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Foster parents honored at Hope & Home’s Mom’s Day event

By: LINDA NAVARRO THE GAZETTE
May 21, 2006
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Diana Lynn’s tribute to her foster parents, Leo and Carolyn Nassimbene, offered a rare opportunity to see the lasting impact a good home can have on foster children, Ross Wright, executive director of Hope & Home, a nonprofit Christian child-placement/adoption agency, told the audience at a Mother’s Day breakfast.
Lynn said her birth mother couldn’t care for her and her brother. While he went to Boys Town, she left home, and concerned neighbors helped her find the Nassimbenes, already the parents of four adopted children. “I thought that one misstep and I’d be out. That didn’t happen,” Lynn said. Instead, Carolyn put notes of encouragement in her school bag. Today Lynn has a family, career and volunteer work, and “they’re still there for me.” Looking at the Nassimbenes, who received the Humble Excellence Award, Lynn said, “You are the defining people in my life, sent to me by God.” Wright told the visibly moved audience May 8 at First Presbyterian Church, “We don’t put kids in a house, we put them in a home.” Another highlight of the morning was Colorado Rep. Lynn Hefley’s look at “Mothers, the Heartbeat of the Home.” Among those nodding in agreement as she talked about moms were Phebe Lee, Jackie Acker, Margaret Zimbrick, Christie Lee, JoAnn Gadkowski, Ann Lanting and Betty Reed. Hope & Home board members include Robert Lanting, Roger Van Heyningen, Charles Baggs, Al Clark, Robert Blaha, Judy Bosin, Steven Ezell, Carolyn Kopper, Stan Phillips, Patty Winter and Richard Schultz. The agency, which will move into new offices on the city’s north side, will sponsor a High Hopes & High Fashions fundraiser Sept. 7 at the Sheraton Hotel. Prospective foster parents may contact the agency at 575-9887 or www.hopeand home.org. S-CAP KICKS OFF ANNIVERSARY It’s an anniversary that Linda Boedeker wishes they didn’t have to recognize — the 20th year for the Southern Colorado AIDS Project. If HIV/AIDS were eradicated in southern Colorado, she said, she and her staff would lose their jobs happily and willingly. Instead, Boedeker, S-CAP’s executive director, and 108 guests raised their glasses to “20 years of hope and health” at a fundraiser kickoff reception for anniversary events May 11 at Stewart House, home of Colorado College president Richard Celeste and Jacqueline Lundquist. Lundquist said the couple’s involvement with AIDS awareness goes back to when Celeste was U.S. ambassador to India under President Bill Clinton. She hosted Richard Gere — not a difficult assignment, she admitted with a laugh — who was bringing the disease out into the open with those in India’s Bollywood film industry. She continued her work when they returned to the United States. Projects that will benefit S-CAP and its 450 clients this summer include a fundraiser, “Fighting HIV and AIDS, Together” June 22 at Pikes Peak Center; the seventh annual ESCAPE Bike Ride July 29 in Buena Vista; and a golf tournament Aug. 13 at Desert Hawk Golf Course in Pueblo. Among the programs benefiting will be the food bank for those with HIV/AIDS. Guests who strolled through the historic home, engrossed in conversation and enjoying music by students from Colorado Springs Conservatory, were John Morris, Katie Grove, Christopher Garvin, Gerald Albrent, David Clarke, Bev Agnew, Frederick Von Morsbach, Nancy Saltzman and Greg Roman, Tom Rizer, Helen Upton, James Green, Phan Tasco, Julie Boswell, Jamie Boswell and Mary Ellen and Michael McNally. CASA BUILDING ON HISTORIC LIST Architect Jim Wallace is renowned for his contribution to local buildings, including Ampex, Broadmoor Community Church, the Pikes Peak Center and the Air Force Academy Visitors Center. The Maytag Aircraft Building, an example of modern movement architecture at 701 S. Cascade Ave., designed by Wallace and Dietz Lusk, is especially personal. A floating design with air-foil roof, it represented the client, the Maytag business, while harkening back to when Wallace flew B-24s and B-29s. Wallace and his family were on hand May 12 to celebrate the 1957 building being placed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. Now the home of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), the voice of abused and neglected children in court, Wallace said he is “pleased this building will still be here” when other modern buildings have been destroyed. “I am pleased with its purpose,” he said. Looking on as Wallace received a cornerstone brick were his wife, Mickey, daughter Jenni Thatcher and grandsons Grayson and Mills Thatcher. Honoring the architect were Gregory Friesen, CSNA Architects; Susan Edmondson, CASA board chair; Georgianna Contiguglia, president of the Colorado Historical Society; Douglas Harris and David Nelson of Maytag Aircraft Corp.; and Charlie Campbell, American Institute of Architects. Other guests included Debra Adams, Jim Moore, architect Clifford Nakata, Julie Phillips, Susan Presti, planner Tim Scanlon, Gary Winegar and Robert Wrubel. Send items about nonprofit and charitable events to linda.navarro@gazette.com; fax: 636-0202, attn. Linda Navarro; or mail to The Gazette, attn. Linda Navarro, newsroom, P.O. Box 1779, Colorado Springs 80901. SAVE THE DATE Urban Peak’s “Back on Track” concert, Martini Shot, Blues Fuse and Wendy Woo, benefits homeless teens, 6-10 p.m. June 16, Trestle Building, 219 W. Colorado Ave., tickets $30, call Urban Peak, 630-3223.
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