Devin Olsen may be a college student at Metro State University of Denver, but she is making a big impact in the community’s fight against Alzheimer’s.
Olsen has raised more than $10,000 this year for the Alzheimer’s Association. Working as a therapeutic recration intern at Life Care Center of Stonegate in Parker, Colorado, she got connected with the center’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s team.
“Alzheimer’s disease is near and dear to my heart,” Olsen explained. “I lost my grandmother, Marge Olsen, in 2008, and great-uncle, Ray Olsen, in 2012 to this disease. I see how Alzheimer’s affects great people and their families here in my internship at Life Care Center of Stonegate, so when I was asked to do a fundraiser for this cause I was extremely touched and really excited to be able to raise money for a cause so personal.”
Olsen raised most of the money by creating an event, “Let’s Shoot Out Alzheimer’s,” a sporting clays shooting event held Aug. 27 at Kiowa Creek Sporting Club in Bennett. Participants shot at clay pigeons through a course of various setups. The event also included a silent auction, a live auction and the opportunity for guests to purchase chances to win prizes. Proceeds, of course, went to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s team.
“This event blew away all of my expectations and left me utterly speechless,” Olsen said. “We had 70 shooters participate and 31 volunteers helping the day of the event. All of the participants and my volunteers had a blast.”
Olsen said she received around 60 donated items for the auctions and prizes, many given by local businesses and some from her own family.
“Every intern has to complete a major project as part of their internship, and Devin decided to take on fundraising events for the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Michelle Sayre, director of therapeutic recreation at Life Care Center of Stonegate. “She has been a blessing to our department and our building. She shows so much compassion when working with our residents, and they have really enjoyed her joining our team.”
Sayre added that Olsen will join the part-time staff once she completes her internship later this month.
The Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday, Sept. 16, at Denver City Park. Registration starts at 7 a.m., with the ceremony and walk beginning at 9 a.m.