The River Center helps students, hosts seniors |

The River Center helps students, hosts seniors

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

It is no surprise more families are in need, especially when it is back-to-school time. You can help these families with a donation of new or gently used clothing and school supplies for children from kindergarten through eighth grade who attend the Garden School, Elk Creek Elementary, Kathryn Senor Elementary School and Riverside Middle School.

The River Center Children’s Outdoor Clothing and School Supply Drive (Whew! What a name!) will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 21, at the River Center, 126 N. Fourth Street in New Castle.

Terri Knob, a member of Volunteer New Castle and The River Center, organized this event.

“I started volunteering at the River Center to give back to the community,” she said. “The first project we talked about was helping the school and the school teachers, who are purchasing supplies/winter clothing out of their own personal accounts.”

Next thing you know, she became a champion of student clothing and school supplies.

Donations will be taken from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 16 through 20 at The River Center.

Volunteers for this are also needed. You could distribute popcorn and snacks; assist in the collection and organization of school supplies; help with the selection of properly sized clothing; assist with clothing drop-off; or be a part of the set-up or cleaning crews.

Any clothes or supplies that are not taken will be donated to the Shalom Orphanage in Uganda. The River Center has a partnership with Shalom Ministries.

For more information about this program, please call Terri Knob at 987-3710 or e-mail

The River Center is hosting another event, the “Young Seniors Luncheon,” at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at The River Center. A voluntary donation of $2.50 will be welcomed, but not mandatory. Bring a friend, enjoy friendly conversation and meet with some of New Castle’s finest.

To RSVP, call 987-3568 or 987-3710.

Valley View Hospital’s music program, Holistic Harmony, celebrated five years of providing talent to its patients last Thursday evening. It truly was something special, and each performance exemplified just why this program contributes so much to healing and relief.

As at least one performer said that without Lesa Russo, who developed and nurtured this program, there would be no Holistic Harmony. She danced and motivated audience participation, always bringing every fiber of her being into what she does. One of the main reasons the people of the program stick with it is because of her spirit.

I couldn’t believe my ears as I heard, “The restroom door said ‘Gentlemen’ so I just walked inside” by the Just Between Friends a cappella quartet. I am familiar with the song, since my daughter was into the irreverent Bob Rivers’ “Twisted Christmas” tape when she was 11. But I had never heard anyone locally doing it justice. The group has a great sense of humor, which I’m sure has something to do with Bill Barnes.

The voices of the Harmony Chorus brought me to tears once again, as I realized what great work they are doing for patients who are passing from this world to the next.

Frank Martin told the story of creating his original song for Desmond Tutu, which had recently been presented to the anti-apartheid hero. His music has a wonderful repetitive quality that stays inside your head.

I had forgotten about Landon Churchill’s powerful, deep voice because of his recent dance performances. But just one “Hallelujah,” and wow, the impact was felt by everyone in the hospital’s lobby.

Where did Heidi Paul, with her energetic operatic voice, come from? What a great and different addition to the program.

Tom Cochran has to be commended for wearing his kilt. Of course, it probably helped in this great heat.

What talent we have in the Roaring Fork Valley. How fortunate the Holistic Harmony program can bring it to the people who need it most.

Congratulations to Lesa Russo and all the people who share their talent. Bravo!

Kay Vasilakis’ “Nonprofit Spotlight” column runs every other Wednesday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She is an active member of the Garfield County Human Services Commission. To contact her for a possible mention of a local nonprofit event or news item, e-mail or call 618-6689.

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