The Auen Foundation

Auen Foundation and Palm Springs International Film Festival Partnership Enriches the Lives of Local Seniors

  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....
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Auen Foundation awards grant for food voucher program

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

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...
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Auen Foundation Presents 50th Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade

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

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.” # #...
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Auen Foundation Supports Intergenerational Program

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...
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