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Mo u n t a in Me d ia G r o u p , L L C .

| 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/MANAGING EDITOR Lydia Dody DYNAMIC DESIGNING DUO Lisa Gould Austin Lamb ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVES Jon Ainslie (970) 219-9226 Debra Davis (917) 334-6912 Lydia Dody (970) 227-6400 Ann Houckes (970) 231-8069 OFFICE MANAGER/ABOUT TOWN EDITOR Ina Szwec | ACCOUNTING MANAGER Julie Spencer CIRCULATION MANAGER BJ Uribe-Bell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Rod Pentico, Pentico Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Malini Bartels, Lynette Chilcoat, Kyle Eustice Angeline Grenz, Kay Rios, Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, Brad Shannon, Elissa J. Tivona, Michelle Venus AFFILIATIONS

Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Loveland Chamber of Commerce Greeley Chamber of Commerce

Berthoud Chamber of Commerce

Style magazine is a free monthly publication direct-mailed to homes and businesses in Northern Colorado. Elsewhere, a one-year subscription is $25/ year and a two-year subscription is $45. Free magazines are available at more than 300 locations throughout Northern Colorado. For ad rates, subscription information, change of address, or correspondence, contact Mountain Media Group, LLC, 211 W. Myrtle St., Suite 200, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521. Phone (970) 226-6400, ext. 208; Fax (970) 2266427; Email ©2017 Mountain Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The entire contents of Style magazine are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Mountain Media Group, LLC, 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 Mountain Media Group, LLC.




I just wanted to thank you for the nice article in the August issue of Style on Mobile Boutiques in Northern Colorado! It was great to see the other boutiques in the area and read their story as well. I had so many people seek out our boutique at our recent events and tell me they saw my business in the article and wanted to check it out. So thank you and your great staff at Style magazine for the exposure! I don’t know if you do follow ups at all, but thought you might like to know that we were recently voted Colorado’s Mobile Boutique of the Year in the Boutique Hub’s Awards. Thank you again! Allyson Smit, Owner Acey Designs: Street Chic I think I owe you a belated Thank You!! I'm pretty sure I completely forgot to thank you for being so willing to put an article about adoption in your November 2016 Holiday issue of Style magazine. Thank You so much!! It was a great experience for all of us involved. I think it did a lot for the world of adoption in Fort Collins. We still hear from people who read the article and know that the impact will last a long time. Thank You!! Kris Kissel I want to thank you for writing a Business Spotlight on our business, True Fabrication and Welding, in the June issue of Style. The results have been surprisingly wonderful! I’ve been stopped at birthday parties, and neighbors have mentioned they saw the article. And, the ads we have run in your issues have resulted in calls from Greeley and Fort Collins. We are very happy with our presence in Style magazine! Thank you! Carol Johnston, owner, True Fabrication and Welding, LLC WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM READERS. SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO:





features 22


Henry Loves the OpenStage Theatre & Company


Exceptional Homes in Prestigious Neighborhoods: WildWing


Refined Remodel: The Nisbet Home







NOCO Wellness

50 Wellness How to Offer Help 54 Prevention Pro Tips for a Healthy Mouth 58 Wellness New Procedure for Better Bunion Relief 68


6 From Our Readers 12 A Season of Change

Publisher's Letter

16 Scheels

Business Spotlight

Profile 18 Personality Joe Akmakjian


36 Home Silent But Deadly 47 Home From Barn to Kitchen: Reclaiming the Past With Custom Cabinetry

62 Travel Haunted Weekend Destinations About Town 68 Women of Vision Gala Prairie Dog Classic Songs in Summer

Community Appreciation Bash Suitcase Party

Little Plates for Little People Chipping Fore Charities LHS Ribbon Cutting



A SEASON OF CHANGE This issue celebrates 33 years of publishing Style magazine for Northern Colorado readers. As I look back over those years and beyond, my heart fills with gratitude for our readers, advertisers and communities that have faithfully supported us – without you we would not have succeeded. Style magazine has been about the Front Range – it has been about you, your neighbors and your friends. It has existed to positively uplift and highlight the many wonderful people of our area, to celebrate the small businesses that make this region such a great place to live, to feature ways to improve our lives and talk about the events, festivals and entertainment available in our area. We have worked hard to keep the magazine interesting, informative, relevant, and engaging while keeping its design visually appealing. It has taken a team of creative people who always reached for excellence and took pride in bringing you their best efforts. Our small team of ten have genuinely cared about each issue of Style magazine. Since starting the magazine in 1984, the population of Fort Collins has doubled; Harmony Road has developed into a busy retail and office entrance into town; Centerra, Front Range Village and other shopping areas have sprung up; CSU has expanded with a student base of 33,000 now; restaurants have multiplied; subdivisions have been built to accommodate the population growth and so on and so on. Throughout the years I have continued to love living and working in Fort Collins. The community has been


a wonderful place to raise my family and has been supportive of my entrepreneurial ventures. I have been fortunate to work with wonderful people and businesses and am so grateful to live and work in Northern Colorado. God has blessed me abundantly. Through my "Publisher’s Letters" in Style magazine, you have accompanied me on my life’s journey throughout these past 33 years. My daughters were born and grew up; the fun of sharing my girls’ training and competition in figure skating; my transition from owning retail stores to publishing full time; the challenge of my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment; the creation of Hope Lives! non-profit to help women diagnosed with breast cancer; the marriage of my oldest daughter and now a new chapter is before me. The question of succession has on occasion been posed to me since one daughter is graduating from medical school and one daughter is a Solutions Manager at Swisslog, a healthcare and robotics company, neither were candidates to carry on the Style torch. It was through a casual conversation that the opportunity to pass the baton surfaced. Yes, I have decided to sell Style magazine, the creation of my heart and soul. The only thing that makes this even possible in my mind, is that the new owner, Tonja Randolph is committed to carrying on the legacy that I started 33 years ago. I trust she will hold this precious creation gently in her hands and care for it as deeply as I have all these years. I believe in her integrity and her commitment to carrying on the quality tradition we have established. She has asked me to continue working at Style, so I’m not disappearing from the scene, but in time, hope to reduce my workload. I look forward to more time with family, more opportunity to travel, and hope to have grandchildren one day. I can’t even begin to communicate how precious all the people I’ve dealt with are to me. Many of my advertisers have grown to be my friends. Their wellbeing is of primary importance to me. I treasure the many wonderful people we have interviewed and photographed. It’s because of them that we have been able to create the magazines that have been read and enjoyed over the years. And, without our faithful readers we wouldn’t have been able to continue the magazine. Thank you to each of the people who have crossed my path; you have enriched my life and been a positive motivator. Thank you to all my past employees; your work contributed to the foundation of the magazine. Thank you to all of the writers, photographers and designers; your creative contributions helped the development and growth of the magazine. Thank you to all the account executives over the years; your hard work increased the visibility of the magazine. Thank you to my current team, which Tonja has maintained, to continue the

essence of the magazine. You will meet Tonja in the November issue. She is the publisher of two quality magazines so she is a veteran publisher. As you browse the pages of this issue, be sure to read our "Personality" profile of “Joe Akmakjian,” national ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and be inspired by his zest for life. Enjoy reading about and seeing the beautiful photos of the home featured in “Refined Remodel.” Sarah Bayshore did an amazing job of designing this exquisite remodeling project. And, don’t miss reading “Exceptional Homes in Prestigious Neighborhoods: WildWing” to learn about its views, lake front homes and custom homes for sale. I hope you enjoy reading these and much more between the pages of this fall issue! Welcome our new season of change. Welcome Tonja Randolph, our new publisher. With deep gratitude,









By Angeline Grenz

Scheels is the indoor playland full of outdoor toys. The century-old company started in hardware, then moved to sporting goods, and somewhere along the way figured out that they could create an experience for visitors that combines retail therapy, entertainment, food, learning and more than a little bit of wonder for both adults and children.


Scheels in Johnstown is the 2nd largest store in their 27-store portfolio and the only one currently in Colorado. The 250,000-square-foot retail shopping experience opened on September 30, 2017, to an eager crowd. Within the store are 80 specialty shops ranging from custom bike fittings to fashion and home décor. Just some of the features of this store include a 16,000-gallon aquarium filled with over 600 salt water fish, a 65-foot-tall operating Ferris Wheel, a wildlife mountain full of taxidermied animals, a mini bowling alley, arcade games, running tracks, and even Ginna’s Café, which features a fudge shop as well as soups and sandwiches. The Colorado store also has the largest installation of SageGlass in North America. SageGlass windows are designed to control indoor temperature while optimizing the


views. The glass can block up to 91 percent of solar heat, saving on heating and cooling costs. The Scheels’ family history is evident throughout the store, from their proud display of American-made goods, to statues of several U.S. Presidents, to family memorabilia. The history is rightly earned. The founder, Frederick A. Scheel, used the income from his first potato harvest to open a small hardware and general store in Sabin, Minnesota, in 1902. Over the years, Scheels continued to open hardware stores. In 1954, the family added a sporting goods section, and in 1972 they added shoes and clothing. Corporate offices are now located in Fargo, North Dakota, and Scheels stores have also opened in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, and Utah. Scheels largest store can be found in Reno-Sparks, Nevada. The company’s goal is to build or renovate one store a year.


The Northern Colorado site appealed to Scheels corporation because of its easy accessibility for shoppers coming from Denver and Wyoming. “Scheels really is a destination,” says Marketing Leader, Janae Burich, “people will travel an hour or more to come here…and this really helps to put Johnstown on the map.” The store employs approximately 375 associates. Each “boutique” within the store has its own manager/buyer and they have the flexibility to buy locally-made and Coloradomade products for their stores. The Johnstown store has the largest selection of sports, fashion, footwear and more under one roof in Colorado. Shopping spans two floors and includes menswear, women’s clothing, children’s clothing, shoes, sporting goods, fitness, a hunting department, firearms with a shooting range, and more. The average STYLEMEDIA.COM

customer spends between two and four hours at each visit to Scheels, according to Burich.


Along with the epic amount of retail space and the multiple draws of shopping, entertainment and food, Scheels offers an unrivaled customer experience, says Burich. “We have price matching, money-back guarantees, whatever it takes to keep our customers satisfied. We want to have happy customers and positive experiences.” They also have highly trained sales associates with expertise in outdoor sports and activities to help shoppers find the right gear. Boutique shops include a golf shop, a snowmobile shop, a kids’ toyland, and an exercise shop. Most come with try-before-you-buy options, custom-fit equipment, and trained technicians to help make the buying experience exceptional. They even offer an expanded line of women’s golf and hunting apparel. One unique addition to the Colorado store is a home décor shop. Johnstown’s home décor offers thousands of decorating items and furniture, all American made, and it is one of the first such shops in a Scheels store.

Ski, snowboard, and snowshoe rentals are also available. Scheels has both east and west main entrances, but it is the third entrance, also on the east side, that offers something new: a service entrance into its bike repair shop and snowboard and ski shops. The entrance allows customers to bring bikes and equipment straight to the service area, rather than hauling them through the other retail areas. Scheels is also committed to investing in their local communities and supporting local nonprofits involved in the outdoor community. United Way is a regular partner of Scheels. And as part of their training, employees have already performed over 6,000 hours of community service and volunteer work in Northern Colorado. A percentage of Scheels’ profits is also set aside for community sponsorships and donations. As Scheels continues to grow their local partnerships, they will look for additional opportunities to support the local community, says Burich.

experience of a venue that offers so much for adults and children. Boy Scout groups and schools fieldtrips often make Scheels a destination, especially for their wildlife mountain, which features over 220 taxidermied animals. The retail experience isn’t Scheels only claim to fame. The company is still privately held and employee owned. Additionally, Burich says that the company culture is one that invests in employees, with extensive training in their respective areas, and a competitive wage and benefits.

HOW TO FIND THEM/ WHEN TO GO Address: 4755 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Johnstown, CO 80534 Phone: (970) 663-7800

Regular hours: Weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit or


Of course, the sheer size of the Northern Colorado store is incentive to go, but also the

CLOSING THOUGHTS Johnstown Scheels has over 40,000 pairs of shoes,” says Burich. The men’s shoe shop rivals the women’s in size and that is just a small sample of what is available at Scheels. But what is also refreshing is a retail mega store with a down-home, American heart. “You can see the Scheels’ family values throughout the store,” says Burich. And it helps shape the entire experience. OCTOBER 2017




Photo courtesy of Tim O'Hara Photography


oe Akmakjian

By Elissa J. Tivona


The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is not just about Jerry’s Kids anymore, those adorable 5 to 10-year-olds who appeared in annual fund-raising telethons alongside the timeless goofball comedian Jerry Lewis. Today the organization is also about the vital and engaging young adults who are making waves in the world. And oh, by the way, they happen to have physical challenges due to neuromuscular diseases like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (MD), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Just ask Joe Akmakjian, a Fort Collins native living with the genetic disorder SMA Type 2, and the first adult to serve as National Ambassador for the MDA. Joe says, “It was actually really cool because I’m the very first adult that they ever had do this job. The idea … was to show that people with these diseases are living a lot longer than they ever have before, and that’s because of all the research the MDA has funded and all of the support they’ve received.” Funds donated to MDA provide support for three main pillars, referred to as the three Cs: care, cure and champion. With respect to care, Joe explains, “We provide funding for about 150 different multi-disciplinary medical clinics around the country where individuals and families who are registered with MDA can go every six months and see all their specialists in one place.” In addition, MDA raises funds to support leading-edge medical research toward a cure for neuromuscular diseases. Joe reports, “Over the course of the 65 years we’ve been around, we’ve put about $1.1 billion into medical research.” The results are paying off. According to Joe, over the last year alone, there have been four different drug therapies that have received FDA approval and have come to market— two for MD, a first one ever for SMA, and one for ALS. The third C stands for champion, which is what MDA calls their summer camp. Each OCTOBER 2017

year MDA sends approximately 4,000 kids to summer camp for free. For one week these kids are assigned to counselors and encouraged to “Live Unlimited.” Joe says, “For me it was about learning that someone else could help me other than my parents, that I didn’t have to live with my mom my whole life. I could be independent.” Joe has grown into a young man who embodies MDA’s philosophy. In fact, he helped launch the young adult “Live Unlimited” campaign by skydiving to celebrate his 24th birthday! The idea came to him during one of his many speaking engagements as National Ambassador where an audience member asked about his bucket list. “I don't like the idea of putting down a certain number of things [you] have to do because then what happens when you complete them all, or what happens when you don't get to complete them all? But when you're in front of several hundred people and someone asks you that question, you feel really pressured to come up with an answer. So I just shouted out skydiving and everybody clapped and loved it.” After some reflection, Joe realized what a powerful symbol it would be to parachute from a plane on his 24th birthday. Originally, his doctors set his life expectancy at 12, a number that became obsolete very quickly. Joe says, “I'd be doubling my life expectancy. It was a perfect segue into talking about how people with MD and SMA and all of that are living longer.” Today, Joe’s “Live Unlimited” moments reach far beyond the flash of skydiving. He is a proud Ram, graduating from Colorado State University with a double major in Journalism and Media Communications, and Communications Studies. He lives independently in Fort Collins and is looking ahead to furthering his Public Relations career when his term as National Ambassador for MDA expires at the end of 2017.

Joe says it best, “So the idea (of living unlimited) came about by wanting to showcase that people who have ALS or muscular dystrophy or SMA or whatever, they're not what the stereotype of a disabled person used to be, which was staying at home and not getting out in the community. These people are starting their families, they're starting careers, they're going to college, they're starting businesses; they're doing all kinds of crazy stuff.” In fact, Joe aims to overturn outdated assumptions about the very notion of disability. “Disability comes in all shapes and sizes and forms,” says Joe. “Some of them are invisible. Some of them are visible…. And when you have a disability that's visible like mine it's very easy for people to imagine your life being so different from theirs. But truthfully, we go through the same feelings and emotions and goals and dreams as anybody else. A lot of people are sometimes afraid of disability, but it’s not something that needs to be feared.” With these words, Joe invites all of us to rethink what is possible and reminds us that we have a role to play in creating inclusive and welcoming communities for everyone, regardless of ability. Joe knows what a difference this makes, “I grew up not really feeling disabled because Fort Collins was always just so welcoming to me and my family. I love it here!” Send some love back; connect with Joe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @joeakmakjian. Elissa J. Tivona is a busy journalist and academic. She has traveled internationally to present her work in peace and conflict studies but is always grateful to return home to beautiful Northern Colorado where she lives, writes, and teaches at CSU.




e h t s e v o L enry


By Michelle Venus

OpenStage Theatre & Company

This year, the Colorado Theatre Guild shined a spotlight on Fort Collins and awarded OpenStage Theatre & Company with 13 nominations, resulting in four Henry Awards.

And these were the big dog awards: Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and—the most prestigious honor of the Henry Awards— Outstanding Season. It’s the first time a Northern Colorado company has received the coveted title. The Henry Awards are presented each year to honor achievements in acting, directing, design, and technical theatre. Named for longtime Denver producer and Colorado Theatre Guild co-founder Henry Lowenstein, the Henrys have been recognizing the hard (and stellar) work of Colorado’s theatre scene since 2006. Fort Collins theatre has been recognized by the Henry Awards in the past. Jonathan Farwell and Rebecca Spafford, among others, have received Henrys for acting and costume design, respectively. This year, though, along with the 13 nominations garnered by OpenStage, MidTown Arts Center and Bas Bleu received a total of eight combined nominations. It was a big year for Northern Colorado theatre, and deservedly so. As the region has grown, so has the theatre scene—and it’s making its mark. All In the Family Family. It’s a word used often in the theatre community, and one that Denise Freestone, who along with her husband Bruce founded OpenStage, refers to frequently when talking about the people who


Denise and Bruce Freestone then and now.

make up Northern Colorado’s longest running theatre company. The upcoming season is their 45th. So it’s no surprise that August: Osage County, written by Pulitzer prize winner Tracy Letts, was last season’s scene stealer and winner of two Henrys. “It’s about a dysfunctional family living on the plains of Oklahoma,” explains Sydney Parks Smith, who played Barbara Weston-Fordham, the family’s oldest daughter. “Dad disappears and all the sisters come back with their respective husbands and boyfriends and children, only to discover that he (dad) has, in fact, committed suicide. What follows next is drunkenness, laughter, and a whole lot of pain and secrets. Many secrets.” Sydney read August: Osage County about eight years ago and was tremendously impressed with Letts’ ability “as a man to have such a thorough understanding of 40-something women and the bullsh*t they have to put up with,” she says. “Every single woman in [the play] is so juicy.” It took Sydney several passes to get Denise to agree to include August: Osage County in a season. As OpenStage’s artistic director, Denise looks for a continuous theme that runs through a season, connecting the productions like a great playlist. For a long time, August: Osage County just wasn't one of the songs on the mix tape. STYLEMEDIA.COM

She related to Barbara in many ways. Their personalities—strong, take charge, the sister everybody leans on, say-what-needs-to-be-said even if it isn't very nice or subtle or exactly nurturing—are similar. “I don't put up with a lot of crap,” says Sydney, dryly. During the production, Sydney was her father’s caretaker as he approached the end of his life, so the loss Barbara felt was her loss, too. The result was a performance filled with irony, humor, grief, and anger. Sydney’s portrayal of Barbara won her the Best Actress award. For those who saw the production, it is no surprise. For Sydney, though, it was completely unexpected. “It was incredible and overwhelming,” says Sydney of her nomination. Upon receiving the phone call informing her of the pick, she screamed, cried, and laughed hysterically. In that order. Sydney remembers sitting in the audience at the Henry Awards show between Denise and her husband, Harry, clasping their hands and at the moment her name was announced, “my heart stopped and my mouth dropped open.” She remembers thinking how happy she was that her heels had ankle straps so that her shoes wouldn't fall off as she walked towards the stage. She remembers letting loose a string of expletives and whipping her prewritten speech out of her bra. Mostly she remembers feeling incredibly honored to be recognized by her peers for doing the work that she dearly loves. Behind the Scenes Dulcie Willis, the director of August: Osage County was similarly recognized for her work with the production. When asked how long she’s been a director, she laughs and says, “Since I was a child. In my living room. With my brother and sister.” Professionally, she’s been at it for 20 years with more than 40 productions under her belt. Different projects require different approaches. The common thread is trust: Dulcie trusts her fellow artists and empowers them to contribute. While an actor needs to focus on his or her character, the director needs to see the big picture and focus on every detail of the production. Dulcie uses the analogy of everyone being on the same bus going in the same direction, with herself sitting behind the wheel, driving it. A play like August: Osage County has the potential to flick at tender spots in an actor’s memory and personal experiences. For that reason, it was important for the cast and crew to take care of each other. “I needed to make sure everyone was in a healthy place in order to do the work on the stage,” says Dulcie. “We all knew what we were getting into, and there was a lot of communication that took place away from the rehearsal space, away from the theater, to make sure we all were OK.” In order to make the acting honest and real, Dulcie took a step back so that the play didn't feel choreographed and polished. The goal was for the OCTOBER 2017

Steven P. Sickles Best Actor La Bête

Dulcie Willis Best Director August: Osage County

Sydney Parks Smith Best Actress August: Osage County


Denise Freestone, who along with her husband Bruce founded OpenStage, refers to frequently when talking about the people who make up Northern Colorado’s longest running theatre company. The upcoming season is their 45th.

audience to experience the events for the first time as they unfolded with the Weston family. “We had to work to keep it raw,” she says. That magic moment, when her name was called as the Best Director at the Henry Awards, came as a surprise. “I was shocked and I couldn't leave my chair, I was so astounded,” she remembers. “When I looked at the other theatre companies and the other directors, I thought ‘Gosh, there's just no way.’ I just froze and had to be told to go up to the stage.” Bringing home the Henry Award capped a big year for Dulcie. At the same time August: Osage County was in production, she and her business partner Heather Ostberg Johnson purchased La-De-Da Performance Arts, a theatre school in Fort Collins. As an owner and teacher, all her focus will be pointed on that endeavor. “I won't be working on any projects outside of La-De-Da until after 2018,” she says a bit wistfully. “But I’ll be back.” En Présentant La Bête When high art meets low art, and a street performer invades a renowned acting troupe, and flatulence makes untimely entrances in 17th-century France court life, the result is La Bête, a comedy delivered in rhyming couplets of iambic pentameter. Add a 20-minute monologue at the start of the play and it’s not hard to see why Steven Sickles walked away with a Henry Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Valere, the pompous, bombastic actor who inveigled his way into the troupe. “It was a challenge,” he admits of the script. In the long run, the couplets were helpful for Steve because the rhymes weren’t complete unless the lines were spot on. On certain levels, Steve identifies with Valere. From an actor’s standpoint, he understands what motivates the character. He identifies with his lust for life and desire for fun though he does feel that the lowbrow qualities Valere exhibits are not mutual. “I liked him,” he muses. “I think we would have made a good team.” As for the moment when his name was called at the awards ceremony, Steve admits to a memory lapse. “It’s a blur,” he says. “But if I were on that stage right now, I would thank Denise and Bruce. I would thank Peter Anthony who directed La Bête, and then I would thank the rest of the cast and crew. Without them and without their support, I wouldn't have won the Henry. Really, it belongs to all of us.” 45 and Going Strong “Everyone thinks it was my idea to start a theatre company, but it wasn’t,” says Denise Freestone, grand doyenne of the Northern Colorado theatre scene and co-founder of OpenStage. “It was Bruce [her husband] and when he suggested it, I just looked at him and said, ‘You’re insane.’” But 45 years later, the company is stronger than ever. And Denise holds the coveted Outstanding Season Henry Award, made all the more meaningful because for so long the award went to a theatre company in the Denver metro area. That a Northern Colorado company won it proves the work done “up here” is gaining long overdue and well deserved recognition. Denise credits the extended family that is OpenStage Theatre & Company. Just like a real family, new members join and some members leave. And like a real family, it’s filled with love, laughter, and a common goal to be the very best they can be and to continue on for another 45 years. Michelle Venus is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor living and working in a little old bungalow in Old Town Fort Collins. She can be found pedaling her bike to coffee shops and happy hours, and is known to dance in the office. Any office.





Exceptional Homes in Prestigious Neighborhoods

If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay connected to northern Colorado, but get away from the hubbub of the cities and towns, WildWing may be for you. Located on the northeast side of Timnath Reservoir, it sits on the west side of Country Road 13 (Latham Parkway to the south, and Colorado Boulevard to the north). From Fort Collins, take either Prospect Road or Horsetooth Road east to CR 13. In addition to amazing views of the northern Front Range mountains and a variety of amenities, WildWing offers homes at a variety of sizes and price points to suit the needs of professionals, growing families, empty nesters, and those looking to build their custom or semi-custom dream home. Prospective residents can choose from patio or singlefamily homes, find the perfect semi-custom or the ideal seven-figure custom lakefront home. In the height of the recession in 2010, WildWing became available after the property was taken back by a bank. “The timing couldn’t have been worse, but I always said if I had the opportunity to acquire WildWing, I had to find a way.


By Brad Shannon

The property is just too special,” said Gary Hoover of Hartford Homes. Compelled to find a way to make it work, Gary pursued acquiring WildWing despite the challenging economic times and uncertainty back then. Since acquiring the property, Gary has brought to life his vision of an extraordinary place to call home. Close to city conveniences, but in a natural, rural setting that gives residents access to exceptional trails, parks, natural areas, reservoirs, views and other recreational amenities. Timeline 2010 Acquired by Gary Hoover of Hartford Homes 2012 Phase 1 developed (108 homes) 2015 Phase 1 lots sold out 2016 Phase 2 developed (99 homes – CalAtlantic Homes) 2017 Phase 3a developed (29 homes), four lots left 2018 Phase 3b, Phase 4 and Phase 5 – approximately 90 units remaining to be developed




Jan Pleiman and her husband Ron bought the first patio home in the development and moved into it in September 2013. Jan recalled, “We lived in town in Fort Collins for 35 years, and wanted a patio home with a view of the mountains. We went out, fell in love with the view, and said ‘this is it.’ We normally really take time and think things over carefully, but we knew this was right.” The Pleimans enjoy sitting on their patio and watching the birds, as well as walking and biking the area paths. “The neighbors are great, we’ve gained a lot of new friends, and there are local social groups for hiking, theater, gourmet dining, and wine. We’re close to town and the big box stores, and we’re excited, as are our grandchildren, for the new pool,” she said. “We’re really happy to be here, we love it.” Mike Schroetlin of Schroetlin Custom Homes has been building custom and semi-custom homes in northern Colorado for more than 45 years throughout Timnath, Fort Collins, Loveland and Berthoud. He’s built 12 to 15 custom homes in WildWing. With the recently opened phase on the north end of Timnath Reservoir, he has lakefront and non-lakefront lots available. Non-lakefront homes range from $800k to $1 million or more, while lakefront homes range from about $1 million and up. About half of his clients here have moved from other parts of the Front Range, while the other half have moved from out of state. “It’s unique that WildWing features larger lots and feels peaceful and far away from the rat race, yet it’s just a short drive to everything,” he noted. “Everybody wants to take advantage of any lake and/or mountain views they might be able to have from their specific lot. Outdoor living space is usually a high priority, as well as an attractive exterior and higher-end interior finishes. Styles vary from Colorado contemporary to traditional to mountain lodge, yet the neighborhood blends together and flows nicely.” Judy Bogaard and her son, Brian, both with The Group Real Estate Inc., sold the first group of 32 estate patio homes and are now marketing Hartford Homes’ modern farmhouse luxury patio homes, starting at $457k. “We do all the lot sales for WW Development LLC,” she said. “We have three lots left on the water starting at $365k, and one away from the water at $140k. People love it here where they can have a great view and get away from some of the congestion, but still have easy access to the area and I-25. It’s a country feel just 10 minutes from Fort Collins.” There are other lots available from local preferred builders who are ready to build to suit for interested buyers. Randy Gillen owns Big Horn Construction and is building his first home in WildWing for Chuck Betters. “The lots are laid out well, there’s a good view from everywhere in the area,” he said. “Even if you’re not on a lakefront lot, you feel like you’re on the water.” He noted the appeal of the beach access for swimming and paddle boarding, abundant wildlife, as well as paths and trails to explore the area and exercise. While known in the past for high-quality, high-end log homes, more recently he’s responded to buyers interested in more timber, prairie and contemporary style homes. “When you hire us, you hire me, and I’m going to be on the job site, making sure things go well,” he said. Betters has had a dream to live on the water since he came to northern Colorado in 1978, and is pleased to be building a home for himself here. “It’s my dream lot. I met Randy a few years ago, and he did some small projects for me. He’s honest, dependable, on site every day, and spends a lot of time out there.” Betters’ home is a modern design by David Hewitt of 6,500 square feet on



a .75 acre lot. It’s built for entertainment, with a wet bar, theater room, large deck, workshop for his woodworking, and a large kitchen and walkout basement. “Gary did a great job laying it all out. It’s easy to get a mountain view, but hard to get a lake view. I can sit on the deck and watch and listen to the water fowl, which is pretty neat,” said Betters. Along with Betters’ home, Gillen is also building a spec home that will be on the market next spring – “March or April, depending on the weather,” he said – that will be 5,200 square feet, with 2,600 square feet finished. The prairie-style home with modern influences will feature 12-foot ceilings, a stone fireplace, clearview shower walk-in that’s flush with the floor, a large enclosed courtyard alongside a home office, high-end appliances, and stone and stucco exterior for around $775k. Inge and Doug Lockwood were also some of the first to move into the area. “We started looking in the fall of 2013,” Inge recalled. “We wanted to be closer to Fort Collins, on a bigger lot. We lived in Johnstown and had kids in Fort Collins, so we spent a lot


of time up here. Judy directed us here, and we were hooked.” They chose a lot and built a semi-custom home with Hartford Homes. “We chose an existing design, and tweaked it to conform to WildWing guidelines,” she said. “We beefed up the style to give it a more prairie look, and moved the garage to the wraparound position the area requires.” They moved into their new place in March of 2014, and are happy empty nesters enjoying 2,500 square foot ranch living. “We boat on the lake, exercise the dogs and ride our bikes on the trails, and we, along with the grandkids, are looking forward to enjoying the new community pool.” For more information on WildWing, visit or contact any of the professionals or organizations mentioned in this piece. Brad Shannon is an award-winning writer and communications consultant who lives and works in Loveland, Colorado.


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But Deadly

You can’t see it or smell it, but a dangerous noble gas could be in your home. By Malini Bartels

What is Radon?

The naturally occurring noble gas called radon and symbolized as Rn, is the country’s second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Scientifically speaking, radon gas comes from the atomic decay of Uranium238 to Radium226, to Radon222 and finally to Lead206. In Northern Colorado, radon gas is more common than most residents might think. Arnie Drennen, the owner of Drennen Custom Contracting in Fort Collins, knows details about the mysterious and sometimes lethal gas. “Radon is more prominent in Colorado


compared with some other areas in the country due to soil characteristics and geology. Radon enters homes from the crawlspace area, wall to floor joints, sumps and drains, and/or any cracks and penetrations in the basement slab,” says the radon testing and mitigation expert. Drennen mentions that a driving force for radon distribution in homes is through stack effect (hot air rising). Additionally, homes are like a vacuum system with warm air escaping through upper portions of the house and pulling in soil gases from underneath the house. Radon gas is measured in picocuries per liter (abbreviated as pCi/L) and is a

measure of the rate of radioactive decay of radon. A curie is a unit of radioactivity, named after French physicist Pierre Curie. A picocurie is one trillionth of a curie. The basis for the curie is the radioactivity of one gram of radium.

How Can You Test for Radon?

It’s quite simple to test and see if your home possesses levels of 4 pCi/L of radon or higher. The EPA recommends that radon levels equal or greater to this be professionally mitigated for the health and safety of the home’s residents. Procedure and placement of a basic radon test is vital to the outcome. Throughout the STYLEMEDIA.COM



testing process, the home is required to be closed for a minimum of twelve hours prior to testing and remain closed throughout the course of testing with only normal exit and entry. This procedure ensures that a dynamic equilibrium is achieved creating the required testing environment. The three major ways of testing a home for radon are charcoal, continuous radon monitoring system, and electronic average system (or E-perm). Charcoal tests can vary in accuracy as the time delay in which the testing kit is closed and mailed to a testing laboratory can impact the results. Approved continuous radon monitoring systems and electronic systems have a greater accuracy rate as the results may be determined locally by a certified radon tester, and thus the mailing process does not affect the accuracy of the test results. The EPA recommends that even homes already having a mitigation system should be tested every two years to ensure proper system functions. Bryson Wise is the owner of BWise Radon in Fort Collins. For the past 10 years, his company has focused on radon testing, radon mitigation, crawl space encapsulation and indoor air quality. “In Northern Colorado, about 75% of homes have some amount of radon in them,” Wise conjectures. Wise was an insurance agent before getting into the business of radon testing and mitigation. “We are finding that radon awareness and mitigation needs mostly come up during a home transaction or inspection.” Homeowners can contact Bryson Wise for a free estimate to see if they are living in unsafe conditions. He mentions that there are both longterm and short-term test kits and it’s safe for families to be inside their homes during testing. “We believe families should do whatever in their power to take care of their health. Radon is an invisible thing and you don’t know if it’s causing health problems, but testing is the very first step.” “We’ve had many people test 15 years ago and now they are testing again. Just because you tested your home before and it wasn’t high, doesn’t mean it’s not high now. It’s important to test every couple of years, especially in Colorado,” says Wise. “However, it’s difficult to test in the summer months because people want to keep their doors and windows open.” Therefore, winter months are the best time to test for radon gas.

Ways to Mitigate Radon

Arnie Drennen shares the details of radon mitigation, the action of reducing


the severity of radon’s effects. “Mitigation is normally performed by using either subslab depressurization (SSD) in a basement/ monolithic slab or sub-membrane depressurization (SMD) in a crawlspace. An SSD system is installed by drilling a core (hole) through the slab, normally concrete, and venting with PVC pipe to the exterior above the roofline, according to current local protocols. An SMD system is installing a radon resistant barrier as airtight as possible. These two systems can also be combined. Mary Pat Aardrup is an environmental planner with the City of Fort Collins. She runs the indoor air quality programs for the City, known as the Healthy Homes, and radon programs. “The City of Fort Collins has a Healthy Homes division that provides free in-home assessments to help insure healthy air quality for its residents. Radon testing is included in the Healthy Homes assessment for free,” says Aardrup. “If your test registers 4 pCi/L or greater for radon, then you should call in a professional and definitely consider mitigation.” “Contractors go through a certification process to become mitigation experts. Use people on the list! Do your research and

have a comfort level before having someone work on your home,” recommends Aardrup. The City also sells in-home, do-it-yourself, short-term test kits at the Fort Collins Senior Center for $6 and long-term kits for $20. Details about this program are found at and Aardrup indicates that every home built in 2005 or beyond is required to have a passive radon mitigation system, but you should still test at least every other year. “Results can vary from home to home,” says a City employee. Statistically, 70% of the homes tested for radon in the city are testing high. Out of those, only 50% have it professionally mitigated. “We really want people to take that next step and mitigate,” recommends Aardrup. “Being aware of the levels of radon in your home are important to families’ health, but the first step to knowing is testing.”

Malini Bartels is a lifelong creative working at the Music District. She is also a freelance writer, chef, mother, radio host, and actress. Her incorrigible Corgi occupies most of her time.


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d e n i f Re REMODEL By Lynette Chilcoat

When a home on prime country acreage has been owned for over two decades, the decision to remodel rather than build anew makes sense. Sweeping panoramic views all around, including spectacular postcardworthy Front Range peaks, are strong motivators for staying put. Thus is the case with the Nisbet home northeast of Fort Collins.

Sarah Bashore, Hixon Interiors; Todd Annand, H&K Construction, LLC; Jennifer and Steve Nisbet

Highlighting a theme of aesthetically pleasing minimalism, Steve and Jennifer Nisbet, recently returning from Hong Kong with a permanent relocate in mind, having rebuilt an innovative home with classic, clean lines that yet remains modestly warm. Their sixteenyear-old son and two rescue dogs share the domicile. The interior speaks of both unity and tranquility, not with just a feature here or there, but all elements working together as a cohesive whole. Indeed, the entire home resonates with a sense of calm arising from what appears to be effortless design and decor details. Fluency of form allows for each section to accentuate one or two fine features on which to focus. Upon the dining room wall hang a pair of large paintings consisting of Asian figures. Across the entry, an entire room is dubbed


the Chinese room, where Jennifer displays artworks collected from local Hong Kong artists. She spent a lifetime in China, where she was raised, while Steve lived there for several years due to business. An adjacent powder room holds a framed picture of a pagoda made entirely from buffalo hide. Many artisan aspects, however, are woven right into the structure itself, from the built-in wine cabinet owning one wall of the dining area to an oversized cast-concrete hood over the kitchen range in a soft ecru. In the great room, the eye is drawn to a two-story atrium, an add-on to the original home, which lets in a prosperous amount of natural light, as well as offering plentiful views of fountain landscaping back-dropped by the distant indigo Rockies. This facet STYLEMEDIA.COM

nicely ties together the main and garden levels, connected by a graceful spiral stairwell. The master bedroom also sports the lovely west-facing scenery, made extra special by it’s own deck with a door leading back into the main body of the kitchen and great room. The group who worked diligently to make this dream come true, with more yet to come, praise the power of teamwork. Steve built the original house 23 years ago as a general contractor. He moved on to become an instrumental player for the electronics accessory company Otterbox, from which he recently retired as global president. His free time isn’t just to enjoy his new retreat, but to care for his ailing parents. “You have to prioritize your life,” says Steve. “My aging parents OCTOBER 2017

were weighing on me. This project, as it neared completion, gave me the impetus to address that.” The Nisbet’s commissioned a local builder for the remodel itself, Todd Annand, owner of H&K Construction, LLC. “We talked virtually every day,” says Annand of the intensive process. “The Nisbet’s are great to work for.” At this point, Steve is quick to compliment Annand, as well as interior designer, Sarah Bashore, owner of Hixon Interiors. “They talked us through design elements we didn’t even envision, such as the west-facing atrium,” says Steve. “I have little ability to articulate what I want,” adds Jennifer. “Yet Sarah came back with a plan and it was as if she looked inside my brain. I couldn’t think of it turning out any more perfect than what I wanted.”




“Working with people who trust you to do your job, well, I want to earn that trust,” says Bashore. “Jen wanted traditional, something like a Tuscan style with a warm feel. Kind of dressy and elegant.” A sign of that trust, according to Jennifer, is that “we were willing to be completely out of the country while Sarah worked.” “Part of the challenge was prioritizing how to work around the Nisbet’s schedule when they needed to be out of the house due to fumes while we lacquered wall panels. So we did it in conjunction with a two-week trip they had already planned,” says Annand. “In addition, things we had to take into account were structural elements, cost effectiveness and what fit upstairs and down to create a balance,” adds Annand. Steve continues, “We appreciate that Todd was open on how to make it work. He was very positive and never said no.” And work well it did. The basement is anchored by Steve’s man cave, but with the sunshine from the atrium bathing everything in a soft glow, it’s less cave-like and more like an expansive playroom with a decidedly grown-up masculine bent. There is a full bar, complete with cool-to-the-touch and beautiful to look at bronze bar counter. According to Bashore, it was chosen because it looks fantastic with all the other finishes, and will age to a rich patina, giving the space a certain "Wow!" factor. Behind the bar is a secret. A secret door, that is. Blending in perfectly with the wall, one would never suspect the hidden portal is there. Yet, it doesn’t hide treasure, just a reflection of Steve’s desire to have a James Bond door, something he’s always envisioned incorporating into a home. The other side hosts a bathroom complete with steam sauna. Opposite the bar, a billiards table sets in front of a tall fireplace with a cast concrete mantel, which is similar in looks to, but lighter than, stone. In between, a sizable built-in entertainment unit finishes the area. The basement also hosts two guest bedrooms and Jennifer’s spare, neat office, where she pens children’s travel stories for Otterbox. Her favorite bathroom sits adjacent, with claw foot tub and a layered faux painting on the walls. Hixon Interiors and H&K Construction used the skills of local sub-contractors Mountian Valley Floors, The Light Center, Prism, Select Wood Floors and others to execute this exquisite remodeling project. Coming within the next year is a courtyard and enclosed pool house with indoor pool. Rattan furniture brought back from Hong Kong will surround it, as will a reflexology path.

Lynette Chilcoat owns Chilcoat Custom Literary based in Loveland. She has 20 years of experience enjoying the freelancer’s lifestyle.






Reclaiming the Past With Custom Cabinetry By Michelle Venus

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, cabinets—perhaps that room’s most significant investments—are the soul. Cabinetry, the furniture of the kitchen, sets the tone for this well loved space. Choosing unique custom cabinets can make your kitchen your very own, unlike anyone else’s.

Roughing It In Style, located on College Avenue just south of Harmony in Fort Collins, has designed an exclusive line of cabinetry made from reclaimed barn wood. With two stores in Wisconsin, they have connections all over that state for the raw material that these beautiful cabinets are crafted from. Owners Gerry and Sue Torgeson started their business 20 years ago as a gift shop in a converted bank building in New Glarus, Wisconsin. They added small occasional furniture pieces to their inventory and eventually the gift shop became a furniture store. As farmers started replacing their old wooden barns with newer, more efficient metal structures, the Torgesons saw the treasure that was in their own backyard and designed reclaimed barn wood furniture. About ten years ago, they opened a design and manufacturing facility in a two-car garage in northern Wisconsin with two employees. Today, they employ 22 people in a much larger factory an hour west of one of their two stores in northern Wisconsin. Five years ago, Roughing It In Style entered the custom cabinetry market. “We’d seen distressed cabinets made from newly milled wood that was distressed on purpose,” explains Jerry, “but nothing like the furniture we were making from the reclaimed barn wood. If you can build furniture, you can build kitchen cabinets.” And so, a niche was born. OCTOBER 2017

Known for a refined look with a dash of rustic Western flair, Roughing It In Style has carried that theme over to their cabinet collections: Highland, Silverado, and the newest one, Graylin. The reclaimed barn wood is used on the fronts and exposed sides. The actual cabinet box is crafted from 1-inch pine or 3/4-inch birch. Blum hardware is used for the slides and soft-close hinges. A blacksmith’s hand forges all the knobs and handles, and Sue points out that customers can certainly bring their own. Cabinet fronts can be further customized with different glass and grill options. The Roughing It In Style team works directly with home owners, interior designers, and contractors on residential and commercial projects. Each store is staffed with its own design team, who help customers design their dream kitchen. Cabinets come in standard sizes, but if the space measures 35 and 3/8 of an inch, we make a cabinet to fit there,” says Gerry. All the cabinets are bench-built per customer specifications; nothing is mass-produced. Turn times are typically six to 12 weeks, depending on how many projects are in the queue. Working with reclaimed wood poses some challenges, Gerry explains. A lot of the barns that supply the wood have been standing for over a century, exposed to the elements. Harsh winters and beating sun takes its toll, and sometimes there is dry rot, or the


“ You won't see this in your neighbor’s kitchen,” says Sue. 48

wood is cupped. About half of what is reclaimed can be used. Once the cabinets have been built, they are treated with three coats of a specialized conversion varnish, which dries to a very hard coat, “almost like an epoxy,” says Gerry. Oil and water-based finishes can be used as well for a softer satin-like finish. The inside-facing barn wood is used for the Highland line, casting a golden hue. The Silverado and Graylin collection use the outside-facing wood, and sometimes sports of bit of the original paint, adding to the cabinet’s unique charm. Every piece of barn wood has its own character. “You won't see this in your neighbor’s kitchen,” says Sue. “You won't see it in any other kitchen, anywhere.” Gerry raps his knuckles on a cabinet door. “The kitchen business is a lot of our future,” he says. “It has great potential.” And when Roughing It In Style has reclaimed every barn in Wisconsin? “Well, there’s always Iowa,” chuckles Gerry.

Michelle Venus is a freelance writer and editor living and working in a little old bungalow in Old Town Fort Collins. She can be found pedaling her bike to coffee shops and happy hours, and is known to dance in the office. Any office.





How to

Offer Help By Angeline Grenz

There is the occasional “case of the Mondays,” where facing the alarm clock seems overwhelming for even the toughest of us. Then there is lingering depression or anxiety that can rob a loved one of the ability to cope with normal routines, eroding relationships and the typical enjoyment of favorite activities.

If you see a friend or family member experiencing lingering mental and emotional hardship that refuses to ease up, it might be time for them to consider if professional help is needed. But your approach at offering help can make all the difference for the person who is suffering. October celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week, and Kaiser Permanente Northern Colorado Psychologist, Abbie Miller, explains the warning signs and offers recommendations on how to approach a loved one who is struggling. She starts with the signs that someone is suffering from more than a typical,

occasional bad mood. These include: “Lasting changes in mood, changes in sleep habits, eating habits, withdrawing, not doing the things they used to enjoy doing…” These can all be signs, according to Dr. Miller. But what sets them apart is when these behaviors “turn the corner and the person is not functioning well in their work or home lives—it has begun to impair their functioning in some way.” If this is the concern, Dr. Miller recommends treading lightly at first. “Approach your loved one, tell them you are worried, that they are not acting like themselves,” she recommends. But don’t go overboard,

she says. “When you are too aggressive at first, you run the risk of the person becoming defensive and being unwilling to talk about what they are struggling with.” She adds, “Assure your loved one that you are there to support them, but also be respectful and recognize there is a right place and a right time for the conversation.” First, ask what you can do to help. And, keep in mind that simple, practical help can be invaluable; offer to assist them around the house, go shopping together, cook meals, etc. It is estimated that roughly 40 million Americans regularly struggle with

“Invite them to do more things. Mental health problems tend to be more isolating. You can help by getting them out more. Encourage them to do their own feel-good things — and offer to do those things with them.” Abbie Miller

Psychologist, Kaiser Permanente Northern Colorado 50


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It is estimated that roughly 40 million Americans depression and anxiety. “It spans every race, age and gender,” says Dr. Miller. But for some, the conversation about mental health is an uncomfortable one, so Dr. Miller recommends normalizing the idea of seeking help. “Let them know it is okay to seek professional help; talk in a straightforward manner; do not stigmatize it,” she says. She often uses the metaphor of a physical illness, helping them to recognize that they have a health problem that needs treated as such. For many people the fastest and easiest first step may be to talk with their primary care physician, who can then connect them with the resources that are available. Most likely, a primary care physician will recommend the patient see a therapist for diagnosis. The initial visit will determine treatment, but Dr. Miller says medication is not an automatic go-to, “and the important thing to remember is that it is the individual’s decision about how to proceed. Often, a professional will recommend therapy first to see if they can reduce symptoms without medication.” One consideration for any treatment plan is to give it time, says Dr. Miller. Even medication can take six to eight weeks for the patient to feel its full effect, and therapy sessions take time as well. Patience is important for both the person suffering and their support system. “Give them hope that it will get better, and that you will stick with them through the process,” she says. Additionally, Dr. Miller recommends getting them out and about, interacting with people. “Invite them to do more things. Mental health problems tend to be more isolating. You can help by getting



regularly struggle with depression and anxiety. them out more. Encourage them to do their own feel-good things—and offer to do those things with them.” Most of all, Dr. Miller says, give them steady encouragement. Just as medication and therapy sessions take time, don’t expect your efforts to cause a turnaround instantly. “The first conversation you may have may not make them feel better, but over time, and with steady encouragement, your support will help,” she says. “Don’t overthink it. Tell them, ‘I care about you, we will get you better, and this is temporary; it will pass.’” “That is the non-urgent route,” says Dr. Miller. If they express thoughts of hurting themselves or others, more urgent action may be needed. In a crisis state, help your loved one to call one of the 24/7, 365 day-a-year crisis hotline numbers available in every county in Colorado. Call 1-844493-8255, or text “TALK” to 38255. Each county also has a walk-in crisis center. See the listing of walk-in centers at www. “Suicidal thoughts come with depression, and they need professional guidance to deal with them,” she says. Make sure your loved one is safe and call the crisis hotline for immediate assistance if you have any concerns about safety. Finally, Dr. Miller warns caretakers not to overextend themselves. “Make sure you take care of yourself, as well.”

Angeline Grenz is a freelance writer and small business owner based in Loveland. She can be reached at OCTOBER 2017



Pro Tips for a Healthy Mouth By Kyle Eustice

At-home dental care can somehow feel like a monumental chore, especially at the end of the day when all you want to do is climb into bed. Unfortunately, there are serious consequences that come along with neglect. Megan Kirk, RDH, BS, who is a hygienist at Northern Colorado Periodontics, wants people to remember that poor dental hygiene can result in a host of other health problems. Proper dental care does not just prevent cavities and gum disease as many people might assume.

“It’s important to keep your mouth clean for the health of your entire body,” Kirk says. “A healthy mouth acts as a barrier to the inside of the rest of the body. If there is a weak point in our mouth, bacteria and infection can be introduced into the rest of our body through our bloodstream, and when the bacteria is introduced into our bloodstream, it can negatively impact multiple systems.” For example, cardiovascular disease has


been directly linked to periodontal disease. Diabetics with uncontrolled periodontal disease have a more difficult time maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and expectant mothers may experience pre-term labor or low birth weight for their babies. There are a few important factors that are instrumental in keeping a person’s mouth free of gum disease and other oral infections. Home care and the subsequent daily complete removal of biofilm is

paramount to good oral hygiene. “Biofilm accumulates on our teeth throughout the day and contains bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease, so it’s important to thoroughly remove all biofilm,” she explains. “Remembering that biofilm is sticky, it doesn’t swish away, it needs something to physically remove it.”  Regularly seeing a dentist is the second integral step in preventative care. Routine cleaning and exams are crucial to pristine


"A good number of people can stay healthy getting their teeth cleaned twice a year, but in some cases, more than two times a year is necessary." Megan Kirk, RDH, BS, Hygienist at Northern Colorado Periodontics

dental health. “A good number of people can stay healthy getting their teeth cleaned twice a year, but in some cases, more than two times a year is necessary,” she says. “A dental professional can make a recommendation for you based on your current oral health condition. Following through with recommended dental treatment is important because once an infection is identified it will continue to get worse until it’s treated. Waiting to have treatment done can result in larger more complicated procedures, tooth loss and not to mention higher costs.” Sometimes a tooth is in such bad condition, the patient will require dental implants. If not cleaned properly, the same bacteria that causes periodontal disease and associated bone loss can lead to peri-implantitis, an infection around a dental implant that can destroy the bone

supporting the implant. “If untreated, it can lead to loss of the implant,” she explains. “That’s why when a person has an implant placed, it is essential that they seek regular dental care to monitor and maintain the implant. If a person gets diagnosed with peri-implantitis, they can then get treatment before it causes the patient to lose their implant.”  Overall, Kirk recommends brushing two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste on a quality electric toothbrush for at least two minutes. Flossing at least once a day with a proper technique is also necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. While it sounds like a simple task, there’s a right way to do it, and Kirk believes it’s something that must be taught.  “The best way to learn technique is to ask a dental professional,” she says. “There are a ton of other options to clean between teeth. Floss holders can be good,

but again, the right technique needs to be used. Interdental brushes, known as proxy brushes, and smaller interdental picks, like Soft-Picks made by GUM®, are good choices. Water flossers can be a great tool, as well. The high pressure stream of water is great at getting around orthodontic wires and under bridges and implants. If I could get my way, all my patients would be using an electric toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, floss or interdental brushes and a WaterPik®. It sounds like a lot, but we’re only talking five to eight minutes. Most people spend twice that much time standing in the shower.” Kyle Eustice is a writer from Omaha, Nebraska, who spent time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, honing her craft. After a return to Ohmaha, she settled in Fort Collins with husband, Paul Lukes, and two dogs, Petey and Paco.

"If I could get my way, all my patients would be using an electric toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, floss or interdental brushes and a WaterPik®." Megan Kirk, RDH, BS, Hygienist at Northern Colorado Periodontics



Five essential features that the best electric toothbrushes all have:

should last for several days before needing a recharge.

Two-minute timer: This feature is great for ensuring you’re brushing for the recommended length of time.

Small toothbrush head: Smaller toothbrush heads are easier to maneuver into hard-to-reach areas. Compatible with multiple toothbrush heads.

Comfortable grip: The toothbrush should be easy for an adult to hold and grip. Long-lasting battery life: The toothbrush’s power OCTOBER 2017

Choose the type of bristles that best suit your individual health needs — sensitive, floss action, braces care, etc.



New Procedure for

Better Bunion Relief By Kay Rios

As the extension of the legs, feet help the body move and serve as the body’s foundation and mode of basic transportation. When the feet are in good condition, they most likely don’t get a second thought except for that periodic pedicure or foot massage. But if something goes wrong, the pain or deformity can disrupt day-to-day activities and impact lifestyles.

Bunions are often one of the most painful and disruptive conditions, says Daniel Hatch, doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) at the Foot and Ankle Center of Northern Colorado. A bunion is a deformity of the joint that connects the big toe to the foot. Bunions are complex abnormalities, causing a three-dimensional misalignment of the metatarsal bone. When a bunion occurs, the metatarsal bone becomes prominent at the joint and the large toe turns inward toward the next toe. This deformity can make walking painful, and shoe fit and wear difficult. “Bunions stem from a predisposition that runs in the family and, over time, it becomes a progressive deformity,” Dr. Hatch says. “The old wives’ tale of shoes being the cause is not true. They may aggravate it, but they don’t cause it. It’s really genetics and some people are just predisposed to get a bunion.” As the bunion gets worse, treatment may be necessary. “Once it interferes with the lifestyle and health, it’s time to get it fixed. The earlier you repair it, the better the joint adjusts.” A recent development in bunion treatment, Lapiplasty®, not only offers relief but also shorter recovery time and lower recurrence rates. It is being hailed as a breakthrough in bunion surgery. “Traditional bunion surgery fails to get to the source of the problem,” says Dr. Hatch, who consulted with Treace Medical Concepts, Inc. to develop the Lapiplasty®. “The traditional surgical approach typically involves removing bony growth of the bunion and attempting to realign







the big toe joint. “The first metatarsal bone is usually cut and shifted in a twodimensional manner,” Dr. Hatch says. “But the metatarsal is not deformed. It’s out of position. We’ve been used to seeing things in a two-dimensional manner and that’s why, historically, we would treat bunions that way. But with computed tomography (CT) scans, we’ve been able to see a threedimensional picture and we’ve found that bunions are really three dimensional.” Dr. Hatch says that for 20 percent of the population the traditional approach works. “But 80 percent of patients have a rotational component. When that is not taken care of, then recurrence is not unusual. With Lapiplasty®, we are correcting the anatomy rather than the simpler approach.” The system has been available for two years, Dr. Hatch says, adding that it has not had wide spread use until the last year and a half. “It’s catching on.” In the Lapiplasty® procedure, specialized instrumentation specifically designed to manipulate and reduce the bunion prior to making the initial bone cuts allows for minimal bone removal. This is more likely to eliminate the risk of significant bone shortening and supports the use of biplanar plate fixation. By getting the bone lined up functionally, there should not be these recurrence issues, even long term.” Lapiplasty® also reduces operation time and, therefore, the patient’s time under anesthesia. The traditional method usually involves long recovery time and the chance of recurrence. “From an engineering standpoint, we looked for the means to decrease the recurrence and optimize the result,” he says. “The unique plating system also allows earlier weight bearing.” Lapiplasty® procedure uses an advanced fixation technology that has been published in the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery. It allows most patients to put weight on the foot within days after surgery. While actual time to weight bearing will vary, it usually ranges from immediately to two or three weeks after surgery. With the traditional two-dimensional method, the patient may be in a cast for six weeks and in a nonweight bearing situation. The upshot is that the patient is not laid up as long and there is a much earlier return to regular movement. “It cuts the traditional time in half,” Dr. Hatch says. Within six weeks, patients are back in their typical foot wear. Additionally, there are no permanent activity limitations after the Lapiplasty® procedure. Most patients



can return to sports and physical activities in about four months after the bones have completely healed. More good news: Lapiplasty® is covered by most insurances. “This is the first development change in bunion surgery that has come about in years,” Hatch says. “It’s still evolving and it’s exciting to see that we can enable patients an earlier return to function and a long-lasting result.” Kay Rios, Ph.D., is a freelance writer in Fort Collins.

Daniel J. Hatch, DPM, received his doctorate in podiatric medicine from the Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, and began specializing in foot and ankle reconstruction and pediatric clubfoot. He is board certified in foot and ankle surgery as well as podiatric orthopedics. Additionally, Dr. Hatch is a diplomate of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine. He is a Fellow with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. A long-time resident of northern Colorado, Dr. Hatch actively participates in a number of sports. He is also an amateur photographer. Dr. Hatch has served as the past president of both the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the Humane Society of Weld County.




Haunted Weekend Destinations

The mountain west is alive with ghosts; there are ghost towns, haunted hotels, haunted cemeteries and even haunted churches. I can tell you from personal experience that whether you’re looking for friendly ghosts or malfeasant spirits, this region has got them in spades.

By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer



Restless Souls in Leadville, Colorado

Leadville, Colorado, is an ideal town for ghost hunting, after all, the town’s Wild West appearance leads one to believe that there could be a ghost around each and every corner. There’s a real possibility of running into a ghost at the Delaware Hotel. The Delaware overflows with antiques and oozes historic charm, but it’s not a ghost-free zone, in fact, there’s more than one restless spirit said to roam the hallways here. Roger Pretti, the author of the book Lost Between Heaven and Leadville: Specters, Spooks and Shades of the Departed in a Colorado Silver Camp, has investigated the ghost stories in Leadville and the surrounding area. During our stay, Pretti delightfully chilled us with the story of Mary Coffey. In the late 1800s, she and her husband were renting a room in the hotel when it was a boarding house. They apparently had a strained relationship and when Mrs. Coffey began doting on a sick friend down the hall, Mr. Coffey became jealous. So jealous that he shot her in the back. It seems that Mrs. Coffey never moved on and now appears regularly around the hotel, but especially in the southwest wing of the second floor where her sick friend was said to have been staying. The odd thing is that she appears only as a head and torso, which can be quite alarming for those who see her floating the Delaware’s hallways. During the same visit to Leadville, I attended a Cemetery Stroll with Pretti as my guide. The 147-acre Leadville Cemetery is filled with tales of woe. To say that life was tough in Leadville’s heyday would be an understatement. Many of the bones here belong to people who died violent deaths at a young age. Pretti brings their stories alive, like that of Emma Wilson. Making it to adulthood OCTOBER 2017

in Leadville during the 1800s was a real feat, and Emma, like many children of the time, didn’t make it past the age of 11. She fell down a mineshaft and died in 1885. Tours available in Leadville include the Cemetery Stroll, Ghost Walk, Mining District Tour, and Cemetery Picnic. These outings depart from the Delaware Hotel and tickets may be purchased there as well. In addition to ghost hunting in Leadville, don’t miss the Mineral Belt trail. This 11.6-mile loop around the town is picture perfect in autumn. Visitors can walk it, ride it and even ski it in the winter, as it’s groomed for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. For more information on ghost tours and staying in Leadville, visit

on work that paranormal investigation groups have done around Cheyenne and the investigators participate in the tours. Not appropriate for younger children, the trolley tours occur five times in October. More information can be found at

Church Spooks & Trolley Delights in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Hop on the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley this October for a Ghost FrightSeeing Tour. As one might expect, Cheyenne has its fair share of ghost stories. One of the most famous (it merits telling even on the trolley’s regular tours) is that of the haunting of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. The story goes that two Swedish immigrants were hired to construct the church’s bell tower in the late 1800s, but one day, before the job was completed, they didn’t appear and many assumed they’d simply walked off the job. Years later, when the bell tower work was continued, the church had difficulties keeping workers on the job because the men claimed that the bell tower was haunted. You’ll have to take the trolley tour to find out the rest of the story, but let’s just say that the Swedes may have never left this job site and may still be there. A visit to, lead one to believe that nearly every building in Cheyenne is haunted, and that means the trolley tour operators never run out of ghoulish stories to tell. The Ghost Fright-Seeing Tour is based

Victorian Horrors in Denver, Colorado

One of my favorites “scary” activities to do in Colorado is Victorian Horrors at the Molly Brown House in Denver. The house was home to Titanic survivor Molly Tobin Brown and was built in the classic Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque style, which makes it a unique home. At the time, it contained all the modern technology of the day including electricity, indoor plumbing, heat and telephone. In 1970, the home was rescued by a Denver preservation group and eventually became a treasured house museum, welcoming an average of 45,000 visitors a year. While some claim that the spirits of Molly Brown and her husband still reside on the property, Victorian Horrors isn’t a ghost tour, but it is a spine-tingling experience. During the event, which has visitors moving from room to room, actors regale guests with macabre stories from the Victorian age. The Victorians may have been a bit uptight and prudish, but they sure did


know how to tell a creepy story. Victorian Horrors start in mid-October and run through the end of the month. For tickets go to victorian-horrors/.

The Haunting of Fort Collins, Colorado

You don’t have to leave town to hear a good ghost story or two. There are plenty of restive spirits right here in Fort Collins. From the art museum to dark alleyways, you’d be surprised to learn how many ghosts call the city home. You can learn these hair-raising yarns during a ghost tour with Fort Collins Tours. They offer an array of year-round outings including the Haunted Pub Tour, a Ghosts & Goodies Tour, and the Fort Collins Ghost Tour. Visit them online at

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is founder of & author of The Heidi Guide in Mountain Living magazine. She specializes in festivals & travel in the west.









about town

2017 WOMEN OF VISION GALA July 19 Hilton | Fort Collins An evening of glitz and glamour, champagne and celebration were the cornerstones of the 7th annual Women of Vision Gala presented by Colorado Women of Influence. Twelve women from northern Colorado were honored for their contribution to and empowerment of women and their visionary approaches in their professional careers and volunteer endeavors. Three of the women received special recognition during the event for being “outstanding” and taking their visions to a higher level. Photos courtesy of Elite Studios Portrait Artists.


Savannah Sandvick, Kelly Swetich, Brett Beal, Dr. Stuart Tobet, Ann Clarke Sandvick, a Biomedical Science Student at CSU, recipient of one of two 2017 Joan C. King-Tobet Memorial Scholarships

LeAnn Thieman, “X”, Linda Wheeler Holloway “X” (Bikers Against Child Abuse road name) 2017 Woman of Courage Award recipient

Dixie Daly, Heidi Olinger, Tami Spaulding Olinger, Founder of Pretty Brainy, 2017 Woman of Inspiration Award recipient

Sixty-six teams vied for bragging rights at the 21st annual Prairie Dog Classic Golf Tournament hosted by the Greeley Chamber. Breakfast burritos and a patio lunch greeted golfers at this sellout tournament as friendly competition got underway during the morning and afternoon shotgun starts. Slaughter Roofing won the A Flight with a score of 53 and Ghent Chevrolet & Cadillac took home the honors in the B flight. Proceeds raised will help support the work of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce.

July 24 | Greeley Country Club | Greeley

Andy Slaughter, Jeremy Ehardt, Kai Koponen, Mike Lordemann Team Slaughter Roofing - A Flight Winners

Menan Bergman, Randy Watkins, Nicole Watkins, Jeff O’Connell Team Aliquam Financial Services


Drew Middleton, Mikel Salgado, Roman Martinez, Jason Hutt Team Ghent Chevrolet Cadillac - B Flight Winners


Family Owned Since 1985 • Over 40 years Experience!

about town

SONGS IN SUMMER August 3 | Hixon Home Gardens | Fort Collins A picturesque backdrop of art and sculpture gardens provided opera enthusiasts and supporters of the arts a prime setting for the soiree event hosted by the Opera Fort Collins Guild. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres paired with fine wines greeted guests as they mingled. Live musical performances of classical opera arias, duets and lighter repertoire filled the air, as Kimberli Render and Cody Laun took to the outdoor stage. Proceeds raised from the evening fundraiser will benefit Opera Fort Collins' 38th season. Photos courtesy of Norma Andersen Photography.

COMMUNITY APPRECIATION BASH & BBQ August 11 Houston Gardens | Greeley

Gary Hixon, Carol Ann Hixon, Katherine Boland, Lynn Boland

Charlotte Norgren, Arleen Brown, Nicole Staudinger

Standing: Jan Gilligan, Debra Davis, Sandy Klein, Ruth Billings. Seated: Elizabeth Elliott

A four acre hidden treasure in the heart of Greeley, Houston Gardens was brought to light and showcased by West Greeley Conservation District at their free family-friendly Community Appreciation Bash & BBQ. Local leaders, elected officials and community members visited booths and toured the botanical gardens and ecosystems while learning more about a variety of conservation activities. A highlight of the event included the unveiling of an 11’ exquisitely carved tree, recently transformed into a work of art by Faye Braaten.

Nomie Ketterling, Tammy Rusch, Nancy Haffner, Margie Martinez, Barb Lessman

Julie & Ron Richards, County Commissioner Julie Cozad


Jenny Shoop, Henry, Charlie Shoop

John & Nancy Leone




about town

SUITCASE PARTY August 18 | Northern Colorado Regional Airport Hanger | Loveland

This jet-setting evening provided three couples, from more than 1,200 guests attending, an opportunity to be whisked away that evening on a private jet, to a three-day stay in San Francisco and wine country. The evening provided deliciously prepared cuisine, libations, silent and live auctions, and live music from the Groove Merchants at this 11th annual event. Proceeds raised benefit NOCO United For Youth (UNIFY) and their select area charities. Since their inception in 2007, NOCO Unify has raised nearly $3 million for local area charities.

Steve & Amberley Nichols, Tim & Katy Nichols

Jeramie & Bridgette Holt

LITTLE PLATES FOR LITTLE PEOPLE August 25 Club Tico @ City Park | Fort Collins

Brian Lindecker, Rocky Manzer, Eileen Lindecker


Chandler & Stephanie Souther

Tracy & Susan Walker, Allison & Randall Lococo

A night about the little people was on tap for the nearly 200 guests attending the 8th annual fundraiser, from bidding on small plates hand-painted by toddlers and preschoolers to watching the video starring the young children enrolled at Teaching Tree. The fun evening included tasty fare and hometown microbrews, wines and spirits served in commemorative glasses, a personal testimonial by a single dad, a silent auction and more. The event raised $30,000 and will help support Teaching Tree’s school readiness program and childcare scholarships for low-income families working toward selfsufficiency. Photos courtesy of Shannon Bruns Photography.

Matt & Stephanie Sayers

Jodie Riesenberger, Jessica Kramer

Milena Joy, Pete Meyer

Tara Streeb, Tom Murphy, Teresa Funke




about town

CHIPPING FORE CHARITIES August 28 | Fort Collins Country Club | Fort Collins

The 8th Annual Chipping Fore Charities presented by the SERTOMA Club of Fort Collins and ROMEO Golf Club, had 185 golfers take to the greens at this year’s fundraising golf tournament. Players enjoyed breakfast before the morning flight and a lunch before the afternoon flight with an awards banquet following play. This year’s tournament culminated with Aki Palmer making a hole-in-one and winning a Kia Niro SUV. And, as luck would have it, Aki was also the winner of the closest to the pin in the 800 drop-ball contest. This year's very exciting and memorable golf tournament netted more than $96,000 and will benefit six local area charities.

Keri Roark, Greg Woods

Hole-in-one winner Aki Palmer, Tara Palmer, Stavros and Spiro Palmer at the 9th hole

LARIMER HUMANE SOCIETY RIBBON CUTTING Sept 5 | Larimer Humane Society Building | Loveland

Standing: Mary Hymans, Barbara Cohen, Anna Olsen. Seated: Connie Patton.

Tim Zann, Todd Heenan, Ken Forzley, Aki Palmer

Doug & Jan Frost, Ann & Mike Griffith

After 10 years, 27 acres, a tax initiative, a successful $2.1 million capital campaign, lots of sweat, and lots and lots of support and love, Larimer Humane Society (LHS) cut the ribbon and unveiled their new forever home. Elected officials, board members, donors, local government partners, and volunteers and staff were on hand for the thrilling event and to tour the new shelter and view the realized dream of a better shelter for homeless pets. Photos in part courtesy of Silver Paw Studio.

Back: Catherine Sayer, Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell, Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson, Sheriff Justin Smith, Johnstown Mayor Scott James, Former Mayor Ray Martinez, Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly. Front: LHS Executive Director Judy Calhoun, Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez

June Baker, Lloyd Rowe, Holly Baker


Camille Susemihl, Susan Shattuck

Carole Egger, Macia Peirmattei




DENVER, CO PERMIT NO. 5377 211 W. Myrtle St., Suite 200 Fort Collins, CO 80521


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