Thursday, August 16, 2018

Imagine! Softball Superstars

Congratulations to Team Imagine! – softball superstars! For the second year in a row, the team took home the Boulder Rec League Championship in their division. The final game had it all! Imagine! fell behind by six runs early, but fought their way back and eventually triumphed in an extra inning, nail biting, 11-10 victory! Way to go team, and thanks to the fans who cheered them on!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Out & About Bike Block Party: Ways To Participate

This coming Saturday, Imagine!’s Out & About department is hosting its 4th Annual Bike Block Party, sponsored by First National Bank. There are several ways you can be part of this amazing event:

Join Us: Saturday, August 18, Erie Community Park, 450 Powers Street, Erie CO, 11am-3pm

Sponsor a Rider: Riders will participate in an adaptive bike race to take as many laps as they can during our 4th annual Bike Block Party. All donations will help to provide community inclusion opportunities for people with developmental disabilities! Get started here.

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed to help with variety of activities including; set-up, station support, general event support, food service, clean up, etc. Volunteers needed from 10am-4pm. Contact Elizabeth Hill if you are interested.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Elizabeth Crimmins - Imagine! Early Intervention Rockstar

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Elizabeth Crimmins as this month’s Rockstar.

Elizabeth recently joined the Early Intervention team and has already proven to be a stellar addition to the team! Coming from a background of EI in a different state, she has picked up really quickly to Colorado’s EI model. She brings a positive attitude to our team and shows passion for the work she does. She’s motivated and has a contagious positive attitude with everything she does. We are lucky to have her on our team!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Michelle Shanley - Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero

Congrats to Michelle Shanley, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero.

Michelle has been a pleasure to work with since she came here only 4 months ago. She always very pleasant and eager to learn new jobs. She has literally done the majority of the Questys scanning and has learned how to streamline that process. She has helped all of the Business System team every day doing little things before we get a chance to do them.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Jamie To The Rescue!

When Jamie Zimenoff (Imagine! Nurse Case Manager) was growing up, his father was a volunteer fireman and would get calls on his pager that needed immediate attention. His father would hear the loud tone and instantly stand up to leave the house. As a youngster, that sense of urgency was ingrained in Jamie’s DNA.

Therefore, on July 11, during a softball game in Boulder, it is no surprise that when Jamie heard the words “first responder,” he did not hesitate and immediately jogged over to the scene.

Jamie was playing for the Imagine! employee softball team when a player from another field rushed over and asked for help. A man had collapsed on the pitcher’s mound from a heart attack.

Jamie is a licensed practical nurse with five years experience. Another nurse who was playing on a different field also got word of the situation and ran over as well. She was performing chest compressions as Jamie arrived. A third responder was also present, and the three of them took turns with compressions and breaths.

“I didn’t know this was a heart attack. I just knew he didn’t have a pulse and he wasn’t breathing,” said Jamie.

After a few sets of CPR, the gentleman still had no pulse. The automatic external defibrillator (AED) arrived and after putting on the pads, the machine advised to give a shock. Still no pulse.

Two police officers arrived after the first shock and walked up to the pitcher’s mound. They observed Jamie and his partner's teamwork and efficiency and let them continue. 

“The officer told me afterward that it was clear we knew what we were doing and he wanted us to keep doing our thing, no need to jump in and takeover,” said Jamie.

After two more sets of compressions and breaths, the AED advised a second shock and shortly after that was given, the gentleman’s legs, arms, and head started to move slightly, and he sighed. As he started to come to, the EMTs arrived and took over, relieving Jamie and his partners of their CPR duties.

As the Fire Department EMTs took over and treated the gentleman with an oxygen mask, an ambulance drove onto the field and pulled up to the pitcher’s mound. He was taken to the hospital and received open heart surgery that very night. We have learned that he is recovering and doing well.

“Honestly,” said Jamie, “I don’t think he would have made it without the AED.” Giving two shocks and almost a third, the AED jumpstarted the gentleman’s heart when he had no pulse.

It was an emotional incident. All the fields paused their games and walked over to support. Unlocking the back gate, directing emergency vehicles to the scene, standing by to give compressions if needed, and offering emotional support to family and friends of the gentleman were of the many ways people pitched in.

“It was a group effort,” said Jamie. “It’s really cool to be in a community where something arises and boom, three or four people are there ready to help.”

Jamie also admired the fact that everyone remained calm, even while their peer was unconscious and not breathing. “No one freaked out,” said Jamie, “but rather looked around for something to do and support us.”

Jamie teaches CPR/First Aid at Imagine! and it was clear that he knew what he was doing. There was a sense of confidence and stability watching Jamie and his partners execute CPR and use the AED. His voice projected as he announced to the group what was happening next or when to step back. “You never know when you’re needed to help out,” said Jamie. “I’m just glad I could and that it was a good outcome.”

Jamie and his two partners were the MVPs of the night, and everyone at the fields made sure they knew it. Receiving hugs and heartfelt sentiments, Jamie walked away feeling supported after a very emotional evening. We thank Jamie for his heroic actions, rushing to the scene and effectively using his skills when someone’s life was on the line.

Jamie and his softball community at Stazio Fields in Boulder

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dan Fox - Recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award

Congratulations to Dan Fox on being selected for the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Dan has been a wonderful asset to Imagine!. Dan manages the greater Imagine! fleet and works directly and supports our internal vehicle coordinator in all ways. Dan has been known to drop everything to help a program with anything big or small that might come up. We rely heavily on a well maintained and safe fleet and Dan has shown in many ways how that is his first priority. Dan has always said the safety and comfort of the participants and staff in our program (and all services at Imagine!) are his number one objectives and priorities. Dan has demonstrated nothing but kindness, support, and advocacy for all those working alongside him and participants being served by Imagine!.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Brian Slusarz - Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero

Congrats to Brian Slusarz, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero.

Brian has definitely been a positive asset to the Case Management team. He is level headed and pleasant to work with. He always offers support with helping others with paperwork and is quick to assist with any situation that is asked of him. He is one of the first people in the office every day and one of the last to leave. It is evident that he enjoys his work as a case manager and puts 100% into whatever he does. He advocates for his clients, is a hard worker and is an all-around good person.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Therapeutic Recreation

The Summer Camp program in Imagine!'s Out & About department comes to an end this week. The kiddos explored the Front Range, Boulder, and Denver communities with a therapeutic approach. Here is a snapshot of Summer Camp 2018!

National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) hosted the kids for a morning at Bear Creek Lake in Lakewood to practice archery. Staff members from NSCD opened up with a training about safety, finer points of target archery, and how to use re-curve and compound bows. With five participants at a time shooting arrows, NSCD facilitated fun water games for the rest of us to keep cool! 

For the second year in a row, Evan Dittig from Skate.Now in New York traveled to Colorado and taught a skateboard clinic at the Lafayette Skate Park. Evan believes that everyone can skate and supported the kids with hand over hand assistance while cruising down the ramps and performing skate tricks!

Horses are always a big hit with the kids as the program spent several mornings at two different ranches in Boulder County. The kids learned a variety of skills in getting to know the horses from feeding, leading, grooming, and riding!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Andorra Turner - Innovations Super Hero of the Month

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Andorra Turner.

Andorra is an amazing Primary Counselor. She continuously strives to improve the lives of individuals at Santa Fe and she is an amazing advocate. Recently, Andorra took it upon herself to help one of the individuals at Santa Fe rearrange their room. She worked with the person to ensure that their room was rearranged the way that they wanted, while making the room less cluttered and more organized. She also made it easier for the individual to find all of their preferred items and helped construct a mini “everything in its place” (EIP) for all of the individual’s small items that get easily lost. This has made a positive impact on the person’s room and their lives.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Tyler Family

Photo courtesy of Ashley Burke Photography
Jessica and Jeff Tyler are strong supporters of Imagine!. They live in Broomfield, CO with their two sons Will and Ben, and contribute a monthly donation. The Tyler family met Imagine! in early 2017 under trying circumstances, but since then, the relationship has blossomed.

Shortly after Ben was born, he and his father tripped down the stairs and ended up in the emergency room. Jeff dislocated his shoulder, while Ben suffered a brain bleed and began treatment in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital.

“Picture this teeny tiny baby, covered in gauze, electrical pads and wires, and in a coma,” said Jessica. “We were devastated.”

Jessica and Jeff very quickly asked for support through social media, and received a plethora of heartwarming and sympathetic messages. “There were literally thousands of people around the world praying for this kid,” said Jessica. “We couldn’t keep up with all the inquiries and notes of support.” In addition, one of Jessica’s former workplaces launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Ben’s hospital bills, and nearby friends and family dropped off meals that lasted for six weeks.

About a week into the NICU treatment, doctors weened Ben off sedating medication and he started to move his eyes around and looked at his parents, recognizing people in front of him. “That’s when we knew we had a good shot at recovery,” said Jessica.

Two weeks after the incident, Ben was released from Children’s Hospital and the Tyler family could be at home again as a family. Upon leaving the hospital, the nurses hosted a brief education session to prepare them for life after the hospital. In this same meeting, they mentioned Imagine!.

“I called Imagine! right away,” said Jessica. She was directed to the Early Intervention department. “I didn’t even know where to start and Erika Skewes (Imagine! Service Coordination Supervisor) knew exactly who to connect me with.” Erika advocated for Ben to receive as many services as possible to give him the best care right away. At three months old, Ben began physical, occupational, and vision therapies.

Fast forward to 15 months later, you’ll see a happy and healthy boy running around, using one syllable words.

“We had doctors tell us that they didn’t know if he was going to walk or talk. And now you see that he’s doing both those things and more,” said Jessica. “It’s truly been miraculous.”

Not only does Ben run around, he runs under, over, and through everything in sight. His spirit for adventure is very rich as he continues to develop his motor and speech skills.

“See that lamp over there?” asks Jessica with a laugh. “That’s courtesy of Ben, throwing it on the floor last week.” She also points to a scar next to his eye, explaining how he head butted a bed frame during a game of chase.

Jessica laughs as she impersonates her son, “whatever mom, I’m gonna do whatever I want. I almost died, fool!” She continues, “We think on some level he knows what happened and he’s like ‘bring it!’"

The Tyler family feels strongly that without Ben’s therapy team from Imagine!, and without Erika pushing to get him that head start, his life could be much more challenging. “It’s not lost on us how different his story could have been,” said Jessica.

Now that Ben is recovering well and healthy, the Tyler family decided to show their gratitude by donating to both Imagine! and Children’s Hospital on a monthly basis. “We’ve been able to receive everything we could have ever wanted for Ben, it’s the least we can do to just give back a little bit,” said Jessica.

After the accident, the Tylers sold their house in Lafayette as a way to “move” on from the accident and start fresh in a new home. While deciding where to move, it was on their minds to stay in Imagine!’s service area. “We wanted to make sure to keep the band together,” said Jessica. “We thought about moving back to Portland near family, but want to keep Ben with his therapists until he’s grown up.”

Imagine! is honored to work with such a loving family as the Tylers, and would like to thank them for sharing their story.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero - Andy Wagner

Congrats to Andy Wagner, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero. Here’s what a co-worker had to say about Andy:

“Andy is an awesome Case Manager and a supportive member of the Supported Living Services team. Andy does not hesitate to stop what he is doing and help a Case Manager if they need support with learning a new task or need advice about a situation with a client. Not only does Andy help Case Managers with job tasks, but he also checks in on the team regularly and asks how everyone is doing. When Case Managers feel stressed or panicked, Andy helps the team remain calm and figure out what needs to be done. Andy is good at handling tough situations but also manages to have a great sense of humor that keeps everyone laughing throughout the week.” 

Way to go, Andy!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mandy To Present At Longmont Startup Week

Author, poet, artist, presenter, self-advocate, and good friend of Imagine! Mandy Kretsch will be a member of a presentation panel Thursday, July 26, during Longmont Startup Week. Mandy will be part of a discussion entitled “The Inclusive Aspects of Multi-Generational Entrepreneurship.”

Techstars Startup Week is more than a conference, it’s a celebration. Startup Week brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five days to build momentum and opportunity around our community’s unique entrepreneurial identity.

The theme for Longmont Startup Week 2018 is “Smarter. Together.” Events and content throughout the week will focus on creators, commerce, capital, and community and will highlight Longmont as an entrepreneurial ecosystem for civic innovation. They are also focusing on diversity and have worked hard to include people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

All events are FREE to attend and provide outstanding learning and networking opportunities, so you are encouraged to attend and support Mandy.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Daniel Reizenstein

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Daniel Reizenstein as this month’s Rockstar.

Daniel is a great asset to the Early Intervention department. He is passionate about working with families and is willing to go the extra mile to support them in any way possible. Daniel has been extremely helpful in supporting new service coordinators. He brings a positive vibe to the team and is always willing to lend a helping hand when needed.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Make Your Voice Heard

Looking for ways to make your voice heard? Below are a couple of opportunities.

The Office of Community Access and Independence within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is currently recruiting members to serve on the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities. They are looking for members from all areas of the state with a diverse background, but all applicants are encouraged to apply. The Council is comprised of seven voting members and three nonvoting members who are appointed by the Governor and the Executive Director of CDHS. Three voting members must be either a person with a disability or a family member of a person with a disability. The three nonvoting members must represent three separate types of organizations that provide services to the disability community. More info: 

And ...

The Boulder County Local Coordinating Council (BCLCC) is looking for a caregiver of a child with a disability to serve on an Inclusive Planning Steering Committee. The committee meets four times at various locations over the course of August-December and their input will go into a five-year Boulder County transportation plan. The BCLCC will pay for transportation and offer food at the meetings. Contact for more details or if interested in participating, or learn more here:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Imagine! CORE/Labor Source Longmont Employee Spotlight – Marrisca and Dani

Simply stated, CORE/Labor Source (CLS) Longmont would not function without Marrisca Juvan and Dani Smelcer. For the majority of the week, these two are the first to come to work and the last to leave. Not only do they do their specific job roles with diligence and perfection (liaison and communication between CLS and Host Home Providers, scheduling of staff and clients, transportation schedule, new staff training, documentation, community outreach), but they then go above and beyond to make sure our staff feel supported and comfortable in their roles. Each day Marrisca and Dani schedule themselves in classes, provide transportation, and/or assist with lunch and bathrooms. They model relaxed, strong, and confident staff members and in times of crisis clients look to them for support and are immediately safer because of their presence. Thank you to both for being the epitome of a good team-member and compassionate CLS employee.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Tina Fisbeck - July Imagine! Excellence Customer Service Award Recipient

Congratulations are in order for Tina Fisbeck, part of our Human Resources team, who was selected as the July 2018 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Tina has an extremely demanding job - often without a great deal of reward. She supports every level of the organization in meeting their staffing needs even through challenges in the applicant pools or other variables out of her control. She represents the organization phenomenally, both internally and out in the community. She is always looking for additional opportunities to continue to make Imagine! an employer of choice. We are fortunate to have Tina out there working hard on Imagine!'s behalf to find us even more great employees always, but especially now, when the job market is so competitive.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

I Am Iron Woman!

The IRONMAN triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. “No way” is a common response when talking about this race. Or, “why?” Why put your body through that for 15 straight hours, let alone all the training leading up to it? These are valid questions given the toll it takes on the body. Heather Forsyth, Imagine! employee of the Early Intervention department, has a valid answer.

“When I turned 40, I was not in good health. I was not eating well and exhausted all the time,” said
Heather. “I thought about my daughter, who has a developmental disability and was in high school at the time, and realized I needed to take better care of myself so I can be around to take care of her.” Heather started going to the gym and joined local exercise groups. She raced her first triathlon (sprint) in 2010. “It rekindled my love for running and being outside.” She kept it going and joined another fitness group in Boulder, whose members participated in longer races, and found herself doing the same: half marathons, marathons, and then the half Ironman.

“Then I said to myself, ‘you know what?’ Yeah, I want to do an Ironman.’”

She completed her first Ironman in summer of 2015. “It was my dream race and everything went as planned. I finished and was smiling ear to ear the entire time.”

Heather’s next two Ironmans did not have the same fairytale storyline. In 2016, she was injured during the swim, accidentally kicked by another swimmer, which made for a painful race. “I barely finished.”

In 2018, training season became tough as Heather’s life turned upside down. Her mother was back and forth in the hospital over the course of a year, and sadly passed away last November. To start the New Year, her daughter Meredith experienced a group of seizures in late January. And to top things off, in April, the main sewer line backed up into their condo and flooded the unit, completely damaging the tile, carpet, and bathroom fixtures.

“I thought about dropping out of the race.”

Heather approached her coaches, unsure of the race, and had a serious look on her face. One of her coaches suggested that it could still be done if she just tries to have fun. “You’re doing this for fun, right?” her coach asked.

“That’s when I realized I was letting everything in my life make the race NOT fun, but I do these races to help my life.” In refocusing her attitude, Heather began having fun again and committed to the June 10 race.

Race day arrived. The swim was peaceful and beautiful. She enjoyed the calm water and cool temperatures to start the day. On the bike, conditions were not so favorable. The temperature reached a high of 101 degrees and there was an 18% dropout rate for bikers being defeated by the dry climate.

“It was total carnage, people on the side of the road, barfing, being picked up by medics. You had to play it safe and ride at a slower pace.” Heather drank over 300 ounces of fluids on the bike thanks to her Camelback and the water stations. She also dumped a bottle of water over her head at every station. “It was that hot.” Along with the heat, Heather blistered her hand trying to stay upright in the wind, which also slowed her down.

Having entered the run later than she hoped, it became a race against the cutoff time. Because she had to ramp up her training in the last two months, her knee and ankle were sore and her pace per mile dragged.

“Packing in all that training took a toll on my cranky ankle,” she laughs. More than halfway into the run, Heather arrived at a checkpoint past the cutoff time.

With the option to sign a waiver and keep going, she recalled something her mother had once said,
“Always remember, I know you love doing this, but make sure you can always do it another day.” With both her knee and ankle in pain, she decided to call it quits at mile 15.5 and said to herself, “I’ll be back.”

“I’m never going to be fast enough to be on a podium. I’m competing against myself and trying to better myself. It’s not always about time.”

With another Ironman in the books, Heather answers the inevitable question, “why?”

“It gives me time to think through things and work out the rest of my life.”
Heather lets out a laugh, “When I have a race on calendar, our family’s life is so much more organized. No race, not so organized. Training brings me a sense of peace and calm that I can’t get anywhere else. It makes me a better person, a better mom, better wife, better worker.”

Heather admits that prior to joining fitness and exercise groups back in 2010, she and her husband isolated themselves socially and did not have many friends. “I met this whole group of people through training that created a social outlet that I haven’t had for about 15 years.”  Outside of training, their families get together for camping trips and other gatherings. Heather’s friends now go out of their way to hang out with Meredith so that Heather can get a training or race in. “It’s been a wonderful thing.”

Why do something so challenging and time consuming? Heather asked herself the same question several years ago and in turn, found her sweet spot. “I’m in phenomenal shape, I feel better, I have more energy. There are so many pluses.” Not to mention lifelong friends and the infinite supply of life lessons. In a way, the Ironman race ended up being the answer to all that she hoped for.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Save The Dates!

Two fun Imagine! events are coming up soon, and we encourage you to join us!

On Saturday, August 18, from 11am to 3pm, Imagine!'s Out & About program is hosting its 4th annual Bike Block Party at Erie Community Park (450 Powers St. in Erie) This event raises awareness for the importance of adaptive and therapeutic recreation. We will showcase a variety of adaptive bikes to learn about and even test drive! Music, games, a food truck, all on a sunny Saturday afternoon, so come on out!

From August 3-19, at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St in Boulder, Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source program is hosting an art exhibition. See original art in a variety of formats created by amazing Imagine! artists. There will be an opening reception on August 3, 5-7pm, with music and entertainment provided by individuals served by CORE/Labor Source. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Imagine! Hosting FREE Special Needs Planning Workshops in July

Free Special Needs Planning Workshops 

Special Needs Planning is unlike traditional planning - It’s planning for two generations! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018 Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm 
Monday, July 16, 2018 Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm 

Location: Imagine! 1665 Coal Creek Drive Lafayette, CO 80026 

Workshop Topics Include: 

  • Self-assessment of current and ideal goals for your family 
  • Understanding the costs of a disability 
  • Government Benefits - their role in helping to provide for your child and how to protect them - Medicaid, SSI vs. SSDI and preserving eligibility 
  • The importance of having a plan in place and how to put a plan together 
  • Letter of Intent/Last Wishes - creating comprehensive instructions for future caregivers 
  • Guardianship - the different types, how they function and what the process looks like 
  • Types of Special Needs Trusts - Individual, Third Party and Pooled Trusts 
  • How to properly fund a Special Needs Trust and protect benefits 
  • Case Study - reviewing the benefits of a plan 
About the Presenters: 

As a Branch Office Supervisor for over 16 years with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., Erik Utzinger's goal is to help reduce clients' stress around financial matters and move comfortably into the next phase of their lives. He helps clients clarify, coordinate and manage multiple goals by providing comprehensive services tailored to their unique situations.

Andrea Turner is the mother of a lively daughter on the autism spectrum who has navigated many of the challenges unique to our community. Andrea also has an intellectually disabled and autistic sister and she fully understands how one member with a disability can affect the whole family. She learned early on that careful planning for the future is essential. With lessons learned through dedicated advocacy for her own daughter and as a Registered Representative with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. she guides families in appropriate planning for their unique situations.

Please RSVP to Andrea Turner by July 6, 2018 (301) 351-5795

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Out & About Summer Programs Underway

Imagine!’s Out & About Summer Camp and Summer Catalog 2018 has officially begun. We have a record breaking 42 qualified instructors and five interns ready and excited to go! To make sure the new staff members got started on the right foot, Out & About hosted a multi-day training and orientation, including a “Trust Run,” which, as the video below demonstrates, generated many smiles and much laughter.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Heather Forsyth

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Heather Forsyth as this month’s Rockstar.

“Heather exceeds expectations in her role as the Early Intervention Intake Service Coordinator. Heather manages all new Early Intervention referrals to Imagine!, while going beyond the requirements of the job assignments to ensure that our families understand the process and that our data is superb. Heather spends a lot of her time offering outreach to our community and is a part of various different networks to strengthen our partnerships. Heather is dependable, loyal and dedicated to her job and strives to provide excellent customer service to all she works with. Heather effectively adapts to change, and demonstrates exceptional professionalism and consistency in the quality of her work. Heather is detailed oriented, which is important in her role and to the Early Intervention department. Heather is truly a Rockstar and Early Intervention is so lucky to have her!”

Friday, June 8, 2018

Eagle Scout Project

David Park is entering his senior year at Monarch High School, and also on the verge of receiving his Eagle Scout Rank through the Boy Scouts of America. To achieve this rank, every Scout must complete a service project, and David chose to partner with Imagine! for his project.

David’s sister, Gina, has been receiving services from Imagine! for over a decade. “Imagine! has given so much to Gina and our family that I wanted to give back,” said David. “They provided a platform to help Gina and that really struck a chord with me. She learned how to express her emotions better, helping us understand her needs.”

Imagine! provided Gina and her family a platform, and in turn, David literally provided Imagine! a platform by way of a refurbished second level deck at the Boulder CORE/Labor Source (CLS) site. After several meetings and a year of collaboration, David felt this was his best way of giving back.

“My Scout Master suggested that this project would be too big and he recommended I pick something else. But I saw how badly it needed repair and felt that it would have the biggest impact on services at Imagine!.” David recruited a total of 20 boy scouts and parents to help out.

“It was a labor of love on David’s part,” said Jeff Rodarti, CLS Coordinator.

David and his crew stripped the old and rusted baseboards and fencing, then CLS staff members gutted the mud and junk that was resting underneath the boards. The next three weekends involved all the construction and assembly. One weekend, David and his dad built and installed the railing on their own.

After four full weekends of hard work, David and his volunteers finished a job that was predicted to be too big of a task. David and Jeff Rodarti were determined to see this project through, putting in countless hours of preparation and labor.

“We are very grateful to David for his time and effort,” said Rodarti. “Not only was the old deck an eyesore, but it was slowly becoming a safety risk.” The counselors have already taken advantage of the new space, using it to complete documentation or make phone calls. The coordinators plan to schedule staff development activities on the new deck as well.

"If feels great to see the project finished," said David. "I learned how to be more flexible and that not everything will work out as planned." David has only a few merit badges to go before receiving his Eagle Scout Rank. "The hard part is over." The endless hours of planning and constructing are in the books, and Imagine! is grateful for his service.    

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Kirsten Wineke - June 2018 Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Recipient

Congratulations are in order for Kirsten Wineke, part of our CORE/Labor Source team, who was selected as the June 2018 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Kirsten cares for clients and staff throughout each day with a friendly attitude. Kirsten is aware of many details of what is going on each particular day. Kirsten thinks ahead and tackles unexpected problems when they arise. Kirsten also puts together of creative, thoughtful, and fun activities for the classed which she is assigned to lead. Kirsten cares about both clients and staff and engages people in a way that makes them feel valuable.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero – Julie Locke

Congratulations to Julie Locke on being selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero!

“I had requested an important form for a client, and the form had been lost by the provider three times. Several months later I had exhausted all my options, and still didn’t have the form, when Julie offered to use her connections to help me obtain the completed form. I had the completed and signed form within two days. I’m not sure what supernatural powers Julie invoked to accomplish the seemingly impossible, but I am VERY thankful for her help and support.”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Remembering Clara

In late April, we said goodbye to a dear friend who lived at Imagine!’s Foothills Group Home.

Clara Genner, 94, died peacefully in her sleep, and her roommates and care givers at Foothills put together some thoughts to reflect on Clara’s well lived life.

Tavio (roommate): I miss her. She’ll be good up in heaven with God. She is up there with the angels and probably thinking about us. 

Aneta (roommate): I miss her. She always seemed to care about everybody else.

Barbara (roommate): She was a very good person. 

Sarah (care giver): It was truly amazing for me to see all of the people who cared about and loved Clara come together at the end of her life to support and honor her. She impacted so many lives. One of my favorite memories of Clara was when she told me about peeling potatoes at the restaurant she used to work at. I’d never heard her talk about this before. She was the first person with a disability to be hired by a Longmont employer, which is written on an old newspaper clipping in her bedroom. What an inspiration! I miss her curiosity about others. She always asked me about my living situation and my family by saying: “do you live by yourself?” and “do you have a mommy and daddy?”. She warmed my heart when she would call me “honey” and tell me that she loved me. She had such a big heart and so much love to share with this world. She was always so strong and stayed that way all the way to the end. She will be dearly missed. Rest in peace Clara “Darling Rose” Genner.

Chelsea (care giver): She was loved by all seven of her roommates. She’s been with Imagine! for a long time. She loved dogs. She loved asking people about their dogs, kittens, and children. Her favorite color was pink. She was really active in her church, she believed in God and Jesus. She was a lovely human, feisty, genuine. She was just so deeply cared about, and she so deeply cared about other people.

We gathered as a house for a "Celebration of Clara’s Life." We shared fond memories from the most joyous to hard times as well. We shared what Clara has taught us about life. We all laughed when we remembered how thoroughly she enjoyed her gummy fruit snacks. All staff agreed that Clara has taught us about patience. She taught us the importance of speaking your mind and saying exactly what it is that you want/need. She was a teacher to us all.