An Intern Perspective: SRC’s Gift of Independence Breakfast

By: Larissa Ruiz
       This morning I woke up early to attend a breakfast for my internship with Seniors’ Resource Center.  Breakfast is my favorite meal but I almost never eat it at 7:00 in the morning.  Before the event began my co-workers and I were getting things ready and making sure everything would go as planned.  Everybody seemed to be calm although they were probably a little nervous and excited.  I had never attended a fundraising event like this before and I was quite curious to see how it would turn out.

Brice (SRC Client) and Carl Cunningham, SRC Personal  Care Provider
Brice (SRC Client) and Carl Cunningham, SRC Personal Care Provider

The breakfast, called the Gift of Independence Breakfast, was hosted by SRC at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel in Lakewood.  We had a great turnout on guests and the room was quite elegant.  A delicious quiche was served for breakfast along with the traditional juice and coffee.

       Kathleen Stapleton, SRC Board Chair, was one of our guest speakers.  She welcomed and thanked the guest for taking the time to attend the event and listen to their story.  SRC CEO/President John Zabawa also gave his thanks for everybody’s support and told the audience about one of the client testimonials.  He also shared a client testimonial video with the audience.  Afterwards, we watched a video about a family SRC has helped and  it was a truly heartwarming story.
       Afterwards Carl Cunningham, a personal care provider at SRC, brightened up the mood.  I thought he stole the show!  Carl shared a personal testimonial and expressed his passion as a caregiver with us.  It was a humorous story about the time when his dad reached his senior years and made the decision to move in with Carl.  I really laughed when he described his dad pulling up to his driveway in a Beverly Hillbilly-like van with his whole life packed inside.  Carl expressed how the tables were turned when he noticed himself worrying about his dad one night when he was out late on a date.  As his dad grew older, he offered to go to a nursing home but Carl insisted on him staying with family- with him.
       Carl also shared a story about Brice, one of the clients he visits and cares for.  Brice wanted more than anything to stay home and refused to be placed in a nursing home.   Before Carl began caring for Brice, he weighed about 118 pounds.  He was lonely and wasn’t eating much.  He told a story to Carl about a dream he once had.  In the dream he was walking up a pathway to heaven.  The way Carl described it made me picture it vividly in my mind and it was just gorgeous!
       A couple years have passed since then and Brice is stronger and better than before.  He has gained over 20 pounds and really enjoys Carl’s company.  He is excited about life and is very thankful he is able to live at home.
       So far I was a little surprised as to how the event went.  The food was nicely served.  I thought all the speakers did a good job at entertaining the guests.  It was also interesting to hear such great stories that SRC is involved in and the changes they are committed to making for the future of seniors in Colorado.  Attending the event made me thankful to be an intern at SRC and proud to say I am part of the agency.