On September 6, 2013, Tom Deland, President of the Broomfield Rotary Club and John O’Hayre,

President of the Broomfield Rotary Charitable Foundation (See photo.) presented Gina Coufal, Executive Director of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. of Broomfield, with a check for $16,844.00.  This was the final payment on the BRCF charitable pledge of $37,870.00. 

The donation will fund the special equipment, adaptive computer technology, printers, software and other materials housed in the Academic/Computer Lab of the new F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’  Broomfield campus center on Saulsbury Street, Broomfield.   This computerized academic classroom will be furnished with special equipment, software and materials designed for those who have difficulty with communication. For those who have difficulty with communication, adaptive computer technology will provide a way to communicate with others and express choices, thoughts, and feelings.


In 2009, the Broomfield Rotary Club’s fund raising committee met with Gina Coufal, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Executive Director, to discuss a new permanent center for adults with developmental disabilities.  At this meeting, Gina revealed her goal of designing and constructing a new building that would meet the educational and social needs of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. participants.  Gina asked the Broomfield Rotary Club to help her make this dream a reality.  (Visit  F.R.I.E.N.D.S. wet site: wwwfriendsofBroomfield.org for more information.)


Since 2009, members of the Broomfield Rotary’s fund raising committee have continued to meet with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. planning staff to remain current on the progress being made in building the new facility.  The Committee’s intention has been to support a project to completely furnish a Rotary sponsored Academic/Computer Lab.  The Rotary F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Committee appealed to the Broomfield Rotary Charitable Foundation for financial support so that F.R.I.E.N.D.S. could realize their dream of having this very special Academic/Computer Lab within the new facility they hoped would be completely built and occupied in the fall of 2013. 


The Initial planning goal was for F.R.I.E.N.D.S. to own a parcel of land for their new permanent center.  In 2010, a contributor offered to give F.R.I.E.N.D.S. a 1.25 acre parcel of land located at 11851 Saulsbury Street, Broomfield, Colorado.  Shortly thereafter, community benefactors agreed to sponsor the funding for the construction of the campus facility acknowledging that it would be the first of its kind in both Broomfield and Boulder Counties.  Also, it was noted that, in
Broomfield and Boulder Counties, there are limited options for men and women with intellectual disabilities to obtain services and support.  Many disabled adults are currently on the Medicaid wait list for resources as there are ever increasing numbers of persons diagnosed with a developmental disability.


After comprehensive work done with the F.R.I.E.N.D.S planning committee, the Academic/Computer Lab Project was taken under consideration by the Broomfield Rotary Charitable Foundation.  In August, 2012, the BRCF Board of Directors agreed to help with the funding and the furnishing of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Academic/Computer Lab.  All the purchased equipment and educational materials will be a donation by the Broomfield Rotary Charitable Foundation.


The lab will house 13 computer work stations equipped with Wyse Thin Client Terminals, monitors, touch screens, mice, switches, printers, specialized software, and any other necessary materials needed to help develop a center where those with developmental disabilities will have the opportunity to experience innovative educational activities, develop daily living skills for independence, and grow socially and emotionally.  The new facility will also allow mentally and physically challenged adults to move about safely and more easily.  Outside, there will be a landscaped area for exercise, recreation, gardening, mediation and relaxation.


Additionally, the new Academic/Computer Lab will allow some students to focus on developing work skills, such as; learning how to write a resume and learning work skills as part of the Learn to Work  Program.  Others will learn basic computer skills and focus on functional literacy skills critical for independence.   Gina Coufal will continue to keep Broomfield Rotary members in the loop while she and her staff work to make this Academic/Computer Lab the best facility amenity in the Broomfield/Boulder area for individuals with developmental disabilities.


As dedicated community facilitators, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. of Broomfield is expected to continue to expand the academic programs used by F.R.I.E.N.D.S. students as they go forward.   In their wonderful permanent home, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. health care professionals, teachers, and trained volunteers, will have new tools to more effectively enrich and expand the lives of the people they serve.