A pedicure? Sure, why not?
They’re not that expensive: maybe 20 or 25 bucks, at a strip mall salon. But if your income is in the $2,000-a-month range and your mortgage alone eats up all but $100 of that, having someone pamper your tootsies is a luxury beyond reach.
Melba, a senior citizen recuperating from knee replacement surgery who supports herself and three grandchildren on Social Security supplemented by cleaning houses seven days a week, could only dream of a trip to the spa — until Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime turned fantasy into reality.
Last Saturday, in the hours leading up to the group’s annual gala, An Evening Affair, Melba was treated to a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure made possible by a donation from Bloom board member Elva Pellouchoud’s Resort2- Kindness and Epiphany Luxury Marketing. The gift also included a trip to a local mall so that Melba could buy a new outfit to wear to the dinner event at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum.
And when Melba was introduced that night, Miss Colorado Jessica Hartman added one more prize to the package: a gift certificate to Tuana Hair Design.
Jeremy Bloom, a Colorado native who is a two-time Olympic skier and former NFL football player, started the group as a living tribute to his grandmother, Donna Wheeler. Its purpose is to enrich the lives of low-income elders by granting wishes that are often heartbreakingly simple to an outsider but monumental to the recipient.
Bill, for example, asked for a rug to put next to his bed so that his feet wouldn’t be so cold when they hit the floor. Rosalie fulfilled her desire to be taken to her daughter’s grave in New Mexico and Ron requested a frame for a piece of art he had created.
And Bernice was delighted when Bloom himself fulfilled her dream of going on a date with “a hot young man.”
Several of Bloom’s big-name athlete friends — including Denver Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn, Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone, Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski, pro snowboarder Jesse Csincsak, Lopez Lamong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and extreme skier Chris Anthony — were there to mix and mingle with the 630 guests who helped raise $130,000 for the wishes to be granted in 2010.
“Our numbers are double from last year, when the first gala was held,” said Greta Walker, a member of the Bloom board and public relations director for the Denver Rescue Mission.
The evening’s buffet supper featured the crab cakes that are a speciality of Dennis Gavagan, global director of research and development for Phillips Foods and Restaurants and chef for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team. Gavagan was assisted by executive chef Bob Gitre and a team from Denver’s Epicurean Culinary Group.
Among those enjoying the delicacies were Rose Community Foundation chief Sheila Bugdanowitz, who shared that Bloom serves on RCF’s Committee on Aging; John and Dana Berry; Jean and Dr. Ben Galloway; Cameron Lewis and Reid Grossnickel; Bryan Wright and Dr. Dean Prina; Bloom’s mother, Char, and siblings Jordan and Molly; Deirdre Moynihan, the group’s executive director; and the young men from the Zebulon Pike youth correctional facility who had nominated Greeley resident Ross for the gift of a caregiver so that Ross would be able to take an occasional break from the bedside of his seriously ill wife.
To learn more about the Bloom organization, visit wishofalifetime.org
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