Mardi Gras senior fundraiser well attended

Photos by Teresa L. Benns Rivers Edge Band played to a Mardi Gras theme at the Saguache Senior Campus fundraiser held at Joyful Journey Hot Springs on Fat Tuesday. Eve Braden, main promoter of the Saguache Senior Campus, has been providing senior care for 45 years.

SAGUACHE COUNTY— A benefit to raise funds for the construction of Valley-to-Valley’s Saguache Senior Campus in Northern Saguache County was well attended Tuesday evening and many volunteers put in time and effort to make it a success.
The Saguache Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event, held at the Joyful Journey Hot Springs Events Center. The band River’s Edge, decked out in Mardi Gras costumes, provided the entertainment. A silent art auction was held, and several businesses and individuals made sizable donations. Funds collected for the project totaled $6,500 plus and about 95 guests cycled in and out of the event throughout the evening.
Saguache Senior Campus has been a project in the making since 2015. Its main promoter, Eve Braden, with 45 years of caregiver experience in her toolkit, has worked tirelessly to make the center a reality while working with Alzheimer patients and those with other conditions in Salida. A second care facility will eventually be built in Buena Vista.
Braden spoke at length about her plans for the center, using a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate how the center will appear once it is completed. She explained that her journey to build the facility began years ago when her mother died of cancer and her father developed Alzheimer’s.
Braden’s Salida facility is Alzheimer’s certified and an assistant is working toward certification in dementia care.
Currently she transports Saguache area seniors over Poncha Pass to the care facility in Salida, something previous facilities were not willing or able to do. That is when the idea of the Senior Campus and respite center, where relatives can stay with seniors, was born. And ever since, Braden has been on the move, doing all she can to make it a reality,
But she hasn’t been alone. She extended a special thanks to the Saguache Chamber of Commerce and Saguache County Commissioners, also the owners of Joyful Journey for their promotional, fundraising and financial assistance.
Her dream encompasses a resting place that will allow seniors to work in their own garden and raise food, socialize with children, enjoy pets and visit with others who come to the facility. The caregivers at the center also will help seniors attend to their spiritual needs, participate in activities according to their capabilities and impediments, and tend to their emotional health.
And transportation to and from the center will be available for seniors who need the service.
Braden invited those who wish to support the center to volunteer, sponsor a senior, serve on the care center’s board and generally get the word out. She told her audience she is not certain how long it will take to open the center since this mainly depends on contributions and thanked those who had helped with the benefit and made donations.
“This is a great step forward,’ Braden concluded. “I finally have the important things I need to go forward, and my community is behind me.”

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