SAGUACHE COUNTY — For more than 13 years, Eve Braden, executive director and founder of Valley to Valley Senior Care Centers, has had a vision to bring respite care and assisted living services to Saguache County, her home county for 30 years.
Braden, who has a seemingly endless amount of energy, has been providing care and support for seniors from both the Arkansas Valley and the San Luis Valley at her facility in Salida. She and her team have helped hundreds of seniors and their families over the years and now she wants to expand and bring a day and overnight facility to Saguache County.
“The seniors in Saguache County have few options,” Braden said. “For seniors with serious health issues their only option is to be taken a on hundred mile plus roundtrip, either to Salida or to facilities in Alamosa, Del Norte, or Monte Vista. This is a real hardship for them and their families.” It has hurt her to see and hear from seniors about this hardship in her community and that triggered her to offer help, having over 45 years in healthcare as a consultant and educator.
For two years now, Braden has made great progress in her efforts to bring a senior campus just north of the Town of Saguache. With the help of volunteers, Valley to Valley has developed architectural plans, acquired the land, and broken ground on the new Saguache Senior Care Campus. She has acquired nearly a quarter of a million dollars of in-kind funding to accomplish this.
Ron Southard, a retired architect in Buena Vista, has donated hundreds of hours of design services and architectural plans for two future facilities. J. Byron Williams, has donated ten acres of land, just outside of Saguache for the campus, and the Saguache Board of County Commissioners and the Saguache County Road and Bridge Department have cleared the land and begun building the roads for access. Many others have contributed furnishings, building materials, survey services and more to help Braden and the future center out.
As mentioned earlier, Braden’s energy is seemingly endless. In the last two years, while running a full-time operation in Salida, she spearheaded a fundraising campaign with the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, acquired the land, resolved well water issues and septic issues with the County, acquired sales tax grant funds from the county, and she can be found at all the events and festivals with her booth and senior products telling her story and promoting the Saguache Campus.
With over $230,000 of in-kind and cash contributions from more than 50 donors, Braden is ready to make the final push to acquire the funds needed to begin building the Campus. Current estimates are that Valley to Valley needs over $800,000 to move ahead. To help kick off this “final” campaign, Braden has teamed up with Joyful Journey Hot Springs and Spa and the Saguache Chamber of Commerce to host a Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras Celebration at the Joyful Journey Event Center on Tuesday, March 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The event at Joyful Journey includes dinner, music, dancing, prizes, and more. Braden will be giving a presentation and attendees will be given ample opportunities to help with building the Senior Campus. Each attendee is asked to donate $10 for a night of food and fun. Free shuttle service from the Town of Saguache’s historic Saguache Hotel will be provided by the Eagle Line Shuttle service starting at 5 p.m. and running on demand throughout the night.
For more information on this event please contact Joyful Journey at 719-256-4328 or go online to http://joyfuljourneyhotsprings.com/events/. Donations can also be made directly online by going to https://www.gofundme.com/valleytovalley.