About the Newsletter
This newsletter was made by one of STRiVE’s individuals Elyse. She likes being able to help work on the newsletters for Strive and also likes working at Uniquely Yours and being able to paint and work on the various crafts and projects that they make there. Elyse has always liked to do art and has been doing art and graphic design for quite a while. Below are some pictures of various projects she enjoyed making at Uniquely Yours.
STRiVE’s concerts were back and in high demand! We hosted three concerts, kicking it off in June with James Williams and the Faith Peddlers. In July the ever-popular, Boys of Summer, returned to the stage to treat the crowd to hits from The Eagles. A local favorite, The Oxymorons, took to the stage and rocked-out favorite cover tunes in August to round out the series. The “halftime” show at the concerts was always a special treat with several of our individuals getting up on stage while the band was on break to share their testimonials and what they love about working for Strive. Tickets to the concert remain low at $20 per ticket. This allows for our concerts to be accessible and enjoyed by the community.
STRiVE’s concerts were back and in high demand!
Tulips & Juleps
STRiVE hosted our 7th annual Spring Fundraiser, the Tulips & Juleps Derby Watch Party, on May 1st at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. It was another successful event celebrating the 147th Run for the Roses while raising funds and awareness for STRiVE’s Children’s Program. Like last year, we sold table sponsorships and not individual tickets. Tables went quickly and sold out in January. We were able to safely double the number of tables and guests while still following all of Mesa County Health’s guidelines. Approximately 200 attendees enjoyed a wonderful southern-inspired buffet courtesy of Cowboy & the Rose catering while sipping on Mint Juleps, a well-known Derby tradition.
Enstrom’s Candies donated their ice cream truck providing our guests with an extra special treat this year. Guests were invited to participate in our Race Raffle with one lucky winner taking home $900. The silent auction items were limited to local “experiences”, many of which ended up in friendly bidding wars. Thanks to our sponsors and guests, we were able to net over $62,000.
A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor RoseCap Financial Advisors as well as our Title Sponsors; Timberline Bank, Valley Surgical Vein Care & Aesthetics, and Grand Junction Subaru. If you are interested in sponsoring a table for the 2022 Tulips & Juleps, please contact Cindy Willms at email@example.com.
Fall at the Gardens: Harvest Illuminated
STRiVE hosted their second annual Fall at the Gardens: Harvest Illuminated on October 28-30th. The event, which takes place at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, was a tremendous success. Sponsorships and ticket sales more than surpassed our expectations for an event still in its infancy. Each year builds on the last, creating even more dazzling displays and family activities. We have partnered with local renowned artist, Willy Tuz, who gathers a team of carvers from around the country, to create amazing, illuminated sculptures made entirely of pumpkins. This year, we were able to bring together the past contestants from Food Network’s “Outrageous Pumpkins” and the community response was overwhelming. Event goers were treated to live pumpkin carving demonstrations and were able to interact with these extremely talented individuals. Most of the artists also work in other mediums as well, such as sand and ice, and we look forward to drawing upon their expertise for future collaborations and spin-off events. Proceeds from the series benefit STRiVE’s person-centered programs serving children and adults with disabilities. These vital community resources help ensure our most vulnerable population receive the developmental supports they so desperately need. We are already busily planning for Harvest Illuminated 2022 and value the community’s continued support!
A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor’s, Community Hospital and Rocky Mountain Health Plans, as well as our Pumpkin Sculpture Sponsors; Harley Davidson, St. Mary’s Hospital, and PNCI.
In November, Alida’s was invited to participate in an event hosted by a local brewery, Monumental Beer Works. The “Local Love” event is an outdoor market highlighting small business in our community. We had a booth Displaying both Strive and Alida’s where we sold our jellies, jams, syrups, and candies. The timing was perfect. Many came out in search of holiday gifts. You could also find Alida’s this summer on Thursday evenings at the Market on Main. The booth was often “manned” by individuals from our Vocational Program. It was great to see them hard at work selling products to the community!
STRiVE gives Christmas gift baskets to families in need.
Research shows the cost of raising a child with a disability has been estimated to be quadruple the cost of a child without special needs, making the holidays especially difficult for those families who simply do not have the extra money to purchase gifts. Lucy, a single working mother of two, earns just enough at her peer specialist job at a local mental health clinic to support her 18-month-old son and 3-year-old daughter. So, Lucy, 23, was grateful when Strive offered a Christmas gift basket of toys, blankets, and clothing for her children during the holiday season. All she wanted was Christmas gifts for her children. “It was very helpful,” she said. “It was stuff I could not get, otherwise.”
STRiVE is a nonprofit organization that offers services and supports for children and adults identified with a developmental disability. Lucy’s son was born with bilateral hearing loss and receives in-home support services from STRiVE’s Early Intervention program. Lucy was referred to the program shortly after the family moved to Grand Junction in February 2020. Early Intervention therapists come to Lucy’s home every other week to teach communication strategies to Lucy, her son, and his big sister. STRiVE’s Children’s Services also consists of other programs designed to provide therapeutic supports and other resources for children diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability. The Christmas basket program is a resource for families who have a child enrolled in services. Families apply for the program and fill out a wish or needs list for toys and clothing. STRiVE partners with community members and various agencies to fulfill those requests. The program has grown significantly since 2013, said Tanya Workman, Child and Family Services Coordinator. “In 2020, we raised cash and in-kind donations which sponsored 40 families.” Donors can purchase gifts themselves or donate money and allow STRiVE to do the shopping. “When we match a family with a sponsor, we look at the entire family dynamic for the best fit,” Workman said.
Many individual community members and businesses sponsor entire families. The employees at the FedEx Freight Grand Junction facility were among them and made a generous donation to help a single mother caring for her three biological children, as well as three additional children for whom she has accepted guardianship.
“We care about the community we live in and helping a family here in Grand Junction was a chance to make a positive impact locally,” said Heather Nostrand, FedEx Freight Operations Supervisor. The COVID-19 pandemic has made life even more difficult for some of the families they serve, Workman said.
“Families who would not normally request assistance are asking for help this year. With continued community support, we hope to be able to offer this program for years to come.”
Direct Support Professionals
We want to thank our wonderful Direct Support Professionals for their continued hard work and always being available when needed. This year has not been easy with staff shortages but they continue to work hard to support the individuals they serve. STRiVE could not do it without them!