Second annual event raises $4,000 for affordable housing
by Patty Unruh
Gilpin County people definitely have talent, whether it is in music, drama, culinary arts, or generosity. These talents were all displayed at the Gilpin County Senior Living (GCSL) fundraiser on Saturday evening, November 12, at Gilpin County School.17
More than 100 people attended a lasagna dinner, silent auction, and talent show for the dual purposes of having fun and raising money to support affordable independent housing for seniors in our community. Many seniors want to keep living in Gilpin County as they get older, but can’t do the physical labor required or financially afford to maintain bigger homes.
Before expenses, over $4,000 was raised from the silent auction, dinner, and a dessert auction to benefit the non-profit, said Ardetta Robertson, the event’s organizer. 24 volunteers gave their time so that the evening would be a success.
These workers were busy beforehand, preparing ten pans of lasagna, ten loaves of French bread, mounds of tossed salad, and generous servings of famous “Ardetta cakes.” The meal was served in the old gymnasium.
As guests enjoyed the meal, they read over literature provided by GCSL. The handouts explained, “Gilpin County Senior Living will secure $1.7 million to build 16 affordable senior residences allowing our seniors the option to live independently and remain in Gilpin County.”
GCSL has selected a tentative building location site at the northwest corner of the Gilpin Community Center campus on Norton Drive in mid-county, across from the fair arena next to the Gilpin Public Health building.
The literature noted, “The Gilpin County Commissioners have offered to lease a parcel of land and provide water at a reasonable rate.”
GCSL board member Jeanne Nicholson advised, “No lease has been signed. As soon as that happens, the location will be finalized. Right now, we just have a goodwill handshake between us and the Commissioners.”
After eating their fill, folks browsed the offerings on the auction tables in the atrium. 72 generous individuals and businesses contributed nearly 150 items, from practical and sports-oriented to historical and whimsical: a spot remover kit, drop leg jack, framed Monet print, tole painted tray, ceramic angel collection, Colorado Avalanche hockey puck and autographed stick, autographed Nuggets basketball, Nuggets jersey, doggie treat basket, and a CoorsTek 100th anniversary mortar and pestle set. A large selection of jewelry and personal care items, specialty food and beverages, hand-quilted items, and curios rounded out the goods being auctioned.
Gift certificates toward various services included B&F Mountain Market, Eagles Nest Child Care, various restaurants and casinos, Georgetown Loop Railroad, Sam’s Club, Costco, and more. Gilpin County Public Works offered a solid waste card, and David’s Woodcutting donated one truckload of firewood. One could even win a free chiropractic visit or a one-hour horseback ride.
After placing their bids, attendees gathered in the auditorium, where GCSL board member Lynn Pollitt presided over a brisk auction of incredible desserts.
Then — on with the show! Central City’s Mayor Ron Engels emceed a lineup of some of Gilpin’s best talent. The Mountain Mutts 4-H Club gave a dazzling demonstration of dog agility. Bobbi Clayton rocked the crowd on her guitar and vocals, and young Aubrey Allen belted out her rendition of “Hey, Good Lookin.’” This was followed by a demonstration by the Gilpin Academy of Martial Arts. Remi Rich gave a musical offering, and Sasha Sonsino with her violin had the audience singing along in a “Name That Tune” segment. GCSL President Sharon Perea wowed the audience by dancing the Charleston in her bright red flapper dress.
After intermission, Jordana Gagnon displayed her talent on the electronic keyboard and later got the audience clapping as she sang “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Katy Marr gracefully performed a contemporary dance to “Amazing Grace.” The life story of Mary York, who lived in the early days of Gilpin County, was recounted by Robbie Zmuda. Bruce Parman took the audience back in time with two John Denver tunes, followed by an impressive performance of a Bach prelude by violist Bobbie Hill. Jimmy Stewart gave the show a slam-bang finish with his accordion medley.
GCSL expressed appreciation to School Superintendent David MacKenzie and the Gilpin County School staff for their assistance, 3 Brothers Printing for donating fliers and programs, Gilpin County Sheriff for message boards, the many volunteers who helped, and everyone who supported GCSL.
GCSL will have a booth at the Winter Arts Festival at the Community Center on December 10.
For more information, please see their website, www.gilpincountyseniorliving.org.