Summit County’s Timberline Adult Services holds annual fundraiser |

Summit County’s Timberline Adult Services holds annual fundraiser

From left, LaVaughn Hanson, who estimated her age at something over 90, digests some game strategy from Timberland director Candace Barnes.
Greg Ellison / |

Candace Barnes understands the importance of helping people that others tend to ignore.

She moved to Summit County 13 years ago to operate the Timberline Adult Day Services, a local nonprofit offering daytime care for adults with a variety of physical and mental challenges.

“I was hired to run Timberline and I’m still here with a smile on my face,” she said.

The nonprofit will host its annual fundraiser on Dec. 12 at the Summit Community and Senior Center. Barnes said that without alternative sources of funding Timberline would likely discontinue services.

“We would have went belly up without support,” she said.

Timberline board member Shelly Michell, who helped launch the nonprofit in 2003, said insurance and health code requirements make the venture challenging. Without financial assistance from an array of sources she said the doors would likely have closed long ago.

Although the bulk of participants are Medicaid recipients, Michell noted that private insurers typically don’t cover adult daycare.

“The cost of doing that type of business is quite tough due to government regulations,” she said. “The fee for services doesn’t come close to the cost of providing services.”

Barnes is thankful for the ongoing support the group has received from Summit County, the Summit Seniors and The Summit Foundation. Along with a number of local businesses and philanthropic minded residents, the combined efforts have allowed Timberline to continue addressing a community need.

“We still struggle because 90 percent of participants are on Medicaid and we receive $30.88 for 3 to 5 hours of care,” she explained.


When Timberline first launched the mission was to help senior citizens in the community.

“When we introduced the idea we assumed it would be primarily for seniors with health issues that their family is unable to deal with by themselves at home,” Michell said.

It quickly became obvious the need was not limited to one generation. So Barnes said the strategy was adjusted accordingly.

“When I opened the doors we found they had missed a whole pocket of participants,” she said.

The women discovered a host of non-seniors with physical, mental and emotional challenges who Timberline could positively impact.

“We found a lot of people with mixed diagnoses who needed care,” Michell said.


The motto at Timberline is “where friends gather,” and even a cursory visit during their service week provides ample evidence of the bonds formed. Michell said the tagline epitomizes the group.

“It’s amazing that people with such diverse challenges become family,” she said. “When someone is unable to come, everyone asks where they are.”

There might be a few more questions in that vein as longtime group member Jeff Harlow bid farewell to his Timberline cohorts last week in anticipation of relocating to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“This is my last day here because I’ve got to help pack the house,” he said. “We’re moving in a few weeks.”

Harlow, who has managed schizoeffective disorder since the age of 17, has been a regular at Timberline for the last seven years. He appreciates the camaraderie and opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities, including life skills training, field trips and art projects.

“It’s a great place to begin new friendships and try to figure out how you can plug in,” he said. “You can never really be bored here.”

During his time with the group, Barnes said she witnessed Harlow come out of his shell. The formerly withdrawn Harlow now holds down a volunteer position at the Lake County Public Library in Leadville.

“With the rise in his self esteem, he attributes that socialization and boost in confidence to helping him obtain a volunteer position,” she said.

Harlow admitted his time at Timberline was instrumental in helping him succeed.

“It made me more open and I worked on a lot of fear issues,” he shared. “It helped me get a volunteer position.”

Harlow is hoping to transfer his work skills to Chapel Hill, but may have some unusual competition.

“The told me in North Carolina they have a robot that puts books on the shelves,” he said.


On Dec. 12 anyone interested in supporting Timberline can take part in the Holiday Mountain Home Tour. Starting at 9:30 a.m. with a grab-and-go breakfast at the senior center, holiday revelers can purchase a ticket for $20 and receive a map to six Frisco homes which will allow visitors inside to enjoy Christmas decorations.

This year’s home donors includes: Kim and Jim Cancelosi, Denise and Scott Roberts, Julie and Melker Sandberg, Marty and Dave Sheets, Maxine and Darrell Thomas, as well as Sharil Caffery.

Emily Baumgartner, committee member for the tour, said she inherited the role from Michell and fellow Timberline board member Andy Searls asked for her assistance.

“I was asked this summer to put this together with my partner in crime Sheila Flanagan,” she said.

The homes will be open to view until 3 p.m. and they will also serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Homemade soups, salads and bread are on the menu, Baumgartner said.

Other culinary highlights include home made Christmas cookies, prepared by local bakers and perhaps a few elves.

“All kinds of bakers are making cookies that will be on sale,” she said. “There will also be 16 professional chefs offering cookies for a slightly higher price.”

For those who want something more permanent to remember the event, a dozen tabletop trees, decorated by local businesses, will be silently auctioned to raise funds for the nonprofit. The trees will go on display at the senior center on Dec. 5, with bidding ending Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m.

Participating businesses include: Blue Heron Tattoo, The Flying Crane, Fun and Formal, Harmony Interiors, Keller Williams Real Estate, Lost Canjun, Moose Jaw, Once Is Not Enough Antiques, Prescription Alternatives, Summit Eye Care, Summit Gold and the US Bank in Dillon.

This year the annual fundraiser adds a new wrinkle. Kids are invited to tour Santa’s Village, which will take up residence at 529 S. Second Ave. in Frisco.

Doug Robinson and his wife Lisa Holenko moved to Summit County three years ago and until this year have had their Santa gear in storage. The village will be set up from 2-5 p.m. at their home over the garage. For a $5 admittance fee, children can tour the village and warm up with hot chocolate. “It’s kind of a fun way to wind down the tour,” Baumgartner said.

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