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.


Foundation Continues Support of AAP Food Voucher Program

Apr 27, 2016

AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram — Food Samar­i­tans (AAP) announced today that the Auen Foun­da­tion recently awarded a $25,000 grant to the orga­ni­za­tion to sup­port its food voucher pro­gram for low-income Coachella Val­ley res­i­dents who suf­fer from HIV/AIDS and other chronic ill­nesses. This is the 17th con­sec­u­tive year that the Auen Foun­da­tion has sup­ported this program.

Since we began giv­ing to orga­ni­za­tions in the Coachella Val­ley, AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram – Food Samar­i­tans has stood out as an orga­ni­za­tion that ful­fills a basic need for some of our community’s most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Our entire grant directly sup­ports client ser­vice, not admin­is­tra­tion costs. And because AAP receives a 6 per­cent dis­count from Stater Broth­ers off the value of the pur­chased food vouch­ers, our grant is effec­tively val­ued at 106 percent.”

AIDS Assis­tance Pro­gram – Food Samar­i­tans was founded in 1991 to help the most at-risk mem­bers of the Greater Palm Springs com­mu­nity – peo­ple who are low-income and com­pro­mised by HIV/AIDS. It recently expanded its ser­vices to include peo­ple suf­fer­ing from can­cer, MS, heart or liver dis­ease, and other chronic ill­nesses. Its ongo­ing mis­sion is to ensure that all AAP clients can con­tinue to live their lives with dig­nity and self-respect.

This kind of long-term sup­port from the Auen Foun­da­tion is not only cru­cial to help­ing us con­tinue to fund AAP, but demon­strates the kind of com­mit­ted part­ner­ships that we have been for­tu­nate to forge over the last twenty five years,” said Mark Anton, CEO and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of AAP. “AAP does not receive fed­eral or state finan­cial assis­tance, so gen­er­ous pri­vate dona­tions like this allow us to con­tinue to sup­port the peo­ple who need it most.”

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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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