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Profiles of Brighton 2 0 11

Metrowest Publishing

1600 Prairie Center Parkway Brighton, CO 80601

2 | Profiles of Brighton | Metrowest publishing

Profiles of B righton 139 N. Main St. Brighton, CO 80601 303-659-2522

Publisher: Allen Messick Managing Editor: Kevin Denke Production Supervisor: Jody Irsik Graphic Artists: Mike Trujillo Jody Irsik Ad Sales: Abigail Martinez, Teresa Alexis Writers/Photographers: Kevin Denke, Gene Sears, Steve Smith, Christine Hollister, John Carr


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Transwest GMC Platte Valley Medical Center

Page 3

Adams County Fairgrounds

Page 12 Metro Brokers - Hepp Realty

The Armory Platte Valley Pharmacy

Page 4 Brighton Smiles Family Dentistry Nordholm & Associates Real Estate Services

Page 5 Beatties Pharmacy

Page 6 Community Reach Center

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Page 13 Smith Motors American Family Insurance

Page 14 Reliable Home Health Services, Inc. The Pampered Chef - Jim Bangert

Page 15

The Guide Page 19 Aims Community College

Page 20 Brighton Auto Body Bliss Hearing Solutions

Page 21 Anythink Library - Brighton Johnson Auto Plaza

Page 23 Family Eyecare

Page 24 United Power

Browns Appliance DeFoe Roofing, Inc.

Page 16

Valley Heating & Air Conditioning

Page 10

Lambert Realty, LLC Grease Monkey

Page 17

Lemke, Feis & Co., P.C. Miller’s Garage Thrive Chiropractic & Wellness

Coyote Creek Golf Course Merry Maids

Events and Information Hotline


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Platte Valley Pharmacy staff: back row, Jeff, Stephen, Laura and Arnie. Front row, Felisha, Eric, Pam and Violet.

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Photo by Christine Hollister

Putting it all together


he pieces of a puzzle alone and spread out appear disjointed. It is hard to distinguish how they all fit together. But, one by one, the pieces begin to fit. The image begins to take shape. Such it is with Brighton

– a community with many different pieces that fit together to form the picture of a diverse, vibrant community. We invite you in these pages to see how Brighton comes together and where you fit.

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M aking a S plash

Photo by Ben Wiebesiek

City leaders break ground in December 2010 on the city’s new outdoor aquatic park.


esidents will have a cool, new way to cool down come summer

2011. The city of Brighton’s new outdoor aquatic park, Brighton Oasis, is being

City builds new water park

built near 18th Avenue and Bromley Lane in Brighton. The $5.8 million water park will feature a leisure pool with zero-depth entry, a lazy river that guests can tube down, water slides, a climbing wall, a

play structure, fountains and a bath house with showers and lockers. The park is not only a welcome addition to the city’s lone, antiquated, outdoor swimming pool, city leaders

hope the park, while not on the scale of a Water World, will be a regional draw. “This will be a great asset for the community,” Brighton Mayor Dick McLean said.

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Home Cooking

Photo by Christine Hollister

lauer Krauts staff, from left, sharon saiz, lori lauer, robin and baby Max trujillo, bob lauer and Melissa romero. the restaurant was featured in an episode of Food network’s popular show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

Brighton’s Lauer Krauts



auer Krauts is a proud family tradition that turned into a bustling restaurant. The eatery on South Sixth Avenue opened in August of 2006 by Brighton native Robin Trujillo. Both Trujillo’s mother and father are from families that are Germans from Russia. It was always Trujillo’s dream to open a restaurant that gave homage to a popular family meal item: the krautburger. Krautburgers are a mixture of fresh hamburger, cabbage, onion and sauerkraut baked in homemade bread.

“We would always have krautburgers on special occasions like Christmas Eve,” Trujillo said. “There are a lot of other people around here whose ancestors were Germans from Russia, and there were no outlets to get krautburgers except for from places like church bazaars.” Trujillo worked for several years out of college for a company that she loved. It was sold to a large corporation and things changed, she said. That’s when she began to consider her dream of opening a restaurant a little more seriously. “I had always wanted to

try it, and my husband said, ‘Let’s go for it,’” she said. Trujillo said she had no previous experience in the restaurant industry. “I had never even served a drink,” she laughed. But Trujillo’s father, Bob Lauer, knew his entrepreneur ial-minded daughter would have no problem opening her own business. “She ran a candy stand out of locker in seventh grade and made enough money to go on vacation,” he laughed. In addition to her parents, Trujillo also had the support of her husband of 11 years, Dave. He is also a Brighton

High School graduate who now works as a general contractor. In 2004, with the help of her family, Trujillo began the process of opening her first restaurant. It took Trujillo several months to get the property rezoned and then carry out a complete remodeling of the former apartment. It would be nearly two more years before the restaurant finally opened. While they were working out the zoning issues, they were also busy in the kitchen. Trujillo spent countless hours with her aunts and her mom,

Continued on page 8

Metrowest publishing | Profiles of Brighton | 7

Lori, testing out recipes in her mother’s kitchen. “It all goes back to grandma — my grandmother Schreibvogel,” Trujillo said. “I was taught her recipes by my mom and aunts. We wanted our specialty to be the krautburger. All of the dough is made by hand.” Though the recipe is a version of one from her mother’s side of the family, a main component of the restaurant’s krautburgers comes from Trujillo’s father’s side of the family. “My dad has been making his homemade sauerkraut for more than 30 years,” she said. “He learned how to make it from his dad, Martin Lauer, thus the name of our business, Lauer Krauts.” Since Lauer Krauts opened more than four years ago, it has been a smashing success with both locals and visitors

An open table is usually hard to find inside the dining room of brighton’s lauer Krauts. they offer outdoor seating as well. Photo by Christine Hollister

from across the nation, many who learn about the restaurant by word of mouth. Trujillo said Lauer Krauts’ specialty has remained the krautburger, which can be ordered without cheese or with American or pepper jack cheese. During Lent, they also serve a vegetarian version Fridays. But the local eatery has become famous for many other dishes, including their German sausage wraps, hot dog wraps and soups and desserts of the day. They also offer catering.

“Then, I wasn’t working enough hours, so dad thought I should make breakfast in bread,” Trujillo laughed. Breakfast in bread is potatoes, egg, cheese, country gravy and meat baked in bread and is offered beginning at 7 each morning. Customers became so enamored with Lauer Krauts that several wrote to the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” to tell them about the hidden gem. Trujillo vividly remembers the call she received Oct. 6,


from the show. “When I got the call that we were selected, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I thought I was going to go out of my skin.” The show’s crew, with popular host Guy Fieri, filmed at the Brighton restaurant in late 2010. Trujillo was 39 weeks pregnant with her first child, Max, during the taping. Max was born just eight days after taping was complete. “I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but he was really fun and made you feel really comfortable,” Trujillo said of Fieri. For more on Lauer Krauts or for the soup or dessert of the day, visit For catering or orders of a dozen or more krautburgers, call Trujillo at least 24 hours in advance at 303-654-9700.


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Photo by Christine Hollister

lois seltzer, 79, enjoys spending time at the brighton senior Center. in fact, she has volunteered at the center for more than 10 years and works at the center’s front desk every Monday.

A Place of her own

Woman gives back to center that gave her so much C HRISTINE H OLLISTER


ongtime Brighton resident Lois Seltzer, 79, has some words she likes to live by. “I just think it’s important to stay active and do what you can do today,” she said. “If you don’t do it now, the chance might pass you by. You better grasp every day you can.” Lois was born in the

Colorado Springs area and moved to Brighton in 1948 in time for her junior year of high school. She said she wasn’t so sure about Brighton High School at first. “I thought it was really different and very cliquey,” she said. “You were just kind of an outsider because so many families had been here for decades and homesteaded here.” She graduated in 1949

with about 90 other kids in her class. Seltzer said though coming into Brighton was tough at first, she made many lifetime friends, and she and her classmates still have a class reunion every year. Robert Seltzer was a year ahead of Lois in high school. He went off to college but came back home and asked Lois out in October of 1948. She married Robert Aug, 13, 1949.

The young couple moved to the family farm west of Brighton where Robert farmed corn, sugar beets and hay, and later had a cow-calf operation as well. “I just loved working in the earth,” Lois said. “And I enjoyed working with livestock primarily, that was the thing I loved most of all.” Lois worked for Adams

Continued on page 10

Metrowest publishing | Profiles of Brighton | 9

County Extension Service for 25 years as a program coordinator in the livestock division of the 4-H program. “Those are really good memories,” she said. “That group kind of became my own family.” The couple had three children. Lois now has seven grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren as well. Robert farmed until he died 21 years ago at age 59. Lois was only 17 years old when she and Robert married, so when he passed away 41 years later, it was an extreme life change for her. She never gave a thought to getting remarried, she said. “I never even dated after he died,” she said. “I never found anybody as good as my husband. He was an awesome businessman, a wonderful father and a good husband. He always saw

that we had everything we wanted.” Lois said she tried to keep busy after her husband’s death but was completely lost after her retirement. “I worked a few years after my husband died. But boy when I retired, I had nothing,” she said.

for more than 10 years. She works at the center’s front desk every Monday. “It’s just a really warm, welcoming place, and there’s so much to do there,” she said. The center offers a variety of activities including bridge, dominoes, pool, card games,

“My children didn’t live around here, so the Brighton Senior Center was really my salvation.” –Lois Seltzer, Brighton Senior Center volunteer “My children didn’t live around here, so the Brighton Senior Center was really my salvation.” Lois began coming to the Brighton Senior Center. She quickly got involved and has volunteered at the center

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crafts, exercise classes and computer classes. Meals are offered Mondays through Thursdays. There are also a number of trips each year offered through the senior center to various attractions. “I go on a lot of senior trips,” she said. “I enjoy going to the dinner playhouse in Boulder and lots of restaurants.” Lois said she’s made a lot of good friends through the center, and she encourages others to stop by, even just for lunch. “It’s just when you’re single, sometimes you just don’t eat at home like you should. So the socializing u General Repairs

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and the going out helps,” she said. “And even if it’s just for lunch, it breaks your day up.” When Lois isn’t spending time at the senior center, she loves to travel, especially to Utah, and to visit her children. She enjoys watching old Westerns, and she’s a collector. Her favorite items are Native American artifacts, and she has a basement displayed with Coca-Cola memorabilia. Lois said volunteers of any age are always needed at the center to help serve lunch, drive, work at the front desk and other duties. She encourages area residents age 55 and older to stop by the Brighton Senior Center to check it out. She knows it will be a lifechanging experience. “I just think it really enhances your life and you learn to make new friends which is hard,” she said. “When you’re young you have children and you meet all kinds of friends. But when you’ve lost a spouse and you’re alone, it’s not that easy. You have to have somewhere to go to meet people, and you have to keep your mind active. “Come on down and have coffee and see what it’s all about,” she said.

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Headin’ on

out to the fair Photo by John Carr

Photos by Kevin Denke

Annual Adams County Fair is Aug. 3 through Aug.7


t just simply doesn’t get any better than the Adams County Fair. Each August, the annual event rolls into the Adams County Fairgrounds and captivates young and old alike. The first Adams County Fair took place in October 1904, although its history dates back even further than that to 1888 with Market Day.

It all kicks off with the annual fair parade through the streets of Brighton and then the fun is under way. Rodeos, demolition derby, truck pulls, 4-H exhibits, carnival, concerts and livestock are just some of the sights to be seen. Visit www. or find them on Facebook.

adams county fair

O n e G reat C Ou n ty, O n e G reat Fa i r Celebrating 107 Years Aug. 3-7, 2011 Adams County Regional Park Photo Provided

Fair royalty past and present, from left, 2010, Adams County Fair Queen sydnie rask, 2011 Adams County Fair Queen Courtney Cox and 2011 lady in waiting Danielle McCormick.

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the Armory at brighton Cultural Center celebrated its first birthday in october of 2010. Armory staff is looking forward to offering a variety of entertainment and educational opportunities over the coming year.



re you planning a fundraiser for your nonprofit organization? A business luncheon? A class reunion? Helen Rodriquez, manager of the Armory at Brighton Cultural Center, wants you to know the historic facility is available for your use. The Armory is able to hold

300 people theater-style or 230 banquet style in the auditorium, in addition to 73 in its community room. Rodriquez urges local and area residents to keep the Armory in mind when planning a community event. She said the beauty, history and uniqueness of the facility has much to offer.

Continued on page 13

“Here at the Armory at Brighton Cultural Center, we specialize in atmosphere, lighting and audio in order to bring the participants and the talent to a new higher level,” Rodriguez said. “Immediately you’re taken up with the visions of the amenities that were here in 1921, such as all the dark maple woodwork and the beautiful original floor.” Though the Armory offers a historic feel, don’t let that fool you, Rodriquez said. The venue provides the most modern lighting, sound and facilities. Many musicians have commented after playing at the Armory that they have never experienced better sound. The lighting has expanded from 38 to 87 lights, she said, and some are LEDs that can create 48 different colors, so they can easily match the lights to school colors or business logos if requested. The Armory at Brighton Cultural Center celebrated its first birthday in October. Rodriquez and Karen Edmonds, house supervisor of the Armory, said to sum it up, it was a year beyond all expectations. “We opened Oct. 23, 2009, with a 10-day grand opening and have never looked back

since,” Rodriquez said in “This building belongs to the to offer its eight-week March 2011. “To date, we’ve community, to the citizens summer series. Concerts will had close to 15,000 visitors of Brighton, and it is our be offered on the exterior and 223 events. So this pleasure to bring the best Armory stage Mondays cultural arts performance of song, dance, and drama from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. On center must have been to our neighbors at every Tuesdays throughout the needed by Brighton and the opportunity.” summer, free classic movies surrounding area.” Rodriquez and Edmonds will be shown in the theater As the time has gone by, said the Brighton community at 6 p.m. Wednesdays will they have seen audiences can look forward to even more offer a 6 p.m. variety show on expand to include guests entertainment, education and the exterior stage. All events from Northglenn, Thornton, surprises from the Armory in are free and open to the Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, the coming year. public. Talent for the concerts across the state and even “In 2011, the Armory will and variety show is still being outside of Colorado. continue to strive to bring the recruited. Call 303-655-2140 “People bring their best in art, music, dance, and for more information. relatives from out of state drama to our community,” “We could not have to show off this community Edmonds said. “We done any of this without jewel,” Edmonds said. encourage folks to come in the support of the Brighton “People who have left and tell us what they would community, from the staff the area return to visit, like to see, and we will make who keeps the place running, and are amazed at the every effort to find those to the performers on our transformation. People who acts and present them in our stages, to the audiences of all visited the Armory in its programming.” ages who come to enjoy and previous ‘life’ come back, Once again in the summer support the programming, and tell us their memories, of 2011, the Armory will artists who have kept our their stories, their love of the work in conjunction with the beautiful theatre full of building, and their thanks Brighton Anythink Library terrific art,” Edmonds said. that it was restored.” Since its opening, the Armory has hosted national Soacts many ways touring including Dougto save money on auto So many manyways ways to save money on auto So to save money on auto Kershaw September, local andlast home insurance. theatre troupes, children’s and andhome homeinsurance. insurance. You mayfundraisers, qualify for one or more of our many auto and home insurance discounts. productions, YouSo forit off one orlist, more of our many auto and home insurance discounts. Call today and find out how much you can save. youqualify can check your andmore off yourofmind. Youmay may qualify for one or our many auto and home insurance discounts. community events, concerts Call today and find out how much you can save. So you can check it off your list, and off your mind. Call today and find out how much you can save. So you can check it off your list, and off your mind. and numerous art exhibits.  So many ways to save money on auto “Our goal is to present So many ways to save money on auto and home insurance. something for everyone, and So home insurance. many ways to save money on auto for every taste, for every You may qualify for one or more of our many auto and home insurance discounts. and home insurance. You may qualify for one or more of our many auto and home insurance discounts. age group,” Edmonds Call said. today and find out how much you can save. So you can check it off your list, and off your mind. Jacob Cmuch Fehler, Agent James Agency, Inc. Zamora, Call today and find out how you can save. SoA Hood you70 can check it off yourSonny list, andAgent off your mind. 301 4th Street N 4th Ave (303) 655-1300 Bus

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Photo by Christine Hollister

the prairie View high school geometry in construction class is teaching 40 students how to put their math knowledge to use by building a cabin, which sits on the north side of the pVhs property.

Something to build on

High school students put geometry skills to work C HRISTINE H OLLISTER


here’s the square? I need a square,” one

Prairie View High School geometry-in-construction student shouts across the wooden structure sitting on the north side of the school

grounds. On the south side of the construction site, PVHS math teacher Todd Riccio helps student Kevin Huckfeldt line

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up a board on the edge of what will some day be a set of steps. “That means this angle would have to be 57, right? Does that make sense now?” Riccio asks. Riccio and PVHS construction teacher Jim Cade are leading 40 eager students in building a cabin for the school’s first geometry in construction class. “It answers the question of, ‘When would I even use this?’” Riccio said. “This is where the math

Continued on page 15

makes sense,” Cade said. Geometry in construction is an alternative approach to learning geometry that is available as an option for students taking geometry at PVHS. Riccio and Cade teach the geometry objectives infused into construction. Students enroll for one credit of geometry and one credit of construction and are assigned a two-hour block of time every day. In addition to classroom and field work, the class also offers guest speakers, field trips and study and design of blueprints. “The biggest advantage to this program versus traditional math class is that this is all hands-on,” Cade said. Cade said he discussed implementing the program for the last four years with the 27J School District, before the green light for the 2010-11 school year. Cade teamed up with Riccio late last year to visit Loveland High School, which has been doing the program for several years. Nearly 70 students expressed interest in the first year of the program at Prairie View. But there were only slots for 40 students to participate. The class consists of mostly sophomores, with a few juniors and seniors. Nearly half of the students in the class are girls, and most of the students enrolled in the class have no prior experience with construction. The students learn geometry concepts in the classroom, then head out into the field – literally – to work on constructing the 600-squarefoot cabin using the concepts they have just learned. “It’s a great program and

the kids have bought into it, which is the best part,” Riccio said. Everything on the cabin, including framing, plumbing, roofing and even the fence around the site, is being built by PVHS students. After it’s finished this May, the cabin will be moved to a location in Central City. Sophomores Amber Lefor and Preston Mekelburg say they look forward to geometry-in-construction class each day. “It’s the most fun class I’m taking this year,” Mekelburg said, as Lefor, Huckfeldt and sophomore Brooke Daily nod their heads. “And we learn a lot.” In addition to practicing their geometry and learning the basics of construction, the students say they learn life lessons as well. “It’s taught a lot of kids out here to be responsible,” Lefor said. “We’ve learned a lot of teamwork,” Mekelburg added. Huckfeldt, a sophomore, said participating in the class has made him consider a career in construction. Riccio said the plan is to continue the program in future years at PVHS. The goal is to get the class big enough to partner with Habitat for Humanity one day. Cade, Riccio and the students say they are grateful for the support of the community for the first year of the geometry in construction class. “We have a long list of supporters,” Riccio said. “The community support has been overwhelming,” Cade added.

Photo by Christine Hollister

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Warm hearts

and a good home Photo by Christine Hollister

puppies and kittens spend their first eight weeks at the animal shelter before they can be adopted.

Adams County Animal Shelter looks for foster parents C HRISTINE H OLLISTER


i sweetie,” says Chris McCracken as she cracks open a kennel door. A small, fluffy dog with a bow on her head bounces out, and three young pups stumble behind her. “Oh, hello honey, how are you?” McCracken says as she picks up a brown and black puppy and scratches its tiny head.


The mother dog and her puppies are in a room at the Adams County Animal Shelter with other puppies and kittens who are not yet old enough to be put up for adoption. Animals need to be at least 8 weeks old to be eligible for adoption, said McCracken, Adams County Animal Shelter kennel supervisor. This is where volunteers with the shelter’s foster

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program step in. Foster families are needed to care for these puppies, kittens, dogs and cats in their own home until they are ready for adoption. There are a variety of needs, McCracken said. For instance, volunteers could care for a litter of five, 6-week-old kittens with no mother, or a mother cat with her two, 3-week-old kittens. It

could be six newborn kittens without a mother that need to be bottle fed. It could be a litter of puppies without a mom who just needs a couple of weeks of home care before being adopted out. Or, it could even be an older dog in need of socialization or nursing back to health before being adopted.

Continued on page 17

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“Volunteers can pick what they want,” McCracken said. “We just want the animals to go out and live in people’s homes and have a normal life.” Sonya Zimmerman, who is a kennel tech at the shelter, said she was fostering long before she began working there. She still fosters when she can and is now caring for a Chihuahua puppy, Monster. “It’s just the whole experience of watching them grow and to help people find them a home is very rewarding,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity.” McCracken said the main requirement to be a foster parent to kittens or puppies is simple. “You have to be an animal lover,” she said. Foster parents fill out an application and attend an orientation session. A home visit where shelter staff visits the potential foster family’s home is also required. In the foster situation, the shelter provides food, litter and vet care. “We’d love it for them to be able to supply the food. But if they can just supply the house, that’s a huge head start for us,” McCracken said. Brighton resident and Realtor Beth Martin said she was grieving after losing a dog last winter but knew that she still wanted to be around animals. “I was not ready to adopt again. So on a whim, I agreed to volunteer,” she said. “I was afraid I would want to bring them all home every night. But I don’t feel that way at all actually. It feels great being part of what might help these animals instead of just standing on the sidelines.” Martin has worked on a number of duties since she began as a volunteer for the

Chris McCracken, kennel supervisor for the Adams County Animal shelter, said a foster family is needed to care for this litter of three pups and their mom for a few weeks before they are eligible for adoption.

Photo by Christine Hollister

shelter. “I do everything from cleaning kennels, doing laundry and helping feed and water to helping the administrative staff out front with directing visitors, answering phones, filing and generally assisting the very busy staff in any way I can,” she said. Martin also served as a foster parent to a dog that was recovering from major surgery and needed physical therapy in order to have a functioning rear leg again. Though it is not part of the foster parent’s duties, she was able to help find the dog its adoptive parents. “It was an amazing experience,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.” McCracken said the shelter’s volunteers are crucial to helping with the successful adoption of more than 8,000 cats and dogs each year. “I still feel something special with various dogs and cats there of course. But it just makes me work harder to find them a forever home and to remind people to spay/neuter and to treat these friends the way they deserve,” Martin said. “It’s awesome to watch a scared, lonely animal come back to life in the right home, and it happens all the time.” Contact the Adams County Animal Shelter, 10705 Fulton St., Brighton, at 303-288-3294.

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Natural Beauty


righton resident and freelance photographer John Carr has an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. And when that happens, as it often does, his pictures are a visual feast filled with both energy and a sense of awe. Carr particularly likes stealing away to Brighton’s Barr Lake State Park to catch wildlife frolicking in their natural environment. And sometimes, he doesn’t even have to go that far, such as when he found a coyote stalking across the prairie near the aptly named Prairie Center retail development. But it’s not only Carr’s work behind the lens that is impressive. Carr, a New Jersey native, moved to Colorado 10 years ago and Brighton a little more than three years ago from Summit County. “I searched for seven years after moving to Colorado to find a community like Brighton,” he said. “While I know we are the city of Brighton, to me it is more like the hometown of Brighton. Brighton is made up of the most caring people I have ever known.” In just a brief amount of time in the community, Carr has made an indelible impact with his work with the Brighton Rotary Club and other community efforts. He earned the Brighton Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award in 2010.

18 | Profiles of Brighton | Metrowest publishing


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Metrowest publishing | Profiles of Brighton | 19

Calendar of Events


ages 3 to 11 and special treats for all the youngsters, infant to 2 years old. The event is free. It is also outdoors, so dress for the weather. Call 303-655-2200.

15: The board of directors and staff of Almost Home Inc. invite the community to the “Give a Heart a Home” after-hours charity event at the Historic Brighton Armory from 5 to 7 p.m. R.S.V.P. by email to Ian Jacobs (ian@almosthomeonline. org) or call the Almost Home at 303-659-6199.

May 7: Help for Homes: Help for Homes brings volunteers and neighbors together to perform yard work and fix up homes for the elderly and disabled. Call Sue at 303-655-2075 for information.

15: Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow: Stars of Tomorrow show is 7 p.m., at the Brighton High School auditorium, 270 S. Eighth Ave. 16: City of Brighton Eggstravganza: Noon at Brighton Park at the Brighton Recreation Center, 555, N. 11th Ave. Events include a visit by the Easter bunny, an Easter egg hunt for

14: The Bromley Bolt - walk, run and entertainment for the children of the Brighton area, Dewey Strong Park, 468 Longspur Drive. Call 303-654-1410.

the annual turkey trot run/walk is nov. 19.

14: Sean May Memorial Run/ Walk, Barr Lake State Park,

3: Movies and music at Prairie Center, live music starts at 7 p.m., movie follows at

Photo by John Carr


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4: Culturefest: Taste of Brighton - A full day of cultural entertainment along Main Street and at the Brighton Pavilions. Visit for information. 16: Brighton Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m., Jim Vincent, Farmers Insurance, 191 Telluride St. 18 and 19: Little Britches Rodeo: June 18 and 19 at the Adams County Fairgrounds, 9755 Henderson Road. Contact chairperson Jerry Lynn at 720496-8224 or Doug Dorsey at


25: United Power charity softball tournament, Brighton Sports Complex, Registration information is available at www. Volunteers are needed to help umpire, score and provide tournament support. Call 303-637-1340 to volunteer. 28: Brighton Chamber of Commerce annual golf tournament, Heritage Todd Creek

August 3-7: Adams County Fair, Adams County Fairgrounds, 9755 Henderson Road, www.

4: Fourth of July celebration Early evening concert followed by a fireworks display, Friendship Park, Brighton

13: Market Day - Live entertainment and a celebration of Brighton’s agricultural heritage at the Brighton Armory at Cultural Center, Fourth Avenue and Bridge Street.

8-9: Relay For Life of Brighton, at Brighton Recreation Center, 555 N. 11th Ave.

Brighton Chamber of Commerce Duck Race, time and date to be announced

22: Movies and music at Prairie Center, live music starts at 7 p.m., movie follows at sunset, Visit http://www.prairiecenterco. com/ for information.

September 22: Brighton Chamber Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m., Morgan Realty, 1401 E. Bridge St.

24: Ecofair - An event focused on energy conservation, alternative energy and environmental resources at the Brighton Armory at Cultural Center, Fourth Avenue and Bridge Street

October 1: Roast Beef Dinner: Henderson Community Church, 120th Avenue and Oakland Street, hosts its 51th annual roast beef dinner and bazaar from 5 to 8 p.m., Oct. 1. Call 303-659-4748 for information. 27: Brighton Chamber Business After Hours: 5 to 7 p.m., Brighton Ford, U.S. Highway and Bromley Lane

November 12: Brighton Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, Armory at Brighton Cultural Center, Bridge Street and Fourth Avenue 19: 27th annual Brighton Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk, 8:30 a.m., Brighton Recreation Center, 555 N. 11th Ave. Visit www. for information.

December 10: Winterfest and Brighton Festival of Lights - A holiday hometown tradition with a day full of events and a night-time electrical parade. Visit www. for information.

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Metrowest publishing | Profiles of Brighton | 21

A H eart for the S mall

Photo by Christine Hollister

Karen Albrecht, left, and Melda Musick work in the special care nursery at platte Valley Medical Center.

Special care nursery staff pour hearts into helping sick newborns C HRISTINE H OLLISTER


urse practitioner Melda Musick hears a baby cry from a nearby patient room as she walks through the hallway of the Special Care Nursery at Platte Valley Medical Center. “I like that sound,” she says with a smile. “A crying baby is a healthy baby.” Melda says she drives all the way from Nebraska — a 2-hour and 45-minute drive one way — for each 24-hour shift at PVMC. “That shows you how much I love being here and how much I love what I do,” she said. The 10 regular nurses on

staff in PVMC’s Level II Special Care Nursery have more than 250 years of experience caring for babies. This is not including the unit’s five extra nurses and six nurse practitioners. “People who have that much experience working with babies love what they do or we wouldn’t have that,” said SCN Clinical Coordinator Karen Albrecht. Karen said she was thrilled to have been offered the job to head the department in 2007 when the new hospital opened. She moved from Chicago to take the job. One of the primary reasons she was so excited about the opportunity was the fact that the unit offered private rooms. She said

22 | Profiles of Brighton | Metrowest publishing

they are able to offer a whole new level of care for the infants and families with the private rooms. “We don’t just get to love babies. We get to love the whole family now,” she said. “Our motto is that we partner with parents to nurture babies. That’s our job. That’s what we do. “I’ve worked in places where parents were visitors,” she continued. “This is so much better for families and it’s what the babies deserve.” Because many of the babies in the SCN have been born prematurely, staff does its best to imitate the environment of the womb in each of the private rooms. They’re often quiet and

dark. The staff try to make the families as comfortable as possible. “We love babies, yes, but we also love families,” Albrecht said. “Our unit is designed for families. Each baby has its own room. The family has a place to be a family. Moms and dads can be parents. They can sing to their baby, rock their baby, read to their baby and care for their baby in privacy but with professional support close by.” Each baby gets a custom made sign to hang outside their door. The nurses bring in the supplies from scrapbooking stores and make cute signs that say the baby’s name, birth date

Continued on page 23

and weight. They customize the signs with pictures. The babies also have a wipe off board in their rooms, on which the nurses communicate the plan of care for the baby.    “In addition to medical plans, plans also include, ‘Grow big and strong, cuddle with my mommy and daddy, mommy’s going to give me a bath, and to go home,’” Karen said.     The nurses in the special care nursery get to know each of their young patients and families. They typically see patients in their care for several days, a few weeks, or even a couple of months, so they do get to know the families well. And they do all they can to make their stay comfortable and less frightening.     Emotionally, having a baby in the Special Care Nursery can be very difficult for parents, Karen says.

   “We are partners with the families,” she said. “When they can’t be there, we are there for their baby. We nurture the babies when mom and dad can’t be around. We teach families how to care for fragile, tiny, premature babies. Our purpose is to support the bond between parent and infant, but we also support mom and dad.     “I love helping parents be parents,” she continued. “One thing I really enjoy about my job is helping parents relate to this tiny little baby and help them be parents. It’s really kind of scary when your baby is born and there are tubes in places where you didn’t think they would be.”     “When we say we love our jobs and love our babies, there’s nothing better than that first bonding moment with the mother and father and child,” Musick said. “And we get to be a part of that.”

   Albrecht tells a story of how in Christmas 2008, when they were caring for a tiny 6-week-old baby who had an infection. The mom had a very difficult pregnancy and an extremely dangerous delivery. It was almost Christmas, and the mother spent 24 hours a day in the hospital with the baby for seven days straight. They learned the family also had some difficult financial circumstances as well.     “There were several children in the family, and there wasn’t going to be much of a Christmas,” she said. “All of the nurses and the nurse practitioners got together and bought hundreds of dollars worth of gifts for the mom and dad and children. Since that year, the nurses have provided gifts and food for a family every Christmas through the Brighton organization Almost Home.”

   The bulletin board in the Special Care Nursery is filled with thank you cards from families and pictures of their ‘graduates.’     “Sometimes for years families will continue to send us updated pictures of their baby,” Albrecht said. “Sometimes our doorbell will ring and there will be one of our little ones, coming back for a visit.”     Both smile when they talk about what they love about their jobs … and the babies.     “There’s something special in an NICU nurse,” Albrecht said. “That love encompasses so much more than that one little patient. It truly is caring because it’s the patient, it’s family and it’s other nurses.     “Once we get done with the medical care and the physical care, that’s our job,” she added. “Just holding and rocking babies that need some loving.”  


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