2019 was a year full of growth for Easterseals Colorado. From welcoming new staff members to opening a brand new lodge at Rocky Mountain Village Camp, this year has allowed us to continue providing high quality services to individuals with disabilities, older adults, and their families. Take a look back at our top stories of this year!
One highlight of 2019 was the opening of the Friendship Lodge at Easterseals Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Village Camp. This lodge is fully ADA accessible and features a kitchen area, bunk rooms for campers, large bathrooms, and private bedrooms for counselors. This lodge represents the opportunity for more children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the experience of RMV camp for years to come, and also for private rental groups to enjoy in the off-season.
The 2019 summer session at Rocky Mountain Village Camp was a magical one. Many campers who have been attending RMV camp for 30 years (or more!) were celebrated this year. In addition to six weeks of Easterseals Colorado camp sessions, RMV hosted weeks in collaboration with Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Hemophilia Foundation, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Camp Comfort. Throughout the 10 weeks of summer camp, RMV employed 65 full-time seasonal staff members, hosted over 90 volunteer counselors including individuals from Italy, Hong Kong, and Brazil, and served over 500 campers with disabilities from across Colorado and the United States!
In November of 2019, Easterseals Colorado held its 9th Annual Season of Lights Gala: Diamond Jubilee. The night honored three incredible individuals for their impact and commitment to Easterseals Colorado and our community – Maddie Olson, Lyda Hill, and Amy Purdy. With entertainment by Ali Stroker and Raising Cain Band, the event was full of fun and raised over $360,000. Stay tuned and join us for one of our many fundraising events in 2020.
In 2019, raising awareness was a priority for Easterseals Colorado online and in person. May was Stroke Awareness Month and focused on raising awareness around the common causes and symptoms of stroke. Individuals participating in Easterseals Colorado’s Neurological Rehabilitation Center were featured during this month, shining a spotlight on the strength and joy found in recovery. October was Disability Employment Awareness Month and we spread that awareness through busting myths about workers with disabilities. Our VP of Northern Colorado Services represented Easterseals Colorado at several Larimer County proclamations to spread disability employment awareness and recognize its importance to the community. This led to our ‘Ability Day’ program being listed as part of a goal in Larimer County’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, a day for our employment clients to job shadow Larimer County employees. Additionally, our respite care program, Colorado Respite Coalition, launched their Colorado Caregiver Awareness Campaign this year in an effort to help caregivers self-identify and get connected to resources. This campaign was a great success with over 30,000 TV and Radio spots statewide, over 6,000 users visiting the campaign landing page, a 20% increase in users from 2018, over 450,000 impressions across the state through digital ads!
We also celebrated the launch of our new older adult day program, OASIS, serving adults 50 years of age or older with disabilities. Our person-centered care services offer support and respite for caregivers while also providing supervision, assistance and quality care for their aging loved one. This program enables participants to stay in their homes longer by providing the additional help and support they need during the day. A win-win for everyone!
2019 was a year to celebrate the growth we have experienced and to prepare for the growth we will have in the new year and new decade. We are leading the way to creating a Colorado where everyone, regardless of age or ability, is 100% included and 100% empowered. Thanks to all of our supporters, readers, donors, and followers, our mission is reality. Learn more about our many programs and how to get involved with Easterseals Colorado.
Happy New Year from Easterseals Colorado!