2017 A TASTE of CHARG @ SYNTAX.
The year began in celebration at a great Denver venue, SYNTAX Physic Opera. Owners Jonathan & Joy Bitz opened their doors to CHARG at a party hosted by Megan Devenport of the HEART Board (pictured left) and Alyssa Kopf of the Denver Foundation. Old-time donors & new friends raised a glass (or two) to CHARG. Among those that mosied up to the bar were Charles Chase III, Nelson & Bonita Bock, Dr. Fine & Sally Lewis, and a great surprise- a favorite intern from way back – Heather Cameron celebrating her birthday with us!
2016 SANTA’s ELVES
SErvice TO MAnkind is the name of the game with a volunteer group that brings a Jolly Old Elf to CHARG each year! The SERTOMA Club of Littleton makes HUGS & LOVE the order of the day. THANK YOU, SERTOMA ELVES, for making magic happen @ CHARG.
2016 MHA AWARD ~
CHARG Resource Center was honored as Organization of the Year by Mental Health Colorado at MHC’s tribute gala on October 22. David Burgess addressed the gathered guests while Andrew Romanoff, representing MHC, and CHARG co-presidents Victor Smith and Aron Williams looked on. “For more than 25 years, CHARG has delivered an innovative array of professional and peer-led services to adults with major mental illnesses.” CHEERS TO CHARG!!
2016 A TASTE of CHARG @ The Lumber Baron
Our annual celebration at the The Lumber Baron Inn featured board members Susan Delaney Rodger and Victor Smith speaking about the life-enhancing qualities of our community. “CHARG has saved my life”, Victor told the gathered guests. We were “unmasked” by Mental Health Colorado as “organization of the year” by Tom Barrett, president elect of the MHC board. Doug Linkhart, a member of the Friends@CHARG Honorary Council, raised his glass to CHARG during the brief program. Joel Bryant, the new owner/chef of the Lumber Baron, prepared a tasting menu that kept the guests going back for more! A special shout-out to our partnership sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck.
2016 COMMUNITY OUTREACH – Mental Health Month
Under the shade of a canopy, Aron Williams & Ty Smith invited passers-by to learn about mental illness and the services available at CHARG Resource Center. Several neighbors were lured into the clinic gardens for a free community BBQ . The month of May, designated for Mental Health Awareness, is just another month @ CHARG. We stay aware all year, in a community that lives with major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. The basic ingredient of all our months is HOPE that our support network stays strong. Thanks to our friends for getting us to 26 years & counting!
Among the give-aways at the community outreach event was a poem titled Consumers of Mental Health written by Freddy Bosco (pictured below), enjoying the BBQ with other CHARG community members.
Consumers of Mental Health
by FREDDY BOSCO
There, on the street
they walk, stiffly and with pain
from chemical strait jackets
worn from the inside out.
They, with mismatched outfits,
jarring the eye, and bodies swollen
from bad diets
they make their stand
with self-doubt and shame,
never knowing how tomorrow will come.
They are my brothers and sisters in recovery,
afllicted unfairly and smiling bravely,
vulnerable to just the sort of kindness
that comes so rarely
to bless them in their discomfort.
“Those the gods would destroy,”
Sophocles wrote, “first they make mad.”
2016 FRIENDS @ CHARG BREAKFAST
Many of our friends and supporters rose to the ocassion & shone their lights on mental health bright & early at the FRIENDS @ CHARG 5th ANNUAL BREAKFAST. Special THANKS to Thrivent Lutheran & St. John’s Cathedral. It takes a village to pull off such an event at that early hour! Among the morning luminaries were Honorary Council Members: Jeannie Ritter, Shayne Grannum (pictured with CHARG Board member Cathy Williams), Steve Huff, Jim Laurie, Allen Fine, and Donna Deteau. Thank you EVERYONE!
2016 SHE’S BACK!
Jennifer Miller is back at the helm of the DROP-IN Center after almost two years away. Her return as Drop-In Coordinator has been like a healing potion for this community after the untimely death of Josi Stewart. During her time away, she received the SPIRIT of CHARG award for RECOVERY in recognition of her overcoming the challenges of her mental illness. Unfortunately, her return to Denver came with the realization that affordable housing was a thing of the past. The salary budgeted for her position was not going to be enough to cover her cost of living. She had given up her car and most of her worldly belongings to live with a disabled aunt in Georgia. For almost two years, she lived apart from her Colorado support system. This proved the biggest challenge to Jen as she counts the safety & comfort of a community as necessary to her RECOVERRY. CHARG is organizing a Crowdfunding Campaign to help her financially until the new fiscal year begins and a higher salary can be allocated. She is pictured with David Burgess & Margie Carlin at her going-away party in 2014. Welcome back, Jen!
2015 APA AWARD!
The American Psychiatric Association award received by CHARG reads, “In recognition of CHARG’s role as a pioneer in consumer-centered care & its provision as a full-scale comprehensive psychiatric/mental health center using a unique model of including patient consumers as equal operating partners….” Laura Michaels, David Burgess, Margie Carlin & Barbara Quarton with APA award at A TASTE of CHARG, Oct. 2015
A TASTE of CHARG (more photos)
2015 FRIENDS @ CHARG BREAKFAST
On a clear & bright April morning, over 100 friends of CHARG Resource Center gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and to induct new members to the Honorary Council. The featured speaker was a CHARG clinic client. She brought the crowd to its feet with her eloquence, humor and courage. In telling her story, it became apparent she has found a home at CHARG, a place where her dignity and personality are not compromised as she faces the challenges of her mental health.
The occasion was the 4th annual Friends @ CHARG breakfast. Representing the HEART Board of directors, Chrissie Hodges also spoke about her own challenges AND challenged the crowd to become advocates in the reduction of the stigma associated with mental illness. Both boards of directors were well represented at this annual fundraising breakfast where a party-like atmosphere brought together friends both old and new. New members of the Honorary Council are Donna Deteau, Jim Laurie, Jim & Jill Oder, and Zim Olson. Special thanks to St. John’s Cathedral for the inspiring venue. Until next year!
2015 Joint Boards/Staff Retreat
David Portillo and Christiano Sosa of The Denver Foundation (pictured below with David Burgess) were the keynote speakers
at the 2015 CHARG Retreat. A constituent engagement initiative and its implications for CHARG were discussed.
In addition, there was time for reflection: looking back & looking ahead. A lot of questions were asked. Some were answered.
The Denver Foundation was the recipient of the Spirit of CHARG award for transformation in 2014.
They have been at our side transforming how mental health services are delivered int the Mile Hi City for over 25 years!
As 2014 neared its end, CHARG Resource Center was uplifted by Santa’s annual visit, pictured above with Margie Carlin. Who can resist the jolly laugh & his bags of treats? As each “kid at heart” was called to receive their gift, smiles & hugs were the order of the day. This holiday tradition is brought to CHARG each year by our friends at the Sertoma Club of Littleton, “making life worthwhile through SERvice-TO–MAnkind”. Their buffet lunch, new clothes give-away, gift cards & goodie bags are the result of much behind-the-scenes organizing & fundraising. How can we express our gratitude to the SERTOMA elves who transform the Fellowship Hall at Our Savior’s into a holiday extravaganza ? Here’s a video-bucket full of smiles, followed by a written tribute from Freddy Bosco. With best wishes from our house to yours!
A Tribute to SERTOMA
by Freddy Bosco
Art is only made to be destroyed, but Santa comes bright and early today, bringing his wealth to all those who’ve been naughty or nice all year. Who does he reward with his blessings? Happily, his crew of helpers here, who call themselves Sertoma, furnish a raft of goodies and a simple feast for those of us who’ve gathered under the wings of Our Savior’s to party today.
The world we live in knows every kind of misfortune and disaster, but so long as we can celebrate Christmas, smiles will light our once-lonely faces and give us the gift of love this year, even more meaningful than years before.
We are all here for each other, Santa’s kids of all ages, and who is there so cold that they cannot share the good cheer of Christmas? Without further ado, let the festivities begin! Take it away, Santa!
It was a balmy 18th of September when CHARG luminaries gathered at the EXDO Events Center to celebrate CHARG@25! Sultry tunes were provided by BLUES, INC., the evening’s live entertainment. The birthday candle was lit by long-time CHARG board member Victor Smith, accompanied by his dog CRACKEL and Honorary Chairs Bill & Jeannie Ritter. The Master & Mistress of Ceremony were the dynamite duo of JEFF ZINN & CHRISSIE HODGES. It was a fun night with serious subjects addressed & amazing stories told. THANK YOU to all the donors, sponsors, and volunteers that made this event possible! A good time was had by all – and we raised $50,000. Great job, team!
CHARG@25: SHINING A LIGHT ON MENTAL HEALTH VIDEO
CHARG Resource Center is celebrating a Quarter Century of transforming how mental health services are delivered in Denver! Our BIG PARTY on Sept. 18th is a tribute to the Spirit of CHARG. The Honorary Chairs are Bill & Jeannie Ritter. The celebration will include live entertainment, a seated dinner, a silent auction, and MORE! Suggested attire: anything you own in hot pink & lots of bling!
From a clinic housed in an old Capitol Hill home, a drop-in center at Our Savior’s, and homeless outreach at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, CHARG has thrived with its many supporters and dedicated staff. THANK YOU for 25 years of success – we look forward to a future with good friends at our side!
OUR 25th YEAR ~ 2014 Month by Month
In January, we bid a bittersweet farewell to Jennifer Miller after 14 years as our Drop-In Center Coordinator. A full house gathered at The David Quarton Drop-In Center @ CHARG to wish her well and to thank her for all she’s done. Jennifer leaves behind a legacy of giving everyone first, second, and third chances. We miss you, Jen!
In February, the staff and boards gathered for a day-long retreat at the historic St. John of the Wilderness Cathedral. It was not a religious retreat but did provide time for inspiration & reflection. Featured speakers were Nate Rockitter and Jeff Zinn. Nate is a long-time advocate for training peers to deliver mental health services. Jeff, a familiar face around CHARG these days, brings a mindful approach to the recovery process.
In March, we cheered as Josi Stewart’s competent stewardship of the drop-in center became more & more evident. A capable leader whose gentle & soft-spoken manner packs a surprising punch, her four legged companion Ponyo has also won over many hearts.
In April, 100+ friends came for breakfast and we celebrated the
FRIENDS@CHARG Honorary Council inductees:
Craig Knippenberg, Tamera Ford,
Marcy Pierson, and Nate Rockitter.
A stellar crowd, indeed.
Josi Stewart stole the show with prepared words
that brought the crowd to its feet.
In May, we celebrated our many wonderful volunteers at our annual celebration. It is a wide cross-section of people that volunteer @ CHARG and we are richer for their presence. A special shout out to members of our boards! Thank you, students! A hip hip to all the kind citizens that share their gifts! U R US
CHEERS to long-time HEART board member TOM RATTY,
one of many volunteers recognized at CHARG’s
annual volunteer celebration, MAY 2014
(pictured at the WELCOME table of a recent wine tasting)
In June, we packed up the van and headed to the hills! CHARG’s annual trek to the mountains for overnight camping was just the ticket for summer fun. Hosted, in part, by our friend Jan ~ and attended by staff and consumers… who can’t wait for next year’s trip to yurt country. Special thanks to the sleeping bag wash-up crew!
In July, CHARG hosted a well attended SUMMER B-B-Q at the HEARTLAND CLINIC GARDEN. It was a hot event! Food was plentiful and so were the guests, as local drop-in centers came for lunch and a visit to CHARG. We sure know how to throw a party!
In August, plans got well under way for our 25th Anniversary CELEBRATION next month! SAVE THE DATE: Sept 18th from 6-9 pm!
In September, we celebrated! Great party, great food, great people!
In October, we looked at numbers! The audit report was accompanied by board training on “financials” that helped shine a little light on our bottom line.
In November, our annual holiday meal was back by popular demand. Was anyone left hungry?! A special shout-out to Margie Carlin & her volunteer brigade.
In December, SANTA & the SERTOMA elves brought great joy to all the “young at heart” at CHARG Resource Center. It was a wonderful end to another year of SHINING LIGHTS on MENTAL HEALTH!
2013 HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
At certain times of year, places where you spend regular hours are closed for the holidays. Staff are given time off to be with friends & family, and you are left with the aloneness of your existence. At certain times of year, with normal services suspended, the Heartland Clinic comes alive with aromas of special foods cooking and sounds of people gathered. These are not billable services. No one will write a chart note about what you do or say. It is a time of observance, the celebratory movement of the calendar from holiday to holiday. Easter Sunday. Independence Day. Thanksgiving. Christmas. With our most profound gratitude to Donna Deteau, for her time and generosity in turning CHARG into a home for the holidays. Your cooking rocks!
2013 CHANGING of the GUARD
CHARG Resource Center bid farewell to a beloved medical director with a well attended celebration at the Heartland Clinic. The CHARG Cooking Group prepared a gourmet luncheon with the finest ingredients, befitting Dr. Fine’s delectable taste. The coffee bar was especially popular. Dr. Fine was presented with many gifts, including a poem written for the occasion by Freddy Bosco, a few lines of which express the sentiments of all present: “We were treated capably by Alan Fine, a doctor who lived up to his oath and left us a stronger group, improved for his having cared for us”.
As the party drew to a close, CHARG’s new Medical Director, Dr. Jed Shapiro, posed for a photo with David Burgess and Dr. Fine. As he rode his bike off into the sunset, we all joined in wishing Dr. Fine a very smooth ride into his new endeavors – and the best of luck to Dr. Shapiro as he takes a turn at the helm.
2012 David Quarton Remembered
David Quarton’s plans to become a medical missionary ended when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It did not stop him in his tracks, however. He lived a long & full life advocating for the rights of the mentally ill. He helped establish CHARG Resource Center and pursued a new mission: helping others with mental illness live well in spite of their diagnosis. During his lifetime, David was a well-respected member of the mental health community. He testified before the Denver City Council on the rights of the mentally ill and before the Colorado Joint-Budget Committee on the rights of the disabled. He received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award in 1998 and was honored in 2000 by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless for his advocacy work. He was a tireless member of the CHARG board and, after his death, his contributions to the CHARG mission were recognized when he was named to the Friends@CHARG Honorary Council as a charter member. In addition, he received a posthumous award from the Colorado Cross-Disabilities Coaltion, accepted by his widow Barbara & David Burgess (pictured left).
In his younger years, David ran a mass spectrometry lab at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Massachusetts and earned a Masters in Physics. His love of science continued for his entire life. He was especially interested in the relationship between physics and religion, and was a prolific lecturer on the subject. Among his many qualities and contributions, however, David Quarton is especially remembered for his kindness. The Drop-In Center at CHARG was undergoing renovations toward the end of David’s life when he heard the news that it would be re-named in his honor. It was dedicated to his memory shortly after his death in 2011. His generous spirit continues to live there as people with diagnoses similar to his own come looking for a place to live their lives with dignity. Read Tribute by Susan Manning
David Burgess WINS AWARD!
David Burgess, Executive Director of CHARG Resource Center, received the William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities from the Colorado Non-Profit Association. There was strong representation of the CHARG community at the awards banquet. Members of the staff and boards posed for a keepsake photo with David and his proud family. Way to go, boss!