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reate a egacy C L local guide to giving

Vote for this year’s Volunteer of the Year

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Dedicated Girl Scouts volunteer Susan Alvillar is dressed in a vintage 1953-56 Girl Scout uniform while she holds a variety of Girl Scout cookies.

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2 Create a Legacy

March 2014

Leaving a legacy of volunteering By Melanie Wiseman


he most common definition of legacy is “a gift by will, especially money or other personal property.” Ask anyone who is passionate about their volunteer work or the agencies they volunteer for, and you will get a very different definition. Leaving your legacy is also passing on meaningful service and support, which makes a difference in the life of someone else, inspires others to serve, or provides the gift of having been a positive role model.

A legacy of music


We hope you’ll join us – opportunities include Heirlooms for Hospice Upscale Resale Shop, Administrative Office Support or Patient and Family Support. • 970-241-2212

Betty Rosenwald, 71, moved to Grand Junction with her husband in July 2013. After attending a HopeWest presentation at a Newcomers Club meeting, it didn’t take Rosenwald long to combine her passions into valuable service. “The Lord led me to work with the elderly and ill,” Rosenwald said. “My mother passed away and my father was in a nearby nursing home for 16 years. I would go see him and visit with other people, too.” Music is Rosenwald’s other passion. She has played the piano since she was a child and is self-taught on the hammered dulcimer. “I heard the dulcimer played eight years ago and thought it had such a beautiful sound,” Rosenwald said. “I got one and taught myself to play.” Rosenwald shared her music with the residents of her father’s nursing home and recognized how much they appreciated it. She now combines her two passions by being a HopeWest volunteer patient companion. She currently visits with two hospice patients. “I feel blessed in knowing these people and their history,” Rosenwald said. “You don’t know how you’re going to affect their lives, but you

see the joy on their faces when you spend time with them.” Rosenwald has appreciated the tremendous support HopeWest gives its volunteers. “We encourage anyone who is interested in being a volunteer to just reach out,” HopeWest Marketing and Communications Specialist Alyssa Hampson said. “We want to create a volunteer opportunity that’s unique for them. We love to visit with potential volunteers and match people with what their interests are. There is no commitment up front.” HopeWest offers many volunteer options and a lot of flexibility. There is extensive training so all volunteer questions are answered and they understand the HopeWest mission. Volunteer needs include respite care, administrative, special events and Heirlooms for Hospice, to name a few. According to Hampson, the greatest need is for patient and family support. “There is great appreciation by the patient and their family that you have been there for them,” Hampson said. “It should be a pleasure to know you have been there during this important season of their life.”

“Today’s youth are more connected to things than to people. It’s time that they go back in time and learn from each other.”

A legacy for younger generations Susan Alvillar, 62, has been involved in Girl Scouts since she was six years old. Growing up in a small Iowa town, she had been in Girl Scouts 12 years when she graduated from high school. “That was back in the day when we wore our Girl Scout uniforms to school on troop meeting days,” Alvillar said. Girl Scouts provides meaningful and fun programs and activities for girls and volunteers to grow as leaders. For more than 100 years, Girl

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Scouts has inspired girls to Mary Harmeling and Tracy take action in making the Baker are the victim services world a better place by buildcoordinators for the Grand ing courage, confidence and Junction Police Department character. and the Mesa County Sher“Girl Scouts gave me the iff’s Department, respectools to be successful,” Alviltively. With 45 volunteers lar said. “I credit them for in Mesa County, they are my being a good business looking to double this numperson.” ber to meet the needs of the As was the case with Alvilcommunity. lar and most Girl Scout adult “People need you,” Baker volunteers, they get involved said. “They are hurting when their daughters’ troop as the result of a crime or needs a leader. Today, the Girl some other trauma, and you Scouts gives the leaders a lot can be there with them so of tools and tips for success. they’re not alone. They may Colorado alone has 7,500 be the victim of a crime adult volunteers working such as domestic violence with more than 28,000 girl or a robbery, or have experimembers. enced trauma from a suicide “I have been a leader of or other unexpected death.” Brownies, Juniors, Cadets and Harmeling said law enBetty Rosenwald leaves her legacy of music to HopeWest clients Seniors,” Alvillar said. “I’ve forcement officers are comseen the value of Girl Scouts when she plays the hammered dulcimer. passionate, but have the in the lives of so many girls role of interviewing and and young women. Girl Scouts gives investigating. A legacy of compassion them critical thinking and teaches “We need trained civilians to Imagine experiencing the worst them how to make decisions.” stay with the victims for support,” day of your life alone. Then imagine Today, Alvillar is an operational Harmeling said. this same day, but being supported volunteer, leading the president’s “Sometimes people are more by someone with a compassionate cabinet. receptive to receiving help from a heart, who truly cares and wants to “Our main goal is to reconnect civilian,” Baker added. listen. with our alumni,” Alvillar said. “We Volunteer advocates ensure safety Volunteer Victim Advocates in Mesa invite our alumni to do service, and inform victims of their rights County law enforcement agencies mainly through service history conand provide community resources provide this valuable service. nection, gathering amazing stories to help them in their situation. “It makes you feel good that you of how as scouts or leaders, the Girl When Molly Huska, 69, began helped in some small way when they Scouts have impacted their lives. looking for volunteer work after rereally needed someone and no one We want to plant more seeds.” was around,” retired physician Gerry tirement, she was looking for someGirl Scouts offers volunteers flexithing different and exciting as a way Geske, 76, said. “Sometimes people bility to meet their needs but enough have nobody.” to serve the community. structure for them to find their “Helping victims had a great apIn 2002, Geske took citizens acadniche. Program speakers are needed peal to me,” Huska said. “Just being emy classes to be more informed to share life experiences that the there to help them through a tough about law enforcement. girls can learn and be inspired from. time. Often the victims are very “Being an advocate was one of the “Today’s youth are more connected volunteer opportunities they ofthankful that someone took the time to things than to people,” Alvillar to be there with them.” fered,” Geske said. “It was a natural said. “It’s time that they go back in Huska has been an advocate for fit. As a physician, I dealt with people time and learn from each other.” three years. and ways to relieve their suffering.” Alvillar’s most inspirational experi“You need to be a people person,” Geske has been an advocate with ence was going to the home of JuHuska said. “Obviously, you can’t the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office for liette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts. 11 years. be judgmental. You have to empa“She was a brave single woman thize with them and offer them a “Don’t be afraid to do it,” Geske said. “The training will teach you who started Girl Scouts over 100 shoulder.” years ago before women’s liberation,” how to handle various situations and “What you need to do is just lisAlvillar said. “That’s what inspires me you shadow an experienced advocate ten,” Geske said. “It’s not what you today. I truly believe in the movement.” before going out on your own.” say. It’s just being there.” ■

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For more

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volunteer opportunities, pick up the 2014 BEACON Senior Resource Directory. “It’s the yellow pages for Mesa County seniors.”


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How can you leave your legacy?

If you have any doubt that there is a volunteer need you would enjoy or would match your skills, talk with Mesa County RSVP Volunteer Manager Ruth McCrea. “We are like a volunteer employment agency, being that we help individuals 55 and older stay healthier and live longer by offering volunteer opportunities in over 90 member agencies,” McCrea said. Volunteer opportunities include tutors, mentors and companions, along with administrative, fundraising and handyman work, to name a few. “Volunteering fosters an atmosphere of growth and volunteers have stronger relationships with others,” McCrea said. Volunteering helps people find purpose and contribute to something bigger than themselves. “The personal growth and satisfaction you will receive from volunteering will not only change your life but impact the lives of others,” HopeWest Director of Volunteer Services Diane Dickey said.

Why wait? Call RSVP at 243-9839. Call HopeWest at 241-2212. Call Girl Scouts at 242-4461 or visit Contact Harmeling at the Grand Junction Police Department at 549-5290 or Contact Baker at Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at 244-3275 or tracy.baker@

4 Create a Legacy

March 2014

Your love of animals today can save homeless pets tomorrow By Elaine Johnson-Craig


here’s nothing quite like the human-animal bond. Our pets love us as we are, unconditionally. They’re playmates, soul mates—and sometimes bed mates! They make us laugh and they lick away our tears. We can’t imagine life without them, and they probably can’t imagine life without us. Our pets need us to take care of them. When we can’t do that anymore, our cat or dog becomes homeless. That’s when caring and committed caregivers like the staff and volunteers at Roice-Hurst Humane Society step in as the safety net for those animal companions until they can be re-homed. When you’re doing your estate planning, think of your own pets and what might happen to them after your passing. What if family or friends are unable or unwilling to

Eliminating poverty housing, changing lives, one family at a time. Proceeds from our ReStore pay for all of our overhead and operating funds. Therefore, 100% of your gift goes directly to building homes. How you can help...



1601 N. Townsend


Locally owned and operated non-profit organization.

care for them? The only option might be your local shelter, and you would want that shelter to be a thriving facility able to provide for your pet until a new family is found, no matter how long that takes. For the past 51 years, Roice-Hurst (a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit) has saved and re-homed thousands of cats and dogs. Without the support of donors past, present and future, their life-saving mission could not continue. By remembering Roice-Hurst in your will or other estate planning, you can change the lives of homeless pets in your own backyard. Whether you can help just one animal or can consider a memorial endowment, you’ll be leaving a life-saving legacy and paving the way for the next generation of kindness to animals. For more information, call Elaine at 244-8594. ■

Leave a legacy for Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County


here are two main ways to create a legacy and leave a lasting, positive mark on the world: giving of your time and giving of your money. Different people follow these paths in different ways. To a local nonprofit, each person and each path is equally valuable and appreciated. At Habitat for Humanity in Montrose, our supportive individuals and groups of people, such as local businesses, deserve and receive our eternal gratitude. Many people begin their journey toward giving back by volunteering their time, talents and skills to help an organization achieve its goals. At Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County, we welcome volunteers with open arms and provide opportunities to serve in a variety of ways, such as helping with construction of homes, planning and attending special events, and working at the ReStore. Although it is true that time is

money, sometimes—and for some things—only the “real thing” will do. A nonprofit also needs a constant and steady stream of money to fund its efforts and be successful in its mission. Fortunately, giving money to a nonprofit such as Habitat for Humanity is a two-way street of giving and receiving. You get great benefits, too, in the form of tax deductions as well as the satisfaction of putting your money where your heart is, as 100 percent of your donations go to Habitat programs because the ReStore pays for overhead and administrative costs. We offer a variety of ways to help us fund our humanitarian programs during and beyond your lifetime. Call the Montrose Community Foundation at 249-3900 to learn more about planned giving options to Habitat through its endowment fund. It’s easy to choose your best path for giving by calling us at 252-9303 or visiting ■

March 2014

volunteer of the year 5

Vote for Volunteer of the Year By Cloie Sandlin

Karon Carley

he BEACON will announce the winner of Volunteer of the Year at BeaconFest on April 17. With so many wonderful volunteers to choose from, we need your help. We are leaving it up to you, dear readers, to vote for the 2014 BeaconFest Volunteer of the Year.

Nominated by Spence Bergner, volunteer with Operation Interdependence


Last year, we received thousands of votes for the Volunteer of the Year. It goes to show that our readers really are passionate about local volunteers. Here’s how the voting will work: Step 1: The easiest way to vote for Volunteer of the Year is on our website. Go to: Step 2: Click on the box that reads: “Choose this year’s Volunteer of the Year.” Step 3: Choose your favorite volunteer from the drop down menu, enter your email address and submit. The online voting will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 13. You can also mail in the published ballot on page 7 of this insert. (We will only accept ballots that are mailed to us.) Ballots must be received by April 14, so plan ahead! Mail your ballot to: BEACON Senior Newspaper P.O. Box 3895 Grand Junction, CO 81502 The Volunteer of the Year is someone who goes above and beyond his or her usual duties and responsibilities in order to make a difference in the lives of others. This year, we received 15 amazing nominations. Since we have so many deserving and dedicated volunteers in the area, my only advice to you when voting for the Volunteer of the Year is “good luck.”

Here are the 2014 Volunteer of the Year nominees:

Karon is the president of Operation Interdependence and devotes so much time and effort in assuring everything is done correctly. Karon is a dedicated person who believes in doing for others. OI is a group of volunteers who meet each week to pack donated items to send to our troops around the world.

Sue Relfschneider Nominated by Sheli Apodaca, Gray Gourmet Meal Sites Sue has been a volunteer with Gray Gourmet for five years. In that time, she has worked at the Ratekin Towers meal site two times a week, where she delivers the food and serves it to the diners. A diner from this meal site also nominated Sue for Volunteer of the Year. This really speaks volumes to Sue’s excellence as a volunteer. Her kind, welcoming greeting to each diner is an example of demonstrating true Gray Gourmet hospitality. Thank you, Sue, for all you do for Gray Gourmet. You are greatly appreciated.

Tom Lee Nominated by Gai WildermuthGunter, Community Food Bank Tom Lee started volunteering at Community Food Bank about 18 months ago. He came to help out at the foodbank through RSVP. He has offered, from day one, to come

when I call. I schedule volunteers for the food bank a month at a time and occasionally I have a last-minute need. Tom has always been able to come to the rescue. He is available to drive the foodbank truck to pick up purchased food from a variety of our community partners, as needed. He has helped the food bank decrease its food costs by more than 50 percent through his suggestions for local bulk sources for pinto beans, quick oats, dry milk and rice. As the result of those substantial savings, the Community Food Bank has been able to remain financially solvent in the midst of a 20 percent increase in client visits in these tough fundraising times for nonprofits. The Community Food Bank Board of Directors and I want to let Tom know the huge positive impact his food sourcing suggestions have made. Also, as program coordinator, it is my duty to schedule volunteers and to know that Tom “has my back” has been a great relief. Tom, thank you. You make a huge difference!

Hermie Fox & Gerry Coffey Nominated by Chelsea Jensen, HopeWest Hermie came to HopeWest through the urging of her sister, Teri Roth, and planned on helping in the office. After orientation, she decided to be a patient care volunteer and assisted in the office. It was when she was introduced to bereavement support that she found her niche and HopeWest found a caring, loving volunteer to be a companion for grieving family members and friends. Hermie’s gentle presence as she cofacilitates our grief groups and makes

phone calls to those left behind after a death has created a healing balm across HopeWest. When a staff member asked a young boy about his favorite part of the family grief group, his answer was, “Hermie.” Nobody could have expressed it better! Hermie and Teri’s sister, Gerry, is also a volunteer for HopeWest. It’s difficult to put a value on a volunteer like Gerry, who not only gives her time, but also embraces the mission of HopeWest with dedication, grace and compassion. Gerry understands what patients and families are experiencing, demonstrating an empathy and wisdom that makes her a true treasure to our organization and community. Always going beyond what is asked of her, Gerry epitomizes the perfect model of what we all want our volunteers to be. Her genuine kindness, positive attitude and helpful hands make her most deserving of sharing this honor with her sister. Hermie and Gerry are the embodiment of the saying, “They may not remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Roger Martin & Cristeen Fredricks Nominated by Marsha Kosteva, Gray Gourmet Home Delivered Meals Roger and Christeen are two sweethearts of Gray Gourmet. Roger started in 2009 as a home delivered meals driver for Gray Gourmet and he invited Christeen to join him a few years later. Together they have an ongoing weekly delivery route in the Fruita area, but these two don’t just deliver a hot lunch—they take it to the next level.

6 volunteer of the year Each week, this married couple spends the extra time to visit with the homebound seniors they serve. They sit and listen to the stories from their past or offer a compassionate heart to a recent sadness or illness affecting their customers. Before leaving home, they fill their pockets with dog biscuits for the four-legged canine family members of Gray Gourmet. “Call us anytime you have an open route” is something that we always hear from them. Undaunted by unfamiliar territory, the couple has tackled nearly every one of our 18 routes throughout the county. They often drive two to three times a week. They bring a wonderful joyful spirit each and every day they serve. We salute them and value their extraordinary service to our program and to the community.

Carol Acuff Nominated by Mark T. Carris, Grand Junction High School Teen Court Program Carol has been assisting with the Grand Junction High School Teen Court Program for the last six years. She attends every court session and works with the prosecuting teams in each of the four cases.

Ruthmary Allison Nominated by Laurie Kollasch, Spellbinders of Mesa County Ruthmary Allison is absolutely amazing and vital to Spellbinders. For more than 10 years, she has actively told memorable stories in more classrooms than any other Spellbinder in our chapter. She is very popular in classrooms and many outside organizations. Instrumental in tackling more important issues, she has also served on the board of directors over a period of five years. (Most only serve for three years.) She has implemented entertaining and educational workshops for our membership each and every month. She helps recruit new members, screens those interested in training, helps develop the training program, and acts as one of three trainers to teach new Spellbinders. She has been doing that longer than anyone else. Most notably, she does it all with a generous heart, a warm smile, music and laughter.

Tony & Marie Martinez Nominated by Cindy Lenahan, Mesa Manor Tony and Marie have been faithful volunteers here at Mesa Manor for many years. They visit almost daily and bring many smiles to residents and staff. Residents are always encouraged by their enthusiasm and their interest in motivating them to participate in all that is offered at Mesa Manor to increase their quality of life.

Mike Folnsbee Nominated by Lisa Smith, Help Hospitalized Veterans Mike has volunteered for the Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) craft program since 2008. His mother, a veteran, told him about the craft distribution program, how it helped her, and how we needed volunteers. Mike started by assisting in our distributions room. He quickly gained the admiration of the veterans, staff and fellow volunteers for his efficient and helpful manner. As Mike became more acquainted with the program, he demonstrated great skills in constructing craft kits and numerous other hobbies. Mike was asked to add “Volunteer Clinical Assistant” to his title. He assisted with the Toys For Tots program for three years. Not only could he work the kits, but he was good at teaching

March 2014

others about them as well. When HHV moved to our own location, Mike insisted that he would follow HHV because he loved the program. HHV has truly benefited from Mike’s dependable, trustworthy and friendly service. He is able to fill in for our staff and he assisted with the launch of our new location, filling shelves, and helping implement a new structure of distribution procedures. He’s our “go-to guy” whenever we need him. Mike has a friendly smile and is always willing to help, no matter the task. Mike works over 80 hours a month for HHV. I can’t say enough good things about him.

Clayton Dause Nominated by the staff at Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County From the moment Clayton Dause walked into the ReStore three and a half years ago to inquire about volunteering, we knew he was a keeper. The level of enthusiasm Clayton has for his community is unmatched and he carries this dedication to every organization he gives time to. As our ReStore greeter, Clayton’s warm welcome and contagious smile is a blessing to everyone who walks through our doors. Clayton spends two days a week inside the ReStore helping with our volunteers, greeting our customers and providing top-notch customer service. He spends his free time soliciting pastry donations from local businesses to provide for our volunteers. He shares his love for Habitat and the ReStore, and doesn’t hesitate to recruit volunteers, find ways for us to be involved in the community, and strengthen our customer base. Clayton sits on our Volunteer Advisors Committee and is dedicated to making sure we have ample volunteers and that we provide the best experience for them. Clayton is always looking for ways that he can assist our day-to-day operations and develop ways to better serve the Re-

Store staff, volunteers and customers. Though we are one of many agencies Clayton is dedicated to, we are thankful that he chose to share his time and talents with us. We are a better organization because of him.

Charlotte Maes Nominated by the staff at Chatfield Elementary Chatfield Elementary would like to nominate Charlotte Maes for Volunteer of the Year. Charlotte has worked as a volunteer at Chatfield for seven years. She loves working with first grade students. She always has a smile and loves to work with the children individually. She views reading as a valuable skill for all children and wants all of them to succeed. She makes each child feel special and excited about learning. Charlotte goes above and beyond her duties, as she also helps clean up in the lunchroom. For a volunteer who is 91 years old, she is not afraid of work! The greatest thing we all notice about Grandma Charlotte is her positive attitude. She has a smile for every staff member and is very generous and kind. We enjoy the treats she brings to share with the staff. She genuinely loves Chatfield and is so friendly. She is at school every day that she can be. The children and adults are so thankful for her. Charlotte is very humble. She does not think that what she does deserves recognition, but we do. What a great example of what a volunteer does for our school. Charlotte Maes is our Senior Volunteer of the Year!

Linda Johnston Nominated by Becky Johnson, East Middle School I would like to nominate Linda Johnston for Volunteer of the Year. It is an honor that

March 2014 she greatly deserves. I first met Linda through the RSVP Senior Scholars Program and could hardly believe my luck when she came to volunteer at East Middle School’s library. She has been a true blessing for the staff and students at East. As a retired school librarian, she is an expert in all things library and has done a superb job helping with whatever is needed. Linda is skilled at book repair and has saved many books (and dollars) by bringing tattered, well-loved books back to life. She is cheerful and friendly and our students love her. Whether running the circulation desk, typing booklists, shelving books, labeling spines, or helping students find the books they need, Linda does it with a smile and a great sense of humor. Linda has contributed hundreds of volunteer hours at East. She always shows up promptly, and often stays late. She is truly East Middle School’s Volunteer of the Year and I think she should be the BEACON’s Volunteer of the Year as well!

Judy Mathews Nominated by Shannon Freed, Roice-Hurst Humane Society After Judy Mathews retired from St. Mary’s Hospital, she needed something new in her life. She loves dogs, so she began volunteering at Roice-Hurst Humane Society. Judy is our small dog advocate at Roice-Hurst. She works with one to two dogs at a time from the moment they are brought to RHHS until she helps find their forever home. Oftentimes, the dogs have been through a lot and are very scared when they come to RHHS. Judy sits with them, calms them down, and assures them that they are in a good place. She has also been known to foster them if they are having a hard time in the shelter environment. When potential adopters show an interest in Judy’s small dogs, she takes the time to talk with them and to find out about their home, life-

style, other pets and family members to determine if they are a good match. Each of these dogs are so special to Judy and she wants to be sure to place them in the best forever home possible. In addition, Judy volunteers at offsite adoption and fundraising events whenever she can. She is invaluable to Roice-Hurst.

Dr. James Rybak Nominated by Bambi Harmon, John McConnell Math & Science Center Jim retired from Mesa State College in 2005, where he was a professor of engineering and mathematics. In 2008, he was recruited at the John McConnell Math & Science Center as a volunteer. His main responsibility is to perform maintenance on our exhibits. Currently, Jim comes in twice a week and has accrued over 2,100 volunteer hours—an average of 350 hours a year. We currently have eight college fellows on staff that Jim mentors. They create experiments for Family Science Nights and afterschool programs, and often seek his assistance. His dedication and witty, friendly attitude exemplify our mission to create excitement in science, technology, engineering and math. I consider Jim to be one of our most valuable resources and I look forward to having him on board with us as we continue our journey.

William Wade Nominated by Doug Karl, HomewardBound of the Grand Valley Bill has been a valuable asset to our organization and has been instrumental in contributing to our new plans for the renovations of the Family Center Project, which will include a new family and women’s shelter, in addition to 40 new units of supportive housing to

volunteer of the year 7

serve in reducing our homeless population in the Grand Valley. Bill has been a member of the HomewardBound Board for the past year and half and has averaged approximately 15-20 hours per week of his time and expertise to our organization. Without the time, knowledge and skills that Bill has contributed and continues to contribute to HomewardBound, it would not be possible to move our plans forward or achieve

fresioen admis

the necessary fundraising. He also serves as a member of the City of Grand Junction planning commission, a commissioner on the zoning appeals board, and is an advisor to Porter Homes, a local home building company. Bill has tirelessly given his time and talents to our organization, in addition to his other volunteer activities, for the betterment and growth of Grand Junction. ■

April 17, 2014 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Two Rivers Convention Center, Grand Junction, CO

Vote for your favorite

Volunteer of the Year Awards 2014 It’s as e asy as 1… 2…3 With so many wonderful volunteers to choose from, we at the BEACON need your help! All nominees are featured in this month’s issue of the BEACON with a short description of why they were nominated. 1. Read about each volunteer on the previous pages 2. Pick your volunteer

 Karon Carley  Sue Relfschneider  Tom Lee  Tony & Marie Martinez  Hermie Fox & Gerry Coffey  Roger Martin & Cristeen Fredricks  Ruthmary Allison  Clayton Dause

 Charlotte Maes  Linda Johnston  Carol Acuff  Judy Mathews  Dr. James Rybak  Mike Folnsbee  William Wade

3. Vote for your favorite volunteer online at or Mail this official ballot to: PO Box 3895, Grand Junction, CO 81502 The winner will be announced at BeaconFest, Thursday, April 17, 12:50 p.m., at Two Rivers Convention Center, 159 Main St., Grand Junction.

Please have all ballots submitted by April 14, 2014.

8 Create a Legacy

March 2014

A Ralph-like legacy at Habitat for Humanity


one volunteer at a time Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers, Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County is able to provide local families safe, decent and affordable housing. Please support our mission by becoming a volunteer today!

lthough he was tall in stature and always had a story ready to share, Ralph was one of those people you didn’t notice right away. His diligent work habits, craving for routine, and the way he made himself at home at the ReStore allowed us to mostly take note when he wasn’t around. For two and a half years, Ralph showed up to volunteer at the ReStore every day from before the store opened until after the store closed. He took pride in his duty as chief custodian. The parking lot was always pristine, the trash cans were never full, and customers were always treated to cold water. Although he suffered a life-altering accident at a young age, Ralph felt useful and fulfilled while doting on the ReStore. He poured himself into us and in turn, we did the same. It wasn’t until he fell ill a few weeks ago and passed away that we truly realized the impact he had on our organization.

As we sat down to digest ways to fill the void left in our hearts and our organization, we came to the conclusion that there was no way to fill the legacy Ralph left behind. Although the tasks he routinely completed appeared to be mundane and the stories he shared were repetitive, the pride he displayed in volunteering his time for us was priceless. As we look around our organization, we see Ralph-like characteristics in all of our volunteers. We see passion, hard work and dedication. When you think about it, the time and energy people pour into an organization is truly what makes it prosperous. Giving of yourself can have the greatest impact. Without a doubt, Ralph’s legacy will be felt by all who call the ReStore their home. For information about volunteering at Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County, call 263-0858. ■

Americans are a charitable bunch. Can you guess who gives the most? By Teresa Ambord

I The United States faces significant challenges in preparing students for jobs in

the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In order to meet these 21st century challenges, our students need 21st century skills: critical thinking, information literacy, collaboration, self-direction and invention! The Center has a vision for preparing future generations to be competitive at the local and regional level as well as in the global arena by offering creative hands-on experiences, developing and providing resources for classroom use, providing training for educators, and developing innovative programs.

Please help us to touch the future by volunteering or through donations. Think of supporting the John McConnell Math and Science Center, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3). Thank you!!

t’s all over the news when a private foundation gives a big charitable donation. In 2012, they gave $45.7 billion to good causes. Not bad! But it pales in comparison to how much individuals gave in the same year—that $228.9 billion. The amounts left to charity in their wills actually fell a little in 2012, but that total was still an impressive $23.4 billion. Who gave? The most generous among us were those 68 and older, giving an average of $1,370 each. They donated used and new goods and cash and gave their time to volunteer efforts. Mostly they donated to their places of worship but also to social service groups (like those supporting the homeless and victims of disaster) and to educational institutions. Next came baby boomers (ages 49

to 67), giving an average of $1,200 per year. The recipients of boomer generosity were similar to those of their elders. Generation X (ages 33 to 48) gave an average of $732 per year. And Generation Y (ages 18 to 32) gave $481 per year on average. These givers tend to be more skeptical, demanding accountability from those they donate to, and expect to see the direct impact of the donations they make. Donation requests come in the mail, on the phone, on TV, and online. Unless you are personally familiar with a charity, don’t give until you do a quick check to ensure the charity is real. Every national disaster causes a bunch of new bogus charities to rise up. You can check their legitimacy at Charity Navigator by logging on to www.charitynavigator. org. ■

March 2014

Create a Legacy 9

Latimer House provides hope and support for those affected by domestic violence


he statistics are chilling. One in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. More than three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. Between 3.3 and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. There were more than 900 reported cases of domestic violence in Mesa County last year. Domestic violence is a very real crisis, shrouded in shame and secrecy that makes seeking help even more difficult. Hilltop’s Latimer House leads the way in providing hope to the women, children and men affected by domestic violence and sexual assault in our community. Latimer House provides a broad-range of services and support aimed at long-term solutions for those looking to move from crisis to confidence in their lives. These comprehensive services target the many forms of domestic violence, including physical, sexual, emotional, econom-

ic and psychological abuse. Latimer House operates the only domestic violence emergency shelter in Mesa County. Housed in a large, Victorian building, it provides a warm and home-like sanctuary for those at greatest risk. Those most in danger arrive at Latimer House with nothing but their children and maybe their purses, needing the most basic of necessities. Generous community support assures what they need is available. The women and children are safe and find the support they need to begin planning a life free from violence. Latimer House’s trained counselors and staff provide advocacy and support, both for those in the com-

munity as well as those who utilize the emergency shelter. The complexities of domestic violence require a multitiered approach. The counselors work with the clients to form short and long-term plans. They help navigate the complex legal and safety issues many clients face. Counseling and support groups cover the many aspects of domestic violence including causes, effects and real world solutions. Transitional housing and employment assistance increase the chances for long-term success. Over 50 percent of children in homes affected by domestic violence will be abused themselves. All will face emotional trauma that leaves them vulnerable and at risk for con-

tinued violence. Latimer House offers comprehensive children’s services, including counseling and support groups that aim to break the cycle of violence. The services provided by Latimer House are vital to our community. Domestic violence does not discriminate by age, gender or economic circumstances. Chances are you know someone who has been affected by this violence. When you support Latimer House, you not only assure these services remain available, you also let those affected know they are not alone. To learn more about Latimer House and how you can help, call 241-0324. If you or a loved one is suffering domestic violence, call the 24-hour crisis line at 241-6704. Latimer House is one of 24 programs operated by Hilltop in western Colorado. We are leading through action to make a difference for people of all ages. ■

I am not a victim... I am a survivor. Latimer House provides comprehensive and compassionate services to those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. • Safe-house and 24-hour crisis line serving all of Mesa County • Individual and group counseling • Advocacy, legal support and access to community services • Children’s services, counseling and support groups • Long-term support including transitional housing and employment assistance To learn more or to make a donation to Latimer House call (970) 241-0324 24-Hour Crisis Line (970) 241-6704 LATIMER HOUSE IS A HILLTOP PROGRAM - MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES IN WESTERN COLORADO FOR OVER 60 YEARS

10 Create a Legacy

March 2014

Support a cause? Leave a legacy By Teresa Ambord


here is no mistaking the fact that Americans are a charitable bunch. In 2012, we gave more than $316 billion, mostly from individual gifts, according to the Giving USA Foundation. That’s nearly a third of a trillion dollars. Even in our depressed economy, in 2010, 74 percent of us made some kind of charitable donation. Yet only about eight percent do so by legacy giving. Legacy giving is a gift made by bequest. It can also take more complex forms, such as a trust or it can be

part of a life-income arrangement or endowment.

the legal title to property is held by a trustee for the benefit of another.

• A bequest, also called a legacy, is a directive made in a will to give a certain amount of money or property to a specified beneficiary. A bequest can be structured in various ways. It can be general and unconditional so that the recipient organization gets a predetermined amount. It can also be for an amount that remains after certain events take place (residuary bequest) or it can be an amount that is conditional (contingent bequest).

• A life income arrangement is when money or property is left to an organization, with the stipulation that income be paid to designated beneficiaries for their lifetimes.

• A trust is an arrangement wherein

Nonprofits love legacy gifts because this is the least costly way to raise money and it helps them achieve stability and sustainability. From your perspective, it’s not only a vehicle for supporting a cause close to your heart, but it’s also a way to reduce your taxable estate. Whatever you leave by bequest will not be subject to estate or inheritance tax. Those amounts are deducted from your taxable estate, and there is no limit to the amount that can be set aside by bequest.

charity that you wish to support, and ask to speak to the planned giving director. This person should be able to guide you through the process of ensuring that the funds go where you designate them. Before sitting down with a professional, make a list what you own. Don’t forget to include your retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, real estate, and other valuable property like expensive jewelry and artwork. Next, decide which charities you wish to leave money or other assets to. Note: Be sure to get the name of the charity exactly right. You may intend your gift to go to the local branch of the Salvation Army, but if you do not specify the location, the gift will likely go to the national headquarters. Also, be aware that there is no shortage of scam artists out there. Some unscrupulous organizations deliberately choose names that are deceptively close to agencies with highly recognizable names like the American Heart Association or the Red Cross, knowing that some individual donors will mistake them for the real deal, and the poser organization will siphon off donations that were not intended for them. Leaving a legacy gift in whatever form you choose is an easy way to help an organization you care about go forward, doing the good work that is meaningful to you. While it might not occur to most people to indulge in legacy gifts, America is a generous nation of individuals who support the causes close to our hearts. This is an easy way to do just that. Before you say no, give it some thought. ■

Leaving a legacy gift in whatever form you choose is an easy way to help an organization you care about go forward, doing the good work that is meaningful to you.

But I’m not wealthy enough to have an “estate” Everyone has an estate of some sort, because an estate is simply a list of what you own. Anyone can designate a charity to be the beneficiary of a checking account or pension account, for the total balance or a specific amount. If everyone who is inclined to make charitable gifts during his or her lifetime were to make a legacy gift of even $100 upon the time of death, billions would be funneled easily into the coffers of critical not-for-profit causes. So how do you go about setting up such a designated gift? If you have a will, contact your attorney or financial advisor to discuss the possibilities. But of course, not everyone has the resources to pay these professionals. If that is your situation, call the

March 2014

Create a Legacy 11

Making a difference on the Western Slope Based on a 117-year history Recognizing that people have an inherent nature to help others is the historical foundation of Volunteers of America from a national and local perspective. The organization began in the U.S. in 1896 when founders Maud and Ballington Booth emigrated from England. When the charismatic young couple set their sights for America, they were determined to create a solid and notable organization in a new country. When thinking of potential names for their organization, one word remained prominent: volunteer. In those days, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or cause. It signified that the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. “Christianity and philanthropy must go hand in hand,” Ballington wrote. “You can have philanthropy without Christianity, but you cannot have Christianity without philanthropy.” As a social entrepreneur at the turn of the 20th century, Ballington had developed a true appreciation for what it took to keep his organization’s mission going. More importantly, he recognized it was the philanthropic spirit of others making the critical difference. “Philanthropic effort…must not only be wise but prompt,” Ballington wrote. “There is a certain class of deserving and needy who never will be helped effectually unless helped now. Time is the great factor with them.” The Booths constantly worked to raise money among those who had more to give and cast their net for support from coast to coast. They attended as many society events as possible, networking and raising awareness for their cause—“to go wherever needed and do whatever comes to hand.”

During the states. Presently, Great Depresthere are seven sion, the Booths independent seincreased their nior housing comefforts for assistplexes located in ing the millions Western Coloof unemployed, rado: Heaven’s opening soup View in Delta, kitchens and Horizons Country penny pantries. Manor and HoriAnd still, their zons West Mobile donors and sup- Ballington and Maud Booth founded Volunteers Home Park in porters continued of America in 1896. Eckert, Grand to give what they View in Grand could during this economically chalJunction, and Centennial Towers, lenging time, knowing that every Cimarron Village, Meadowlark Court, dollar would be stretched to the nth and Pavilion Gardens (family housdegree for the endless care of those ing) in Montrose. in need, and eventually, inspiring the In the 1970s, Volunteers of America Volunteers of America tagline, “There emerged as a provider of profesare no limits to caring.®” sional long-term nursing care, seeing As the organization grew, new an opportunity to provide for older needs presented themselves and Voladults. Valley Manor Care Center was unteers of America leaders respondVolunteer’s of America’s first longed. In war time, Volunteers of Ameri- term nursing care community on the ca set up canteens, overnight lodging Western Slope, followed by Horizons and Sunday breakfasts for soldiers Care Center in Eckert. and sailors on leave and spearheaded Experts from the field of aging sersalvage drives, collecting millions of vices and government funding have pounds of scrap metal, rubber and currently painted a dark picture of fiber for the war effort. fiscal health with limited support to Volunteers of America helped human services organizations such as accelerate real estate development Volunteers of America. during the 1960s by taking part in But even with new policy changes numerous federal housing programs. and diminishing federal funding, Since 1968, Volunteers of America many of the Volunteers of America has developed over 300 affordable professionals, like Regional Director housing complexes in more than 30 of Operations Craig Ammermann,

have a positive view based on hope and the belief that even in the most difficult times, the Volunteers of America mission will not fail. “People care too much about others to ever allow needs to go unmet,” Ammermann said. “Our case for giving is simple. People trust that Volunteers of America will put their gifts to the best use possible and create a positive outcome for those in need in Montrose and Delta counties.” Ammermann oversees operations of the health care entities of Home Health of Western Colorado, The Homestead at Montrose, Valley Manor Care Center, Horizons Health Care & Retirement Community, Senior CommUnity Care PACE, and Senior CommUnity Meals. This inter connected range of health services includes home and community-based programs to transitional and long-term care and are available to individuals at various stages of disability due to progression of aging or illness. “Our compassionate spirit of commitment to the mission is upheld by our 600-plus local employees, who are driven by a cause greater than themselves,” Ammermann said. “Helping older adults celebrate life here in Western Colorado means we must create a sustained and trusted relationship with numerous support systems of individuals, governmental agencies, and public and private organizations.” For more than 117 years, Volunteers of America has garnered financial support from both the private and public sectors, but in the end, it is a matter of the heart. It is the compassionate, spiritual and priceless call to support a cause greater than oneself. ■ Bringing food, medicine and comfort to people not served by other charities, Volunteers of America opened its first location in Kentucky.

What Will Your Legacy Be? Your bequest or other planned gift of any size will create healthy futures for generations.

Creating a legacy of volunteering your time instills hope and inspiration for others.

Founded on the principals of “reaching and uplifting all people” Volunteers of America strives to continue to be a leader in creating innovative, compassionate and comprehensive responses to human needs. On the Western Slope, our continuum of health care services will be present long into the future to support our region’s rapidly-growing senior population. For more information, call one of our health care communities or programs below or visit

Home Health of Western Colorado

Senior CommUnity Care (PACE)

Valley Manor Care Center

300 N. Cascade, Ste U9, Montrose, CO 81401

2377 Robins Way, Montrose, CO 81401 • 970-252-0522

1401 S. Cascade, Montrose, CO 81401 • 970-249-9634

Phone: 970-240-0139

The Homestead at Montrose 1819 Pavilion Dr. • Montrose, CO 81401

11485 Hwy 65, Eckert, CO 81418 • 970-835-8500 • 970-252-9359

Horizons Health Care and Retirement Community 11411 Hwy 65, Eckert, CO 81418 • 970-835-3113

Senior CommUnity Meals 11407 Hwy 65 • Eckert, CO 81418 • 970-835-8028

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