Mark Emery, left, executive director of Imagine!, gathered with Bob and Judy Charles, at the groundbreaking for the new Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome being built at 1806 Iris Ave., Boulder, Colo.
The Charles, with their donation of $100,000, helped launched a fund-raising drive to build two new SmartHomes, technology-assisted group homes for people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Both homes also are being designed and built with the latest "green" energy-saving technologies. These will include solar and geothermal systems, energy efficient lighting and water conservation.
As a board member of the Imagine! Foundation, it's been our job to raise money helping to pay off the mortgages of several existing group homes. Now we have the opportunity to be part of this very exciting SmartHome project, which will not only benefit the people who will live in the homes, but be national example of how technology can be put to work to improve the lives of the home residents.
Imagine! now has its own Web site devoted to explaining the planning. technologies and progress of the SmartHomes, one of which is replacing an older group home here in Boulder and another that will be built at a Longmont site. An online donation form also is on the site.
This first SmartHome also has received a $250,000 grant from the city of Boulder and the construction team includes peh Architects, who donated the architectural plans; Deneuve as the lead contractor; JVA; Flatirons Inc.; and Seward Mechanical Systems.
Any donation, large or small, toward our fund-raising efforts will be recognized and will help in this very worthy cause. Personally, I would be willing to meet with anyone or any company interested in the SmartHome project or in Imagine!'s large task of serving people with disabilities.