Steamboat’s Horizons to host 35th anniversary party |

Steamboat’s Horizons to host 35th anniversary party

Nicole Inglis

Horizons Specialized Services clients, from right, Jon Allee, Jaimee Sexton, Krysdal Weiland and Mark Leftwich participate in activities Wednesday at the day program facility. Horizons is holding a 35th anniversary party from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday.

— There are a few things Donnie Pearce wants people to know about him.

He's a big wrestling fan, he said, and he loves the blues. And he'd really love to meet Hulk Hogan.

But Pearce, who is a client with Horizons Specialized Services, doesn't often get to meet people out in the community, something he hopes to change Friday during the 35th anniversary party for the nonprofit organization.

"So they can learn about me," he said during social time Wednesday at the Horizons Day Program. "I'm a really nice guy."

Horizons celebrates more than three decades in Steamboat Springs with a 1970s-themed dance party from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Fri­­day at the Steam­­boat Springs Comm­­unity Center.

Clients, staff, volunteers and community members are invited to join in the festivities for no charge. There will be beer and wine served for suggested donations.

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DJ Geoff Rolls will spin disco favorites, and 1970s-era costumes are encouraged. To preserve the colorful memories of the evening, a Vivid photo booth also will be on hand.

The party will celebrate the progression of the organization, which serves people with developmental disabilities, ranging from Pearce — who lives on his own and holds a job — to clients who cannot walk or take care of themselves.

Horizons resource development coordinator Rebecca Han­son said the party is an opportunity to give back to a community that has given the organization so much during its history in Northwest Colorado.

Hanson pointed out that in Routt County, voters approved a mill levy in 2005 to support those with developmental disabilities.

"We really want to give our community a big thank you for all the support that people have given us," Hanson said. "It's going to be a blast. All of our clients are going to be there. Everyone's going to be dressed up in costumes."

She said the parties were an important opportunity to bring Hori­­zons clients together with community members that some clients don't have the chance to meet in their day-to-day lives.

Client Jaimee Sexton was working on a coloring project Wed­­­nes­­day as she talked about the staff, volunteers and fellow clients at Hori­zons.

"They're nice and sweet and some people are cool to hang out with," she said.

She loves Horizons parties because they give her the chance to dress up, dance and chat with her friends.

"I'm going to wear a dress with a cape thing, and these black moon shoes," she said. "And I'm going to spray paint my hair pink."

Horizons Executive Director Susan Mizen said in a newsletter earlier in the summer that she has seen the program grow immensely throughout three decades.

"In my 29 years here, I have seen many changes in our buildings and locations, employees and board members, and quality and quantity of services," she wrote. "Our first office in Routt County was the basement of the first Big Country Realty building."

She talked about events that have been conceived and grown throughout the years, such as the Adaptive Ski Program (which now partners with Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports) and the Horizons Dinner and Auction that was discontinued in 2005 but raised $500,000 before the mill levy was introduced.

"We look forward to a future more successful," Mizen wrote. "A future filled with hope and promise for those we serve."

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