THE FIREFLY MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
MAR 21
SPRING FORWARD
Laugh Yourself Blue 2021
Laugh Yourself Blue has been formally announced! Learn about how you can support, donate items and attend our annual gala.

Congrats Jesse Ogas, 9News Leader of the year
Congratulations to Firefly Autism CEO and Executive Director, Jesse Ogas for being named the 9News Leader of the Year honor.

Board Member Spotlight
This month we meet Krystal Than and Bill Rooney

Donor of the Month Spotlight
Community First Foundation
DIRECTOR'S NOTES
Hola! Springtime at Firefly Autism is a welcomed time of year where we begin to plan our gardening projects and other outdoor projects we want to do as the weather continues to warm up. Springtime is a time of rebirth as the first flower bulbs begin to sprout, bloom and display their glory! 
Coming off a year of Covid-19, uncertainty, this feels like a new day for our organization, our staff and families we serve. Now that the majority of our team have had their second doses of vaccinations, we are hosting vaccination clinics here for our community to ensure everyone who qualifies has an opportunity to receive them. Our first clinic happened on February 28th, when we administered 548 community members with the vaccine. Our second vaccination clinic is slated for March 28th.  As the center begins to once again give tours to our donors and the public, we are proud to do so but also ask that folks continue to respect our Covid guidelines. 
Our new programs: Diagnostics, Adult groups, sibling groups and parent support groups continue to grow and have wait lists. We take pride in being a resource for our community when it comes to the work we do, and to support families seeking information when it comes to diagnosis or referrals. Firefly's growth means we continue to hire great individuals looking for a career with a growing organization. If you know of anyone who is interested in a career with us, please forward them my email, jogas@fireflyautisum.org or our Development Director, Tobin Truslow's email address, ttruslow@fireflyautism.org.
Finally... we have an exciting announcement coming soon about a partnership with The Big Green Foundation, so keep your eyes open and ears peeled! This is truly awesome!
We look forward to this wonderful time of year and being able to celebrate the continued decrease of Covid-19.
Adios,
Jesse
*COVID VACCINE CLINIC*
Be Safe! Get Vaccinated!
Firefly Autism will be hosting our second vaccine clinic on May 28th. We will have all the details on our website starting next week. Please share this information with your friends and visit fireflyautism.org after March 22 for the pertinents.
LAUGH YOURSELF BLUE
BE PART OF THE MOMENT
Join us this summer for a night not to be missed.
Thursday, June 24
Limited in-person seating at the spectacular Seawell Ballroom is available.
EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT ON OUR COMEDIAN HEADLINERS COMING SOON!!
Visit: laughyourselfblue.com for more


For 21 years, 9NEWS and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation has honored leaders in our community who have made significant contributions to the well-being and development of our state.

Congratulations to the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year, our own Jesse Ogas. Just in case you don't know Jesse yet, check out the video to get to know him a little more.
BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
KRYSTAL THAN
Krystal Than has been part of the Firefly Board of Directors since 2015. She came to the organization after having first been a sponsor of Laugh Yourself Blue with her former employer, Walmart. Now Krystal works for Peak Dental as their chief HR and Compliance officer.
Krystal was drawn to Firefly because of a number of reasons, including a mission which aligned to her core philosophy on non-profit work and the active investment back into the organization by the Firefly leaders.
“Firefly continues to make great impact on our ASD families and community at large. In addition to a mission that personally aligns with my core philosophy on non-profit work, I had met with its leadership team and a portion of their board. I quickly found myself surrounded by leaders who were consciously making their own contributions to the mission in a meaningful way. It is energizing to be in the company of such passion. Joining this board has been one of most enriching experiences I have had to date in my non-profit work.”
Krystal says her most impactful experience as a member of the Board came in 2019 when during our Laugh Yourself Blue gala we were able to raise over 1 million dollars in ten minutes during our paddle raise event; a truly historic accomplishment. “My understanding is that this had never happened before in the state's non-profit history and it was incredibly humbling to see it all unfold live,” remembers Krystal.
When Krystal has free time much of that is centered around her family and friends. “I get energy by being around people. Every opportunity I get to spend quality time together is a blessing. While the pandemic has made that challenging, I am relieved to know we're headed in the right direction.”
As Krystal helps move Firefly forward in the days, months and years ahead she says, “I would love to see Firefly grow in its ability to serve the ASD community beyond the state of Colorado. While we have great need and support locally, I know our reach can go further. Whether this is through opening new locations or partnerships with other organizations serving the ASD community, I know the groundbreaking work that is being conducted at Firefly could benefit more families.”
 
Krystal says, “Honor all of the things that make you who you are. This includes acknowledging that who we are outside of work can, and should, greatly influence who we are at work. Bring your whole self everywhere you go!”
Krystal, thank you for your service and passion to Firefly Autism. You have made a big difference!
BILL ROONEY
Bill Rooney has volunteered his time with Firefly Autism for over seven years. He has served in a variety of important leadership roles and committees, including most recently, the immediate past Treasurer of the Board. 
Bill is a CPA and a partner at one of the largest accounting firms in the Denver area, RubinBrown. Bill graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelors and masters in Accounting.
Bill came to Firefly with a heart to serve organizations that strive to help children. At the time he joined the Board, Bill was a Big Brother mentor and on the Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Colorado for 20 years.
During his time with Firefly Bill has helped steer the organization towards remarkable growth and solvency. Bill says, “My favorite accomplishment has been seeing and helping Firefly achieve financial stability which has led to growth and the ability to move into the new Hoyt Street building and serve more children.”
When Bill is not working or volunteering his time you might find him at a professional sporting event (once they let us back in to cheer for our teams!). He loves to watch the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies or Avs, visit Hawaii, play golf and ideally, play golf in Hawaii!
Moving forward Bill sees Firefly continue along our path of growth to serve as many children as possible and wants help the organization fulfill its mission and potential.
Bill says, “be your best for others!” More than just a RubinBrown motto, this a core value for Bill Rooney.
 
For your expertise, sacrifice and leadership all of us at Firefly Autism say, “Thank you, Bill!”
DONOR OF THE MONTH
Community First Foundation (CFF) has been connecting donors and innovative Colorado nonprofits since 1975. As the community foundation serving Jefferson County, Community First Foundation is committed to activating ideas, people and resources so that all Jeffco communities have the opportunity to thrive.
CFF was founded in 1975 as Lutheran Medical Center Foundation, the fundraising arm of Lutheran Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital supporting Denver’s west side. CFF helps donors with philanthropic planning, support nonprofits with grants and resources, and together, build resilient and connected communities.
Community First Foundation also powers Colorado Gives Day, one of the largest Gives Days in the nation. In 2020, CFF processed $71 million dollars through the year-round platform, ColoradoGives.org, including $50 million on Colorado Gives Day.
CFF believes it is hard to thrive when one cannot meet the most essential needs and that when Colorado's neighbors are economically secure, everyone benefits. Community First Foundation's VP of Marketing, Beth McConkey says, "We believe that resilient and connected neighborhoods are the backbone of a strong community, and that civil discourse and social justice is key to strengthening this place we call home."
Through ColoradoGives and other donations from Community First Foundation, Firefly has received over $660,000!
The work we do at Firefly is more secure today because of partners such as Community First Foundation and all of us at Firefly recognize the very important value CFF has in our community. Thank you for your partnership!!
DONATE NOW
If you can help support the work that Firefly Autism is doing in the lives near and far, please consider a quick, tax-deductible donation?

Your gift could also qualify you for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Credit... doing us both some good!

CLINICAL CONNECTION
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