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 closes the gap on CVRM summer challenge

Aug 22, 2016

The Coachel­la Val­ley Res­cue Mis­sion met its first sum­mer fundrais­ing goal, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion. At the begin­ning of the sum­mer, the CVRM began an e-blast cam­paign titled “Open Your Heart 97 Day Chal­lenge.” The intent was to raise aware­ness of the scorch­ing sum­mer months that threat­en most of the Valley’s home­less and many impov­er­ished fam­i­lies.

After the mis­sion dis­trib­uted the first email about this com­mu­ni­ty chal­lenge, an anony­mous donor came for­ward with its own chal­lenge: if the CVRM raised $25,000, they would match it, which would quick­ly raise $50,000 for the shel­ter. Addi­tion­al donors met the chal­lenge up to $10,000, and then the e-mail mes­sage caught the atten­tion of Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. The pri­vate, fam­i­ly foun­da­tion agreed to con­tribute the remain­ing $15,000 that com­plet­ed the match­ing chal­lenge and helped the CVRM pre­pare for the hot sum­mer months ahead.

Each sum­mer, the mis­sion faces chal­lenges that come with extreme heat,” said Dar­la Bur­kett, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the CVRM. “A con­ver­sa­tion with Catharine about the e-blast and the match­ing grant brought com­pas­sion and a strong offer of help. CVRM and the com­mu­ni­ty we serve are sin­cere­ly grate­ful for the gen­eros­i­ty of the Auen Foun­da­tion and the oth­er donors that con­tributed to this suc­cess­ful fundrais­ing cam­paign.”

Dur­ing the first two months of sum­mer, funds raised by the $50,000 chal­lenge pro­vid­ed more than 46,000 meals, 15,250 bed nights of shel­ter, and kept 26 home­less chil­dren off the streets.

We love an oppor­tu­ni­ty to part­ner with oth­er donors and make a sig­nif­i­cant impact quick­ly,” said Reed.

As Sum­mer 2016 hit record tem­per­a­tures and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the CVRM went out in the com­mu­ni­ty look­ing for men, women and chil­dren still on the streets, they con­tin­ued the “Open Your Heart 97 Day Chal­lenge” through August.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is always a need to serve our community’s home­less, said Bur­kett. “We may help one fam­i­ly off the streets just as anoth­er is faced with unfore­seen cir­cum­stances. In the sum­mer, com­mu­ni­ty needs and costs are great­ly increased, yet dona­tions gen­er­al­ly decrease, so we have to make an extra effort this time of year to ensure that our orga­ni­za­tion con­tin­ues to ful­fill its mis­sion of serv­ing those in need.”

Found­ed in 1971, and locat­ed at 47470 Van Buren St. in Indio, the CVRM feeds, shel­ters, and cares for more than 250 clients each night. A 24-hour hot and cold weath­er shel­ter, pro­vides refuge from extreme weath­er con­di­tions. To find out more about the Coachel­la Val­ley Res­cue Mis­sion, call 760–347-3512 or vis­it www.cvrm.org.

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Grant Supports Dental Health for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Jul 26, 2016

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) received a $25,000 grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion to pro­vide den­tal care to low-income seniors liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. The Auen Foun­da­tion grant was award­ed to D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic. Found­ed in 2008, the clin­ic has had an ongo­ing wait­ing list, and serves patients liv­ing at or below 400 per­cent of the fed­er­al pover­ty lev­el.

Most patients come to us after years and years with­out den­tal care and require inten­sive treat­ment plans requir­ing many vis­its to achieve sta­ble oral health,” said David Brinkman, CEO of D.A.P. “Although we recent­ly added staff to bet­ter accom­mo­date our long wait­ing list, we were still in need of sup­plies. The grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion will sup­port this, and help us com­plete com­plex den­tal plans for our local res­i­dents in need in a time­ly man­ner.”

Last fall, D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic added a sec­ond full-time den­tist. With 1.2 FTE hygien­ists and sup­port staff, the clin­ic has already served 736 indi­vid­u­als this year putting the clin­ic on track to pro­vide den­tal care to a record num­ber of patients in 2016.

D.A.P. is pro­vid­ing a crit­i­cal ser­vice that is not eas­i­ly found,” said Catharine Reed, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cat­ed to enhanc­ing the over­all qual­i­ty of life of the aging pop­u­la­tion. “Many sur­vivors of HIV are now in their senior years, on a lim­it­ed income, and many do not have den­tal insur­ance. D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic will help these sur­vivors main­tain good oral health, which is nec­es­sary for their long-term health.”

About 60 per­cent of the clients seen at D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic are at least 50-years-old, and most of them are long-time sur­vivors who have bat­tled HIV/AIDS for more than 20 years. The extend­ed life expectan­cy for HIV/AIDS has brought about a chal­lenge for those aging with the con­di­tion. Old­er peo­ple and those diag­nosed in late stages need a much high­er degree of care.

D.A.P. serves our com­mu­ni­ty with pri­ma­ry and HIV-spe­cial­ty ser­vices, includ­ing med­ical care, case man­age­ment, and social ser­vices, includ­ing food, hous­ing, and coun­sel­ing. D.A.P. also pro­vides HIV pre­ven­tion edu­ca­tion and free and con­fi­den­tial HIV test­ing at dozens of com­mu­ni­ty test sites and events through its Get Test­ed Coachel­la Val­ley cam­paign. The non­prof­it also offers The DOCK, a sex­u­al health clin­ic, whose ser­vices include STD test­ing and treat­ment; PEP & PrEP edu­ca­tion and refer­ral to treat­ment; free and con­fi­den­tial HIV test­ing; and well woman exams. With new advances in treat­ment, improved access to care through health reform and new pre­ven­tion tech­nol­o­gy, D.A.P. is com­mit­ted to bring­ing the HIV epi­dem­ic to an end. For more infor­ma­tion about any of D.A.P.’s ser­vices, call 760–323-2118, vis­it www.desertaidsproject.org.

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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.