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"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
– George Bernard Shaw  
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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 10 October 2018  

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Bill Radford

  Faces of Black Forest
  A heart for dogs and kids
  By Bill Radford

   Theresa Strader has two great passions: kids and canines.
   
   "I live by my heart, I live by things that are important to me, and the well-being of children and animals has always been extremely important to me," Strader said.
   
   That passion for children is reflected in her profession as a pediatric nurse and the adoptive mother of three "deeply abused" children. Her love of dogs is clear from her role as founder and executive director of National Mill Dog Rescue, which rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes discarded breeding dogs; while shining a spotlight on the grim realities of the commercial dog breeding industry, commonly known as puppy milling.
   
   Her passion began 11 years ago when Strader bought Lily, an Italian greyhound, and a dozen other dogs at an auction in Missouri; the dogs came from a puppy mill that was going out of business. Years as a breeding dog and a lack of care had taken a horrific toll on Lily; her jaw had rotted off and she was missing half her face, Strader said.
   
   "She truly was our inspiration," she said. Lily died just 15 months later, "but not before she became an extraordinary, courageous, loving dog. She was the best example of forgiveness I have ever known."
   
   Strader's home in Black Forest became the base for National Mill Dog Rescue, with chicken coops converted into kennels for the dogs. "We called them the canine cottages," she said. There were times when she would have to shovel through the snow to reach the dogs, times she slept on a concrete floor with the dogs as mice ran across her back in the middle of the night. "Every other thing in life is on hold so you can create this mission and keep it alive," Strader said.
   
   The group is now based in Peyton, where the Timothy Center, a veterinary hospital and rehabilitation clinic for the rescued dogs, opened in February next to the Lily's Haven kennel. The Timothy Center was made possible through a donation by another Black Forest resident, David Wismer.
   
   "I wonder when the day will come that I walk through there and I'm not filled with tears," Strader said. "To see it in action, it's indescribable."
   
   Strader grew up in New York City and lived for a time on the opposite coast, in Burbank, Calif., before falling in love with Colorado. She moved to Black Forest in 1994. She was living there when she met her husband-to-be, Rich. They, of course, met over a dog; Rich adopted a "very, very intense" German shepherd that Strader had fostered.
   
   "I got the crazy dog back and a great husband," Strader said. In addition to the three adopted children, who are all grown, the couple has a biological daughter who will be heading off to college in the fall.
   
   Strader still works as a pediatric private-duty nurse one or two days a week -- "not because I have any time, but at the core of me is a kid nurse. That's what I do, that's what I am, that's what I love."
   
   Strader's home was destroyed in the 2013 Black Forest fire, just hours after the blaze began. Along with the children and about two-dozen animals -- dogs, cats, chickens -she and Rich fled to the kennel in Peyton. Within a couple of days, "volunteers showed up with 30-foot-long, beautiful RVs for our family and others," Strader said.
   
   They rebuilt, moving into their new home 15 months later, around Thanksgiving.
   
   "An occurrence like that, you either run away from it or grow with it," Strader said. "For us, we were coming home. Lily is buried on this property."
  
Eleven years ago, Theresa Strader’s passion for dog rescue began when she bought Lily, an Italian greyhound, and a dozen other dogs at an auction in Missouri. Lily had been a breeding dog at the puppy mill where the dogs came from and was neglected so much that her jaw had rotted off and she was missing half her face (look closely): Strader is holding Lily.
 
Theresa Strader, founder of National Mill Dog rescue, is playing with Rosey, who was the10,000th dog rescued by Strader. Photos by Bill Radford
 
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  AARP Black Forest
  Did you know?
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   Did you know that Silver Key will provide transportation to and from medical appointments for Black Forest area residents?
   
   Did you know that Silver Key will provide Meals on Wheels to Black Forest area residents over age 60?
   
   Did you know that Silver Key will provide case management guidance and other services to residents in the Black Forest area?
   
   On Feb. 27, nine Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 members toured the Silver Key operation in Colorado Springs, which included lunch. The tour guide was Lorri Orwig, the Silver Key chief development officer. Lorri gave the group a thorough tour of the extensive Silver Key facility. This included their offices, meeting facilities, the case management area, food pantry and thrift shop; th tour concluded with a delicious lunch in their dining area. She also answered a host of questions from the group about what Silver Key does and how they operate.
             
   The Silver Key mission is to maintain the dignity of each client. Silver Key has helped more than 250,000 seniors since it was founded in 1971, with the goal to help seniors in the Colorado Springs area and keep them from feeling isolated. Silver Key provides transportation, nutrition and case management services, and has a staff of 60-plus employees and more than 600 volunteers. Silver Key provides annual services to about 7,000 clients, which includes more than 50,000 ride services. The on-site kitchen prepares all food for the 59,000 Meals on Wheels and the almost 104,000 Golden Circle Meals provided annually. In addition, federal food pantry programs and emergency food program boxes are provided to more than 1,000 individuals monthly.
            
   Silver Key coordinates services and collaborates with many different agencies in El Paso County on behalf of seniors. Silver Key also coordinates with a facility for teens with developmental disabilities by training them in food service skills. Chapter 1100 members were served a robust lunch by these teens when we visited.
            
   The volunteer-staffed Thrift Shop at 1605 S. Murray Blvd. is clean and well organized, and includes merchandise ranging from clothing, jewelry, furniture, and everything between, at bargain process.  Also included are durable health equipment, wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, bedside commodes, and chair lifts.
             
   Those needing transportation assistance should call Silver Key at 719-884-2380 to make reservations. The Golden Circle number to call is 719-884-2304. (Call by 2 p.m. the day before if you need a meal.)  Case managers will come out to Black Forest to assess the needs of a senior who is unable to come to the Silver Key Campus at 1605 S. Murray Blvd. in Colorado Springs. For more information about Silver Key and their services, visit http://silverkey.org or call 719.884.2350.
            
   Silver Key is a 501(c)(3) charity. All donations are tax deductible. They welcome people who want to volunteer their time or provide donations to the Thrift Shop.
  
AARP Chapter members have lunch with Lorri Orwig (far end of the table) of Silver Key in February at the Silver Key dining room at 1605 S. Murray Blvd.
 
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  Create a plan for the future

   Rita Fitzpatrick and the Black Forest AARP Chapter will provide a FREE interactive workshop on caregiving, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on April 11 in the Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church at 12455 Black Forest Road.
           
   Rita said, “Let’s face it, stuff happens, and emergencies are likely to increase as health deteriorates and aging increases.” Americans take out insurance policies to prevent surprises. The Atlas of Caregiving workshop is aimed at reducing unexpected and unpleasant “surprises” in family caregiving situations. It offers spouses, children or other family members, who could become potential caregivers, a plan for the future that will address the complex and stressful tasks that might lie ahead.
           
   Rita Fitzpatrick, the facilitator for this course, has been trained on by AARP, and has also had her own experiences. Call Rita at 719-573-6895 to make a reservation to attend this workshop.
  
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  Annual shredding event

   Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 2, which is the free annual document shredding event, sponsored by AARP ElderWatch and AARP Black Forest Chapter 1100. The shredding event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Black Forest Lutheran Church at 12455 Black Forest Road. Three boxes or paper bags will be accepted per car. No plastic or 3-ring binders. Fight hunger at the same time with a nonperishable food or cash donation to the Black Forest Cares food pantry. More details next month. Call Ray at 719-495-676 or Stan at 719-596-6787.   
 
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  No fee senior social

   A monthly informal occasion for seniors is the no fee event. They meet in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road in Black Forest.
   
   Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road. The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about “whatever.”  Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.
  
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  Black Forest Women’s Club

   The next meeting of the Black Forest Women’s Club is April 12 at the Black Forest Lutheran Church at 12455 Black Forest Road. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at 10 a.m. The April program features a presentation by Wild Hair Alpacas. Weather permitting, they will bring their alpacas. The Black Forest Women’s Club supports local charities and Wolfred School children at Christmas time. Visitors and guests are always welcome.  Any questions call 719-495-3846.   
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  Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild Scholarship

   The Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild Scholarship was created in 2006, and is awarded annually to a graduating senior attending a high school (public, private, charter or home school). Applicants must physically reside within the boundaries defined in the application. Applicants must demonstrate academic competence, strong community involvement and school participation. Eligible students should intend to enroll in an accredited college, university or other institution of formal education by the fall of 2018.
   
   The Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild was established in 1964 and is the longest, continuous craft guild in the western United States. It consists of local artists and crafters who annually donate to groups and individuals that enhance the Black Forest community. Members of the guild, the local community and patrons of our spring and fall craft shows, fund the scholarship program.
   
   Applications can be downloaded from the Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild website: http://bfacg.org/scholarships. All applications will be reviewed by the scholarship committee — members of the guild. If interested, complete the scholarship application and postmark on or before, Friday, April 27. Late applications will not be accepted. Please submit applications to Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild, P.O. Box 88222, Black Forest, CO 80908.
  
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