An evening of dining, bidding, and homegrown entertainment

Gilpin non-profit hosts fabulous fundraiser

by Lisa Lopez

Saturday, Nov. 10 Gilpin’s Senior Living Committee held their annual fundraising event at the Gilpin County School. Tasty lasagna, salad, and your choice of dessert were ready at 5:30 p.m. and enjoyed by an estimated 150 local residents. Tables in the cafeteria were filled with donations for the silent auction from generous Gilpinites willing to part with everything from kitchen items, Christmas decor, tools, artwork, jewelry, candles, quilts, handmade knitted items, along with gift cards to local restaurants, Myers Hardware, Georgetown Loop Railroad, King Soopers, and a list of others. There was no shortage of interest in the auctioning as the tables were shoulder to shoulder at times with curious onlookers.

The non-profit group has been working steadily and focused on turning a vision into a reality for many Gilpin seniors. The Board was formed in 2015 with the goal of creating low-cost housing for independent seniors that can no longer live in their homes, or no longer desire to given their circumstances. Even though the project has been in the works for several years now, it is still in the early stages of planning. Before they can move forward, a site location needs to be determined. The county has offered to lease part of the fairground’s property, but possible expansion of the jail would require them to seek an alternative site. They have two other possible locations, one being in Central City. Board member president Sharon Perea says they have been working closely with the county commissioners who have been very supportive in their efforts thus far. Rob Sawyer, vice president and Jeanne Nicholson, also a member of the board, reemphasized the importance of fundraising and the need to meet certain financial goals. Once a building site is located and settled on, the next step is to seek out funders and bring forward a proposal with more specifics on the plan. So far, the committee has raised over $75,000 which includes all personal donations and fundraising events. Sawyer states that most funders require clients to put down 10 percent towards their project. Plans are to construct a 16-unit apartment complex that would include a manager’s residence. Preliminary plans have been roughly drafted which would offer both one and two bedroom units. Ultimately, it will be up to the commissioners to decide on how much land may be available to them. At that point, they can begin to move forward on the next steps.

Bidding for the auctioned items ended at 7:00 p.m. and was not without a couple of bidding wars. The evening went on with the Talent Show starring some of the county’s finest. First up was a quartet made up of Patty Chavez and Debbie Smiley on violins, Bill Ikler on guitar, and Jimmy Stewart on accordion who played a couple of beautiful tunes. Niya Nolting followed with a vocal solo on guitar performing a lovely song she wrote for her mother who had just retired. Sasha Sinsino on the violin and Jordana on the piano showed their skills with splendid solo performances. The Gilpin Academy of Martial Arts carried on with the entertainment while demonstrating their expertise in Taekwondo and even included splitting a few boards! Faith Paschke did an outstanding impersonation of Cher while singing ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ bringing some much deserved laughter from the audience. An absolutely mesmerizing tap dance was performed by LA Dysart to a beautiful song in remembrance of a friend who had passed. Bruce Parman and J.D. Paschke both gave very different and wonderful numbers with their guitars and unique voices. A captivating duet of ‘My Favorite Things’ from the Sound of Music was sung by Liz Westbrook and Adele Fischer. Jimmy Stewart demonstrated his skills on his vintage accordion with a couple of songs, one of which was ‘Taps’ in honor of our veterans. These gifted individuals created a welcoming atmosphere which evoked a true sense of community with the crowd.

During the intermission a dessert auction was held in the auditorium. Thanks to all those that contributed their delicious baked goods, it was quite a success. Treasurer of the board, Ardeta Robertson, who used to make and decorate the best cakes in the county, along with Ron Engels and Sharon Perea brought forth sweet lovers in the crowd to fetch some pretty good prices on pastries, cakes, and pies. Ardeta’s homemade caramels brought in the top bid from board member Joe Marr with a whopping $55. Thanks Joe!

The evening was a success and brought in a total of just over $4,900 dollars. Committee members voiced their appreciation to all attendees and stressed the desire to get the word out for future fundraising events for this worthy cause.

For more information and upcoming events or to volunteer go to or see them on Facebook at Gilpin County Senior Living.

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