Gilpin County loves its senior citizens

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Lasagna Dinner, Talent Show, and Auction Fundraiser

by Pam Deck

Gilpin County has an abundance of sunny and rip-roaring seniors. The Gilpin County Senior Living organization (GCSL), hosted their 3rd annual fundraiser Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the high school. A hearty and delicious lasagna dinner was created by this group for the sole purpose of raising funds to build affordable, senior-friendly rental housing for Gilpin County Seniors.

This mission has been a burning passion for current Board Member Jeanne Nicholson, former Commissioner and State Representative. Her vision started years ago when she was a rural county public health nurse. She said, “It broke my heart when a lot of seniors had to move out of the county when they were unable to live in their own home any longer. Most of the houses up here in the mountains have multiple living levels and the older ‘Victorian’ styles in the towns are not easy for seniors to manage. Not only did they have to leave their homes, but the entire community that they knew and loved. I thought it shortened their lives to lose this connection. So many years ago I helped to create the idea of senior housing that would be one-level, easy to manage, and close by the places they loved. And being next to the Community Center would be such a plus and it would keep them active and social. We needed to take action.”

The idea grew and the GCSL group formed. They believe in “inclusion, that whether the person is poor or rich, they have a right to get proper housing at a proper price.”

She and the group have worked diligently to raise funds and create the plans for this “residential community which they have named “Dory Hill Senior Residences.” The County Commissioners have embraced this project and are committing land for a 100-year lease so that the rental rates can remain affordable.

Plans are in the works for Phase One which at this time will be two buildings, one with three 1-bedroom residences and one building with two 2-bedroom residences. They have tentative architectural plans, but the next steps are big – to secure the lease, to secure the agreement for water and sewer, and of course raise sufficient funds to get started. Some of the key players at the county level are new and will hopefully soon be able to assist with these plans becoming reality for seniors. Right now the plotted land is 2.4 acres close to the Community Center.

Saturday night’s event was three-fold. The delicious lasagna dinner raised $1,612. The silent auction that many wonderful businesses and people donated a variety of art work, gift certificates, tools, and much more raised $2,250. The talent show entertained us with 12 acts of violin, guitar, singing, dancing, comedy and dog-acts.  These acts plus the delicious desserts which were raffled during intermission by President Sharon Perea, brought in $194.

Gilpin is lucky to have a high number of seniors who take an active role in improving the community. The event brought together people of all ages. Never have I seen such warmth and friendship as I witnessed here in Gilpin County. The flatlands of Denver have nothing on this tight, friendly, group of neighbors.

If you are interested in donating time, energy, or money to this cause, please contact Sharon Perea at 303-582-5562, or contact any of the Officers or Board Members. If you are a builder, landscaper, or banker, please join the cause. Let’s work together to honor our beloved seniors who make this county so rich in so many ways.

The next fund-raising venture will be the at the Winter Arts and Crafts event on December 9 at the Community Center. See you there!

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