The Marion Downs Hearing Center (MDHC) aims to help meet the needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as their families and colleagues. Its services address the needs of all age groups, providing newborn hearing screenings and speech-language pathology for children and adults, as well as helping teenagers who are deaf or hard of hearing to transition from high school to college or the workforce through its teen program. In 2011, MDHC screened 3,000 babies for hearing loss at birth and provided 100 audiologists, teachers, and researchers with professional training.
Smart-Girl, Inc. teaches girls the skills they need to become confident and successful young women. It conducts school programs and leadership camp sessions that tackle difficult issues such as bullying and self-destructive behaviors. During the programs, small groups of girls gather with two high-school- or college-aged guides for activities that promote self-confidence. Lessons on leadership, gender stereotypes, critical thinking, and body image and the media are designed to help participants develop socially and emotionally. The girls can also make friends while creating crafts or listening to music at summer-camp sessions.
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Through its Totes of Hope program, FBR distributes backpacks filled with nonperishable, nutritious, and kid-friendly food to children whose families might otherwise not be able to provide regular, full meals at home. After receiving the backpacks, children can bring them back to a Totes of Hope site each week so the organization can refill them with food to take home for the weekend, when many in-school programs that provide food are not operating. Last year, Food Bank of the Rockies provided 91,929 backpacks full of food at 57 sites in the Denver metro area, and the organization aims to distribute 123,000 more totes at 75 sites before June 2012.
Steve and Kim Weiner take pride in their ability to mesh medical-grade wellness treatments with a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere. The co-owners began their careers as an aesthetic equipment salesman and a paramedical aesthetician respectively, giving them extensive professional insight into the role that technology can play in rejuvenating clients’ appearances. Their spa embraces some of these technologically based treatments, including infrared body wraps, teeth whitening and hair removal with cosmetic laser systems, and lipotron skin-tightening sessions, which use radio frequencies to firm skin tone and broadcast warning messages to crow’s-feet. The center also offers basic spa treatments, such as massages and deep-cleansing facials.
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education, and advocacy. Despite being one of the most common chromosomal disorders in the country—occurring in 1 out of every 691 births—Down syndrome receives exceptionally low funding compared to other genetic conditions. The foundation helps to make up for the shortfall by hosting fundraisers and conferences, advocating for public policy that benefits those with Down syndrome, and providing programming that allows individuals living with the condition to develop their talents and abilities.
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Gayle Lynne first took to the sky when she was 53, and was instantly hooked. Her dancing and ice-skating experience hadn’t prepared her for the joys of careening through the air on silks and hoops, but she quickly picked up on the skills, and was inspired to create a studio in which adults and children of all ages could also explore the sky. So Aerial Dance Over Denver was born, hosting air-borne maneuvers with 35 rigging points and seven aerial stations.
Gayle handpicked a fleet of experienced instructors, each primed with a background in dance, to lead students through classes and camps that introduce them to silk fabrics, trapeze work, and contortions—in which patrons increase their flexibility and learn to cram into small spaces, such as an unsuspecting family member's lunch box. Dangling from their material of choice, students perform a routine that builds strength and flexibility, scaled to suit beginners with slow and low maneuvers or veteran airborne artists with high-flying choreography.