Center continues mission: independence

Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Lynn Jolley of Grand Junction, a former tutor with a bachelor’s degree in education, is hoping to return to college so she can get teaching certification. She is a client of Center for Independence.


Fundraising concert

For Center for Independence

• When: 7 p.m. July 31

• Where Grande River Vineyards, Palisade

• Who Flat Top Reed

Center for Independence employees will try to live the message they instill in their clients: independence.

Although employees at the Center for Independence, 740 Gunnison Ave., still will submit grant applications and accept community donations for programs at the local nonprofit agency, employees and clients are ready to try their hand at a large-scale fundraiser for the first time in years, said Susan Capps, the center’s director of development.

Local group Flat Top Reed, which primarily plays Americana and blues music, will perform a fundraising concert at 7 p.m. July 31 at Grande River Vineyards.

Tickets to the show are $15 in advance or $20 at the show. Tickets are available at the Center for Independence, Fisher’s Liquor Barn, Roper Music and Grande River Vineyards.

One person already decided she won’t miss the show. Toni Fredrickson is one of the nearly 350 clients of the Center for Independence.

Fredrickson, who joined an employment program at the center once she turned 55, hopes it will help give her the tools to find a job. Turns out, Fredrickson had the personality and skills to be a receptionist at the center. Now, she is in training to learn more computer skills. She said the reward she gets from having a part-time job at a place she loves is hard to put into words.

“I love my people,” Fredrickson said.

By her “people,” she means all of the clients and employees at the Center for Independence. The center tries to help anyone of any age with any disability, be it temporary or permanent, live a more independent life free of charge through its support and programs, Capps said.

Lynn Jolley, who has cerebral palsy, goes to the Center of Independence for many different reasons other than just for help with employment opportunities in the community. Jolley enjoys arts and crafts, tennis and bowling. She takes yoga classes twice a week and enjoys interaction with other center clients.

Like Fredrickson, Jolley is excited the Center for Independence is hosting a concert in an effort to raise funds toward the hundreds of thousands of dollars it needs to upgrade its two-story facility and to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of each client.


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