The Auen Foundation

News


The Auen Foun­da­tion part­ners with many orga­ni­za­tions year-round. Find out about our recently funded projects.  For other news items, please visit our News Archive page.


Auen Foundation Grant to Deliver Produce to Valley Seniors

Jan 14, 2016

With nutri­tious meals essen­tial to a healthy life, the Auen Foun­da­tion is pro­vid­ing a $50,000 grant to FIND Food Bank in sup­port of its sig­na­ture pro­gram, Project Pro­duce. The pro­gram pro­vides fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles to local res­i­dents in need of food assistance.

There is a vital rela­tion­ship between healthy eat­ing and a person’s well-being,” said Lisa Hous­ton, Pres­i­dent and CEO of FIND (Food in Need of Dis­tri­b­u­tion). “This gen­er­ous gift from the Auen Foun­da­tion will help deliver healthy, nutri­tious fruits and veg­eta­bles to our area’s seniors and oth­ers in need. Food secu­rity is essen­tial to a person’s phys­i­cal and men­tal health. Dona­tions to FIND are truly life-changing and life-improving.”

The Auen Foun­da­tion gift will pro­vide approx­i­mately 416,000 pounds of fresh pro­duce through­out 2016. FIND col­lects and stores donated food and works with 100+ other community-based part­ners that dis­trib­ute food directly to res­i­dents through neigh­bor­hood pantries, soup kitchens, low-income hous­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and home­less shel­ters. Through Project Pro­duce, FIND sup­ports part­ners that serve our senior res­i­dents via (free!) farm­ers’ mar­kets that encour­age par­tic­i­pants to make their own healthy selections.

Fresh pro­duce is a life­line for peo­ple – espe­cially seniors – who need nutri­tious food to con­tribute to their over­all qual­ity of life,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foundation.

Not wor­ry­ing about where a next meal will come from allows peo­ple to focus on other impor­tant aspects of life, and means they will not have to choose between buy­ing med­ica­tion or healthy food,” said Sher­rie Auen, Pro­gram Direc­tor of the Auen Foundation.

Draw­ing on the USDA’s “My Plate” rec­om­men­da­tions, Project Pro­duce ensures that at least half of the food dis­trib­uted through FIND is in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Healthy food, includ­ing fresh pro­duce, comes at a sig­nif­i­cant cost,” said Hous­ton. “That’s why com­mu­nity sup­port, like that of the Auen Foun­da­tion, is so important.”

FIND and its part­ner agen­cies dis­trib­ute 10+ mil­lion pounds of food annu­ally to an aver­age 90,000 peo­ple each month. About 6 mil­lion pounds of the annual dis­tri­b­u­tion is highly per­ish­able fresh pro­duce, adding to a high cost of cold stor­age and reli­able trans­porta­tion, which the Auen Foun­da­tion grant will help offset.

For more infor­ma­tion about FIND Food Bank, located in Indio, visit FINDFoodBank.org or call 760–775-3663.

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Auen Foundation and Palm Springs International Film Festival Partnership Enriches the Lives of Local Seniors

Dec 28, 2015

 

Peo­ple are often curi­ous about what goes on behind the scenes at the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. They want to know what it takes to present more than 180 films from 60 coun­tries in more than 450 sep­a­rate screen­ing events for an enthu­si­as­tic audi­ence of more than 135,000. The answer: vol­un­teers. More than 700 vol­un­teers con­tribute their time and tal­ents every year.

The Auen Foun­da­tion is sup­port­ing this effort with a $25,000 grant to the Festival’s Senior and Active Retire­ment Pro­grams, which aid in the recruit­ment, train­ing, man­age­ment and reten­tion of many of the festival’s volunteers.

Seniors con­tinue to enthu­si­as­ti­cally embrace the vol­un­teer oppor­tu­ni­ties at both fes­ti­vals and year-round,” said Har­riet Baron, Direc­tor of Devel­op­ment for the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Soci­ety, which pro­duces both the Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in Jan­u­ary and the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest in June. “The extent to which they have con­tributed to our orga­ni­za­tion is incalculable.”

Prior to the Fes­ti­val, vol­un­teers assist the small, year-round staff by answer­ing phones, per­form­ing cler­i­cal func­tions, dis­trib­ut­ing posters and rack cards and cat­a­logu­ing films in the pro­gram­ming depart­ment. Once the City’s pre­mier event is under­way, a com­plex sched­ul­ing sys­tem ensures that vol­un­teers are tak­ing tick­ets at every screen­ing, count­ing bal­lots for the Audi­ence Awards, wel­com­ing guests at Fes­ti­val par­ties and spe­cial events and mak­ing every­one feel like a VIP at the Awards Gala.

We sin­cerely thank the Auen Foun­da­tion for sup­port­ing this essen­tial pro­gram, which ensures our senior vol­un­teers are uti­lized effi­ciently and are truly made a part of the team that helps run a suc­cess­ful film fes­ti­val,” said Dar­ryl Mac­don­ald, Exec­u­tive and Fes­ti­val Director.

In addi­tion to the Auen Foundation’s sup­port of the vol­un­teer pro­gram, the grant also par­tially under­writes the dis­tri­b­u­tion of free screen­ing tick­ets and the Festival’s free shut­tle ser­vice, which is huge ben­e­fit for local seniors. Baron said the major­ity of the view­ing audi­ences are com­prised of local seniors, and retired, active adults also con­tribute to the large out-of-town group business.

Trans­porta­tion is often an issue for seniors on fixed incomes, many of whom can­not drive,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “The part­ner­ship with the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val enriches the lives of our local seniors by pro­vid­ing them more access to this world-class event.”

The 27th annual Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, one of the largest film fes­ti­vals in North Amer­ica, runs Jan­u­ary 1–11, 2016. The Awards Gala, held on Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 2, hon­ors cin­e­matic achieve­ments from some of Hollywood’s most cel­e­brated tal­ents. For more infor­ma­tion about the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val or how to vol­un­teer, visit www.psfilmfest.org or call 760–322-2930 or 800–898-7256.

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Auen Foundation awards grant for food voucher program

Apr 10, 2015

The Auen Foun­da­tion awarded a $20,000 grant to AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram (AAP) in sup­port of its food voucher pro­gram. The Auen Foun­da­tion has sup­ported AAP since 1999, and AAP is one of the first Coachella Val­ley non-profits that the Foun­da­tion ever funded.

The rea­son AAP exists is to pro­vide nutri­tional sup­port to our clients, and we couldn’t do it with­out the ongo­ing sup­port of the Auen Foun­da­tion,” says Mark Anton, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of AAP. “Our orga­ni­za­tion receives no fed­eral or state assis­tance; there­fore, we greatly appre­ci­ate their gen­er­ous dona­tion in sup­port of crit­i­cal client services.”

Estab­lished in 1992, the Auen Foun­da­tion is ded­i­cated to enhanc­ing the over­all qual­ity of life of the aging pop­u­la­tion and rais­ing aware­ness of the pre­cious end-of-life stage. The Foun­da­tion sup­ports char­i­ta­ble pro­grams and ser­vices aimed at meet­ing the social needs of mature adults and their families.

We truly admire AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram, and love the work they do for the com­mu­nity,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “For peo­ple liv­ing with HIV and AIDS, access to healthy food means one less thing for them to worry about. We applaud the efforts of AAP and the many other part­ners involved in this impor­tant program.”

Since its found­ing in 1991, AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram of Palm Springs remains ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing nutri­tional sup­port to improve the qual­ity of the lives of peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. Ini­ti­ated by a small group of con­cerned cit­i­zens led by the late Glo­ria Greene and Jean­nette Rock­e­feller, AAP pro­vides food vouch­ers to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity with low incomes. For more infor­ma­tion, please call 760/325‑8481 or visit aidsassistance.org.

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Partnership with Palm Springs International Film Festival Enriches the Lives of Local Seniors

Dec 26, 2014

The Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val will roll out the red car­pet on Jan­u­ary 2, but before then vol­un­teers are work­ing tire­lessly behind the scenes to ensure all details are in place. By the time inter­na­tional media is report­ing celebrity sight­ings at local haunts, more than 600 vol­un­teers will be in place to help orches­trate one of the largest film fes­ti­vals in North America.

The Auen Foun­da­tion is sup­port­ing this effort with a $25,000 grant to the Festival’s Senior and Active Retire­ment Pro­gram, which aids in the recruit­ment, train­ing, man­age­ment and reten­tion of many of the festival’s volunteers.

Our vol­un­teers are some­what the unsung heroes of our fes­ti­vals,” said Har­riet Baron, Direc­tor of Devel­op­ment for the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Soci­ety, which pro­duces both the Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in Jan­u­ary and the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest in June. “Most of them are retired res­i­dents and snow­birds, and many are in their 10th or 20th year of help­ing us make the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val the world-renowned event that it is.”

Prior to the Fes­ti­val, vol­un­teers assist the small, year-round staff by answer­ing phones, per­form­ing cler­i­cal func­tions, dis­trib­ut­ing posters and rack cards and cat­a­logu­ing films in the pro­gram­ming depart­ment. Once the City’s pre­mier event is under­way, a com­plex sched­ul­ing sys­tem ensures that vol­un­teers are tak­ing tick­ets at every screen­ing, count­ing bal­lots for the Audi­ence Awards, wel­com­ing guests at Fes­ti­val par­ties and spe­cial events and mak­ing every­one feel like a VIP at the Awards Gala.

We sin­cerely thank the Auen Foun­da­tion for sup­port­ing this essen­tial pro­gram, which ensures our senior vol­un­teers are uti­lized effi­ciently and are truly made a part of the team that helps run a suc­cess­ful film fes­ti­val,” said Dar­ryl Mac­don­ald, Exec­u­tive and Fes­ti­val Director.

In addi­tion to the Auen Foundation’s sup­port of the vol­un­teer pro­gram, the grant also par­tially under­writes the dis­tri­b­u­tion of free screen­ing tick­ets and the Festival’s free shut­tle ser­vice, which is huge ben­e­fit for local seniors.

Even with the Fes­ti­val at five area venues, trans­porta­tion is often an issue for seniors on fixed incomes, many of whom can­not drive,” said Catharine Reed, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “The part­ner­ship with the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val enriches the lives of our local seniors by pro­vid­ing them more access to this world-class event.”

The 26th annual Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val runs Jan­u­ary 2–12, 2015, wel­com­ing about 135,000 atten­dees and screen­ing more than 192 fea­ture films and doc­u­men­taries from 65 coun­tries. The Awards Gala, held on Jan­u­ary 3, hon­ors cin­e­matic achieve­ments from some of Hollywood’s most cel­e­brated tal­ents. For more infor­ma­tion about the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val or how to vol­un­teer, visit www.psfilmfest.org or call 760–322-2930 or 800–898-7256.

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Auen Foundation Presents 50th Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade

Aug 6, 2014

The Auen Foun­da­tion will be the Pre­sent­ing Spon­sor of the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade’s golden anniver­sary this Octo­ber. This is the sev­enth year that the Auen Foun­da­tion is spon­sor­ing the famously fun Parade.

The Auen Foundation’s gift sup­ports a free, mostly shaded senior seat­ing area for the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade, which orig­i­nated in the early 60s. The orig­i­nal parade was orga­nized by sev­eral indi­vid­u­als who just wanted to have fun. Today, it has grown to more than 100 whim­si­cally dec­o­rated golf carts, bands and dance groups, strolling down the beau­ti­ful El Paseo cor­ri­dor and cel­e­brat­ing the Valley’s unique golfer’s paradise.

On Sun­day, Octo­ber 26, 2014 the tra­di­tion con­tin­ues with our 50th Annual Parade, pre­sented by the Auen Foun­da­tion with the “Palm Desert on Parade – Through the Decades” theme: 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s & Today. Entry forms are avail­able online at www.golfcartparade.com

We are hon­ored and thrilled that the Auen Foun­da­tion is sup­port­ing the Golf Cart Parade again,” says Mike Hardin, Lock Shop and 2014 Chair­man of the Golf Cart Parade. “This is a his­toric year for the parade, with the sup­port from the City of Palm Desert, the Palm Desert Cham­ber of Com­merce as Title Spon­sors and the Auen Foun­da­tion as Pre­sent­ing Spon­sor. There truly is some­thing for every­one at the event, and we couldn’t be hap­pier about the fes­tiv­i­ties on our golden anniver­sary. We invite the entire Coachella Val­ley to come on out for a great day – or bet­ter yet – plan to be in the parade!”

The City of Palm Desert and the Five-Star Palm Desert Area Cham­ber of Com­merce con­tinue to be the Title Spon­sors of the event. The all-day fes­tiv­i­ties include the inter­ac­tive children’s area on Lark­spur, VIP Main Street seats, cart show, Palm Desert Rotary pan­cake break­fast and even more!

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Heart Association Program Reduces Blood Pressure

Jun 20, 2014

The Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion Coachella Val­ley Divi­sion Get to Goal hyper­ten­sion man­age­ment pro­gram led to a decrease in par­tic­i­pant blood pres­sure lev­els and an increase in knowl­edge about heart dis­ease. Most impor­tantly, by the end of the 4-month project, there was a decrease in the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants who were con­sid­ered hyper­ten­sive. The asso­ci­a­tion recently ver­i­fied the program’s findings.

The pro­gram ran at the Coachella Senior Cen­ter and Indio Senior Cen­ter between Octo­ber, 2013 and Feb­ru­ary, 2014. Par­tic­i­pants mea­sured their blood pres­sure a min­i­mum of twice per month over the 4-month period with test­ing machines that were installed at each cen­ter. Par­tic­i­pants also took part in a series of edu­ca­tional work­shops, which pro­vided infor­ma­tion about heart dis­ease, stroke, and healthy living.

Over the 4-month period, sig­nif­i­cant changes in par­tic­i­pant blood pres­sure read­ings were observed at both sites. At Indio Senior Cen­ter, par­tic­i­pants low­ered their sys­tolic blood pres­sure by an aver­age of 9.3 mmHg and their dias­tolic by 5.3 mmHg. At Coachella Senior Cen­ter, par­tic­i­pants low­ered their sys­tolic blood pres­sure by an aver­age of 9.8 mmHg and their dias­tolic by 3.3 mmHg.

In addi­tion, 76% of par­tic­i­pants improved their knowl­edge about heart dis­ease, stroke, and asso­ci­ated risk fac­tors as mea­sured using a pre– and post-test knowl­edge acqui­si­tion survey.

This is the Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion mis­sion at work,” said Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion and Amer­i­can Stroke Asso­ci­a­tion Coachella Val­ley Divi­sion Board Chair-elect Steve Weiss. “By reduc­ing hyper­ten­sion, we are reduc­ing a major risk fac­tor for heart dis­ease and stroke.”

The Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion Coachella Val­ley Get to Goal pro­gram was made pos­si­ble by fund­ing from the Auen Foundation.

We are happy to sup­port this pro­gram that encour­ages seniors to take con­trol of their own health,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Office for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “It’s excit­ing to see the suc­cess par­tic­i­pants had in a short amount of time, which demon­strates that edu­ca­tion and resources can make a dif­fer­ence in people’s lives.” # # #

Auen Foundation Supports Intergenerational Program

Apr 18, 2014

The Auen Foun­da­tion recently awarded a grant to the Read­ing Inspires Stu­dent Excel­lence (RISE) Inter­gen­er­a­tional Pro­gram at Sunny Sands Ele­men­tary School. The RISE Inter­gen­er­a­tional Pro­gram serves about 80 at-risk and Eng­lish Lan­guage Learner stu­dents five days a week, three hours a day. Men­tors and stu­dents read together and test read­ing com­pre­hen­sion on com­puter software.

The pro­gram, which has been going strong for more than 23 years, includes about 50 senior vol­un­teers whose life expe­ri­ences and exper­tise add to the dynamic inter­per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion that hap­pens between the two very dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions. The Auen Foun­da­tion grant helped expand the use of tech­nol­ogy in the pro­gram by adding new lap­top computers.

The inclu­sion of tech­nol­ogy in the pro­gram pro­vides stu­dents with the knowl­edge to suc­ceed in the work­place and in life. Stu­dents gain con­fi­dence when their read­ing and tech­nol­ogy skills improve,” said Karen Galindo, the program’s admin­is­tra­tor. “It also helps keep our senior vol­un­teers in-touch with inno­va­tions in tech­nol­ogy and edu­ca­tion, empow­er­ing them as com­mu­nity mentors.”

In addi­tion to train­ing and coor­di­nat­ing the com­mu­nity vol­un­teers who pair-up with strug­gling read­ers, Galindo, a cer­ti­fied teacher, plus a part-time para­pro­fes­sional work with Eng­lish Lan­guage Learn­ers and stu­dents who are test­ing low in read­ing to improve their flu­ency and com­pre­hen­sion skills.

The stu­dents are will­ing to give up their recesses to work with men­tors,” said Ann Carter, who has vol­un­teered at Sunny Sands Ele­men­tary for five years. “You can see the sat­is­fac­tion on the stu­dents’ faces when their read­ing improves. The pro­gram is priceless.”

This is the most reward­ing pro­gram you could pos­si­bly imag­ine for stu­dents and men­tors,” said Frank Kulp, a 91-year-old vol­un­teer who has been with the pro­gram for 21 years.

With the Auen Foundation’s ded­i­ca­tion to enhanc­ing the over­all qual­ity of life of the aging pop­u­la­tion and sup­port­ing char­i­ta­ble pro­grams aimed at meet­ing the social needs of mature adults, this pro­gram was a nat­ural fit.

When seniors have an out­let to share their knowl­edge and skills, and they see that they can still have an impact on soci­ety, it is reward­ing and inspir­ing,” said Catharine Reed, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foundation.

With the Auen Foundation’s com­mit­ment of $15,000, Regional Access Project (RAP) Foun­da­tion matched it to ful­fill Sunny Sands’ full request for 20 new Mac­Book Pros plus a mobile stor­age cart. Both grants were awarded to the Pin­na­cle Fund, which recently changed its name to The Foun­da­tion for the Palm Springs Uni­fied School Dis­trict. The funds were then promptly dis­bursed to pur­chase the new equipment.

The RISE Inter­gen­er­a­tional Pro­gram is always look­ing for vol­un­teers of all ages to help stu­dents 1st-5th grade improve their read­ing. For more infor­ma­tion about get­ting involved, call Sunny Sands Ele­men­tary at (760) 770‑8635.

Funds Will Support AAP’s Critical Client Services

Mar 18, 2014

The Auen Foun­da­tion has awarded a $20,000 grant to AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram (AAP) in sup­port of the organization’s food voucher pro­gram. The Auen Foun­da­tion began its sup­port of AAP in 1999, and the orga­ni­za­tion was one of the first in the Coachella Val­ley that the Foun­da­tion ever funded.

Our main pri­or­ity is to pro­vide nutri­tional sup­port to our clients, and we couldn’t do it with­out our ongo­ing part­ner­ship with the Auen Foun­da­tion,” says Mark Anton, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of AAP. “Dona­tions begin to slow as we move into the sum­mer months, so this gen­er­ous dona­tion has come at just the right time.”

Estab­lished in 1992, The Auen Foun­da­tion is ded­i­cated to enhanc­ing the over­all qual­ity of life of the aging pop­u­la­tion and rais­ing aware­ness of the precious-end-of-life stage. The Foun­da­tion sup­ports char­i­ta­ble pro­grams and ser­vices aimed at meet­ing the social needs of mature adults and their families.

Through AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram, we know that we are improv­ing the qual­ity of people’s lives,” says Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “We have watched the food voucher pro­gram grow with the sup­port of its many part­ners, and we are proud to be one of them.”

Since its found­ing in 1991, AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram of Palm Springs remains ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing nutri­tional sup­port to improve the qual­ity of the lives of peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. Ini­ti­ated by a small group of con­cerned cit­i­zens led by the late Glo­ria Greene and Jean­nette Rock­e­feller, AAP pro­vides food to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity with low incomes. For more infor­ma­tion, please call 760/325‑8481 or visit aidsassistance.org.

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Auen Foundation Grant Supports Senior Volunteers at Palm Springs International Film Festival

Dec 31, 2013

Cel­e­brat­ing 25 years, orga­niz­ers of the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val attribute much of the event’s suc­cess to vol­un­teers that work tire­lessly through the hol­i­days. Hun­dreds of them will do it again – many for their 10th or 20th year – in time to roll out the red car­pet for open­ing night Jan­u­ary 3. A $25,000 grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion helps to fund the recruit­ment, train­ing, man­age­ment and reten­tion of nearly 600 vol­un­teers that are part of the Festival’s Senior and Active Retire­ment Program.

To say that our vol­un­teers are an invalu­able resource is quite an under­state­ment,” said Har­riet Baron, Direc­tor of Devel­op­ment for the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Soci­ety, which pro­duces both the Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in Jan­u­ary and the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest, which is held in June.

Prior to the Fes­ti­val, vol­un­teers assist the small, year-round staff by answer­ing phones, per­form­ing cler­i­cal func­tions, dis­trib­ut­ing posters and rack cards and in the pro­gram­ming depart­ment, cat­a­logu­ing entries. Once the City’s pre­mier event is under­way, a com­plex sched­ul­ing sys­tem ensures that vol­un­teers are tak­ing tick­ets at every screen­ing, count­ing bal­lots for the Audi­ence Awards, wel­com­ing guests at Fes­ti­val par­ties and spe­cial events and mak­ing every­one feel like a VIP at the Awards Gala. For the third year, Rochelle Koch is return­ing as a mem­ber of the sea­sonal staff serv­ing as the Fes­ti­val Vol­un­teer Coordinator.

Although they are sea­sonal posi­tions, in the months lead­ing up to the Fes­ti­val and, of course while it’s ongo­ing, our Vol­un­teer Coor­di­na­tor and her assis­tant are two of the busiest peo­ple on staff, with a vol­un­teer corps of over 600 ded­i­cated vol­un­teers to assem­ble and train,” said Dar­ryl Mac­don­ald, Exec­u­tive and Fes­ti­val Direc­tor of both fes­ti­vals. “We deeply appre­ci­ate the sup­port of an astute fun­der such as the Auen Foun­da­tion. They not only under­stand the impor­tance of vol­un­teers in the day-to-day oper­a­tion of the Fes­ti­vals, they also rec­og­nize the essen­tial role of the Vol­un­teer Coordinator.”

The Auen Foun­da­tion grant is applied to the Vol­un­teer Pro­gram and also par­tially under­writes the dis­tri­b­u­tion of free screen­ing tick­ets to local seniors.

The free tick­ets and the Festival’s free shut­tle bus pro­vide our local seniors more access to this world-class event,” said Catharine Reed, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Even with the Fes­ti­val at five area the­atres, trans­porta­tion is often an issue for seniors on fixed incomes, many of whom can­not drive. We are happy to see this part­ner­ship with the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val enrich­ing the lives of our senior neighbors.”

The 25th annual Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val runs Jan­u­ary 3–13, 2014, screen­ing more than 187 films from 60 coun­tries. The Awards Gala, hon­or­ing the year’s cin­e­matic achieve­ments both in front and behind the cam­era, will again wel­come some of Hollywood’s most cel­e­brated tal­ents. For more infor­ma­tion about the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val or how to vol­un­teer visit www.psfilmfest.org or call 760–322-2930 or 800–898-7256.

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Auen Foundation and USC Davis School of Gerontology Partnership Continues to Revolutionize DNA Research

Nov 20, 2013

USC ResearchersA recent grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion allowed the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Davis School of Geron­tol­ogy to pur­chase essen­tial research equip­ment, which will assist the biol­ogy team as it unrav­els details about dis­eases that affect older adults.

The Real-Time qPCR, also known as the DNA copy­ing machine, allows researchers and research assis­tants, many of whom are stu­dents, to cre­ate model sys­tems to deter­mine how envi­ron­men­tal changes influ­ence gene changes. This tech­nique, called poly­merase chain reac­tion (PCR), earned its cre­ators a Nobel Prize for Chem­istry in 1993. PCR maps the human genome, allow­ing researchers to pre­cisely quan­tify the num­ber of copies of genes in a par­tic­u­lar bio­log­i­cal sample.

This grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion is not only a gift to our pro­gram, but it is a gift to mankind as we unlock secrets that could help peo­ple live longer, more pro­duc­tive lives,” said Pin­chas Cohen, M.D.
Dean, USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Our nearly two-decades-old part­ner­ship with the USC Davis School of Geron­tol­ogy is extremely impor­tant to us,” said Catharine Reed, Auen Foun­da­tion Pro­gram Offi­cer. “The research and find­ings dis­cov­ered at the school help us ful­fill the foundation’s mis­sion to enhance the lives of the elderly.”

The grant also sup­plied the lab with a new Cell Cul­ture Incu­ba­tor, which allows researchers to con­trol the oxy­gen lev­els to that inside a human body. This process allows for a more accu­rate pic­ture of how cells nat­u­rally grow and reproduce.

This equip­ment is as essen­tial to a lab as a door­knob,” said Caleb “Tuck” Finch, Ph.D. Pro­fes­sor of Geron­tol­ogy and Bio­log­i­cal Sci­ence at USC Davis School of Geron­tol­ogy. “Aging is a com­plex bio­log­i­cal process that is influ­enced by both genes and the envi­ron­ment. With the Real-Time qPCR and the incu­ba­tors now in place, our biol­ogy fac­ulty, researchers and research assis­tants are able to more accu­rately pre­dict sus­cep­ti­bil­i­ties to many age-related diseases.”

The new equip­ment will enhance the university’s research into the causes and poten­tial treat­ments for dis­eases includ­ing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Founded in 1975, the USC Davis School of Geron­tol­ogy is the old­est and largest school of its type in the world. It offers a com­pre­hen­sive selec­tion of geron­tol­ogy degree pro­grams with ongo­ing research on aging. For more infor­ma­tion about the USC Davis School of Geron­tol­ogy or its research, visit www.gero.usc.edu or call
(213) 740‑5156.
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