​​Q&A ​ with Denver Based Non-profit, ​Kids Mobility Network

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​​Q&A ​ with Denver Based Non-profit, ​Kids Mobility Network

Raising a child with disabilities is a challenge, but often the hardest thing for parents is to come up with the money for expensive medical equipment. Items like wheel chairs and walkers can cost thousands of dollars, with insurance only covering a small fraction. But these are also things that kids outgrow, which motivated parents Christy and Pete Kopp to launch Kids Mobility Network in 2005, a local organization that recycles durable medical equipment. Today they have helped over 1,000 families and counting, enabling greater safety, mobility and independence for their children with disabilities.

We sat down to learn more about Kids Mobility Network and how the organization has relied on community support to grow.

​​Q&A ​ with Denver Based Non-profit, ​Kids Mobility Network

​​Q&A ​ with Denver Based Non-profit, ​Kids Mobility Network

Q:  How did the idea for KMN come to be?

Christy and Pete Kopp wanted to donate their daughter’s walker and found that there was no organization recycling children’s durable medical equipment. After some research, Kids Mobility was launched to help children with disabilities get the equipment that they need to live healthy, active lives. Children outgrow their equipment and then it sits idle. We knew that if there was a “network” of families helping each other that we could put these pieces back to work.

Q: What has been one of the most memorable moments in your your business?

Well there have been so many. We have seen children take their first steps in our office, ride a bike for a first time and sit upright without a parent’s support. We are so happy to provide supports to help children to be able to go to school, church and community activities.

Q: What is one of the biggest challenges of your business?

All of our operations are run on community donations. That is why community partners, like KD Kanopy are so important to keep our services running. We are able to serve more children with this support.

Q: Have you seen the support for KMN grow over the years?

Yes but there are always more families who need help. As we serve more families our name is getting out into the community creating more demand. Kids Mobility Network is the only organization providing this service in Colorado.

Q: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or your business?

I think that most folks think that things like wheelchairs would be covered by insurance. This equipment is very expensive. A child’s manual wheelchair (without power) costs about $7,000. Insurance, (if a family has insurance) pays a fraction of the cost. The family must come up with the rest of the funds. This can be out of reach for many families. That is where Kids Mobility Network comes in.

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“Live and Let Drive” Charity Preview Party

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“Live and Let Drive” Charity Preview Party

Get a VIP first look at the 2014 Denver Auto Show at the annual “Live and Let Drive” Charity Preview Party on Tuesday

Bradley Joseph and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

Bradley Joseph and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

On Tuesday, April 8, rev up your engines for a night of fast cars and fashion at the annual Charity Preview Party, which benefits three worthy causes: the Clear the Air Foundation, National Jewish Health and the Denver Post Community Foundation.

Guests should dress to impress (business or cocktail attire suggested) for an exclusive preview of the 2014 Denver Auto Show, a live fashion show, a catered reception and of course, music (always the key to a successful bash).

The “Live and Let Drive” themed event will kick off with a champagne toast by 2014 Denver Auto Show Chair Todd Maul before guests take the first peek at the more than 500 new cars and trucks on display at the Auto Show before it’s open to the public.

The Charity Preview Party will also feature a live fashion show showcasing the latest trends from Soignee Elegant Attire Boutique, A. Tsangas Custom Furs & Leather, and Colorado designer Andreas Tsagas. For this portion, local celebrity and star of Bravo’s Shear Genius, Matthew Morris of Matthew Morris Salon & Skincare, will do the hair and make up. Former Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Tameka Kueser and Kim Bruan will provide the models along with  Donna Baldwin Models.

All this fun alone makes it worth the $100 ticket price, but your attendance also benefits three important causes. The Clear the Air Foundation is a nonprofit committed to helping Coloradans who suffer from asthma or other breathing disorders by improving the air quality in our state. National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. And the Denver Post Community Foundation supports programs that benefit children and youth such as arts and culture, education and literacy, and the provision of basic human services.

The “Live and Let Drive” event will run from 7:00 to 10:00 pm on Tuesday, April 8 at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets are available for purchase at www.charitypreviewparty.com.

 John and Paige Elway

John and Paige Elway

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Archie Manning, Football Legend, Headlines 10th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon on April 30

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Archie Manning, Football Legend, Headlines 10th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon on April 30

Archie Manning, Football Legend, Headlines 10th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon on April 30

Football legend, Archie Manning, has inspired fans worldwide on and off the field with his warm personality, humor and drive. The father of three boys, Cooper and current NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli, Manning and wife Olivia have instilled in their sons the philosophy that, “It’s the right thing to do, so do the right thing.” It is therefore no surprise that Manning, a true humanitarian, has dedicated his retirement to his family and community causes such as the Special Olympics, Boy Scouts of America and The Salvation Army. On April 30th, Manning will next partner with the Jewish Family Service of Colorado (JFS) as the headliner of their 10th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon.

Held at the Grand Hyatt Denver, the luncheon will serve to raise funds for a variety of JFS programs.  Founded in 1872, JFS is a nonsectarian, nonprofit human services agency serving the metro Denver and Boulder communities. The JFS aids seniors in living independently at home, and provides mental health counseling, training and job placement to those with developmental disabilities, as well as providing food and financial aid to people in need. Each year, more than 20,000 individuals benefit from JFS programs.

Manning began his legendary football career at the University of Mississippi where he was named an All-American Quarterback, and to date is the only Ole Miss player to have his number retired.  Elected to the 50-Year All-South Team (1940–1990), Manning was named one of the Top 25 Athletes of the Century in Louisiana.  An honor he shares with his son Peyton, he was also named one of the 100 All-Time Greatest College Football Players.

Archie Manning, Football Legend, Headlines 10th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon on April 30

Archie Manning, Football Legend, Headlines 10th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon on April 30

Manning began his NFL career in 1971 as the second player chosen in the NFL draft that year, and as the New Orleans Saints’ first pick. Later named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1978, he went on to set the Saints’ passing records and play in two Pro Bowls. With a record-setting career full of accolades and touchdowns, Archie Manning retired in 1985 after 15 years in the league.

For more information about Jewish Family Service of Colorado visit www.jewishfamilyservice.org.

The Details:

Where: Grand Hyatt Denver  – 1750 Welton Street.

When: Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Time: Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the program will start promptly at noon.

Cost: Tickets are $150 and sponsorship packages start at $1,500.

For more information or for tickets, contact Dawn Richard at 720.248.4605 or visit www.jewishfamilyservice.org/luncheon

 

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Shannon Sharpe To Host Event To Raise Money To Support Literacy Efforts

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 “Journey” through an inspiring evening with 2011 NFL Hall of Famer and former Bronco, Shannon Sharpe, as He Raises Support for Literacy Efforts in Denver

“Journey” through an inspiring evening with 2011 NFL Hall of Famer and former Bronco, Shannon Sharpe, as He Raises Support for Literacy Efforts in Denver

When most of us think of Shannon Sharpe, his legendary career as one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, his impressive statistics for the Denver Broncos or his new position as a CBS Sports commentator, first comes to mind. However, a lesser-known fact is Sharpe’s dedication to promoting literacy and education.

Partnering with the Junior League of Denver (JLD) to support literacy efforts in the Denver metro area, Sharpe will serve as the keynote speaker at their annual evening fundraiser, The Journey. Having not learned to read until his early teen years, guided by his grandmother’s influence, Sharpe exemplifies the JLD’s commitment to literacy.

The Journey event will take place on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. Proceeds will support the JLD’s focus: changing lives through literacy in the Denver metro area and developing civic leaders committed to improving the community.

Funds raised by the event will enable the JLD to provide financial and volunteer support to community partners such as the Read2Kids and Kids Connect community programs.

Read2Kids  events provide children and their families with books as well as participation in a variety of fun learning activities. Kids Connect focuses on early childhood brain development through bi-monthly programs to educate children and parents in an interactive play-based environment and encourage parents to read with their children at home.

“We are thrilled to host The Journey again this year to raise funds to support our literacy efforts,” said JLD President Lisa Lumley. “Attendees are helping us get books and tools to families in need in the Denver metro area. In addition to our literacy programs, we sponsor One Book 4 Colorado, in partnership with Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and the Mile High United Way. Last May, we were a proud sponsor of the effort to get 70,000 books into the hands of every four-year-old in the state.”

Learn more about The Journey event, the JLD’s community impact and ways to become involved on their website: www.jld.org.

EVENT DETAILS:



 When: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Cocktails at 6 pm, Keynote Speaker & Dinner to follow

Where: Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center

Tickets: $125 (Includes dinner and speaker)
Table for 10: $1,250
Purchase

More info: www.jld.org or 303-692-0270

 

 

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Littleton Born Ashley Brotheron Knits Her Way To Recovery

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Ashley Brotheron Knits Her Way To Recovery

Ashley Brotheron Knits Her Way To Recovery

It has been nearly two years since Littleton born Ashley Brotherton and her boyfriend Clayton Wilbanks were run over by a drunk  driver while walking home from a concert on New Years in Anchorage, Alaska. Both graduates of Heritage High School, the couple moved to Alaksa after graduating college for a new adventure and for Brotherton’s job as a special education teacher at Denali Montessori. Her career has been put on hold following the accident.

Ashley Brotheron in Rehab at Craig Hospital

Ashley Brotheron in Rehab at Craig Hospital

The road to recovery for the couple is still on going. Wilbanks suffered severe internal injuries and Brotheron a traumatic brain injury. Brotherton flew back to Colorado to undergo rehab at Craig Hospital. It was there that  she earned how to knit from an  occupational therapist as a way to practice fine motor skills and to try and get her left & right hand to work together. The hobby has now turned business. Brotherton launched an Etsy site where she knits beanies and donates a portion to Craig Hospital.
I was able to catch up with Brotherton to learn more about her recovery and the launch of “For the Fun of Knit”
Carri: What prompted the idea for the site.
Ashley: Not having a job is difficult, I have always been a busy body & have had a job for as long as I can remember. I know that for the time being, a full time job, especially one like teaching, is not the best choice for my health. When I realized I was spending nearly all my free time knitting new hats, scarves, gloves & Christmas tree garland, I knew I needed to do more with it. I found myself always making accessories for other people. After talking to Clayton & sharing my idea for starting an Etsy shop we brainstormed together about how to go about it. This gives me the chance to do a little something for Craig and all of the current & future people that have the opportunity to be patients there.
Carri: How has the knitting helped your recovery?
Ashley: Since our accident, I have found that a lot of normal day-to-day activities act like therapy to me. Knitting has allowed me to not only work on my fine motor skills  & the coordination between my 2 hands, it has given me a new purpose. I knew that quitting my job as a teacher would create a new sense of life for me but I had no idea the fulfillment I got when I was working with such amazing kiddos & coworkers. I miss that! But, creating these custom beanies for people & putting a smile on their face fulfills me in a new way. I like to see other people happy & this does the trick in a much less stressful, less demanding way.
Carri: What made you decide to donate a portion to Craig?
Ashley: I wanted to pay it forward. Craig helped me get back up when I was at my lowest of lows. I owe them so much & I know there’s no way I could possibly pay them back for everything they have done for me. I know this isn’t much but I know it will somewhat help future Craig patients have an amazing rehab experience & that makes my heart happy.
Carri: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Ashley: “I once worked at Red Robin as the bird, multiple times! Clayton loves to remind me about that.
Carri: What do you love about Denver?
Ashley: Denver is such a special place for me…it’s home! What I love most about Denver is the happiness it exudes. Maybe it’s the never ending sunshine. I just feel like it’s such an easy place to live. People aren’t in a hurry, they’re laid back. I love how Coloradans seem to have that ‘work to live’ mentality, not the ‘live to work’ mentality. I really appreciate that. Life’s too short to not live it. Not to mention the mountains, the active lifestyles people have, the beer, the sports teams, the good food, the awesome weather, it’s the perfect place to live!
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