), and Silver ($2,500) Sponsorships are also available—contact Susan LaHoda at 303-926-6443 or slahoda@imaginecolorado.org.

The first part of the Celebration evening allows guests to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and dinner food from buffets set in the ballroom and hallways with plenty of time to socialize and browse the 200+ auction items that will be available. (If you come early, you’ll be treated to a complimentary glass of champagne.) Guests will then settle into their tables for dessert, coffee, the program, and the live auction. All wine and beer for the evening is at no charge, compliments of Liquor Mart and Left Hand Brewing Companies.

Be sure to check the Imagine! website (www.imaginecolorado.org/imagine-celebration) as we add our sponsors, our live auction items, and more about the festivities. See you on January 24th!



New to this year’s Imagine! Celebration Live Auction—an opportunity to sit down for a one-to-one chat over lunch with the new University of Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre (top), or with CU’s legendary basketball coach, Tad Boyle.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Imagine! Recovers From The Flood

Six of Imagine’s residential facilities received significant water damage during the severe floods that devastated Colorado in September. Fortunately, the 26 adults with developmental disabilities served in these homes did not need to be evacuated. However, in four of the residences, the live-in staff person whose home was in the basement no longer had a home. Hardest hit was the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder where the basement flooded with four feet of water.

Imagine!'s Innovations Director Jodi Walters worked around the clock to coordinate all of the immediate responses needed to ensure that all clients in Imagine!’s residential sites were safe and being cared for. Other Imagine! staff members pitched in throughout the flooding to keep the needs of the people we serve as the priority. While the rain came down, Imagine!’s Volunteer Coordinator, Elizabeth Hill, was already on the phone with AmeriCorps, requesting volunteer help. Because of her early action, a team of ten AmeriCorps volunteers was dispatched for six weeks specifically to help Imagine! recover. Many acts of true heroism by staff and board members surfaced, making us all proud to be a part of the Imagine! family.

Costs for the gutting and rebuilding effort are currently estimated at more than $140,000, not to mention additional expenses for data recovery, temporary living accommodations, and lost revenue. The total loss is nearly $230,000. The Imagine! Foundation has been at work submitting grants for flood relief. As of this writing, $10,000 has been received from the St. Vrain Flooding Relief Fund of the Longmont Community Foundation, $10,000 from the Foothills Flood Relief Fund, and $6,000 from the ANCOR Foundation. In addition, the Foundation ran a month-long online crowdfunding campaign, which brought in a total of $21,193. But additional funds are still needed to cover these unexpected and unbudgeted expenses.

If you are able, please consider increasing your support at this time of great need—Imagine! Foundation, 1400 Dixon Ave, Lafayette, CO 80026 or online at www.ColoradoGives.org/Imagine. We extend our deepest thanks.

The basement of Imagine!’s Bob and Judy SmartHome was deluged with four feet of water during the recent floods.