Friday, September 25, 2009

Building Green To Increase Efficiencies

The Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome will be part of 14th Annual Boulder County Tour of Solar & Green Homes tomorrow.

Why is a home for individuals with developmental disabilities included on this tour? Because creating a new, sustainable way of assisting some of our most vulnerable citizens meant creating a comprehensive plan for increasing efficiencies while improving services at the same time. The development and construction of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome was the result of this planning, and using green technologies and building techniques was a natural extension of this effort.

You can get specific details about our use of green building techniques in this article from Conservation Magazine.

You can learn more about the tour here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Donna's Diary - September

Did you know SmartHome resident Donna Fairchild has an online diary describing her experiences? If you haven’t seen it, you should take a look. She has a lot to say, and she has a lot going on in her life.

Her September diary entry talks about her recent wedding. During a touching ceremony, Donna made a lifelong commitment to her housemate (and soulmate) Gerald Stopa.

You can read her latest diary entry here. Bookmark the page and come back often!

And check out some wedding photos here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Love Story

A great, wonderful, lovely wedding took place on Saturday, September 12. SmartHome residents Gerald Stopa and Donna Fairchild exchanged vows and celebrated their love for one another with a commitment ceremony at Donna’s church in Boulder.

Since this blog is about SmartHomes and technology, here’s a sweet connection: Gerald, who is unable to speak, communicates using a DynaVox, a device that delivers pre-programmed messages through a computer. Last year, on Christmas, he used the DynaVox to propose to “his girl.”

You can read more about this happy couple in this great article in the Longmont Times Call.

They also have a slideshow of photos from the ceremony.

Congratulations Donna and Gerald!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Congratulations Sue!

One of the great pleasures of working on the SmartHome project these past few years has been seeing all the members of the community who have supported us in so many ways.

Tomorrow, one of our very finest supporters will be honored, not just for her helping on the SmartHome, but for all she has done for her community (and believe me, she has done a lot!).

Imagine! Foundation board member and good friend of the SmartHomes project Sue Deans is being honored as part of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s “Women Who Light The Community 2009.” An awards luncheon, hosted by the Boulder Chamber Business Women's Leadership Group, will take place on Friday, September 18, 2009 at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This year’s honorees were nominated by members of the community who recognized their outstanding contributions and were selected by a committee for the impact they are making in Boulder County and beyond through civic, professional, and community involvement.

Sue is a former Daily Camera editor with a 30-year award-winning career in journalism. Since her retirement in 2007, Sue has served on the boards and assisted local organizations such as Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder History Museum, Imagine! Foundation, as well as advisory boards for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Board of Trustees for Knox College.

Congratulations on such a well deserved honor, Sue. And thanks for all you do for Imagine! and our SmartHomes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Time is Here to Move Some Dirt and Build a Home!

Take a look at this photo of a field, and soak it in. Because starting tomorrow, this field will be excavated to start the process of the building of our Longmont SmartHome.

That’s right! At 2:32 PM last Friday we officially completed the required closing associated with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to begin construction of our second SmartHome in Longmont. The time is here to move some dirt and build a home!

We’ll keep you updated on construction as we move forward. So don’t change that dial! There’s a lot about to happen.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Congratulations Leona!

The Longmont Association of Realtors has named Imagine! Foundation President and SmartHome supporter extraordinaire Leona Stoecker as its Carl Turner Citizen of the Year!

Leona has been particularly effective in acquainting Longmont individuals with Imagine!’s SmartHomes Project. A perfect example is the day she spent at the Charity Hole of the Longmont Chamber’s Commerce Cup Golf Tournament on June 1. As each cart rolled up to the hole – for five hours straight – Leona greeted each foursome with a brochure and a story about Imagine! and the Longmont SmartHome. Because almost every single person already knew and respected Leona, she was able to gently but enthusiastically encourage their support.

That event plus countless other meetings with potential donors, talks at service club meetings, and just telling people she meets has resulted in both interest and critical funding being raised – even in a very tight economy. Thanks in great measure to her efforts, more than $900,000 had been secured for the Longmont SmartHome even before the Groundbreaking Ceremony!

Leona will be presented with her award Thursday, September 17, 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Longmont.

Congratulations, Leona, and SO well deserved!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Millennium FAC Sept. 04

SmartHome residents enjoyed a fun night out at the Millennium Harvest House’s FAC event on September 4. Imagine! was the featured non-profit at the event, and music, food, art, and dancing were all on display!

Everything we do at Imagine!, including our SmartHome project, is ultimately a community building effort. In order for us to succeed at our mission of providing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to become contributing members of their communities, we need the community to support us.

That is why we are always delighted when a member of the community, be it a business, non-profit, or individual, gives us a chance to take part in a community activity.

So thanks to the Millennium Harvest House for letting us take part in their fun event, and thanks to so many of our neighbors for embracing our mission and becoming part of the mission in action.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

SmartHome Tours

Now that the Charles SmartHome is occupied, more and more individuals and organizations have taken tours of the home to see up close and personal how technology can positively impact the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

Just this week, we gave two tours, to members of the East Boulder Optimist Club and to Dr. David Braddock (pictured here) and William Coleman, along with other key players from the Coleman Institute.

The latter is especially important, as the Institute's mission to catalyze and integrate advances in science, engineering and technology to promote the quality of life and independent living of people with cognitive disabilities fits in well with the mission and goals of the SmartHome.

If you are interested in touring the Charles SmartHome, click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tweet! Tweet!

Like many organizations, Imagine! is embracing social media and Web 2.0. Our Facebook page has proven to be a great community builder – we have staff members, families, people in the DD field across the nation, and even consumers as fans.

So we’re taking the next step by entering the Twitterverse. That’s right, if you want tweets on our SmartHome project, you got ‘em.

Become a follower of the SmartHome on Twitter at

And if you haven’t become a fan on Facebook, please do so. You will be kept up to date on the latest and greatest info surround this ambitious project. Join here.