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Winter 2023 Newsletter


Dear Tennyson Community,

We welcomed 2024 with a spirit of joy, curiosity, compassion, dependability, and authenticity which defines our team and the work we do every day. Work that would not be possible without those who have partnered with and supported Tennyson Center over the years. And I am thrilled to share a momentous occasion in that journey – the celebration of our 120th anniversary! As we reflect throughout the year on 120 years of dedication, growth, and shared accomplishments, I am filled with gratitude for each child, family, staff member, volunteer, supporter, and partner that has been a part of this remarkable community since 1904.

We recently had the honor of hosting Dr. Kevin Huckshorn and Dr. Janice Lebel as they walked 50 of our team members through a two-day training on the SIX CORE STRATEGIES©. The focus of this evidence-based curriculum is preventing risk and reducing violence and trauma. We continue to work to build a trauma responsive culture of safety, trustworthiness and transparency, collaboration and mutuality, and empowerment. Vanessa Ross, our Day Treatment Clinical Director shared, “As a therapist, I appreciate the idea that these strategies will help build treatment plans for the agency, and some of the ideas shared during the training, such as changing language surrounding crisis response, the value of peer support, and the emphasis on customer service, were such a wonderful reminder on how small changes can have a huge impact.” Our team is eager and excited to start planning the dissemination of this knowledge and the insightful recommendations provided during their visit.

Each one of you plays an integral role in our ongoing success, contributing unique talents, dedication of time, financial resources, and overall passion for our mission. This is what makes Tennyson a thriving community. To commemorate our special anniversary, we will host events designed to celebrate TOGETHER, our TODAY and our TOMORROW. Please share any photos and memories with [email protected] to honor this incredible milestone.

Cheers to an exciting year and a continued belief that everyone has the opportunity and support needed to learn, grow, and thrive.

With gratitude,

Mindy Watrous
President & CEO


Thursday, April 18, 2024 │ 12:00 – 1:00 PM │ Seawell Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts │ 1350 Arapahoe Street, Denver, Colorado 80204

Please join us at our Paths to Healing Spring Luncheon for an inspirational hour as we come together to improve the mental health and wellness of those impacted by trauma and other adverse experiences. With our generous partners and friends of Tennyson, this annual event provides the opportunity and support needed for our kids and families to learn, grow, and thrive.

Sponsor a table or purchase individual tickets today for this not to be missed event! For questions, please contact Cydnee Dossey.

  • Learn from a champion in the child welfare sector, Senator Dafna Michaelson Jenet.
  • Hear from a Tennyson family about their path to healing.
  • Honor Liberty Energy, the 2024 recipient of the Champion of Children Award.
  • Recognize the Denver Chapter of IFMA with the 2024 Mayall Volunteer Award.
  • Celebrate the kick-off of Tennyson’s 120th anniversary!


Donating part or all of your unused retirement assets, such as your individual retirement account (IRA), is an excellent way to make an impact on our kids and families. You can make IRA-qualified charitable distributions from traditional IRAs, inactive Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans, and inactive Saving Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA.

“I began supporting Colorado Christian Home in the 1970s and my involvement has evolved over the years, just like the name change to Tennyson Center,” said Margaret Stookesberry. “It all started with three of us making and selling quilts annually for the organization, which continued for more than five decades when we stopped in 2020 due to the lack in demand for quilts. My accountant then suggested making a gift through my IRA and explained the benefit in lowering my tax obligations.”

Giving to Tennyson Center through an IRA can offer significant advantages to both the contributor and the organization. Firstly, it allows our donors aged 70½ or older to make tax-free distributions directly from their IRA to any qualified charity, satisfying their required minimum distribution (RMD) without incurring taxable income. Federal law requires you to start taking RMDs at age 73. This strategy can result in tax savings by reducing your adjusted gross income, potentially lowering your tax bracket, and avoiding taxation on the donated amount.

Additionally, donating through an IRA enables you to support causes you care about while maximizing your charitable contributions. For Tennyson, receiving donations from IRAs can provide a stable source of funding for our programs and initiatives, helping us fulfill our mission and create lasting change.

Margaret also shared, “I don’t remember making a conscious decision to give my time and financial resources to Tennyson Center, it was just what our family did. When we sold our family business, we learned about charitable remainder trusts from Bob Cooper, CEO at the time. Through that trust, Tennyson purchased a dinosaur playground for the children and dedicated it to the memory of our daughter. Present day, I have switched most of my charitable contributions to an IRA distribution. My taxes went from owing a large amount one year to applying a considerable refund to my estimated payment thereby reducing it to zero then next year.  The ease and benefits have encouraged me to increase my support for Tennyson as it brings me great joy.”

We recommend consulting a tax advisor or other professional for additional information regarding your specific situation and philanthropic goals. If you have made Tennyson part of your legacy through a bequest or will, please let us know so that we can honor your generosity and better plan for the future. For questions, please contact Katie Bullock.


In collaboration with Freewill, Tennyson Center presents an opportunity that can alleviate the apprehension of drafting your own will. As an organization, we want to show our gratitude by providing, at no cost to you, this critical estate planning resource. It’s our way of showing appreciation, while helping you secure peace of mind for the years ahead.

Our partnership with the nation’s leading legal experts has led to the development of an interactive online will maker, simplifying the process. It’s a quick and straightforward method – all you need to do is input your details, and their team will craft a personalized last will and testament aligned with your desires. We hope this tool can serve you and your loved ones with intention and care.


For more than 25 years, Tennyson Center has partnered annually with Regis Jesuit High School for their two-week immersion program, which consists of junior and senior students coming to campus to volunteer in our classrooms. Regis students did it all…they assisted with academics, spent time with our kids in the gym and playground, and were of service to our team members with their daily responsibilities. Our children enjoyed the new faces and smiles on campus! Please contact Kristina Lodahl to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

“My biggest take away from this experience is recognizing and understanding how much work needs to be done for the Tennyson community. There are hundreds of ways to give back, and it begins with our youth. If we can engage with and impact the kids, positive change will take place,” shared Regis student Ladd Hubka.



Your support makes a difference and has a direct impact on the lives of those who need us most.


Check out our upcoming events, including our golf tournament and young professional get togethers!

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