The Imagine! Foundation has always felt that the end of January is a perfect time for its annual fund raising event, the Imagine! Celebration. The holidays are long gone, everyone is a bit weary of snow and cold (except, of course, in the high country!), and after the January lull, people are ready to get out again and mix a bit with colleagues and friends. The Celebration prides itself on providing not only a great time but also a genuine sense of the importance of the work Imagine! does every day for people with developmental disabilities.
The honoring of Imagine!’s Consumer of the Year is always the high point of the event. This year’s recipient, Doug Coker, is certainly deserving of this prestigious award. Doug was recently profiled in an article in The Longmont Times-Call, which you can read here. The picture to the right shows Doug between Times-Call reporter Maggie Wegrzyn on the left, and Times-Call photographer Jill Mott on the right.
As great it was to read that article, it was even nicer to see what Doug’s sister wrote about how Doug has blossomed since he began receiving services from Imagine!. Below is a little of what she shared with us:
“Doug is like a new person. The combination of working part time, with normal hours, and with people his own age, in a different place has changed his life. As I have said before, he understands he has issues but now knows everyone needs help with certain things. He handles his life for the most part. If he chooses, he can interact with others. Autism is so subjective...and we are so lucky Doug can express himself and enjoys social activities. I always told him his brain works just fine for him....it is just sometimes, I am the one who doesn't understand. He seems so relaxed now. He used to be very tight and acted at times like a caged animal. You could tell he had things going on in his mind and didn't know how to reveal them. It seems to me he is comfortable with himself. He has established relationships and real interest in others. He is confident and understands he can do things for himself. He has a manageable schedule. He knows what to expect and what is expected from him. He seems to actually be aware of people around him now. I have never seen him smile so much and be so willing to share all the good things he does each day.”
Congratulations are in order for Doug, because this award is really about how he was able to use the supports he received from Imagine! to become a leader in our community.
If you are interested in attending the Imagine! Foundation Celebration and meeting Doug in person, there is still time to purchase tickets. Ticket and table sponsorship prices remain the same as last year, $95 per ticket or tables of ten for $1,250. Purchase tickets quickly and easily online here.
I hope to see you there!