Volunteer Appreciation – September 6, 2017
“TLC Goes Camping” – this was the theme for this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Celebration held on Wednesday, September 6th on the beautiful premises of Living Word Chapel. Camping attire was encouraged. The weather was pleasant with the evening sun providing a golden ambient light.
As volunteers and guests checked in, they were given comfy hoodies embossed with the Tri-Lakes Cares logo – all made possible because of the donation of space, food and set-up by the generous people at Living Word Chapel. The evening began with appetizers and mingling in the rustic outdoor setting, with live background music provided by the Nathan John Band.
After “happy hour”, we all moved indoors for a fabulous meal, prepared by chef Mike Hoard of Living Word Chapel. After dinner, Kelly Bryant made opening remarks and Camp Counselor Chloe (aka TLC’s very own Case Manager, Paula Blair) provided some entertainment. This was followed by words of welcome and thanks from Haley Chapin, TLC’s Executive Director. Board President, Joe Dague, also welcomed and thanked volunteers on behalf of the board.
Haley introduced volunteer Doug Pinney, who is also a local woodworker. He unveiled the new “Help Yourself Market” sign that he designed and created for Tri-Lakes Cares. Everyone was very impressed and thanked him.
Following the presentation of Doug’s sign, Tri-Lakes Cares staff proceeded with the awards:
Kool Kid at Camp / Kool and the Gang presented to the volunteers who set up the Help Yourself Market area each week: Doug Pinney, Desi Warwick, Linda Barcus, Herman Hanner, Eric Dahlstrom, Vinnie Gallagher, Dave Nelson, Dave Ross, Patt Murphy, and Steve Vermeersch.
Camp Storyteller / Historian presented to Jim Bergeron who is also known as “Mr. TLC” and has a vast personal knowledge of TLC. Jim graciously shared two or three stories of the good old days at TLC.
Crafty Campers presented to the “Circle of Friends” group who used their crafting skills to make over 3,000 ornaments for the Giving Tree program. Marie Zombory and Margaret Pasolli were present to accept their award. The other ladies from the group – Terry Baty, Joyce Wohlfort and Sabrina Campbell – were unable to attend.
Comeback Kid presented to Marilyn DeBoodt, who has battled serious health issues over the last year but has returned to work in “Help Yourself”
“Glamper” of the Year presented to Peggy McFarland who is always “put together” when she arrives to work.
Dynamic Duo presented to Chris and Wilma Steenbergen who share their volunteer duties on Monday evenings – he works in the pantry upstairs and she oversees the “Help Yourself” area.
Smokey the Bear – “Putting out Fires” presented to Bob McGuffee who always steps in to help where needed – in the pantry, doing pickups, helping with inventory, etc.
Happy Camper presented to Desi Warwick whose laugh always brings a smile to everyone’s face.
Grizzly Bear Award presented to Ed Whisenhunt for his quiet strength and muscles anytime heavy lifting or moving needs to be done (fridges and filing cabinets).
We Need S’more Volunteers Like You presented to John Crouse, an all-round volunteer who takes the lead in many pantry related projects.
Bigfoot Award presented to John Dickinson, for his leadership on the Monday pantry team, and for his participation in special projects.
Collaborative Partner of the Year presented to Trista Aamodt of Kneaders Bakery and Café for her continued support of Tri-Lakes Cares. In the past year, she has donated 6,000 lbs of bread and other bakery products.
Newcomer Award, presented to Herman Hanner as a new 2017 volunteer who is constantly filling in and stepping into needs that might occur on the days that he works. (He was not present at the event.)
Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Steve Vermeersch for his 10 years of service in many areas including pantry, Help Yourself, food pick-up, support of the holiday programs, etc.
Volunteer of the Year Award presented to Dave Ross for his work as a board member, committee member, Help Yourself set-up volunteer, etc.
Over all – everyone had a great time! We thank our volunteers without whom we would not be able to do the work that we do. The value of total volunteer hours this past year is $334,468, representing 12,879 hours!
Client Appreciation – March 13, 2017
On Monday, March 13, we celebrated our clients on “Client Appreciation Day”. This is a quarterly event, when groups of different staff members plan and put together a fun event with food and sometimes games and a theme.
This time we did “Texas with an Irish Twist” – everyone was encouraged to wear green, we decorated with shamrocks and played Irish music. Food was catered by Texas Roadhouse – their yummy chili and rolls. Cakes came from the culinary school at Johnson and Wales University in Denver (their bakery and pastry arts program). And, Cub Scout Troop 217 in Monument put together “blessing bags” to be distributed as well – these bags were decorated with a leprechaun and contained a toothbrush, toothpaste and some savory and salty snacks.
Everyone seemed to have a great time.
Holiday Distribution at Tri-Lakes Cares
Due to the cold, snowy weather on Saturday, December 17, we had to reschedule our holiday distribution (food baskets, toys for children and gifts for seniors) for Monday, December 19 and Tuesday, December 20.
Thanks to the generosity of the Tri-Lakes community we were able to help 137 households, impacting 197 children and 66 seniors.
There are so many people to thank who made this such a success.
First, the many volunteers who help organize, purchase and prepare the food bags and the gift boxes. A special thank you to the core group of the Giving Tree team: Barbara Vermeersch, Kelly Cotter, Diane Anderson, Leslie Deutschlander and Sheila Smith. They have spent countless hours over the past decade (and more!) making sure children and seniors have gifts to open during the holidays. These ladies have decided to retire from the Giving Tree program this year and they will work with staff and new volunteers to ensure a smooth transition for Christmas 2017.
Thank you to the Kiwanis Key Club Kids of Palmer Ridge who came in the Wednesday before and packed 160 food bags.
Thank you to all the Giving Tree locations, who provided space for a tree and encouraged employees, customers, club member and parishioners “to shop” the ornaments: Palmer Divide Quilters, Monument Vision, Fairfield Inn, Monument Library, Covered Treasures, Expectations, Catriona Wine Cellars. First National Bank, Navsys Corporation, Monumental Miniatures & Toys, Tri-Lakes Women’s Club, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Little Log Church, Messenger International, Family of Christ Lutheran Church, Tri-Lakes Cruisers, St. Peter Catholic Church, King Soopers (Monument), Monument Town Hall, Premier Vision, Margo’s on the Alley, Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Tri-Lakes Printing, DePuy Synthes, Curves, YMCA (Monument), Trinity Lutheran Church, Texas Roadhouse (Monument), CSHP, Living Word Chapel, The Shafer Group, Smallcakes: A Cupcakery & Creamery Colo Springs.
Thank you to Monument Hill Kiwanis for helping on the day of distribution, directing traffic and loading bags and boxes.
Thank you to Bob Mikulas who allowed us to use his building space rent-free for a few weeks to prepare for the gift distribution.
Thank you to the Coffee Cup for sharing freezer space to store frozen turkeys.
Thank you to Home Depot (Monument) for letting us purchase packing boxes at a reduced cost.
Thank you to Girl Scout Troop 3591 for baking fresh bread products and cookies and to Glen Cassa’s preschool program who put together baking bags (containing spices and baking products).
We are so grateful to everyone! It truly proves that it “takes a village” to make such an event a success! THANK YOU!!
If we missed your name or organization, please know it is not intentional. Please contact us and we will update our information.
Bustling Day at Tri-Lakes Cares
On Monday, December 12th, things were hopping at Tri-Lakes Cares. We had client appreciation sharing the holiday spirit with clients. Suzanne and Ed manned the hot chocolate bar with an array of holiday goodies. Seniors were picking up their “senior grocery” bags; others were picking up their monthly commodities. DarLee and Lynne provided samples and recipes (salad, cookies and mini-muffins) to clients which can be made with items typically available through “Help Yourself” and the pantry.
In addition, there were two special services:
Free haircuts were provided Nikki, a stylist who works at Sola Salon & Studios in Colorado Springs.
Brand-new PJ’s were given away by Rauquel, Tammie and Patricia. The PJ’s were collected throughout School District 38 by Rauquel’s daughter, MacKenzie.
And finally, the staff provided holiday goodies for all the volunteers in the upstairs conference room in appreciation for their hard work throughout the year.
“Do GOOD Drinking”
On Tuesday, November 29th, Tri-Lakes Cares joined with four other organizations (Black Forest Animal Sanctuary, Trails & Open Space Coalition, Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center and New Horizons Band of Colorado Springs) at Pikes Peak Brewing for a fun event with live music, great beer and fun conversations. Music was provided by a trio from New Horizons. And, $1 from every beer sold was pooled and split amongst the five groups. Thank you to Pikes Peak Brewing for hosting this event!!
We are all part of the 2016 Give! Campaign – a community-wide giving program covering El Paso County and Teller County. You can learn more and donate at indygive.com.
Thanksgiving Basket Give-away
On Saturday, November 19th Tri-Lakes Cares distributed Thanksgiving Holiday Food bags. 115 families picked up their turkey and all the fixins’! Thank you to the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club, TLC board members, volunteers and staff for helping with this fun event!
A HUGE thank you goes to Girl Scout Troop 3591 who baked over 300 loaves of bread and other goodies which were also given out.
Tri-Lakes Cruisers donated 300 lbs. of turkeys and Care & Share provided us with over 1,000 lbs of turkey and chicken.
Of course, a huge THANK YOU goes out to the whole community for helping through the Harvest of Love drive in early November! A total of 1,871 lbs of turkeys/chickens and 2,130 lbs. of holiday food items were distributed, for a total of 4,001 lbs. of food!
Thanksgiving Bag packing
On Wednesday, November 16th, kids from the Kiwanis Key Club of Palmer Ridge came and packed 162 bags in 1.5 hours getting ready for the Thanksgiving give-away on Saturday! We couldn’t do it without you!
In addition, about 100 bags were decorated by kiddos from Palmer Lake Early Childhood Center and Lewis Palmer Elementary Preschool.
Empty Bowls 2016
On October 5, Monument Hill Kiwanis Club held their annual Empty Bowls fund-raiser benefiting Tri-Lakes Cares. The community enjoyed soup donated by local restaurants in bowls created and donated by local artists. Attendees also engaged in lively bidding for many wonderful items donated to the silent auction.
In addition, Haley, TLC’s Executive Director, presented to the Club the 2016 Outstanding Grantmaking Organization award from the Partners in Philanthropy Awards. The award was originally presented at a ceremony on September 28th.
Thank you to everyone who attended, donated or volunteered for this wonderful event!