VNA owns Haven

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The Visiting Nurse Association on Tuesday officially became the new owner of The Haven Assisted Living Center.

After a yearlong fundraising campaign, association officials completed the first step toward their goal of making the Hayden facility a focus for programs benefiting seniors in the Yampa Valley.

The association purchased The Haven from the nonprofit West Routt Rural Health Coun--cil. The sale will secure the future of the facility, which has faced financial uncertainty in the past.

Contributions from local governments, state foundations, businesses and individuals made the transition possible.

The association continues to raise funds for a planned community center addition to The Haven. The community center will host activities for seniors and other residents in the community.

It's part of the association's Aging Well program, which seeks to promote mental and social health among seniors by engaging them in community activities and projects.

The center also will be open to Hayden events and groups.

"We feel strongly it should be an intergenerational facility," said Dace Kramer, Aging Well coordinator for VNA.

The association will begin planning in January with public meetings in Hayden about what residents would like to see in the community center.

Association officials said they didn't plan to make any major changes to staff or operations at the facility.

Fundraising is going "very well" for the community center project, and Kramer said she is confident the construction will start in 2006.

Contributions include grants from the Department of Local Affairs Energy and Mineral Impact program and state foundations.

The Colorado Office of Eco--nomic Development has designated the community center an Enterprise Zone Project. Project donors will be eligible for a state tax credit equaling 25 percent of the donation.

For information about making a donation, call the association at 879-1632.

----To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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