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The Legacy

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Installations are backed by Sutherlands Design Gallery “We do it right the first time!” –Dan Hoback, Installation Manager

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2701 SOUTH COLLEGE AVENUE FORT COLLINS • (970) 226-1000 Come by our showroom today or visit us on the web at

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Other Agencies Holding Events: SAVA t Kids at Heart t Spirit Crossing Bowl for Life Suicide Prevention PTO’s from multiple Poudre & Thompson Valley School Districts t Foothills Gateway Timberline Church t Vineyard Church Katrina Hurricane Victims t Childsafe and numerous others...

College Center

830 N. Colleget484-4777


“Chipper’s is an outstanding advocate for families and children, as evidenced by both their family friendly business and their partnership with us and other child serving agencies in the form of Chipper’s Black Tie Bowling event. It is a great fundraiser and a fun time while raising awareness of children in need in our community!”

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217 W. Horsetootht226-6327

Lynn Oesterle-Zollner Executive Director Casa of Larimer County

Broomfield Center

100 Nickel St.t303-466-9700 Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

With breast cancer, early detection is the key to a positive outcome. That's why the experienced staff at McKee Medical Center is highly trained in the latest in digital mammography. This new technology gives a clearer, more accurate picture with much quicker results. Should mammography or ultrasound find an abnormality in one of our patients, we have a new BreastSpecific Gamma Imaging Camera, one of only 40 across the country, that helps quickly differentiate between benign and malignant masses. If cancer is discovered, you can take comfort in knowing that our comprehensive care is recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

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Banner Health

McKee Medical Center 2000 N. Boise Ave. • Loveland (970) 669-4640 Job opportunities: or 866-377-5627 (EOE /AA) Banner Health is the leading nonprofit health care provider in northern Colorado.

The smile of your life that’s the overton difference styl e medi a and design, inc. | 970.226.6400 |

w w w. s t y l e m a g a z i n e c o l o r a d o . c o m Publisher Lydia J. Dody Editor Corey Radman

creative director Scott Prosser Senior Designer Austin Lamb

Advertising Sales EXECUTIVES Jon Ainslie (970) 219-9226 Abby Bloedorn (970) 222-8406 Karen Christensen (970) 679-7593 Lydia Dody (970) 227-6400 Saundra Skrove (970) 217-9932 Office Manager Ina Szwec Accounting Manager Karla Vigil Data Entry Betty Frye Contributing Writers Mishelle Baun, Laura Lee Carter, Allie Comeau, Lynn M. Dean, Carol Ann Hixon, Debbie Jorgenson, Caitlin Kelly, Corey Radman, Kay Rios, Jim Sprout, Ina Szwec, Claude Vallance, Jason Webb Copy editor Richard Yount Contributing photographers Shaun Hudson, Dana Milner, Todd Newcomer Affiliations Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Loveland Chamber of Commerce Greeley Chamber of Commerce Windsor Chamber of Commerce

Look Younger, Gain Confidence & Boost Your Career Success.

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2008 Style Magazines January-Loveland/Greeley Medical & Wellness Magazine and Directory February-Building & Remodeling March-Northern Colorado Medical & Wellness March-Family, Community & Philanthropy April-Business of Northern Colorado May-Building & Remodeling - Home & Garden May-Northern Colorado Medical & Wellness June-Business to Business June-Building & Remodeling July-Fort Collins Medical & Wellness Magazine and Directories August-Women In Business September-Building & Remodeling Home Interiors & Entertainment October-Women’s Lifestyle Health & Beauty October-Northern Colorado Medical & Wellness November-Holiday December-Winter/Wedding Style Media and Design, Inc. magazines are free monthly publications direct-mailed to homes and businesses in Northern Colorado. Elsewhere, subscriptions for 16 issues cost $24/year. Free magazines are available in stands at 75 locations throughout Northern Colorado. For ad rates, subscription information, change of address, or correspondence, contact: Style Media and Design Inc., 211 W. Myrtle, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521. Phone (970) 226-6400. E-Mail: ©2008 Style Media and Design Inc. All rights reserved. The entire contents of Style Magazine is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Style Media and Design Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited material. All manuscripts, artwork, and photography must be accompanied by a SASE. The views and opinions of any contributing writers are not necessarily those of Style Media & Design Inc.


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

When he takes a tumble, We're herefor you. Even healthy kids need a little medical attention sometimes. If your doctor's office is closed and your family needs care, we're here for you. Harmony Urgent Care Center is:

• open 9 a.m.- 9 p .m. every day. • for minor illnesses and injuries. • located at the intersection of Harmony and Timberline. For friendly, personal care, we're here for you.

Publisher’s Letter

“I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” -Helen Keller

Someone once said, “You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your wage, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” It is in this way that I try to live perfect days. A simple smile or kind words to a stranger might mean more than we know. A hug to a friend may be just what it takes to make a difference. And, our commitment to helping others in need might change someone’s life. This issue of Style Magazine focuses on the various non-profit organizations that are dedicated to improving quality of life for people living in the Front Range. I continue to be touched by all the generous and caring citizens who are making a difference in the lives of so many. As some of you know, my passion has been supporting Hope Lives Breast Cancer Support Center to help women diagnosed with breast cancer. I encourage you to support their upcoming Boa Run and be sure to attend the highly anticipated Hope Lives Gala on October 25th. Both will touch your heart and leave you with a new appreciation for life. We at Style Magazine are media sponsors of several non-profit organizations and are honored to dedicate this issue to articles about the good works being done by non-profits in our region. As you read, may you be moved to volunteer, sponsor, or donate in some fashion. Your philanthropy will touch someone else’s life as well as enrich your own. Many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Gary and Carol Ann Hixon, a couple who have spent a lifetime enriching our community. Over the years they have passionately supported the arts and education in our community. Carol Ann

has been serving in various capacities in education, and we have enjoyed her talents at Style as a writer. Gary is a well-known interior designer who has created incredible environments for countless clients. Together they attended our Style Customer Appreciation Event where we auctioned off our cover as a donation to Hope Lives Breast Cancer Support Center and he generously bid and bought that spot. Afterwards, Gary and I had lunch and he shared the surprising news that after 32 years in the design business, he was selling Gary Hixon Interiors to an employee, Sarah Bashore. Needless to say, I was shocked, since Gary is entirely too young to retire! But hurray for him, for finding just the right person to continue his incredible legacy. Thank you Gary for beautifying the lives of so many, for your kindness, your creative energy and your friendship. I know this is just the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for you and Carol Ann! May the spirit of this issue motivate and inspire each of you. Remember none of us can give too much kindness or gratitude. The smiles, the thanks we give, the acknowledgements and the little gestures of appreciation can build somebody up and make their day. And, the best part is that when you reach out and do something for someone else you enrich yourself in the process! I will leave you with this quote by Helen Keller: “I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” With gratitude,


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

We welcome your comments By phone: 970.226.6400 By fax: 970.226.6427 By email:

Looking forward to Advertising Hello Lydia, Thank you very much for including me and Boyd Lake Village in Style. I have already received several compliments from people that really enjoyed the article. I look forward to meeting you soon and advertising in Style. ~ Take care, Kirk A. Dando DANDO DEVELOPMENT AND DANDO ADVISORS

February Cover Our article on the cover of the February Style Magazine was great exposure for BHA Design. We have received several calls from colleagues and clients who saw the article. Thank you for thinking of us for your Building and Remodeling issue focused on sustainable design. ~ Angela Milewski Managing Partner, BHA Design, Inc.

Hardly Irrelevant

Support Habitat for Humanity

Dear Lydia, After I read the letter from the person who was upset about receiving a complimentary copy of Style because of its “irrelevance” to her business, I just had to respond. Probably the reason she sees your magazine “all over town” is because it is so relevant, especially to the cancer patents and survivors in our community. The informative articles on the latest technology, therapy and drugs continue to offer a kind of hope and support that is unique. I cut and keep many of those articles, and I recently mailed several of them to two friends in my hometown in Indiana who are dealing with breast cancer. I wish I had sent you their thank you notes! Soon after my diagnosis, I had the opportunity to participate in your Hope Lives! Ball. I will cherish the memories of that evening the rest of my life. Thank you for all the “irrelevant” articles you print and the many fundraisers you promote in Style, both of which are saving lives. What could be more relevant?

Lydia, I truly enjoyed reading your latest publisher’s letter and your renewed commitments for 2008. Thank you for raving about your newest commitment – a salsa “star” in Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity’s 5th Annual Gala – to your readers. It has been a pleasure working with you on this event and I appreciate your participation. I do hope to see the readers of Style supporting you and local families in need on April 5th! ~ Shannon Hein Fundraising Events & PR Coordinator Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity

Article a Hit! Thanks and Thanks again. We’ve had so many great comments about the [December] article. I really have enjoyed your help.” ~ Calida Troxell-Bloom Lazy Dog Ranch

~ Sincerely, Kay E. Roy


“Where quality reflects in everything we do”







- Peter Weeks - Owner

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008

970.484.3657 407 Riverside Fort Collins

- Lauri Thompson - Manager


March 2008 :: Family, Community & Philanthropy

12 16


Legacy 12 The Gary Hixon Interiors

16 Homemakers Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity of the Symphony 18 Secrets Fort Collins Symphony Homes, 20 Building Building Hope

Greeley Area Habitat for Humanity

Hope 22 Finding Hope Lives! Breast Cancer Support Center

18 22

Heart of Hospice 24 The Hospice of Larimer County Wild Faith 26 Lutheran Ranches of the Rockies that count 28 Scholarships North Colorado Medical Center Foundation

Kids & Families 30 Helping Lead Normal Lives

24 30

PVH Center for Diabetes Services

Shared Journey 32 A Shared Journeys Brain Injury Foundation Science 34 Extreme Spine Education and Research Institute a Family Affair 44 It’s Mountain Kids & Wild Boar Coffee



Together 46 Traveling Calm Your Commute with VanGO columns


Looking to the future, Gary Hixon passes the torch to the new owner of Gary Hixon Interiors, Sarah Bashore. Photography by Dana Milner

8 Publisher’s Letter 9 From The Readers Review 42 Restaurant The Rustic Oven Town 47 About Chat Amour Mosaic of the Arts FC Symphony Soiree Dancing With The Stars Chocolate Masquerade

Pillars 50 Community Tom And Jean Sutherland 10

w w w.stylemagaz ine c olor ado.c om

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


VanGo picks Pedersen and the Toyota Sienna

Why Pedersen? Honesty Integrity Reputation Huge Selection 21 Models Family Owned Community Partner

Why Toyota Sienna?





Serving Northern Colorado over 30 years!


Front seat mounted side air bags n Side air curtain air bags on all three rows n Four wheel disc brakes n Anti-lock brakes n Electronic brake force distribution n Brake assist n Vehicle stability control n Traction control n Front and rear energyabsorbing crumple zones n Reinforced steel unitized body with high tensile strength steel body panels and side impact beams

Comfort/Convenience access to second and third row seating

Spacious seating in a 7 or 8 passenger configuration n Sliding side doors provide easy n Power sliding side windows n Power sliding side windows n Stow away third row seating and removable second row seats for diversified cargo/passenger needs n Deep storage well behind the third row seat n Tilt and Telescopic steering wheel

Powerful and low emissions 5 Speed electronically controlled automatic transmission 17 mpg City rating from the EPA Economical 23 mpg Highway rating from the EPA

266 hp 3.5 liter v6 n 245lb -ft torque n DOHC with Dual Variable Valve Timing provides uniform power distribution n


Ron Lewis, Toyota Sales Consultant

223-3100 4455 S. College Fort Collins, CO


Looking to the future, Gary Hixon passes the torch to the new owner of Gary Hixon Interiros, Sarah Bashore.


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

The Legacy Gary Hixon Interiors

By Carol Ann Hixon

Growing up on a wheat farm in Nebraska, Gary Hixon had no idea that he would one day have a successful interior design business in Fort Collins and that he would so enjoy helping out in the community. Today he explains it this way, “We have been so fortunate – and we have fun giving back. It’s our way to say ‘thank you’ to the community that encouraged us to become who we are.” Incidentally, “we” includes me, Carol Ann, his wife.


ary sees Fort Collins as a city with abundant opportunities to explore many types of interests and a willingness to have citizens involved wherever they choose. It’s a place where advocates for all types of issues have a voice and, most likely, a group. It has been a place where a farm boy could thrive. “Fort Collins has been wonderful to our family from day one when we rented a tiny house on Shields Street in 1966.” That’s when the Hixons moved from Greeley to earn Gary’s degree from Colorado State University while Carol Ann taught at Poudre High. They planned to seek their fortune elsewhere upon graduation. They stayed in Fort Collins instead, and the rest is the history of Gary Hixon Interiors. Building an interior design business in Fort Collins in the early ‘70s had its share of detours. The town was small, but growing, and the same sense of community that exists today was fostered then. However, a major consideration for Gary was the fact that people weren’t quite certain what an interior designer did. To add credibility, he earned his American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) membership and set about becoming an integral part of the community. Sarah Bashore came to Fort Collins on a bit of a whim in 1995, after interning with Amirob & Associates in Denver. Gary liked her spirit – and she had a degree in interior design – and he needed a project manager. She joined the team. Has she ever considered trying other communities? Absolutely not. She loves the mountains, the hiking, the fishing, and she loves the accessibility to many types of cultural activities. Fort Collins lets her blend her appreciation of the outdoors and arts – and it allows her to grow her skills as an interior designer.

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008

The next phase for the design firm begins now. Sarah became the owner of Hixon Interiors as the new year began. What changes will this mean? Sarah replies, “Clients will continue to receive the same quality attention to creativity, detail, and service - the same clarity of organization. And – they’ll call the same telephone number (970-484-5192). Besides, Gary will continue to accept projects.” Like Gary, Sarah, is a member of ASID having passed the rigorous exams. She stresses the importance of having each project be unique and suited to the client. Her professional approach to interior designing means thinking through an entire project at the start, making note of every detail, and keeping notebooks filled with copious notes. This philosophy is reflected in her vision for the continuing Hixon Interiors – Artful Interiors Reflecting Individual Style. How did Gary “grow” the business that is now Sarah Bashore’s Hixon Interiors? Perhaps Gary’s innate trust coupled with creativity and a strong work ethic kept the business moving forward, slowly. Patience helped, too. Sarah, Gary’s project manager for 13 years notes that “staff and subcontractors work well with Gary because he trusts that each person will do the best job possible.” A stickler for details executed with precision, Gary works closely with the subcontractors who work on his projects, and he “works with the best in the region.” Trust engenders a feeling of partnership and clients reap the benefits. A number of people influenced Gary along the way. Chuck Bowling of Bowling Galleries in Fort Collins saw to it that Gary met people at social gatherings, introducing him to organizations that were part of the fiber of the town. “Grandma Ev” – Eva Sidebottom – was a strong believer in “passing on kindness.” Leaders in the community demonstrated giving of both time and money. Others modeled unselfish friendship. Gary can cite specifics that im-


Clients will continue to receive the same quality attention to creativity, detail, and service - the same clarity of organization. . . Besides, Gary will continue to accept projects.

Sarah Bashore

New Owner of Gary Hixon Interiors

Gwen and Charlie Hatchette select upholstery fabric with Sarah Bashore.


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

pressed him and pointed him in the direction of his passion. The arts – all of them – “fill the soul of a community” and you will find Gary volunteering on many occasions for arts events. Visit Hixon Interiors’ website – – and you find the web links to many of the groups he supports with time, expertise, and funding. One of Gary’s goals is to help every person understand the value of the arts in every day living. A dreamer at heart, he strives for ways to develop audiences and appreciation for the performing and visual arts. A favorite project is Living with Art, one of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s fundraising events. The evening includes food-asart and musical performances in addition to the visual arts. “People need to see that living with art in your surroundings enhances the quality of life.” He encourages people to find art they like and to “check out the local scene. Fort Collins has many talented artists; it adds to the enjoyment of a piece when you can have a conversation with the artist.” Sarah finds Gary’s enthusiasm for supporting arts-related ventures contagious and she has worked with Gary on a number of projects, including Living with Art. In addition to being an interior designer, Sarah is a fine artist who works primarily in watercolor. Each year she has created one of the MOCA Masks. Gary “designs” the gala tables and displays. She currently serves as president of the Lincoln Center Support League, a group Gary and Carol Ann have worked with as well. It was Sarah’s idea for Gary Hixon Interiors to host art exhibits for local artists, providing them a place to showcase their work. Over eight years, Sarah estimates they had the works of more than 50 artists in the historic office. Sarah says Gary’s encouragement spurred her on to make the arts receptions a special event for artists, clients, and the community. Often, she invited musicians from the Youth Orchestra of the Rockies to create a special ambiance. Gary Hixon Interiors opened in the Marty Falk Building on College Avenue in 1975 and moved into the Montezuma Fuller House on Magnolia in 1977. Gary had admired the house since his university days and purchasing it fulfilled a dream. The Fuller House, which is on local, state, and national historic registers, has been one way for the Hixons to give back in another area of passion – education. Gary lost track of the number of elementary students who toured the building, always hoping to find Montezuma Fuller’s ghost. Gary has even portrayed Fuller for a cemetery tour for second grade students. Sarah’s commitment to community makes her mentor proud. “Plus, she adds her own dimension,” notes Gary. Sarah volunteers in an elementary school and has worked with Habitat for Humanity. For Gary Hixon, 2008 is the beginning of a new era, one with more time to volunteer – “Is that possible?” For Sarah Bashore, 2008 is the beginning of a new role and opportunities. She will be, as her mission statement says, “Enriching your life, supporting our community.” Carol Ann Hixon is a retired teacher and occasional writer who shares Gary’s passion for “giving back.”

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008


F o r t

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H a b i t a t

f o r

H u m a n i t y Photography by Shaun Hudson.

Habitat for Humanity Women Build

Homemakers Aren’t “June Cleavers” Anymore By M ischelle Ba un

When you hear “do your nails,” do you pick up your polish or your hammer? Habitat volunteers Tess Waugh, Jessie Donaldson, and Leah Grossman defy the homemaker mold.

Costume jewelry like this will be up for auction at Jewels in June.


n Fort Collins, there is a group of women who hoist their pink power tools at this call to duty. The old definition of homemaker certainly doesn’t describe the Women Build volunteers. These modern-day “homemakers” are a different breed. The Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, which has rallied the power of sisterhood to both fund and build two homes for single mothers since 2003, is about to embark on its third home. True to its mission of supporting young, single mothers who are diamonds in the rough, the fundraising drive for this year’s Women Build home will raise money through its “Jewels in June” jewelry sale, vintage fashion show, silent and live auctions. Women from the Fort Collins area and beyond will be donating gently-worn gems—from costume jewelry to new items donated by local merchants and one-of-a-kind estate items—to help the group reach its funding goals. The planning committee is sending out letters to local politicians, businesswomen and to national political candidates asking them—or their wives--to donate a piece of jewelry to the auction. Fundraising for its previous two homes has been a painstaking process that included small fundraisers such as bake sales, quilt raffles, and publishing a cook book, sometimes only raising $200 at a time. The Women Build Commit-

tee hopes that larger fundraising events, such as Jewels in June, will allow the group to plan and build homes with less fundraising effort. The team has pledged to raise $50,000 toward the building of this home (which costs about $165,000) and hopes to raise $35,000 at the auction. “This is such an exciting project for us,” said Candace Mayo, Executive Director. “The exuberance and excitement of the women who want to see this home be built is truly amazing and inspiring.” Sparkling jewel One of the hundreds of “gems” behind the Women Build’s momentum is Jessie Donaldson, who opens her home on Thursday, June 5, 2008 for the Jewels in June event. After being inspired by reading Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life,” Donaldson showed up at the groundbreaking for the second Women Build home in December 2005. When the call went out for anyone with construction knowledge, she raised her hand, albeit nervously. She was made a crew chief on her first day. Some two years later, Donaldson says, “It was the best day of my life … I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I look forward to going out on build Saturdays.” Women Build is not only about building. Volunteer opportunities range from fundraising, public relations, educational projects, and even

Candace Mayo, Executive Director of Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity.

To Get Involved: With Women Build Visit or call Cathie at (970) 466-2600 With Jewels in June To donate jewelry, reading glasses, watches, purses, and jewelry boxes e-mail or call (970) 225-2901 To attend June 5th event Purchase $12 tickets at Habitat Home Store, 4001 S. Taft Hill Road or call Cathie at (970) 466-2600. continued on page 36


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


Fort Collins

{tlf Habitat for Humanity速 proudly presents ...

Our'5lhAnnual Hard Hat. Black Tie Event

April )th 2008 Saturday, April 5, 2008 6 p.m . - Midnight Fort Collins Marriott Centennial Ballroom 350 East Horsetooth Road

F o r t

C o l l i n s

S y mp h o n y

Secrets of the Symphony

By M ischelle B a u n

If the thought of an evening with the symphony evokes images of tuxedoed musicians playing the compositions of 19th century masters, then the Fort Collins Symphony (FCS) might alter your mindset. In fact, the Symphony provides offerings that suit a wide-variety of musical tastes. Fort Collins Symphony Conductor, Maestro Wes Kenney.

Dr. Donn and Mary Turner’s patio soirée. Courtesy of Richard Richutti.


ne of the best-kept secrets of the Symphony is its soirées. Public radio fans have come to know these intimate gatherings as ‘living-room’ concerts. Each season, the Symphony presents a well-rounded offering of highly talented musicians who perform to small audiences; it’s a private show with a top musical act, catered hors d’oeuvres, wine, and 40 new friends. Recent concerts have included Flamenco guitar-master René Heredia (on Dr. Donn and Mary Turner’s patio), rock-music group Firefall’s founding guitarist Steve Manshel, (on the stage in Ed and Julie Tynan’s basement), and folk guitarist Dick Orleans, once of the Limeliters (in Scott Kintz and Kit Sutherland’s great room). Upcoming concerts feature classical violinist Michael Ludwig, sharing his toe-tapping style at Myra Monfort and Bill Runyan’s home, followed by Hawaiian swing band Book ‘Em Danno, which will wrap up the soirée season in the confines provided by Trudy and Wes Sargent. Home for the Holidays There is one group that has become synonymous with holiday-season soirées. Berthoudbased instrumentalists Acoustic Eidolon, featuring cellist Hannah Alkire and Joe Scott, known for his custom “guit-jo” instrument. The 14-string, double-necked “guit-jo” origi-

nated with Scott’s idea to string a guitar like a banjo. He eventually learned to play both necks at the same time, managing bass and chords with one hand and melodies with the other. “The result is an instrument with incredible range and tone, that has a sound all its own,” Scott says. “I love being able to play shows so close to home, versus being out of state or an ocean away,” Alkire says. We’re thrilled to be able to directly help the FCS. I’m a classically trained musician and appreciate being able to help provide classical music opportunities for others. The intimate soirée setting is one of the attractions that keeps Acoustic Eidolon coming back. “We feel like the connection to the audience is as important as the music we play, so these are perfect spaces to really get to connect with folks, both during the concert and afterwards,” Alkire says. The duo played its first Symphony soirée at the home of Wendy and Doug Ishii, Alkire fondly recounts. “We now give an annual concert at Bas Bleu each August where Wendy is artistic director, and they have become dear friends,” she says. The Acoustic Eidolon performance stems from the group’s effort to “take our audiences on a journey,” Alkire says. We change styles with each piece, and have a few vocal numbers each set, to break up the instrumental sound. And we put in a few recognizable songs each set, such

Hannah Alkire and Joe Scott, known as Acoustic Eidolon. as the Beatles, Eleanor Rigby, so people can hear those ‘old friends.’” Between songs Alkire and Scott share stories about what inspired the piece or stories about their own relationship, in which the musical relationship became a matrimonial one. We feel very fortunate to be able to do what we love, with the one we love, as we tour around the world.” A Maestro and his musical journeys Another secret of the Symphony is its conductor, Maestro Wes Kenney, who is now in his fifth season. Since taking the helm, Kenney has taken the Symphony and the region’s music enthusiasts on many storied journeys. He’s sailed the seas with

To learn more about the Symphony’s upcoming events, Sign up for its e-mail list at www. To offer your home for a soiree, contact or call the office at 482-4823. continued on page 36


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

~ ------


First Western Trust Bank is proud to be a supporter of the Fort Collins Symphony.



G r e e l e y

A r e a

H a b i t a t

f o r

H u m a n i t y

Building Homes, Building Hope By Allie Comeau

There’s no doubt that volunteers are the heart and soul of Greeley Area Habitat for Humanity (GAHFH). To imagine this special non-profit organization without its volunteers would be like trying to picture a plane without its wings… unable to take flight. Eric Long, volunteer with GAHFH, caulks the seams.

Linda Akers, Executive Director of GAHFH, gets dirty with the rest of the drywall crew.

Ryan Mahoney, Student Volunteer with GAHFH, takes advantage of warm spring weather.

hat being said, it’s a good thing there are so many wonderful people willing to donate their precious time and resources. Linda Akers, Director of GAHFH, tells us her volunteer total is well over 1,000 people. That’s a small community. And a small community is exactly what the volunteers with Greeley Area Habitat for Humanity are building. Habitat North in Greeley is a neighborhood that, upon completion, will boast 60 homes, all completed by GAHFH volunteers and future homeowners. (One of the requirements of owning a home in Habitat North is that you must help build it by putting in 500 hours of sweat equity.) Eric Long has been volunteering with GAHFH, through Atlas Church of Greeley, for over five years now. He has been instrumental in organizing groups from Atlas to take part in Habitat builds and he couldn’t be more enthusiastic about his time spent volunteering. “Volunteering is a powerful thing for your soul, for your humanity. It helps you more than it helps them (the new homeowners),” he says. Long also tells us that, while motivating peo-

ple to serve others can be challenging, it’s less so with GAHFH. Not only do volunteers have a great time on the builds, but they feel useful because they’re creating something tangible with their time. Unlike other volunteer organizations that focus on services, when you volunteer with Habitat, you’re building a house for someone who needs one. You’re building a home. “With Habitat, you’re building something tangible that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, will benefit someone in need,” he says, “it gives me a sense of pride and feeling that I’m serving others as Jesus would want me to.” Akers, whose 16-year old son also volunteers with GAHFH, agrees that helping to build a home in Habitat North is a tremendously rewarding experience. If she wasn’t busy being the Director, she’d be out on the building site every day hammering nails and painting walls. “Volunteers come back because they’re making a difference. They’re building right alongside the future homeowners and they know they’re helping build them a home. It’s so tangible,” she says, “There’s nothing more gratifying. There’s nothing better.”


Sandra Perez, Homeowner, paints her walls.

Ryan Mahoney, a sophomore at the University of Northern Colorado, loves how directly he impacts GAHFH clients. “It’s so cool because it’s much more personal than other volunteer experiences,” he says. “You get to meet the people you’re helping, work alongside them and become a part of their lives.” Everyone is welcome to volunteer at GAHFH. It’s an ecumenical Christian organization, but, according to Akers, the only requirement for a volunteer is “the willingness to partner with us.” You don’t need to have construction skills. In fact, you don’t even need to know how to swing a hammer when you show up on build day. Construction Manager Andy Phelps takes care of everything, from teaching basic construction skills to planning and organizing the entire build from start to finish. “Don’t be put off if you lack construction skills. Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it,” says Akers, who admits not knowing the first thing about building when she first volunteered. If you’d rather not get dirty, there are plenty of other opportunities for volunteers at GAHFH. The ReStore, for example, is always in need of ex-

continued on page 36


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

NMAKE IT HAPPEN Habitat for Humanity is a Partnership. GREELEY HABITAT for HUMANITY invites you to join the growing number of corporations, civic groups, churches, and individuals that support our goal to provide affordable housing opportunities by partnering with our organization and families in-need.



For additional information call:

970.351.6766 ~ Greeley Area


,, I f

for Humanity®

Greeley • Windsor • Longmont

H o p e

L i v e s

Finding Hope

B r e a s t

C a n c e r

S u pp o r t

C e n t e r

By Claude Vallance

After participating in a 2004 Hope Lives 5K run in honor of my mother in-law, I would never have imagined that I would eventually be one of many breast cancer survivors.


wo years after that run, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer at the age of twenty-nine. My daughter, Chloe, was then two years old and we were temporarily living with some friends while my husband and I were remodeling our Old Town home. The news was devastating and I knew at that point my life had taken a major turn. I was very scared and I did not know what to expect but I knew then that, somehow, I would need to be very strong. While I was trying to accept and overcome the sudden and terrible news, my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues surrounded me with love and support. I knew that with their help I could focus on taking care of myself and be a stronger person to fight the cancer. I was very touched by their generosity and I will never forget the many times they cleaned the house, brought meals, and accompanied me to my chemotherapy sessions. They brought chocolate to cheer me up and ginger ale to help with my nausea. My amazing husband, Glen, managed to stay focused while juggling between a sick wife, a two-year old, the house remodel, and his own job. My mother-in-law, Joan, drove from Evergreen twice a month to allow me to rest while she gave quality time to our daughter. I was extremely fortunate to have had such good support. I contacted the Hope Lives Breast Cancer Support Center shortly after my first surgery and very quickly received a packet in the mail describing the different services they offer: acupuncture, Reiki, music therapy, Yoga, massage, counseling, home help and much, much more. I made my first appointment with Linda Marriner, a massage therapist, to relieve some back pain as a result of the double mastectomy. Linda was so sweet, gentle, and caring. I loved it so much that I ended up using the free massage services offered by Hope Lives twice a month until my very last treatment of Herceptin, a year and three months later. The massages became part of my recovery treatment.

During my active treatment, I had a massage on the week following chemo. They always helped me feel better. The day before chemo I would have another massage so I would feel stronger before the upcoming treatment. They provided a lot of comfort, peace, and healing. I looked forward to them very much. I attended several coffee talks during treat-

ment that were organized by the Hope Lives coordinators. Among the participants were women who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer as well as many breast cancer survivors. All the women had touching stories and plenty of advice. Most importantly, they would all give me the strength and knowledge that I could endure the treatment. These women were the proof that

Mary Hallauer of Hope Lives and Claude Valence at the Hope Lives office. continued on page 38


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

Hope Lives!

B re a s t C a n c e r S u p p o r t C e n te r The only local non-profit providing free support services to empower, educate, and promote healing for women in treatment for breast cancer

Join us at these events as “We Celebrate and Support Breast Cancer Survivors�

Pink Boa 5k Run/Walk -May 31st Create Hope Art Auction -June 13th Tough Guys Wear Pink -September 27th Paint Northern Colorado Pink -Month of October “Celebrate Life in the Pink� 8th Annual Gala -October 25th

Some of our Services:

Complementary Care Physical Therapy Therapeutic Massage Acupuncture Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy Reike Wig Bank Free Wigs Wig Styling and Care Scarves/Hats Personal Care Mastectomy Prosthesis

Counseling and Mentoring Counseling Resources (individual and family) Big Sister Mentoring Program (paired with other survivors) Monthly Support Group Homecare and Family Services Transportation Resources Errand Running Services Resources House Cleaning Childcare Resources Financial Resources For more information about our services, to volunteer or to donate please contact Hope Lives! by calling 970.225.6200 or visiting A PROUD SPONSOR with

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H o s p i c e

The Heart of Hospice

o f

L a r i m e r

C o u n t y

By Allie C omea u

The saying “to give is to receive” is never more meaningful than when spoken in the context of volunteer work. When that volunteer work happens to be hospice care, the statement takes on even greater truth. At Hospice of Larimer County (HLC), giving and receiving is what volunteer work is all about.


f HLC was a tree, then its volunteers would certainly be the roots. HLC relies on over 200 volunteers to help keep the program strong and growing, and that they do. Founded in 1979, the non-profit organization has been so successful that they’ve been able to stop taking United Way donations and have begun to expand into Windsor and Weld County. They have a new building for grief counseling services and they’re adding two new rooms to their in-patient care facility. Evan Hyatt, Development Director and Marketing Executive of HLC, tells us that volunteers are essential to the growing program. “Volunteers are vital to hospice care, primarily because that’s how hospice was started – on an all-volunteer basis,” he says. “Volunteers connect us with our roots, they allow patients to be more accepting of service, and they personalize hospice care in a way that no one else can.” No one knows that better than the actual volunteers of HLC. Whether visiting patients in their homes or volunteering at the in-patient care facility in McKee Medical Center, volunteers are truly the heart of this Hospice. MaryAnn Randels has been volunteering with HLC for the past eight years. She became a volunteer after her mother passed away under hospice care. It was then that she realized how special and important hospice services are. “Part of it was a newfound awareness,” she says. “I recognized that there was a need.” Randels wears so many hats at HLC that she chuckles when I ask her what she does. “Where do I start?” she says. “I provide in-home respite for caregivers, companionship for patients, administrative support, fundraising help, and even photography. I also provide bereavement support for spouses and I volunteer with the Pathways program.” The Pathways program offers professional grief support and bereavement counseling in

many forms (from art therapy for children to various support groups for adults). These services are available to anyone in the community who’s lost a loved one. “The diversity is what makes it special,” says Randels. “Everyone processes grief differently.” At the end of the day, it’s the time she spends as a companion that gives Randels the most satisfaction. One experience, in particular, stands out among the rest. Back in 2000, she began providing respite for a wife who was caring for her dying husband. After the husband passed away, Randels provided bereavement support for the wife

and they became good friends. They kept in close touch until the wife needed hospice care herself. In her last days, Randels was by her side, providing respite for her two daughters and helping them all say goodbye. “Her daughters told me I was the only person they would have left their mother with,” she says. “It was a beautiful life experience for us all.” Things are a little different for volunteers at the in-patient Hospice Care Center. Housed in McKee Medical Center, the facility is for those patients who have acute symptoms and are very near the end of life. The Hospice Care Center

Peter Gibbons, volunteer for Hospice at McKee Medical Center.

continued on page 38


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

thank you ... for helping us make a difference

Honoring every moment of life, Hospice of Larimer County provides compassionate, excellent, comprehensive care for those who have an advanced medical condition and those who are grieving. This would not be possible without the support of our community. Our sincere thanks to the thousands of donors, volunteers, and sponsors who help us make a difference every day for those in need.


Please join us for these community events: Abby Concert Series –(PPE'SJEBZ$PODFSU .BSDIt1JBOP4PJSFF +VOF Debbie Boose Memorial Tennis Tournament+VOF NAIFA/Hospice of Larimer County Golf Benefit+VMZ

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a proud partner with Hospice of Larimer County


at Columbine West Health & Rehab Facility 940 Worthington Circle Fort Collins, Colorado 80526 970.221.2273

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L u t h e r a n

R a n c h e s

Wild Faith: Summer Camp Helps Kids

o f

t h e

R o c k i e s

Explore Religion in the Rockies By Allie Comeau

If you were lucky enough to attend summer camp as a child, you know how special it can be. Making new friends, exploring nature, living in rustic accommodations out in the woods, being away from home… these are just a few of the joys that come along with a summer spent at camp. Andy Sprain, Rod Pearce, and Julie Laube atop Horsetooth.


ut for some children, going to camp is an even more enriching experience. For some, like Andy Sprain, it’s a life-changing one. The Lutheran Ranches of the Rockies (L Double R), whose mission is to teach children to serve one another in a Christ-centered way, provided Sprain with so much more than just a summer at camp. L Double R has been so influential in his life that, after college, Sprain returned as a counselor at Sky Ranch, one of two L Double R ranches, and now works full time as Summer Camp Director with the organization. Other members of Sprain’s family are familiar with the wonders of L Double R, too. One might even say Sky Ranch is in his blood. While Sprain’s mother was pregnant with him, she served on the Board of Directors for L Double R. His older sister also attended camp and worked as a counselor at Sky Ranch. In fact, his sister was his boss during his first summer as a counselor. And last year, when he married his wife, Erin, they celebrated their union at Sky Ranch. To say his bond with L Double R runs deep would be an understatement. Sprain has been a camper at Sky Ranch since he was in the fourth grade. There’s no hiding the love and appreciation he fosters for the ranch and his time spent there. One can glean the significance of the place just by watching the sparkle in his eyes when he speaks of it. “Camp was the first place I was able to talk about religion,” he says. Religion is a huge part of his life, thanks in part to his experiences at L Double R. He feels so strongly about his faith that he studied religion at Pacific Lutheran University and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in religion over the next few years. “Religion is my passion,” says Sprain, “and

I have always loved learning about it.” He feels there’s no better way to learn about, and to strengthen one’s faith than by being outdoors and communing with nature. “One of the best things about the ranch is that you get to actually practice religion, to experience it, instead of just reading about it or being taught in a classroom. It becomes tangible, palpable. It’s an experience that you have outdoors, that religious feeling that God is present all around you.” Activities like the ropes course and overnight group backpacking trips teach children and young adults valuable life lessons like trust, community, and self confidence. Rafting trips and day hikes provide valuable outdoor adventure and lessons in nature appreciation. Just being outdoors is an eye-opening experience for many of the campers. Actually living outside for an extended period of time, surrounded by the wonders of nature, can be even more so. “Feeling the wind, seeing little animals run by, getting rained on, and living in the wilderness… all of these things can be very spiritual,” says Sprain. And that’s the whole point. Director of Administration and Communication for L Double R, Julie Laube, says the hope is that children come away from camp with a closer connection to God through their experiences with nature. Campers are then encouraged to “take it down the mountain.” “The saying ‘taking it down the mountain’ is a common one at camp and means carrying lessons home with you and applying them in everyday life,” says Laube. “We want campers to take home a better understanding of their relationship with Christ.” One of the reasons L Double R is so successful at fostering this connection is that campers are

A camper challenges herself on the ropes course.

Campers at Lutheran Ranches of the Rockies rafting the rapids.

continued on page 39


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

N o r t h

C o l o r a d o

Scholarships that count

M e d i c a l

C e n t e r

F o u n d a t i o n

By Jason Webb

Mildred S. Hansen was the long-time owner and publisher of the Greeley Tribune. Hansen never married, and when she passed away in 1995, she had no heirs to whom she could leave her estate. Instead, she chose to leave her earnings to the community.


everal scholarships were established through charitable organizations including North Colorado Medical Center Foundation, who received a scholarship endowment of $1.5 million. With the generous gift, three separate Hansen Scholarships were started in 1996. The Hansen Scholarships are awarded to exceptional people pursuing either a Bachelor or Master of Science in Nursing. The three scholarships are the Hansen Nursing Tuition Scholarship, the Hansen Nursing Scholarship, and the Hansen Nursing Program Scholarship. To date, more than 19 people have been awarded one of the scholarships. Shannon Leffler, NCMC Foundation’s Director of Programs and Grants, has overseen the operations of the program since 1998. “It’s exciting to meet these ambitious people and to provide them with the scholarship that launches them on a new part of their lives,” says Leffler, who interacts with each of the scholarship recipients from the time of their award to the time of graduation. Leffler explains that the recipients are selected through a standardized process. “We

have a standardized process; we look at grade point average, ACT and SAT scores, community involvement and their desire to be a nurse.” One of the award winners knew she wanted to be a nurse from an early age. Alison Belfiore was awarded the Hansen Nursing Tuition Scholarship in 2002. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in August of 2007 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. So driven was Belfiore that she began working as a certified nurses assistant in the nursery at NCMC even before she graduated from Greeley West High School a year early. Belfiore says, “I knew all along that I wanted to be in the medical field, and when I started working in the nursery, I knew that’s where I needed to be.” Belfiore’s award “is quite generous,” says Leffler. The Hansen Nursing Tuition Scholarship goes to a Weld County High School senior who is planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The scholarship allows the recipient to go to whichever college he or she chooses and covers tuition and books for the first two years of college. Once the student starts the nursing program, the schol-

arship begins covering nursing supplies and offers a stipend for living expenses. “The scholarship really let me focus on classes and reduced my stress level,” says Belfiore. Christopher Noel is another student to benefit from a Hansen Scholarship. He received a Hansen Nursing Program Scholarship, which is set aside for non-traditional students going back to college to get a degree in nursing. “I worked as an outdoor education specialist and decided to get certified as a wilderness EMT,” says Noel. “From there, I thought I would like nursing.” Noel began his education by receiving a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Rochester. After working nine years in a burn unit in Rochester, he decided it was time to continue his education by getting a Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner emphasis. He, his wife and their two children moved to Colorado where he now works in NCMC’s Western States Burn Center. He finds the work incredibly challenging and rewarding. The 2005 Hansen Scholarship Noel received requires students to attend UNC’s School of Nursing. Noel, who moved from Zimbabwe when he was 11, says, “As an adult student with a family, it can be nearly impossible to go back to school with a family and have to work. The Hansen Scholarship made it much more bearable.” Shane Ryan can sympathize with the difficulties a non-traditional student faces in continuing his or her education. After much deliberation, Ryan, his wife, and five children decided to do what it took to give him the chance to go back to school. “Twenty years ago, I started out studying elementary education,” says Ryan. “I married my high school sweetheart and never finished that degree.” It wasn’t until his father passed away after battling cancer five years ago that Ryan finally knew what he needed to do. “I knew I wanted to be a family man, but I never clicked on a career

Christopher Noel, RN at the NCMC Burn Center with a patient, Kelly Dale.

continued on page 40


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

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C e n t e r

f o r

D i a b e t e s

S e r v i c e s

Diabetes Education at PVH

Helping Kids and Families Lead Normal Lives By Lynn M . Dean

“Mom, I have to go to the bathroom,” pleaded four-yearold James, tugging on his mother’s arm. Again, Lori Houdeshell, thought. He just went. Something must be wrong. Maybe he has a urinary tract infection. Lori took James to the Fort Collins Youth Clinic. Something was wrong. Very wrong. Carly Knowles at her home in Loveland.

Karen Brueggen, BSN, RN, CDE - Clinical Coordinator/Diabetes Educator at PVH.


James Houdeshell, 9, playing Blokus with brother John, 6, at their home in Wellington. Parents David and Lori cheer with Joseph, 3.

fter an initial exam, just as Lori had predicted, the doctor tested James’ urine. But it wasn’t an infection he found. It was something much worse. Something that, if left unchecked, was much more dangerous. “When they did the urine test, they didn’t tell me what they were looking for,” Lori explains. “But when the doctor came back into the room and told me that James needed to go to the hospital right away, I was so scared. He said James’ blood sugar was very, very high.” James had Type 1 diabetes. He was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Unit at Poudre Valley Hospital and started on a regimen of insulin. “When he was first diagnosed, I panicked,” recalls James’ father, David Houdeshell. “I was afraid James wouldn’t be able to have all the fun things to eat that other kids have. But they assured me that as long as we covered it with insulin, he could eat anything he wanted.” “When children are first diagnosed, it’s always a shock for parents,” explains. “It’s overwhelming and they’re scared. But these parents are amazing. They’re strong and they learn what they need

to do for their child to be healthy.” “They were very reassuring when we first found out,” adds David. “They said that things were going to get better the next day and every day after that. I knew that God was looking over us and that He wouldn’t give us anything we couldn’t handle.” Together the team of doctors, nurses, and dieticians provided not only medical treatment but information. “Almost everyone with Type 1 diabetes receives education when they’re diagnosed,” adds one of the Center’s registered dieticians, Lisa Harris, RD, CDE. “It’s a big change in their lives. They have to learn survival skills in a very short period of time.” Harris explains that unlike Type 2 diabetes where patients aren’t making enough insulin, or their cells are resistant to the insulin, in Type 1 diabetes, insulin production has come to a complete halt. “Everyone with Type 1 diabetes has to have insulin (shots) to live because their pancreas has stopped making insulin altogether.” “When we work with the kids, we’re working with the family,” explains Brueggen. “The parents have to learn to take care of the kids from

Lisa Harris, MS, RD, CDE - Clinical Dietitian/Diabetes Educator at PVH.

day one. Patients and their parents have to learn about glucose monitoring, giving insulin, the basics of diet, and preventing and treating low blood sugar.” So while James was in the hospital, Lori and David learned how to take care of him once he was released. “We tailor the education to each family’s situation,” says Harris. “Our goals are very much individualized. We want to teach the family how to incorporate diabetes into the child’s life not tailor their life to the diabetes. We want these children to have a normal childhood and to be able to do anything they want to do.” “They taught us how to count carbohydrates and which sugars were better or worse for him,” Lori recalls. “They were a huge emotional support for us and they also taught us the ins and outs of how to give shots and where to give shots.” “We had to practice giving shots,” adds David. “Lori and I actually gave each other saline shots. Practicing let us know what it was going to feel like. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. As a parent, that [knowledge] made giving James shots more bearable,” he adds. PVH Center for Diabetes Services also ensures continued on page 40


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


@sweet Pea


Camp Sweet Pea is a two day camp for kids ages 5 to 9 with diabetes where testing blood sugar, giving insulin injections or making insulin pump adjustments are just a part of everyone's life (at least during camp!) The emphasis is on swimming, gymnastics and other fun activities directed by a medical staff and adult leaders. Kids 1 0 and older with diabetes are welcomed as helpers and encouraged to join in the fun! The Healthy Kids Club (part of the PVH foundation) help plan and provide crafts and activities. The 2008 Camp Sweet Pea will be held on June 20th and 21st from 1 Oam to 3pm . Contact Karen at 495-8205 for more info.

Mountains of possibilities for your kids including gymnastics, dance, dance intensives and camps, summer day camp and warm water swimming. Enjoy specialty coffees, snacks and free internet access in our cafe. Schedule details are available at

Register early for best availability! Registration dates: Summer Camp March 31st Swimming April 5th Summer Gym & Dance April 21st




Summer Day Camp

419 E. Stuart St.

After School Camp & Transportation


lDarmups Coffee & Clothing

Fort Collins, CO 80525

S h a r e d

J o u r n e y s

A Shared Journey

B r a i n

I n j u r y

F o u n d a t i o n

By Debbie Jorgenson

Until three years ago, life was fairly ordinary. I didn’t expect the moment that would change our lives forever. Nate Jorgenson working out at the Fort Collins Club with his trainer, Meredith Leva, a CSU student studying pre-occupational therapy.


arly on October 1, 2004, there was a knock at the door from a police officer asking if I knew Nathan Jorgenson. I replied that he was my son and the officer suggested that we go to the hospital right away as he had been in a serious accident. Upon arrival we were greeted by a Social Worker and Chaplin and directed to a small waiting room. The emergency surgeon came in the room to report on Nate’s condition. He had a fractured cervical vertebrae, extensive hemorrhaging in his brain and may be paralyzed. I think every parent would agree that their worst nightmare is for something devastating to happen to their child. Nate was two weeks in a semi-coma at Poudre Valley Hospital’s Neuro-Intensive Care Unit and transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver (specialists in traumatic brain injury). At Craig Hospital, he had fusion surgery for the fractured vertebrae which resulted in no spinal cord damage. After three months of acute care at Craig Hospital, he was released and sent home to begin his acute rehabilitation at the Center for Neurorehabilitation Services (CNS) in Fort Collins. Nate’s father and step-mom, Kirk and Rachel Jorgenson, temporarily moved to Fort Collins from California to

be the primary caregivers during the critical first six months. He had to learn to do everything again; eat, talk, sit up, walk and had virtually no short term memory. Over the one year and eight month acute rehabilitation, Nate made significant improvement but still had a long way to go before living an independent life. I incorrectly assumed that he would continue receiving care until he was totally recovered. Unfortunately, the health insurance carrier decided that he wasn’t making “measurable improvement” to justify payment for continued services. After discharge from CNS, there were not many options. For the first time since the accident, there wasn’t a plan for the next step. I didn’t want him to lose the momentum that he had worked so hard to gain and felt that he needed to continue with some kind of program. Most important, I didn’t want him to slip into depression. Without insurance to cover the post acute rehabilitation, we were left to find a solution for continued care. When I began researching post-acute rehabilitation programs, I discovered that there were variations of post-acute rehab facilities for brain injury survivors in our state and around the country, but not in our community. I also learned about

the uniqueness of brain injury and the long recovery time. I realized that this would be a life long journey for Nate and I was determined to make sure he had the resources he needed to reclaim his life. Last February a group of us were sitting around the dinner table brainstorming on ideas for “Nate’s Place”. What started as fun resulted in our Shared Journeys Brain Injury Foundation, a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization which will fund the Shared Journeys Center (SJC). Our purpose is to promote awareness and provide programs that succeed in helping persons with acquired brain injury to regain independent, satisfying and productive lives. SJC will be a fully-supervised, Day Treatment Program and Transitional Living Residence. The personal-management plans for the people attending will include: personal care, meal preparation, money management, community navigation, problem solving, socialization and vocational assistance. This will be the next step to independence for a lot of brain injury survivors. The Shared Journeys Center will be unique in the Fort Collins community because the for-profit sector cannot provide and pay for the resources needed to support this kind of program. Insurance that covers acute rehabilitative services has continued on page 40


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

THE SHARED JouRNEYS CHALLENGE March is Brain Injury Awareness Month For the entire month of March, Shared Journeys Brain Injury Foundation is requesting donations to fund the

Shared Journeys Center

Nate jorgenson brain injury survivor

Located in the Fort Collins Community The Shared Journeys Center will provide programs that succeed in helping persons with acquired brain injury regain independent, satisfying and productive lives. Qyality oflife is an expectation and a right we all enjoy, and we as community members are responsible to see this right provided to the extent that is possible for those who are in need.

Go to the Shared Journeys web site and read Nate's Story.

Sponsored by BioEnergy Group

Make checks payable to: Shared Journeys Brain Injury Foundation 1743 Norwood Lane, Ft. Collins, CO 80525 or Go online to make a donation: A 501(c)3 charitable organization allowing a tax deduction for all donations

Sp i n e

E d u c a t i o n

Extreme Science

a n d

R e s e a r c h

I n s t i t u t e

By La ura Lee Carter

North Denver has a unique source of hands-on science education for Northern Colorado kids. The Spine Education and Research Institute (SERI), founded in October 2001 by Michael Janssen, D.O. is a non-profit organization dedicated to clinical research, youth science education, and community service.


Children and teens explore their passion for science at The Spine Education and Research Institute’s Discovery, Explorer, and Scholar Camps.

he Institute offers a diverse array of science education and scholarship opportunities to Colorado children age eight and older. It is a world-class center for research into the latest technologies to assist those with problems affecting the spine, and currently provides innovative new surgeries for those with lumbar and cervical disc degeneration. SERI also seeks to encourage and educate children who possess a natural interest in the sciences by providing them with science summer camps, high school field trips, internships, and a college scholarship program. Rae Inafuku, the Education Coordinator for SERI, speaks with enthusiasm and excitement about the many educational opportunities available through the Institute. She does her best to spread the word to parents and teachers, so that more Colorado kids may take advantage of their unique science education resources. For kids entering grades 3-5 in fall 2008, the Discovery Camp takes place this June and provides students with a wide gamut of science exploration and learning in areas such as zoology, astronomy, physics, and geology. But this is not just boring lectures or simple book learning. For example, the Denver Zoo brings in speakers with live animals to show and discuss. Hawk Quest displays birds of prey like bald eagles,

for the kids to experience on a personal level. The kids also have an opportunity to dissect various small animals like squid or starfish. For those entering grades 6-8 in fall 2008, the Explorer Camp, July 8-11, raises the bar while also increasing student skills. Just like the Discovery Camp, students explore a wide range of sciences, and also participate in more advanced dissections such as a fetal pig or mink. Adolescents entering grades 9-12 this fall can attend Scholar Camp from July 29-August 1. Many of these students have aspirations of some day working in a medical field. At the Scholar Camp, students are encouraged to watch a live surgery, participate in human cadaver dissection, learn how to suture and much more. Every possible accommodation is made for kids who might be squeamish about dissecting a cow’s eye or a human cadaver, but Inafuku offers this reassurance: “These kids really want to be here. They enjoy science and want to be a part of it.” Jordan, an eighth grader, attended both the SERI Discovery and Explorer Camps, and plans to attend Scholar Camp this summer. When asked why she attends these camps, she explains, “I really like how hands-on everything is. Instead of just hearing or reading about things, we do hands-on activities. If we learn about an animal, we get to

see it, touch it, and then meet the people who care for it. I like how SERI gives us direct exposure to professionals in the sciences. It’s fun to learn from people who know a lot about a subject!” Jordan recommends these camps even to kids who aren’t wild about science. “The kids who don’t like science will still love the camp because you get to do hands on experiments, eat really yummy food, and make tons of friends. SERI really makes the learning fun!” Inafuku suggests calling early to register: “The Discovery and Explorer camps fill up quickly. Twenty students are admitted to each camp on a first come first serve basis. We do offer scholarships to those who cannot afford to attend camp, with the assistance of various charitable donations.” Another unique SERI educational offering is high school field trips. For these half day sessions provided to high school anatomy, physiology or biology classes, the teachers can customize their students’ programs to include the viewing of a live surgery, camera-fed to the SERI amphitheater, a session on medical career opportunities, and a cadaver lab where students do all of their own dissecting. Under the direction of staff, the students are led through the various body systems, learn about surgical instruments, safety precautions, and experience a simulation of operating continued on page 41


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine




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Fort Collins habitat

Fort Collins symphony continued from page 18

continued from page 20

coordinating lunches for the volunteers are all essential contributions. “What I love is that Women Build provides so many opportunities to use talents we all have,” she says. Donaldson’s involvement in Women Build may also serve as a parable for the power of volunteerism, and especially the pull of women working together. “We build relationships, not just houses,” Donaldson says. “Volunteers are now being recruited for the third home. I recommend you think about what you’re good at, and share a bit of that gift with Habitat.”

Sinbad, guided patrons through an Academy Award-winning chaconne, and challenged listeners with the work of an up-and-coming Chinese composer. At most concerts, Kenney introduces audiences to something new. “I try to balance familiar pieces with new compositions, though these can be from a familiar artist, but are often a more rarely played piece.” For February’s What’s Love Got to Do With It concert, Kenney premiered Cupid and Psyche by Paul Hindemith. While many musicians know Hindemith’s works as staples on the audition circuit, few in the audience had ever heard the work performed. To further challenge audiences, Kenney presented minimalist composer Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World: Daybreak of Freedom--which features spoken excerpts from the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.—at the Feb. 2 performance. This piece was also featured a few weeks later at the Youth in Education Series 8th-grade concert, this time accompanied by a slide show chronicling the Civil Rights movement. After the Feb. 2 performance of Schwantner, where he brought Dr. King’s voice to life through Denver-based actor Dwayne Carrington, Kenney comments he heard “more positive comments than with any other piece since I came here in 2003.” Kenney adds, “Over the past five years I’ve been with FSC, I believe we have developed a trust between the orchestra and the audience. When playing an unfamiliar piece, conviction is the most important thing. You have to completely believe in what you’re presenting. Most importantly, the audience must respond to the piece. It may be visceral, but at least you have a response.” Kenney won two ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards in 1995 and 1996 while he was at the Oakland Youth Orchestra. He will submit the Symphony’s current Season of Desire program to ASCAP to be considered for innovative programming. Kenney believes people who attend the Symphony in Fort Collins come from many other cities, so are accustomed to hearing a wide variety of music. And though city residents appreciate more traditional tunes, an increase in ticket sales persuades Kenney that he’s been given an endorsement to continue developing creative programming, so the Symphony’s successes won’t be a secret much longer.

tra hands to help out by arranging products or assisting customers. The ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store that accepts donated goods from people and businesses within the community, sells them to the public, and delivers all profits to GAHFH. There are also opportunities to provide lunch for construction volunteers, work in the office, serve on the Board of Directors or work with one of several committees that help GAHFH make important decisions and keep the program running smoothly. Each and every one of these positions is important to the overall success of the program. At no other time are the fruits of these volunteer labors more evident than at the dedication ceremony when the homeowners take possession of their new home. Everyone in the entire GAHFH community, from donating vendors, to volunteers, to the Board of Directors, is invited to witness the blessing of the home and the celebration that follows. To ensure the new homeowners are successful, the commitment from GAHFH doesn’t end there. GAHFH helps them manage their new responsibilities by operating the New Frontier Bank Family Resource Center where families can take classes on everything from budgeting to parenting to landscaping. “We’re here to support the community,” says Akers. Mahoney says he’s learned a lot about community from his experiences volunteering on Habitat North builds. “Working with the new homeowners as they put in their 500 hours of sweat equity, meeting fellow volunteers and working together with them toward a common goal is very rewarding,” he says. Seeing the joy and happiness on the faces of the homeowners and knowing that they have a roof over their heads is an unbelievable feeling, one that Akers feels blessed to share with others. The rewards of moving a family (often with small children) from substandard housing to a home of their own, she says “are immeasurable.” “Children are like trees. If you keep uprooting them, they will never grow,” says Akers, “But give them a home, a place to put down roots, and they will.” That’s exactly what these volunteers are doing every time they give an hour, a day, or a week to GAHFH… they are helping children and families grow. To learn more, visit www.greeleyhabitat. org or call Carolyn Geisert at (970) 351-6766 X21.

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Women Build Recipient Helping to Build the Next Home Leah Popplet Grossmann certainly learned much about her capabilities through Women Build when her home was the second one built. As a single mom with no construction background, she gained confidence that has carried over to other areas of her life and made lasting friendships. The construction process on Grossman’s house was “addictive,” Donaldson says. “And it allowed me to get to know Leah, the homeowner-to-be.” She lauds the selfsufficiency inherent in a women-only crew. “Women aren’t confined to traditional gender roles, such as sweeping and painting, and were free to swing hammers, drive nails, and operate a drill.” “Jessie brought a can-do attitude, which is contagious,” says Grossmann, “She is an inspiration to all of us.” Mayo says “Another thing I love about Habitat is owners are invested in their homes not only by saving a down payment, but by putting in sweat-equity hours.” Grossman also revels in being part of the “Habitat family,” and takes great pride in the ability to look around her home and visualize the hands that built it. “I can look and say, ‘I remember the day we put that wall up.’” Even though her home is finished, she will be back again to help with the next home. Since Leah and her daughter, Krista, moved into their home in late June of 2006, life has only gotten better. She has now married, and enjoys her “dream” job as the registrar at Boltz Junior High School, the same school she attended as a girl. “It was a long journey, but now I have my own home and a great life. Thanks to Women Build, I am in a better place.”

Mishelle Baun is owner of Baun Business Communications, a media and public relations agency.


Mishelle Baun is owner of Baun Business Communications, a media and public relations agency.

greeley habitat

Allie Comeau is a freelance writer and copywriter living in Fort Collins, CO. See her blog on active lifestyles at http://blog.

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine



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Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008

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Hope Lives!

Hospice of Larimer County

there is hope. Also, I had many unanswered questions related to nutrition and cancer until Hope Lives organized a seminar led by a nutritionist. The speech was very informative and I got to meet many more women who shared similar concerns. I vividly remember gathering around a group of women after the talk and realizing how complete strangers who share a similar illness could be so connected. Hope Lives is a wonderful organization that has a lot to offer. They make it extremely easy for women to use their free services, share information, attend events and meet other women who are in the same situation. I realize that I am extremely lucky to have had such a good circle of friends helping me while I was going through treatment but what if I would have just moved to Fort Collins? What if I had been diagnosed eight years ago when I moved here from France, away from my family? Hope Lives is like a friend who you can openly talk to, who listens to you and supports you through the difficult treatment. Hope Lives also provides emotional and healing care. For my part, the massage allowed me to get disconnected from the emotional and physical discomfort caused by chemotherapy and surgery. Afterwards, my body and mind would be at peace and I would always leave Linda’s office with a great sense of serenity. Were the services not free, I would never have been able to get this type of help on a regular basis. The services offered by Hope Lives are numerous and diverse. Any woman experiencing breast cancer can find something beneficial to meet their needs with Hope Lives. I would recommend it to anyone who goes through breast cancer treatment. Today, I am a cancer survivor of one and a half years and I feel great. I have crossed the bridge and I am looking back at my journey through breast cancer treatment. No matter how difficult the times were, this experience has taught me that I need to move forward, take care of myself and smile. I ran the Pink Boa 5K organized by Hope Lives last year and I was inspired by the energy of the many cancer survivors and their loved ones. I received a lot of help and I would like to, in turn, provide support to other women through the Hope Lives Breast Cancer Support Center. For more information on Hope Lives visit their website at www.hopelives.or or call (970) 225-6200.

provides specialized medical, emotional, and spiritual support for those who need it. “While the mission of HLC is to keep people at home, sometimes that’s just not possible,” says Hyatt. “That’s where our in-patient facility comes in.” Because patients at the Hospice Care Center are experiencing their last days, volunteers there are specially trained. Pete Gibbons volunteers at the in-patient care center and can attest to the intensity of the environment. “Patients at the care center are only with us for 3-4 days on average, so it’s quite different than providing in-home respite where you might visit a patient for several months. It’s more intense.” Gibbons has been volunteering with HLC for about a year and a half now. He speaks of his volunteer time with passion and gratitude. “Volunteering with Hospice has been so rewarding for me,” he says. “It’s opened my eyes to what’s really important in life and has improved every one of my relationships – especially with my children.” From providing respite for family members holding vigil, to filing documents, to assisting nurses, Gibbons does it all. Being around the patients, staff, and other volunteers is what he loves the most. “It just awes me to watch the nurses and see the tremendous care and respect they show for every single patient,” he says. “It has taught me so much about how I want to treat the people in my life.” People, he’s learned, are far more important than material things or career aspirations. A retired engineer, Gibbons says his life used to consist of planning for the future, living for work, and climbing the corporate ladder. “Volunteering with Hospice has taught me to give,” he says. “It has really softened me and taught me to live in the present.” As for how the volunteers deal with losing patients, both Gibbons and Randels are in agreement that it’s a beautiful experience. Both have been with five patients as they’ve passed and consider it an honor. “It hits you every time, it’s very spiritual” says Gibbons. “You’re confronted with something earth shaking and you walk away with a greater appreciation of everything you have.” While it’s always sad to see patients go, the emphasis at HLC is on their lives. The program’s website states that “hospice is not about how you die, it’s about how you live.” And that’s why Gibbons always strives to channel what he calls “positive regard” to his patients. “My biggest focus is on positive regard,” he says. “I just put my heart out there and they sense it and respond.” “By giving I get,” he says. “The more I give, the more I receive.”

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Claude Vallance came to Colorado in 1998 from Strasbourg, France. She is married to Glen with one daughter, Chloe, and loves spending time with her family.

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Allie Comeau is a freelance writer and copywriter living in Fort Collins, CO. See her blog on active lifestyles at http://blog.


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

Lutheran Ranches

free to explore their faith, and the wilderness, in a safe, non-judgmental environment. The ranches are havens of adventure, exploration, and fun – places where a kid can be a kid. “The places we have, both Sky Ranch and Sleepy Owl Ranch, have a special draw,” Laube says, “it’s the idea of a safe place where kids can come together and explore their faith without it being forced upon them in a threatening way.” “They come to it almost on their own, through nature,” adds Sprain, “and it becomes part of the experience.” Sky Ranch and Sleepy Owl Ranch are nestled deep in the foothills of the Rockies, a stunning locale for any camp experience. Campers and counselors come from all over the country to spend time at the ranches. L Double R caters to children, highschool students, confirmation groups, and even families. Weekend family camping trips and custom group experiences are available upon request. The Sky Ranch and Sleepy Owl Ranch facilities are also available for private use when not in session. “For some kids and adults, being at the ranch is their first real wilderness experience,” says Laube, “they come from all over to enjoy the beauty of the Rockies.” Each summer, there are counselors and campers from about a dozen states, sometimes more. Most of the counselors are college students. As Summer Camp Director, Sprain spends most of his time training and working with the college counselors. “It’s wonderful to have the college-aged students working with the younger ones,” he says. “They pass on their wisdom and knowledge and the younger kids really look up to them.” According to Sprain, camp forever alters the way you look at and experience the world. You head down the mountain with so much more than you came with. “It’s a safe, nurturing environment where one can grow both personally and spiritually,” he says, “while having a lot of fun, too.” No wonder he can’t stay away. For more information about L Double R, call (970) 493-5258 or visit

fine .925 sterling silver jewelry

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Allie Comeau is a freelance writer and copywriter living in Fort Collins, CO. See her blog on active lifestyles at http://blog.

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008


NCMC foundation

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until my dad died.” Ryan, who has been working as a CNA in the in-patient oncology department of NCMC for the last three years, decided to go back to school to get his bachelor’s in nursing. A 2006 Hansen Nursing Program Scholarship has given him the means to earn his degree. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without the scholarship,” says Ryan, who graduates in May and receives his pin signifying completion of his clinical rotation. “This degree allows me to care for my cancer patients better.” With study hours, paper writing, class time, working and his family, Ryan is thankful for the award. “It’s truly an honor and privilege to be awarded this scholarship,” says Ryan. “I looked into a lot of scholarships, and the Hansen award is the only one that is as generous as it is.” The award also helps people truly deserving of becoming nurses to pursue their dream – like Ryan, Noel and Belfiore. “There hasn’t been anyone the review team hasn’t been impressed with,” says Leffler. With a shortage of nurses across the country, finding good ones is important. In some cases, it may be that the people who make good nurses have outside circumstances that make it difficult for them to study – like Noel and Ryan. Fortunately, the Hansen Nursing Scholarship program has made it easier for them to chase their calling. “It really has been a godsend,” says Noel. Ryan, who feels cancer patients and their families are heroes, also believes the Hansen scholarships are fantastic: “The award has been huge. It allowed me to fulfill a passion of mine.” Some nurses-to-be may still be waiting in the wings and need the help to follow their dream. Belfiore, who is beginning her career at Poudre Valley Hospital’s nursery unit, says, “I worked hard for it, and the scholarship has been so helpful to get through school.” The Hansen Scholarship, which is only a piece of the broader mission of the Foundation, gave Belfiore what she needed to get what she always wanted. “People shouldn’t be afraid to take on challenges and to go for their goals,” says Belfiore. “College was tough with a lot of ups and downs, but I got through it. I think the scholarship made the difference. Now, I’m living the dream.” With NCMC Foundation, more people can.

Jason Webb is a freelance writer who calls Johnstown home.

PVH Center for Diabetes Services

Shared Journeys Brain Injury Foundation

ongoing support as the children grow. Today, James is a healthy, happy nine-year-old. He has a new insulin pump and has learned to program it to administer insulin while he’s at school. As for his future, living with Type 1 diabetes- the sky’s the limit. Camp Sweet Pea: A Place Where Kids with Diabetes Feel Normal Like many of the other young patients of the Center for Diabetes Services at Poudre Valley Hospital, James can’t wait to attend Camp Sweet Pea this summer, even if it does mean he’ll have to take off his shirt and reveal the port for his new insulin pump. “It’s one of my favorite things to do in the summer,” he says. “I like swimming in the pool and gymnastics.” Carly Knowles, 17, agrees. Now a Camp Sweet Pea Counselor, she has been attending Camp Sweet Pea every summer since she was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was five-years-old. “It’s a place where I get to be a normal kid again,” she explains. “You get to swim in this really cool pool and have people around you who also have diabetes.” As a counselor, Carly gets to work closely with the younger kids. “You have the ability to teach the kids so many things in life during those few days. You teach them that they can have fun living with diabetes even if they have to watch their sugar levels.” “The objective was for children to have a place to come where they are all the same– where they don’t stand out because they have diabetes. A place where testing blood sugar, giving injections and having an insulin pump are all normal,” says Brueggen, who helped developed Camp Sweet Pea. Seeing a gap in camp experiences for young children with diabetes, Brugggen approached Mary Baretta, co-owner of the Mountain Gymnastics Training Center and the mother of a diabetic child, about hosting the annual two-day camp, which takes place each June. Baretta heartily agreed. “We thought it was truly special for us to be able to help out.” Baretta also understood that the camp was as much for the parents as it was for the children. “As a parent, you don’t leave them very often because you need to have people around who understand diabetes and blood sugar issues.” “It’s fun for us to be around other parents with kids who have diabetes,” agrees Lori Houdeshell, James’ mother. “Sometimes you start to feel like you’re alone. It’s nice to be reminded that you’re not.” For more information on Camp Sweet Pea, contact the PVH Center for Diabetes Services at (970) 495-8205.

been exhausted and Medicaid is unreliable at best and insufficient with the amount allowable to pay for services. Recently, facilities in the Northern Colorado area have closed or discontinued programs that rely on state funding. Brain injury survivors often have no financial resources beyond Social Security disability and Medicaid. The only realistic way for a program like this to exist is to supplement revenues with charitable donations through fundraising efforts and grants. The reality is that without post-acute rehabilitative services, survivors can experience regression to former acute stages of skill and ability. We also hope to be able to provide our services to some of the many armed service men and women who are returning from active duty with traumatic brain injuries and don’t have the post-acute rehabilitative services available to them through the VA. All of us involved in the project feel we are part of something special that will change lives. This isn’t just about Nate, but he has been the inspiration. Nate continues to recover. He is walking with a quad cane and goes to the health club daily with a volunteer. He will continue to recover for years to come and with the Shared Journeys Center he will have the resources needed to reclaim his life. Nate’s new life goal is to get his personal trainer certification to help people with similar disabilities and be a friend and counselor to the SJC participants. As it is with most ventures, funding will be our major challenge. We know the majority of our funding will come from our community through fundraisers and donations as well as grants and donations from other foundations. March is brain injury awareness month. Our “kickoff” fundraiser and awareness campaign is the “Shared Journeys Challenge”. During the entire month of March, challenge members will compete with each other by recruiting donations which will earn them “Challenge Credits”. At the end of March we will tally up the donations received, and prizes will be awarded to those earning the most Challenge Credits at the awards banquet to be held in April. The goal is to have an event that is fun and will provide optimum exposure, and of course to raise money. More information may be found on our website

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Debbie Jorgenson is a 25 year resident of Fort Collins, business owner and mom.

Lynn M. Dean is a freelance writer living in Northern Colorado.


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

Spine Education and Research Institute continued from page 34

room procedures. Sylvia Ahermae, an anatomy teacher at Fossil Ridge High School who has taken her classes on SERI field trips for three years now says, “This is the only place where pre-college students can directly participate in cadaver dissection. These are the type of experiences kids remember for the rest of their lives!” Inakufu explains: “A handful of schools from around the state have participated in our field trip programs. We have already begun booking field trips for 2009.” She adds, “We also accommodate field trips for the younger students and customize appropriate curriculum for them. For instance, this year third graders from Belle Creek Charter School participated in a cow’s eye dissection to complement their eye anatomy classes. SERI has two additional programs created with the older student in mind. They select up to three outstanding high school students each year to work as interns at the Spine Institute, learning about the kind of work done there, and participating in the physicians’ education program at SERI’s sister company, the Musculoskeletal Learning Center. The interns are chosen based on an interview process, their high school record, and professional goals. Colton Wagner, a current intern, summarizes his experience this way, “I’m really a jack of all trades and I do whatever is needed…I have learned countless things, both in anatomy/physiology and about myself.” Finally, SERI offers a college scholarship program to those students currently in school in Colorado and pursuing study in the field of life sciences. These scholarships are available to high school students looking towards college or students presently attending a four year college. Last year the institute awarded $5,000 worth of scholarship support. Schools in the Denver and Fort Collins areas received scholarship application materials this past fall for distribution to students. The deadline for application is May 31 and scholarships will be awarded in August. Go to the SERI website at: www.spine-education. org for more information and application materials.

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Laura Lee Carter is a freelance writer in Fort Collins. For more information see her website: and blog:

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008


The Rustic Oven What are you looking for in a lunch destination? For me, it always starts with quality food. But too, a relaxed atmosphere goes a long way. Helpful, friendly service is required. Creativity in menu brings a restaurant to the top of my list. The Rustic Oven has it all. Located at 123 North College Ave. in a local landmark, The Opera Galleria, The Rustic Oven makes consistently tasty fare.

The Rustic Oven Owner, Todd Crisson

The Rustic Oven Owner, Todd Crisson, Executive Chef Joel Navejas, with lunch guests Wendy Foster, owner of Indigo Gallery, Lydia Dody, Corey Radman, and Sondy Skrove all of Style Magazine.

The menu blends American and Italian flavors in imaginative ways. Consider the Shrimp Stuffed Avocado appetizer, which is a marinated-grilled avocado, half filled with a sinfully rich gulf shrimp mousse, and topped with fresh tomato basil. As my dining guests commented, “Everything tastes like it’s in season,” even though we were kneedeep in winter at the time. Primavera Vegetable Pizza has a light, crispy crust that is topped with a funky pesto marinara that is mellow and with a signature cheese blend, builds the foundation required for complex blended flavors of roasted peppers, steamed carrots, spinach, marinated capers, artichokes and Kalamata olives. All the portions are large enough to share, especially the pizzas. Ranging from only $7.50 to $13.95, it is possible to enjoy an ample lunch for two for under $25. Other entrees sampled were the Ahi Tuna Salad – the favorite of Style Publisher, Lydia Dody. “It’s the zesty dressing that really makes it,” she says. The dressing is Tai-carrot ginger tossed with Asian slaw and soba noodles. Then, Executive Chef Joel Navejas drizzles it and the wasabi crusted tuna wedges with Hoisin sauce, creating a pleasing sweet and sour ping in your mouth. The Fettuccine New Orleans is jambalaya meets fettuccini Alfredo. It is hearty comfort food, but the Cajun spice brings this creamy noodle dish to the grown ups table. Our guests were also treated to a coming feature, The American Kobe Beef Burger. The beef is known for it’s superb flavor and now available in the U.S. The entrée is a can’t miss, delightful in its simplicity, and served with tasty fries. I shouldn’t neglect to mention the dessert menu that holds a number of delectable treats. The favorite at the table was by far the Strawbery-Rhubarb Crostata. It’s like a small, two-crust pie with sweet and tangy sauce bubbling inside. The warmth of the crostata seductively melts the scoop of not-too-rich vanilla gelato, provided by Paciugo Italian Gelato.

The Rustic Oven beckons as you drive through Old Town.


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

The Rustic Oven :: fort collins

Ahi Tuna Salad

Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

Text by Corey Radman Photos by Dana Milner & Stacy J Photo

Primavera Vegetable Pizza

The Rustic Oven is locally owned by the experienced restaurateur, Todd Crisson. He described the concept as, “Great food in a casually sophisticated atmosphere.” Crisson explains that his background as a restaurant manager and now owner criss-crossed the country in a dozen different states beginning with a Pizza Hut (his high school job). He’s proud to note that he managed the Silver Spoon Café in Atlanta, Maggiano’s Little Italy in Denver, though he isn’t too proud to add that his resume also holds a few national chains like Ruby Tuesday’s. He decided to move to his wife’s home state of Colorado where he opened Biaggi’s at Centerra. His final step in the journey was in deciding to open his own operation. He credits all of those fantastic experiences with giving him a strong understanding of the restaurant business. He explains that what most people want is consistently great food in an enjoyable atmosphere. Simple. The décor of the restaurant (completed by Oglesby Sherman Design), hits the mark of oldworld class with a casual enough feel that jeans are perfectly acceptable. “I wanted people in suits to feel comfortable at tables right next to people in jeans,” says Crisson. The original brick of the building, long covered with drywall, was exposed and restored for a classic reminder of our roots. The lines of the booths set a dramatic stage and seem to hug their occupants. Credit for The Rustic Oven’s early success since its opening in October 2007 can also be shared with Executive Chef Joel Navejas. Navejas, who at one point in his career ran the Crown Pub kitchen and trained at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He is a major part of the genius behind the outstanding dishes on the menu. He and Crisson are well on their way to duplicating their success. The Rustic Oven plans to open a second location by August on the south end of Fort Collins. Thus, the mouthwatering lunches and dinners will now be available to many in the region without a drive. Corey Radman is the Editor of Style Magazine.

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008


It’s a

Family Affair By Kay Rios

A common misconception holds that family-run businesses are in decline and are more the exception than the rule. The reverse, however, appears to be true.

Wild Boar Coffee :: 1510 South College The Curiel Family of Wild Boar Coffee Co: Susan, Erik, Brandon, Jason, and Michael.

Mountain Kids :: 419 East Stuart Still got it! Ron and Mary couldn’t do it without their girls: Mariah, Bree, and Anna.


Fort Collins certainly enjoys its share of familyrun businesses from those that have stood the test of time like Mountain Kids, run by the Baretta family since 1976, to newer startups like Wild Boar Coffee, recently opened by the Curiel family. There are definite advantages to a family-run business, says Susan Curiel. She and her husband Michael are helping their sons Brandon and Erik get Wild Boar Coffee off the ground. “It’s really been great for us to do this as a family. We get along so well and it just works,” she says. Erik Curiel agrees and adds, “We all bring different ideas to the process and we all have different responsibilities.” Brandon Curiel agrees. “I can’t imagine doing everything myself. And you can

The idea for the Curiel family to open a coffee house came from son Brandon who was trained as a barista in Portland, Oregon. “I love the atmosphere of coffee shops,” he says. They started shopping around for a facility that would work and landed on the property on South College. “When we were looking for a place, we wanted a unique location and fell in love with this place,” he says. The building offers a main floor of 2500 square feet that accommodates several rooms for seating, a gift shop, a “study” with a community board, the coffee bar, a meeting room, and the kitchen. The building, built in 1924, is known as the old Bradley residence, and is a Fort Collins historic landmark. Susan and Michael Curiel bought the property specifically for the Wild Boar Coffee business, which sons Brandon and Erik will operate (their 15-year-old brother, Jason, is an investor in the venture as well). Michael, who is also a local M.D. specializing in adult and pediatric neurology, designed the tables which the sons then built. They also built the cherry wood coffee bar and installed the track lighting. Susan, who manages the medical practice, says, “My part in all of this is creating the business portion, setting up bank accounts, lawyers, accountants. I’m also pulling in the history of the building.” Brandon and Erik, who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation that

Mountain Kids, also known as the Mountain Gymnastics Training Center, has grown by leaps and bounds, both figuratively and literally. What Ron and Mary Baretta started in 1976 as a small gymnastics complex on Webster Avenue has blossomed into a 15,500 square foot operation on Stuart Street. In that current building, Mountain Kids offers full gymnastics and dance programs, three performance companies and a competitive dance troupe, a summer day camp, and a coffee bar. In addition, there’s a smaller branch operating in Louisville. “The business has really been Ron’s dream - the concept of the multi program facility that we built in 1985 was Ron’s before there were many like it around the country,” says Mary. In the fall of 1971, Ron was coaching at Poudre High School. He was approached by a group of parents who asked him to coach their girls’ gymnastic club. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. I had been trained to work with male gymnasts but then we had a first child and it was a girl. So I decided I should learn about girls’ gymnastics.” From there, he says, “It was serendipity and then it spiraled out of control.” He continued to work at PHS through the beginning years of the business. But in the fall of 1981, he quit to work full time on a complex. The Barettas orchestrated the building of the facility on Stuart and opened in January of 1986. The pool and additional classrooms were added in 1997, and in March 2007, they remodeled once more, adding a full service coffee bar and a shop that sells gymnastic and dance clothing. Their three daughters have all been involved for many years. Mariah, the youngest has been involved as a team coach and was day camp director for several summers. Anna Narvaes is the managing director of the current location in Louisville and is assisted by sister, Bree, who is responsible for the graphic and

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


trust your family.” Mary Baretta, co-owner of Mountain Kids, says, “Working for ourselves has been an opportunity that I don’t think either one of us regret. We have probably worked harder than we ever thought we’d have to, but the problems of the business are ours, not someone else’s. We have been able to work well together and share the good times and the bad.” The following are profiles of two Fort Collins family-run businesses representing both ends of the spectrum from longstanding to newest on line.

Monday - Thursday 11AM to 10PM Friday - Saturday 11AM to 11PM Sunday 11AM to 9PM

will run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., say it’s been a family effort from the beginning. “It’s amazing how many decisions had to be made. It’s been a process,” Brandon says. From the type of coffee (they will serve Coda coffee, purchased from a local roaster in Denver) to the decorations in each room (every room was specifically decorated with a different feel), they worked together on those decisions and it’s come together. “We will offer breakfast and lunch with a simple menu to start with but over time, we’ll add to it. For now, we’ll have waffles, some breakfast burritos, all the pastries, and cookies. For lunches, pizza, soups, salad, nachos. We’ll add as we evolve.” Brandon looks around with a smile and acknowledges, “It’s certainly evolved into more than a coffee shop.”

123 N. College Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80524 Phone: (970) 482-6500

Great food served in a casually sophisticated atmosphere at affordable prices. Please join us for Easter Brunch & Mother’s Day. Todd Crisson - Owner -

web design for both locations. Anna, like her dad, had dreams for a larger facility that would accommodate the needs of the area. Ron says, “She worked on me for a long time and I kept saying, ‘no.’ Then her mother and sister teamed up on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: ‘do it or else.’” The result was a 23,000 square foot facility and pool currently in the design process. It will open a year from now in Lafayette, Narvaes says. While Mary admits that working together is not for everyone, she adds that the past 32 years isn’t something that either of them regret. They also credit a strong staff that ranges from 50 to 80 employees for making everything work. “I feel pretty much part time now,” Ron says. “It isn’t about Ron and Mary anymore. The day to day operations happen because we have such a great staff, from the office to program directors to dance and day camp directors.” They’re the reason it works, he says. “We couldn’t do this on our own.”

Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008


Calm Your Commute With

VanGO By Caitlin Kelly

At one time or another, we have all faced the commute from Northern Colorado to Denver on Interstate 25. Thanks to heavy traffic, seemingly never-ending construction projects, and Colorado’s trademark unpredictable weather, the drive ends up being a rather unpleasant experience, to say the least.


hen the lanes are clear, rising gas prices, car maintenance, and environmental concerns linger and raise stress levels so much that even the dramatic mountain views from the highway offer very little consolation to commuters. Most Northern Colorado residents can successfully avoid the harrowing voyage, but what about those who work in the Denver area and have to brave it on a daily basis? This can result in a strain on one’s pocketbook and one’s patience, leaving thousands scrambling to find a better solution. Enter VanGO, a program that organizes vanpools for those who have to commute between 20 and 80 miles to work each day. SmartTrips, a Fort Collins-based organization that encourages commuters to use more efficient means of transportation, created VanGO in an effort to help drivers save money, reduce pollution, and lighten the increasingly bad traffic on Colorado’s major highways. There are now 75 VanGO routes in the Northern Colorado area, which transport commuters between Ft. Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Loveland, and the Denver area. With over 500 clients and a fleet of 80 vans provided by Pedersen Toyota, VanGO has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1994, and continues to do so as people search for better, more cost-effective ways to get to work. First-time users can search the program’s website to create their own vanpool group, or they may search for preexisting groups on their preferred routes that have open seats. Monthly fees range from $76 to $260 per passenger, which covers fuel, maintenance, and insurance expenses for the vehicle—a steal compared to the high cost of driving solo. As an added incentive, clients of VanGO are eligible for subsidies from their employers for up to $115 per month, or they may put up to $115 into a Flexible Spending Account to help pay for the monthly fare. New members are drawn to VanGO’s promise of substantial savings, and the added bonus of


William McVay, Ron Lewis, Anne Blair, Peter Brownell, René Wing, and George Hill, one of the “commuting families” with VanGo.

Anne Blair, Program Manager of VanGO.

an easier, more relaxed commute turns them into lifelong clients. Ask any VanGO client about his or her experience with the program, and you’re sure to get a positive response, with praise for everything from the affordable price to the increased safety. Kerry Sheahan, a Loveland resident who works in downtown Denver, has participated in the VanGO program for two years. “I discovered the program while stuck in traffic on I-25,” she laughs, “I was behind one of the vans and said to myself, ‘What am I doing, driving all the way to Denver by myself?’ I signed up immediately.” For Kerry, the financial benefits of being a VanGO client are tremendous. She now pays a monthly fee of $140, as opposed to the almost $500 she was spending on gas, parking, and maintenance each month when she drove alone. In addition, she has noticed a decreased stress level while at work, which she attributes to the more relaxing ride and the relationship she has with her fellow vanpoolers: “Everyone is so friendly; we really get along great. It makes the commute much more enjoyable.” Her only complaint is that getting to meetings and running errands during the day can be a hassle without a car: “I have do a lot of planning ahead with my schedule, and I usually find specific days to just drive to Denver on my own, as do most of the people in my group. But even that’s not so bad, because then I’m forced to stay organized!” Difficulties aside, Kerry’s positive experience with VanGO has kept her loyal to the program for the past two years, and she has no plans to stop taking advantage of it any time soon. Ashley Naranjo, also a Loveland resident, utilizes the program for her commute to Aurora with other members of her office. “It’s just so much better on every level,” she says. “I feel much safer than I would in my own vehicle, especially when the weather is bad.” Because VanGO trains vanpoolers about safe driving and emergency procedures, increased safety is another major draw

Ashley Naranjo, Loveland resident and VanGO client, readies for her commute.

to the program. In addition to safety, the added convenience and flexibility is a plus for the group. Driving duties rotate through the group on a weekly basis, with each member driving two to three times. “The driving duties can be tailored to meet individual needs,” Ashley explains. “Some people prefer driving in the mornings, others like driving in the evening, and some just want to drive early in the week to get it over with!” These group members meet at two rendezvous points each morning—one in Loveland and one in Johnstown—to make things as easy as possible for everyone. And thanks to an agreement with the local Albertson’s, the van stays parked in a centrally located lot, granting all of the members equal access to the vehicle. “We never have to worry about not having a ride if someone in the group gets sick, which is great,” Ashley says. “It doesn’t get much easier than that!” Normally, most people would hesitate to use the words “safe,” “relaxing,” or “enjoyable” to describe their commute to work, but not these women—clearly, VanGO is doing something right here. If your commute could stand to be a little more pleasant, pay a visit to the website, start a new group, and jump on the van-wagon. For more information on VanGO, visit the website: vanpool/vanpoolEntry.aspx Or contact the program manager at (970)221-6859

Caitlin Kelly is the Editorial Intern at Style Magazine and a senior at Colorado State University.

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

C H AT A M O U R January 19 Fort Collins Senior Center Cat loving guests had a purrrfect evening at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue (FCCR) annual fundraiser. The capacity crowd savored delicious hors d’oeuvres, listened to live music and eyed many wonderful silent and live auction items. More than $25,000 raised will help FCCR continue their work in helping the local feline population which to date has found homes for over 900 cats and kittens and will help the Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, which has performed over 3000 spays and neuters.

Amy Welsh, Tom Welsh, Linda Dute

Claudia Arbaugh, Cathy Campbell, Britt Boehner

Mera Geis, Stephanie Wolfram, Tiffany White

Jeff & Ruth Swanty, Alex Swanty

Photos courtesy Nicole Habel & Debbie Chesonis.

Scott Springfield, Jan Thydean

Shannon Kammerer, Jamie Cawthron

Will Harper

Jan & Bob Link

7 th A N N U A L M O S A I C O F T H E A R T S January 26 Fort Collins Country Club Over 125 guests came to honor Peggy Rosenkranz, founder of the Centennial Children’s Chorus, as she received the Arts Alive Medallion Award for 2008, for her exceptional contributions to the growth of the arts in Fort Collins. Guests enjoyed a gala evening of cocktails, delectable cuisine, and unique silent & live auction items and a spectacular performance of the Centennial Children’s Chorus. Proceeds from this event benefit the local arts and culture community by supporting Arts Alive and their goal to make the arts in Fort Collins sustainable through awareness, promotion and collaboration of resources.

Bruce Freestone, Kirsten Hovorka, Les & Lee Kaplan, Denise Freestone

JJ & Beverly Johnston, Rachel Herrera

Photos courtesy of Summit Studios.

Peggy Rosenkranz

Allison Alter, Andy Weiss

Dion Williams, Gary & Carol Ann Hixon

Lisa Mahuron, Micki Hejduk

Kirsten Savage, Brian Zeiger

Matt Strauch, Peggy Lyle


F C S Y M P H O N Y S O I R E E ‘ F O L K M U S I C AT I T S P E A K ’ January 30 Home of Scott Kintz & Kit Sutherland Set on the edge of Cobb Lake, this expansive home set the stage for an exciting and delightful evening to hear Estes Park-based folk singer, Dick Orleans. Over 75 guests enjoyed the night of original guitar compositions and old favorites in the intimate setting. Proceeds benefit the Fort Collins Symphony and their mission to provide orchestral music of the highest artistic standard for the purposes of entertainment, education and enhancement of the cultural environment. Photos courtesy of Mishelle Baun.

Amy Rosenberg, Carol Kauffman, Sharyn Salmen

Elizabeth Elliot, Jean Sutherland

Bill West, Kit Sutherland

Larry Salmen, Jacki Whitlen

Jerry Donnan, Scott Kintz

Jay Whitlen, Wes Kenney

Dorlies Rasmussen


February 1 Sunset Event Center This exciting inaugural event saw 10 couples, local celebrities partnered with professional dancers from Northern Colorado, who danced the salsa, cumbia, swing, lindy hop, disco just to name a few. Over 200 guests came to applaud the passionate dancers and caste their votes for best dancers. Over $23,000 raised will benefit Canyon Concert Ballet Company and their mission to create and share the passion of dance through artistically enriching performances and dance education. Photos courtesy of Hilton Campbell & Melissa Clary.


Paula Edwards, Mike & Janene Dellenbach

Chris McCullough & Jane Sullivan

Jeanne Whetstone, Majel Morgan, Marcia Sneester, Joe & Barbara Phillips

Amy & Jeff Hughes

Victor & Judy Bejarano

Teal Bosworth, Nicole Darnell, Amber Mazurana, Cori Hixon

Jeff Engel, Doug Johnson, Kim Carter

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

C H O C O L AT E M A S Q U E R A D E February 2 Hilton Fort Collins Masks, beads, and exquisite floral decorations were the backdrop for this 6th annual signature event for Junior League of Fort Collins. Complete with Kings Cake, the Mardis Gras style celebration provided over 150 guests with a delicious dinner, live jazz music, silent & live auctions and a chance at a 1-carat diamond necklace giveaway. A highlight of the evening included sampling sumptuous desserts and a coffee bar donated by local restaurateurs. Nearly $35,000 was raised for projects of the Junior League of Fort Collins including ABLEWomen, Lincoln Center Children’s Imagination Series, Poudre School District Snack Program and more. Photos courtesy of Scott Olds Photography.

Sean & Laura Benson

David & Diane Campbell

Aimee & Pete Jacobson

Alex & Mike Lynch

Rich & Trish Wuerker, Jay & Melissa Brannen

Brian & Jennifer Martis


Family, Community & Philanthropy 2008


Community Pillars Tom and Jean Sutherland by Jim Sprout

2008 marks the 50th anniversary of Tom and Jean Sutherland’s arrival to the Fort Collins community. Tom recalls that Colorado State University, where he was a professor of Agriculture Sciences, had about 3,000 students and there were 18,000 Fort Collins residents at the time. During their early years in the community, their lives were mostly involved with the university and raising children; in addition, Tom served on the Planning and Zoning Board for the city from 1969 to 1975.


ne of Tom’s early memories of Fort Collins is in meeting Tom Gleason. Gleason was then a lender at the First National Bank and Jean and Tom needed a loan for a new washing machine. This initial acquaintance blossomed into a wonderful friendship that has enriched the Sutherlands for many years. Another memory of Tom’s comes from his early days as a faculty member at CSU. One Friday afternoon he received an unexpected call from the President of the University, Bill Morgan. Dr. Morgan told Tom that he had been talking to some students from his class who had been complementary of Tom’s teaching skills. Dr. Morgan wanted to let him know what the students were saying and that he appreciated his work. Tom was bowled over by the call from the President to a rookie faculty member and never forgot it. Each of these simple events has made a lasting impression on both Tom and Jean. In fact, when asked, “Who are some of the people you admire most in Fort Collins and why?” they both say Tom Gleason, Bill Morgan, Gene Markley, and Bob Everitt. The reasons are similar in that each of these men and their spouses started out with very little and over the years through their visionary leadership, have made significant contributions to their community and the families it serves. Tom and Jean come from different family backgrounds. Tom hails from a Scottish farming family, while Jean’s father was the Department Head of Economics at Iowa State University. This has had an opposite effect on their present lifestyle and community interests in that Jean delights in getting out of the city into the mountains while Tom likes the city life. Jean’s father, Bill Murray, had a significant influence on their lives and their charitable and community service by founding and building during his retirement years Living History Farms (www.lhf. org). But it was really the Fort Collins community that had the deepest impact on their philanthropic efforts. In 1991, Tom returned from six and one-half years of captivity in Lebanon. In his absence, Jean and children, as they acknowledged in their book, At Your Own Risk, did not feel comfortable asking for help from the community. However, requests were not necessary because the kindness, generosity, and loyalty of the community overflowed, especially through special individuals like Bill West and Frank Vattano. Jean described her community experience during this period with


Tom and Jean Sutherland. compassion using words like lifeline, strength, and sustenance. When they finally received the settlement from the Iranian Government ten years later, Jean and Tom had already decided to stay in their “hometown,” a treasured icon that symbolized a profound sense of loyalty and trust for them. Through their private foundation, whose mission and purpose focuses on education, poverty, and the arts, the Sutherland Family Foundation has not only provided annual support for many nonprofits but also has created the beginning of a charitable heritage for their children and their families. However, those involved in the nonprofit community know that the personal kindness and charity of Jean and Tom have also made a difference to our community. Individually through service, time, and financial support, they have established their charitable legacy. As with their lifestyle preferences, Tom and Jean each have their own charitable interests. Although they work together as a family, Tom’s concentration is more aligned with the purposes of their foundation. He has a special interest in Colorado Boy’s Ranch where he can empathize with the lives of these troubled boys. He is also an active supporter of the Bas Bleu Theatre, Crossroads Safehouse, and The Larimer Chorale, to name a few. Jean’s passion is land conservation and preservation. She has served on the Board of the Legacy Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy. Both Jean and Tom think a major issue facing our community is the existence of poverty and the many challenges that single-parent families experience each day. They strongly believe in the mission of Project Self-Sufficiency, the Food Bank, and other agencies that focus on this concern. When asked what lessons they have learned over the years, they responded by saying, “friendship is a luxury” that we as a society often take for granted. They learned this lesson while in the Middle East where there is little trust beyond the family unit. Having the loyalty and trust of friends beyond the love of family has had enormous meaning for Jean and Tom. The second lesson is freedom. To be free has allowed Tom and Jean to honor the past, celebrate the present, and embrace the future. Jim Sprout is the Chairman of First Western Trust Bank – Northern Colorado and a regular columnist for Style Magazine.

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

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2008-03 Lydia's Style Magazine  

This long standing popular issue features working women from all walks of life. Profiles of successful women, self-help articles, children,...

2008-03 Lydia's Style Magazine  

This long standing popular issue features working women from all walks of life. Profiles of successful women, self-help articles, children,...