Voice of the Consumer: At long last, Colorado Springs nonprofit benefiting seniors to celebrate 50 years – Colorado Springs Gazette

Silver Key Senior Services hit a big milestone last year: 50 years of serving the Pikes Peak region. A special gala was supposed to take place to celebrate, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the big event was rescheduled to this year.

“We saved all that fun for 2021,” said Derek Wilson, the organization’s chief strategy officer.

For the past five decades, Silver Key has provided meals, transportation, companionship, and behavioral health and wellness counseling for seniors across El Paso County.

“Our estimation is that more than a half a million seniors and their families have been touched by our services over that time frame,” Wilson said. “We’re committed to making this the best community in the nation to age.”

To celebrate how far the nonprofit has come and to look forward to the next 50 years, Silver Key is hosting a strolling soiree-style gala. Instead of a formal sit-down dinner and presentation, guests who attend the gala will get to explore several different entertainment and activity options.

“There’s heavy hors d’oeuvres that are served throughout,” Wilson said. “There is going to be casino-style games, a dance floor, other live entertainment, a few surprises, and so we really think that people are looking — after a lot of pent-up energy — to not just sit in one spot for an hour and a half or whatever, but rather to really get engaged with one another, to reconnect and to just get reinvigorated.”

During the gala, Silver Key is also expected to provide more details about its newly announced affordable senior housing complex that will be located at its 1625 S. Murray Blvd. campus.

“Affordable housing right now is a public health crisis,” Wilson said. “We as a health care entity … are able to uniquely be positioned to lead and assist with the specific needs that seniors have on this issue.”

The 50th Anniversary “Engaged at Every Age” gala will be held Saturday, Aug. 7, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Boot Barn Hall near Voyager Parkway and North Gate Boulevard in Colorado Springs. Tickets cost $150, with all the money going toward the programs and services Silver Key offers.

“During the pandemic, we saw the highest highs of, if you will, demand for services and that’s not receded. That has not gone away,” Wilson said. “We are serving more people in more ways than we ever have.”

There will also be a virtual option where people can enjoy the gala experience at home for free.

“Some people can’t get out. Some people still don’t feel comfortable going out. We know that we serve some of the most vulnerable and so with that said, we are having a totally complimentary virtual option,” Wilson said. “It’s not just going to be a static camera in the back. It’s going to be much more involved than that.”

To learn more about the event and to buy your ticket or register for the virtual experience, visit www.SilverKey.org/gala. You’re asked to have your tickets purchased a week before the Aug. 7 event.