It’s the new year and time to get in shape, get healthy or just get fit. We’ve looked all over the area and have found some great facilities offering a variety of ways for you to melt that fat, build that muscle and just get healthier.


Life Time Fitness Parker
9250 Crown Crest Blvd
(720) 842-0800

Life Time has everything under one roof! We offer Aquatics (swim), Personal Training, Group Fitness, Yoga, Cycling, Pilates, Racquetball/Squash, Basketball, Rock Climbing, Nutrition Services, a full service Café, Child Care and Kids Activities, and Spa. Whatever you are looking for, we have it!

We are the healthy way of life company and can help you achieve all your fitness goals. We have nationally certified Personal Trainers, Registered Dietitians, Group Fitness and Yoga instructors all right at your fingertips. If you need something for the kids, we have that too!

My House Fitness Parker
12311 Pine Bluffs Way. #113
(720) 370-2939

My House Fitness offers private and semi private personal training in a non-intimidating environment. Real training for real people! Each program is customized for your goals, fitness level and capabilities.

Offering multiple training styles including traditional techniques, self defense, HIIT, boot camp, classes, private sessions, small group training and much more, we have the knowledge and motivation to keep you interested and help you reach your goals efficiently and affordably. Do something amazing this year!

17002 E Mainstreet #L
(303) 841-6269

Offering a full range of group fitness classes, private MMA training, personal and group dynamic training, and MMA-style youth programming, UFC GYM® is home to fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. But don’t get too comfortable. As the first to combine mixed martial arts and fitness, we have developed an atmosphere where you can revel in immediate results, united by our winning dedication to TRAIN DIFFERENT®.

With our Train Different® mentality, you are sure to hit your fitness goals faster and with more efficacy than ever before. Plus, with exclusive access to UFC® champions, you’ll receive superior training and attention like never before.* Our team is built of the best, boasting black belts and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM®) conditioning specialists.

20 Mile Crossfit
10470 S. Progress way Unit 101
(720) 215-0424

The decision to begin any new exercise program should be based on research and knowledge. Crossfit is a strength and conditioning system built on constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity. Our workouts, known as WODs (workout of the day), combine diverse movements and energy pathways. Movements come from diverse backgrounds like Power-lifting, Olympic-lifting, Gymnastics, Cardio-training, and emphasize functionality over muscle isolation. You will see squats, lifts, pulls and other movements which are functional (i.e., they accomplish a task.)

But we’re not just about workouts. We also have an amazing community of members who are welcoming and supportive. You’ll get to work out with some of the most amazing and generous people you’ve ever met.

We have a tight knit community of amazing members that push each other and hold each other accountable. Not to mention our coaches truly care about each member.

Intelligent Motion Therapy
19751 E Mainstreet Suite 258
(303) 808-9807

Intelligent Motion Therapy, LLC is a state of the art facility in beautiful downtown Parker that offers high quality Pilates training as well as Physical Therapy-Pilates services for those who may be recovering from an illness or injury. We offer individual and small group lessons using Classical Pilates equipment.

Each of our Instructors are comprehensively certified in Pilates with over 450 hours of specialized training and work with clients of all ages and stages. Some of our specialities include pregnancy and post-pregnancy fitness, scoliosis, osteoporosis, auto-immune diseases, sports injuries, neck and back pain, fall prevention, neurological diseases, postural imbalances and those looking to get back into shape!

M2 Core +
18951 East Mainstreet unit B
(913) 461-3895

We are A Lagree Fitness Studio. It is a full body, low impact, anerobic cardio workout that uses some basic pilates principles during a 30 to 45 minute class. Burn up to 2000 calories post workout.

It is the only workout of its kind that will test you mentally and physically in each and every class you take. You will never conquer the workout, but that is the beauty of it. It is a workout for all fitness levels, from beginners to the advanced athletes.

Great Play of Parker
18425 Pony Express Dr. Ste 107
(303) 805-8844

Great Play is an interactive gym for kids. We offer classes for children 6 months to 10 years old. Our classes are curriculum based and focus on fun while developing locomotor, stability and social skills. We also have amazing birthday parties for ages 1 to 10 years. Come try a class for free!

Great Play is a unique kids’ gym because we not only have developmentally appropriate curriculum, but we offer interactive technology that allows us to change the gym to meet the needs of every age group.

iThrive Yoga & Wellness
10233 S Parker Rd, Ste 107
(303) 840-5454

At iThrive Yoga you will find a warm and friendly community of people who are interested in improving their health and wellness. Come enjoy our serene environment where you can relax and renew your mind and strengthen and stretch your body.

iThrive’s warm and welcoming atmosphere makes you feel comfortable and at ease, even if it’s your first time attending a class at a yoga studio.

We offer a New Student Discount, and invite you to attend an unlimited number of classes in your first 30 days for only $30.

Kim & Cam’s Taekwondo Academy
10490 N. Dransfeldt Rd.
(303) 994-3376

KC Taekwondo Academy is the premier location for martial arts instruction in Parker. Children benefit from learning life skills such as integrity, discipline, focus, and respect. Adults benefit from an unbeatable work out that improves fitness, balance, strength, flexibility, and stamina.

KC Taekwondo Academy has been voted Best of the Best Martial Arts school 2 years in a row as well as the 2016 Best of the Best Fitness Facility and Weight Loss Center.

RNK Running and Walking
13019 South Parker Rd.
(303) 840-0399

We are a running/walking and fitness lifestyle retail store. However, we also offer beginner running classes periodically throughout the year that meet 2-3 times per week. In addition, we offer free social runs and periodic clinics on various fitness topics.

We go outside for intro level running and walking programs. We have beginners and experts helping you get started with running/fitness/nutrition guidance. At $50 for a 9-10 week program we are an inexpensive and fun way to get started and be social.

10453 Parker Rd
(303) 841-0663

Curves is a workout facility that involves circuit training along with fitness videos that are shown on a TV throughout your workout. Videos are changed monthly to give a different kind of workout. We have over 60 videos on hand now to include Body Balance, Body Basics, Stretch and Strength, and Dance and Tone.

We are a facility that has one on one training with trained professionals throughout your entire workout. We are there to help you acheive your goals.

CorePower Yoga
18551 E Main Street
(303) 909-6482

Inside our yoga fitness studios, something amazing is happening. With this high intensity workout, you’ll push past physical boundaries with an open mind and a beating heart, turning doubt into security, strangers into friends and stress into sweat.

Our studio has everything: Vinyasa, traditional Hot, Yoga Sculpt, CoreCardio Circuit, and Yoga Barre Sculpt. We are excited to announce that our studio is expanding in January 2017! That means more classes and more opportunities to sweat! Commit to yourself this year with one membership that serves all your needs!

Orangetheory Fitness Studio Parker
17051 Lincoln Ave, Unit I
(720) 636-8606

Orangethoery Fitness is “the best 1 hour workout in the country” according to the NY Times. Our heart-rate monitored, high-intensity workout is scientifically designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that spikes metabolism and increases energy. Workout now, burn extra calories tomorrow.

We offer top-of-the-line equipment, upbeat music and motivational trainers, that make us the most energetic fitness environment around. Whether you’re just getting started in your fitness journey or an elite athletic, the OTF workout is designed for everyone at any level. Come in today for your free class and see what everyone is talking about.

Parker Jazzercise Center
10490 S. Progress Way #105
(303) 840-5299

There won’t be a leotard or leg warmer in sight – promise. What you will see is sweat, swagger and a high intensity endorphin packed workout that leaves the 80s behind!

We have a variety of classes to challenge you. Fusion, Strike, Core, Strength and Dance Mixx.

Otomi Martial Arts
10441 S. Parker Rd.
(303) 840-9383

Otomi Martial Arts is a martial arts and fitness facility located in the Parker Plaza shopping center. With over 7 years in the community, you may just be surprised to see which of yours friends are already training with us!

The uniqueness of our program is in that our instructor has 35 years of martial arts experience including certifications in such well known programs as P90X® and Insanity®. Our one goal is to help you reach yours with a smile, some sweat and a ton of fun.

Group X Fitness Club
18871 Plaza Drive
(303) 840-0608

We are a group fitness studio that offers a full variety of classes. Whether it’s Barre, Insanity, Piyo, Pound, P90X, Turbo Kick, Yoga or Zumba, we are here to support, motivate and inspire each other without any intimidation.

We are a new family owned group fitness studio. This is a safe environment for you to step out of your comfort zone, get a great workout and make friends. What’s even better is there are no contracts. With month-to-month memberships, class passes, and drop in rates, we want to meet your needs!

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping
11280 South Twenty Mile Rd
(720) 376-9548

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping is a results based fitness center. We use four components to help our clients improve their overall health and fitness. Cardio kickboxing, strength training, personalized nutrition counseling and accountability through coaches and teammates. That’s why we say at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping results are typical.

One thing that sets FXB apart from our competition is our commitment to your results. We consistently measure and track your progress and make changes to ensure you reach your goals. We believe so much in tangible accomplishments that we offer a money back guarantee.

ILoveKickboxing Parker
10136 Parkglenn Way, Unit 105
(720) 598-1095

We are a studio gym located in central Parker offering classes Monday – Saturday for adults. No Kickboxing experience required, as we will teach you everything you need to know in order to have an awesome workout and get in the best shape of you life.

Our classes are group fitness, but unlike traditional group classes, you won’t find mirrors or follow the leader style movements here. We are hands on fitness studio that uses kickboxing to provide fun classes to help you lose weight, tone and strengthen your body. Our community is one of kind, suitable for women and men who want to have an awesome time while working out.

Jungle Law Strength & Movement
18320 E Cottonwood Drive Unit B
(719) 640-1852

We are a strength and conditioning gym that believes in simplicity, lifting heavy, mastering movement, using your own bodyweight and being reasonable. Most gyms focus on making you sweaty, tired, and sore. We focus on making you move and feel better. We want to build you up, not break you down.


Fit4Mom Castle Rock
1733 S. Perry Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
(970) 948-1480

We are located inside Planet Cheer for this Winter! There’s mats and an area for the kids to jump and tumble after the mamas get their workout in of course!!!

Fit4Mom(Stroller Strides) is a full body workout while the kids are in their strollers! We focus on strength for motherhood all while entertaining the kiddos!!! Fitness for Mom, Fun for Baby!

Essence Health & Fitness
1057 Park St
Castle Rock, CO 80109
(303) 350-8389

We’ve designed an elite, private personal training studio where training is available by appointment only. Every client works out in our comfortable, non-intimidating environment while receiving individualized and personalized workouts by an educated, certified personal trainer; focusing solely on them.

One-on-one personal training is our specialty. Our certified personal trainers listen to your goals and will design a well-rounded, functional workout to help you meet those fitness goals. We don’t have cookie cutter workouts — each workout will be a total body workout created just for you. Our one-on-one personal training sessions include strength training, cardiovascular interval training, balance and flexibility training.

Anytime Fitness Castle Rock
794 S. Perry Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
(303) 872-8038

We are open 24/7. Our friendly staff is trained to help members of all fitness levels along the fitness journey. Precor state-of-the-art cardio, strength equipment and free weights are available for your workout, as well as Zumba classes and professional personal trainers to keep you on track when you’re not.

We are a family owned business who truly cares about our members and their needs. We provide the best service to help our members get to a healthier place. Anytime Fitness is a supportive community of like-minded people who will give you the encouragement you need.

Crossfit Beaver Menace
158 Caprice Ct
Castle Rock, CO 80104
(720) 580-2328

Joining a gym can be intimidating, but at CrossFit Beaver Menace it’s a fun and friendly environment dedicated to you. Each workout is explained by certified coaches and scaled ensuring proper form and safety for your fitness level. Crossfit is for all fitness levels and ages.

Our gym is located right along the Plum Creek Trail and across the highway from “”The Rock””. We are unlike any other Crossfit in town because we are also in the same building as an American Ninja Warrior gym as well. Fun, encouraging, challenging, addicting…Crossfit!!

CrossFit Loop
136 South Wilcox St
Castle Rock, CO 80104
(720) 518-6629

Our Mission is to make CrossFit Loop, located in Castle Rock Colorado, the preferred fitness facility south of Denver. To provide a challenging and encouraging environment promoting a strong family community of health and fitness. We guarantee the CrossFit standards for elite fitness are endorsed through precision of coaching. CrossFit Loop supports all our athletes so they can reach and exceed their goals – no matter what level of athlete.



Barre Beauty
6140 South Gun Club Rd Unit K4
Aurora, CO 80016
(720) 388-4250

Barre Beauty is a highly effective fitness facility, based on quality work outs and high end boutique-like atmosphere with none of the high end pricing.

Barre Beauty is more than a fitness facility that delivers ultimate
results in your fitness goals, it is also a non-intimidating, no judgement, change your life kind of a place! With Barre Beauty, you develop a family you can look forward to seeing in every
single class; one that leads you to a more healthy lifestyle. Barre Beauty helps to bring out your Beautiful from the inside!

Anytime Fitness
7420 South Gartrell Road unit C
Aurora, CO 80016

We have convenient hours, location and affordable pricing. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including ALL holidays. Members also have access to 1,000+ clubs worldwide at no additional charge. We have awesome equipment for every fitness level. We also provide a supportive and knowledgeable staff to help you reach your goals. Discover the club for REAL people.

You’re not just joining a gym. You’re joining a supportive community of like-minded people who are here to give you the encouragement you need.

212 Performance Gym
12742 E Caley Ave
Centennial, CO 80111
(720) 417-4077

We are a small, semi-private gym offering personal training, small group classes, and monthly memberships. We have an in-house Chiropractor and Massage therapist. and are a very close-knit community that supports each other. There is no intimidating feeling walking into our gym. We are small and very specialized and are the best chance for success for someone wanting to make changes.

We are a very close-knit community that supports each other. There is no intimidating feeling walking into our gym. We are small and very specialized and are the best chance for success for someone wanting to make changes. We are not a big box gym and you won’t get lost, overwhelmed, or become just a number. You can truly find a home at our gym. We pay attention to details with our training and members.

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping
7500 S. University Blvd
Centennial, CO 80122
(303) 770-2639

No matter your age, gender, current fitness level, or fitness goals, our comprehensive 10-week program will get you the results you’ve been looking for. Through fitness kickboxing and resistance strength training, our fitness program will help transform your body, whether through weight loss or muscle definition, and will change the way you think about fitness and nutrition.

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping pairs each new member with a coach, someone who has been through a 10-week session. In addition to the support from a coach, we offer individualized nutritional guidance which will allow you to eat for optimum performance. This attention to each new member is unmatched and provides support, accountability, and motivation which leads to the success of our members.

Junkyard Training, Education and
Recovery Center
14697 E Easter
Centennial, CO 80112
(303) 521-7594

This is a training facility that focuses on meeting the individual goals of youth athletes as well as adults. We have both individual training and group classes for both adults and kids. We encourage adults to join the kids in training sessions. We also have a pitching tunnel.

We are unique in that we are probably the only recovery center in the area. We strive to keep athletes healthy by offering Class IV Laser treatments, Cupping, Ultrasound, and Normatec recovery boots. We use science based programming (sports specific) and offer researched based lectures/classes. Personal training included in membership.

Mile High CrossFit
14185 E Easter Ave Unit B
Centennial, CO 80112

Mile High CrossFit is a strength and conditioning facility that specializes in coaching individuals and teams by utilizing the fundamentals of CrossFit. Workouts are performed within a group class environment run by a Coach who provides instruction, technique review, and ensures safety in the movements being performed. The workouts are designed to challenge you both mentally and physically and you will likely make a few friends along the way as the group classes provide not only friendly competition but camaraderie.

At Mile High CrossFit we put community and reaching goals first. We’re not driven by profit; we’re driven by success. We care about each and every person that comes through the door as an individual and not as just a class attendee. We also have an extensive variety of tools to help our members reach the highest levels of fitness and have a fun time doing it.


The Ballet Physique
7600 E. Park Meadows Drive #100
Lone Tree, CO 80124
(303) 955-7165

The Ballet Physique is a boutique fitness studio that offers group exercise classes designed to produce lean and gorgeous muscles through a powerhouse blend of strength training, stretching, ballet, and Pilates.

Barre classes are our speciality and our passion. We are continually trying to raise the standard of what a barre class should be, and we’ve created a formula that goes beyond ballet-inspired choreography to deliver an experience for your body, mind, and soul. Whether you are a triathlete or just beginning your fitness journey, The Ballet Physique exists so that you can uncover the best version of yourself. We believe that every person should have the chance to grow strong, feel beautiful, and live a great life.

7824 Park Meadows Drive Suite 150
Lone Tree, CO 80124
(720) 616-7148

CycleBar Lone Tree is a Premium Indoor Cycling Studio! We offer indoor cycling classes for all fitness levels with over 30 free amenities! We provide shoes, towels, purified water, water bottles, fresh fruit & more! Our state of the art CycleTheatre is a concert, club like atmosphere with built in TV screens and DJ booth! Our CycleStar Instructors inspire as performers, motivators, drill sergeants and DJs. Your first class is on us FREE!

Yoga Pod Park Meadows
7824 Park Meadows Dr. STE 200
Lone Tree 80124
(303) 284-8314

We cultivate a sanctuary of peace that always begins with a warm and friendly greeting to all students. We welcome everyone to the Yoga Pod as their home away from home – a place where they are part of a wonderful, loving community of like-minded, health and fitness-minded individuals, who need a refuge for their body, mind and soul.

Our studio is known for having a unique variety of classes, all excellently taught by amazing, authentic teachers!
We offer a robust class schedule with a variety classes all day, every day, suitable for all levels: PodFlowTM, PodHotTM, HotVinFusionTM, YogaToneTM, PodBasicsTM, Yin, and Restorative.

Every class taught at the Yoga Pod is more than just a physical workout; we provide a path for students to grow within their practice, through safety and proper alignment.

FIT Park Meadows
9556 Park Meadows Drive, #400
Lone Tree, CO 80124
(720) 383-8372

FIT Park Meadows offers group fitness classes that include our strength based CrossFit program, our killer high intensity FIT classes and our olympic lifting program. We give everyone 1 week free to try us out!

Our community of members get results based on the effort they give our workouts every day of the week. There is no other gym around that has our unique FIT programming to help our athletes reach their fitness goals.

The Pilates Loft
9898 Rosemont Ave. Suit 201
Lone Tree, CO 80124
(303) 471-8656

The Pilates Loft is a small boutique fitness studio that specializes in Pilates, TRX, and Aerial Yoga. We offer private sessions and small group classes. We also specialize in post rehabilitation work.

Our facility is unique because it is a small boutique studio with small group class sizes so we can really focus on the individual’s needs. Also our atmosphere is one of a kind! Light and bright with a lot of windows and is not a gym! We have been in business for 12 years in this same location.

The Parker Recreation Center

The Parker Recreation Center

Amenities & Programs

The Parker Recreation Center, located at 17301 E. Lincoln Ave., was originally opened in 1994 and has recently undergone a major expansion to include more than 30,000 square feet of new and renovated space! This state-of-the-art facility includes an indoor pool area, an auxiliary gymnasium, a triple gymnasium, a children’s party room, classrooms, two fitness studios, one cycling studio, multi-purpose rooms, cardiovascular and circuit equipment, multi-station and free weights, an expanded lobby and reception area, complimentary WiFi, an expanded parking lot and a dynamic new exterior to the facility.

A popular spot for a workout, birthday parties, fun afternoons and great programs, the newly renovated Recreation Center Indoor Pool offers a new leisure and activity pool with zero-depth entry, lap lanes, a lazy river, water slide, aquatic climbing wall and play structure. Our indoor pool area also features a new therapy pool, a lap pool with shallow end, a sauna and new and updated locker facilities and changing rooms for men, women and families.

Parker Recreation strives to target patrons of all ages, interests, abilities and stages of life while continuing to offer new programs as the population grows and diversifies. A full range of adult and youth programming is available and the Recreation Center hosts year-round swimming lessons, special interest classes for children and adults, fitness and wellness programs as well as community events. Parker Recreation offers more than 100 Group Fitness classes per week, such as yoga, cycling, aqua aerobics and boot camp, to help patrons reach their fitness and wellness goals. Group Fitness classes are free with membership or daily admission. Facility hours allow kids to attend Kids’ Zone activities while Mom or Dad works out and sports programs are offered seven days a week to fit into busy schedules.

In addition to first-rate facilities, parks, trails and programs, reasonably priced memberships, discounts and fitness specials are offered periodically throughout the year. Recreation Memberships start as low as $23 per month and admissions range from a daily drop in of $4 for children and seniors and $5 for youth and adults, to $35 to $78 for 10- and 20-Visit passes. Recreation Passes and Memberships allow patrons to take advantage of the amenities at both the Recreation Center, 17301 E. Lincoln Ave., and the Fieldhouse, 18700 E Plaza Dr. Also available is the Fieldhouse Fitness Membership, a low-cost alternative for those who don’t need all of the amenities that come with a full Recreation Membership but want unlimited access to the cardio and circuit equipment and running/walking track in the Fieldhouse’s Fitness Loft. The Fieldhouse Fitness Membership starts as low as $17 per month.

Parker, Colorado is a full-service community with a hometown feel and Parker Parks and Recreation is no exception; providing the community with facilities, services and programs that are high-quality, diverse, sustainable, accessible and customer-oriented. Whether patrons are looking for a place to picnic, an enrichment class to take or an athletic league to join, Parker Recreation makes it easy and fun to work physical activities into your busy schedule. Visit to read more about fees, passes and schedules for these classes, sports and activities. Get online or visit a facility today!

Time To Start Training For The MS Muckfest 2017

Time To Start Training For The MS Muckfest 2017

In the heat of last July, more than 3,000 people took on muddy obstacles at MuckFest MS. Held at a new location in Parker, the 5K course challenged the valiant participants with muck-filled mazes, pits, craters and more than 15 gigantic steel obstacles.

Second year participant and Parker resident, Ellen Jones was among those who came out and braved the mud. She is a member of the 100-strong Muckin’ for Michael’s Mom team and knows the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS) well—the disease targeted her mother, brother, aunt and a sister (none deceased.)

“MS affected each of my family members differently and with varying degrees of severity. My mother was diagnosed later in life and MS plaques are in her spine, which has led to her being quadriplegic. My brother and sister were diagnosed at younger ages and plaques were mainly in their brains. Their symptoms began with vision problems that were followed by cognitive and movement issues. Interestingly, we have been doing a family history and we have definitely seen a pattern of MS on my mother’s side of the family,” Jones said.

“Although we have taken advantage of the National MS Society’s programs and services through the years, I became aware of MuckFest MS through my niece and nephew who had participated. I thought I could handle it so I tried it last year and had such a good time that I was ready to do it again this year!”

“MuckFest MS is a lot of fun and the comradery is special, but there’s also a good cause behind it. I enjoy all the laughter and doing this with friends on the team. It’s also very motivating to see so many people come together to raise funds that will help move us closer to finding a cure,” Jones emphasized.

Come join Ellen and fellow muckers at this year’s MuckFest MS and have a blast while helping to find a cure for MS. All you need are a pair of sneakers and a sense of humor to take on the muck-tacular course! MuckFest MS will take place on Saturday, July 15th, 2017 at Salisbury North (9200 N Motsenbocker Road) in Parker. You can find out more information and register at


The Ballroom: A Novel

By Anna Hope

Sharston Asylum, located in England, was the unlikely location of a love story set in 1911. Although men and women are kept far apart in the asylum, they come together on Friday nights to dance in the stately ballroom. The men and women look forward to this time and hope they were well behaved enough during the week to earn their admittance. Ella Fay and John Mulligan, two of the patients at Sharston Asylum, encounter each other as Ella is attempting to run away. They meet again in the ballroom and a courtship begins in this unlikely place.

PAM This unique story intrigued me and I was drawn to read more. The author introduces us to the characters and their stories, as well as the asylum itself. I found the stories, as well as their daily lives to be very bleak. What emotions surfaced as you read about the nurses, doctors, and patients?

BECKY My grandfather spent most of his childhood in an orphanage so this story stirred a number of negative emotions. It is hard to believe that not that long ago we would place people in institutions like this. The idea that, as a society, we felt that they were to be locked away and forgotten is hard to comprehend. In this story we meet Ella and John who are not mentally challenged but have been sent to Sharston for minor issues. Ella for breaking a window at her job in a factory and John for melancholia which resulted after losing his wife and child. The days are uneventful and the nurses are uncaring. The most interesting character to me is Dr. Charles Fuller. His first love is not medicine but music and he starts a program to see if exposure to music has a beneficial effect on patients. What were your first impressions of this character?

PAM Initially, I felt that Dr. Fuller cared for the patients and their quality of life. In an environment where men and women were admitted against their will and had no say about their rights or treatment, I thought he would be an advocate for them. However, his character did not continue along the path I thought he was traveling. He had escaped his parents and their oppressive expectations when he secured this job. Dr. Fuller went through significant changes in his beliefs (and his character) during this story, with many underlying themes woven throughout. He is initially drawn to John’s story and decides to focus on this patient. How did you feel about Dr. Fuller’s attention being directed to John?

BECKY First, I think that we have to paint a picture of John. He is a tough and stoic Irishman that is in a trusted position to work digging graves at the asylum. In my mind he was similar to Hugh Jackman in personality and physique. We don’t know much about him initially, but I quickly liked him and wanted the best for his character. At the beginning of the book I thought that the doctor would be a champion for John as he encouraged him to attend the dances and was interested in his opinions. However, as the story progresses the doctor wrestles with his own demons and he begins to obsessively focus on John. Were you as quickly drawn to John as I was, or did another character grab your attention?

PAM I pictured him the same way you did! I was also drawn to his character from the very beginning. He was very stable and appeared content in his work. He struggled with a painful past and preferred to hang back and go through the paces of the day. Therefore, he initially resisted the doctor’s request to attend the dances. Once there, he met Ella and his quiet and solitary world began to change. Ella was not content in the asylum and was constantly looking for opportunities to escape. Were you surprised that these two were drawn to each other?

BECKY They were different personalities and there wasn’t much opportunity for the men and women to mingle until the Friday night dance so this was not a typical romance. I wouldn’t say that their connection surprised me but I did enjoy this unlikely relationship. What I found disturbing is that neither one where mentally ill yet they were unable to leave the asylum. They were held, and treated, as if they were prisoners. The staff was unkind and they were subjected to psychological abuse. The most disgusting was when Dr. Fuller became interested in the eugenics movement. It was a belief that those with less desired traits should be sterilized. Unfortunately, patients in the asylum fall into this category. What do you think of the author’s ability to develop this dark character?

PAM I found this very upsetting, as well. The patients had no control of their lives and were treated so poorly. This environment of complete power over other people was even more disturbing as we saw the slide of Dr. Fuller. He lost the ability to see the patients as people and became a firm believer in the eugenics movement. This belief that he could (and should) sterilize as many patients as possible without their (or their families’ permission) illustrated just how broken the system had become. The author painted an interesting picture that led me to believe, at first, the doctor cared for his patients and wanted to enrich their lives. However, as we follow him through this story, we see a dark change. I felt that she was inferring he was suffering from a struggle with mental health. Did you feel this, as well?

BECKY Absolutely! How ironic that a doctor with mental illness is working at an asylum. This is a talented author that created a dynamic plot. I think that a book club would have many topics to discuss. It’s time to leave this dance and meet Joe next month in, The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens.

Happy New Year!


A Colorado Day: Nature’s Inspirations from the Centennial State

By Kristin Acker Miller
Illustrated by Tracy Herrmann

Trail alongside animals as they go about their day in this lovely children’s picture book about life in the natural world from dawn until dusk. Featuring vibrant colors, beautifully expressive illustrations and a melodic, rhyming story including the names of Colorado wildlife and vegetation. Plus a bonus “Facts About Colorado” page offers interesting facts about the state of Colorado. Ideal for children ages 2-7.

About the Author
With a lifelong love of writing, Colorado resident, Kristin Acker Miller has written countless articles spanning 20 years as a magazine editor and writer. Following a long-held dream to publish a children’s book and possessing a profound sense of appreciation for nature, Ms. Miller created Dreaming Tree Books with the intent to publish children’s picture books that highlight the fascinating wildlife and landscapes of the natural world. Her hope is to encourage reading and an enthusiasm for nature among young children.

A Colorado Day is available at

A Pocketful of Seeds

By Debbie Johnson

Each person has a “Pocket of Seeds” to plant for positive change. Inspired by the teachings of Christ, this book is for anyone wishing to make a difference in the world around them. In A Pocketful of Seeds, author and social-change agent Debbie Johnson issues a challenge to herself and her readers: let’s sow “seeds” into the world every day for a year and see how we – and the world – are changed.

A Pocketful of Seeds isn’t just a devotional; it’s a collection of inspirations and ideas for world changers. And it’s not just for established Mother Teresas or Nelson Mandelas, but for everyday people who itch to break free and make an impact – a real impact. If that is the cry of your heart, then you are the perfect person to take on the 365-day challenge of A Pocketful of Seeds.

Each entry combines a compelling story with an action – a seed to be sown that day, like hanging out with someone of a different socioeconomic group or calling an elderly friend or making a microloan. Some daily seeds will fill you with delight, and some will call for sacrifice. All will make the world a better place, because one thing is definitely true: when seeds are sown, life happens.

A Pocketful of Seeds is available at and Amazon

Healthy Habits in 10 Minutes or Less

Healthy Habits in 10 Minutes or Less

By: Brooke Ebel – Master Nutrition Therapist

Have you made a health goal that you would really like to achieve as part of your New Year’s resolutions? One of the biggest barriers for people trying to live healthier lives is the notion that being healthy is incredibly time-consuming. Not everyone has the extra time in their day to go to work, cook, clean, go to the gym, take care of the family, and still get 8 hours of sleep. However, there are simple tips and tricks that can help anyone live a happier, healthier life and require only 10 minutes out of your day at the most.

Adding one of these suggestions to your daily routine can make a big difference!

1. Believe You are a Healthy Eater
Being healthy is important and you can do it. Simply by believing or identifying yourself as a “healthy eater” means that you are more likely to participate in healthy eating behaviors. This is called the “health belief model” and it is a strong predictor of future behaviors, such as healthy eating.

2. Opt for Eggs for Breakfast
Yes, it takes a few minutes more out of your morning, but scrambling a few eggs for breakfast is so much better for you than that bowl of cold cereal and skim milk. Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with protein, healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins. For the most nutritious egg, choose eggs from hens living on pasture.

3. Laugh a Little (or a lot) Every Day
Laughter makes us feel good and supports a positive mood. Not only does laughter have psychological effects, but it also affects our physiology. Laughter has been shown to support cardiovascular health, metabolic health, respiratory health, and immune function. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when you’re alone.

4. Let Your Crushed, Minced, or Chopped Garlic Sit for 5-10 Minutes Before Cooking With It
Garlic derives its health supportive properties from an organosulfur compound known as allicin. However, allicin is made from a compound in garlic that, when the garlic is crushed or chopped, is converted into allicin by an enzyme. Studies show that cooking, microwaving, or applying acid to freshly chopped garlic will destroy the enzymes that make allicin. Simply letting your garlic rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking will ensure that allicin has formed. Garlic supplements also contain allicin, so if you don’t have time to cook with garlic, pick up a supplement and take it at your convenience.

5. Eat Lots of Bacteria
More and more research is highlighting the importance of our gut microbiota – the bacteria that live in our digestive tract. There are so many of these little microbes living in our gut that, based on total cell numbers, we are only 10% human and 90% bacteria! The human microbiota has been shown to influence not only digestion, but also appetite, mental health, cardiovascular health, immune function metabolism, and even weight-loss. By eating probiotics, defined by the World Health Organization as “live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host,” we are essentially sending in healthy reinforcements to our gut microbes. To consume lots of bacteria, take a probiotic supplement and eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and miso soup. Always look for the term “contains live active cultures” to ensure that probiotic bacteria were added back to your fermented food after pasteurization.

6. Reduce Stress – Play With a Pet
Numerous studies have shown that taking time to play with an animal supports mental health. Whether it is a bird, cat, or a dog, people who engage with their pets report lower levels of anxiety and improved problem-solving abilities. Not only that, but engaging with a pet for as little as ten minutes has been shown to support a healthy stress response and healthy blood pressure levels.

Maintaining good health is not always easy, but hopefully these tips help! Don’t feel obligated to take on all of them at once. Simply engaging in one of these 10-minute (or less!) activities could be your first step in 2017 to achieving a happier, healthier you. Reprinted with permission from – references available online at


6th Annual Daniel Velasquez Stuffed Animal Collection 2017

6th Annual Daniel Velasquez Stuffed Animal Collection 2017

You’re driving down the road with your kids in the car. Suddenly, in an instant, you are experiencing your worst nightmare; screeching tires, a flurry of motion and sound and then the moment of impact. Seven years ago, Daniel Velasquez and his mother experienced just such a nightmare. Thankfully, they were both able to walk away from their accident, albeit they were understandably shaken up. At the scene of Daniel and his mother’s accident, the responding Parker Police Officer gave Daniel a stuffed Teddy Bear to help calm him down and ease his nerves a bit.

Not only did that Teddy Bear help Daniel the day of his accident, it inspired Daniel to pay it forward and help other kids going through traumatic experiences. Every year since that accident, Daniel has had a very special and specific birthday wish. Instead of gifts for himself, he has asked his friends to bring new stuffed animals that can be donated to the Parker Police Department.

This year, Daniel has paired up with Mayor Mike Waid, and together they are trying to hit a goal of 335 new (stuffed animals must be new and unused due to allergies) stuffed animals for Daniel’s donation. He is expanding the donations to include the Douglas County Sherriff’s Office as well as Parker Adventist Hospital. To those children who are victims of crime, abuse or accidents, these stuffed animal friends offer a safe companion and foster a positive relationship with the police officers that provide them.

If you would like to help Daniel meet his goal of 335 stuffed animals, you can drop your donation at Fika Coffee House (19559 East Mainstreet – Parker, CO 80138as well as the Parker Schoolhouse (19650 E. Mainstreet – Parker, CO 80138) on Mainstreet. You can also contact Ray Velasquez directly at 303-304-8851.

Your generous donation doesn’t just mean a lot to Daniel, it means the world to those little ones who find themselves in an unexpected and often scary situation. Your donation will warm hearts for a long time to come.

Chef’s Profile

Chef’s Profile

Jeffrey James Holland,
Owner and Chef
Rory’s Diner

Rory’s Diner

11020 S Pikes Peak Dr STE 150
Monday – Friday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m./ Sat 8-8/ sunday 8-5

3 year apprenticeship under Steven Schaffer and 1 year under Scott Snyder. They taught us about food and how to be a good leader.

Watching families enjoying good food and good company while taking pride in the fact that I was able to contribute to that. Sometimes we forget that going out to eat should be a time to enjoy the company you’re with, myself included.

Stout Braised Bison short ribs in Ancho Demi-Glace over Scallion Potato pancakes for the public/ homemade soups and grilled cheese for my 3 girls/ egg benedict for my beautiful wife.

My first meal as an apprentice chef in Marina Del Rey California was for the last great president we had in this country, Ronald Reagan, and 2000 of his closest friends. I had to peel and trim 4000 baby carrots, fan 2000 baby zucchini and sunburst squash and wrap 1800 frenched chicken breasts. That’s when I learned that the 1st plate should look exactly like the 2000th plate. Consistency is the key to good food

Our house made fennel scented corned beef hash with over easy eggs and rye toast.

Comfort food should inspire memories from your past, hopefully my food does that.

My mom is a wonderful cook and helping her in the kitchen were some of my fondest memories growing up and that was cultivated into a culinary career.

Food for Thought and Nourishment for the Soul

food-for-thought_headerFood for Thought and Nourishment for the Soul

Have you seen them? Can you pick them out of the crowd on the playground or at the bus stop? Do you know which kids right in your neighborhood are excited to go home after school and play and which kids are nervous to go home from school each day because they aren’t sure what, if anything, will be in their pantry or refrigerator for dinner that night or breakfast the next morning?

It’s not an obvious or highly visible problem, but 45,000 families live at or below the poverty level in the in the suburbs of Highlands Ranch, Parker, Aurora, Englewood, Lone Tree and more. This is a unique segment of poverty and comes with unique dynamics.

Children who are affected by poverty and going to school hungry are often fighting a losing battle each week. They may act out due to stresses at home or may just have that much harder of a time concentrating during the day, because if you’re not getting enough to eat, it’s hard to think about much else.

SECOR’s Food for Thought program came to be to make an impact with those directly affected by hunger and powerless to combat it themselves, children. With 1 out of every 5 elementary school age children in Douglas County eating little to nothing on the weekends, this is a silent epidemic happening in our own backyard. Food for Thought started with five schools and has grown to eight; three in Aurora, one in Elizabeth, one in Cherry Creek and six in Douglas County. Each week, volunteers deliver 140 bags of food to sustain kids and their families through the weekends and breaks. Times off school are hardest; when most look forward to school vacations, students who are hungry often worry about what or how they will eat over long breaks. With the need for intervention growing, SECOR is committed to adopting more schools to aid students in need. It is their hope that businesses, organizations and even other schools will want to be a part of the solution and adopt a school with children in need.

The reach of SECOR goes much further than the Food for Thought program. SECOR assists families facing seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in the midst of job loss, divorce, inadequate retirement, piles of medical bills, rising rents, or loss of a vehicle. For many families, things are going along just fine and then, life happens. Single parents and seniors are the fastest growing segment of the vulnerable in the area that Secor serves.

SECOR believes, no matter their circumstances, all people deserve respect, compassion and dignity, and they vow to serve them to that end. They are committed to breaking the chains of suburban poverty, which is growing at the rate of 9.6% per year in our area, and allowing those shackled by it to be given a chance to turn the corner.

Invaluable resources are available for those who find themselves in the worst of situations. Guests to SECOR can benefit from free financial counseling, legal aid, dental programs, financial support and the amazing Food Market. People often walk through the doors broken but SECOR cultivates an environment of grace, love and hope. Anyone who walks in needing the market or counseling services is a guest of SECOR, not just another client.

The free market allows guests shop from a wide variety of pantry items and non-perishables as well as fresh produce, milk, eggs, and quality meats. They are guided through the market with a volunteer and able to shop with choice and pay absolutely nothing; they are not just handed a box of miscellaneous food and sent on their way. Guests are able to shop, with dignity, and choose grocery items that their family wants and needs. The market relies on donations from the community as well as generous sponsors and partners including Food Bank of the Rockies, Target, Walmart, King Soopers, Sprouts, Kneaders and Papa Murphy’s Pizza. All in all, about 60,000 pounds of food is provided monthly.

With SECOR serving 42 zip codes in 3 counties, they welcome any and all partnerships and volunteers. The first step is to just walk in the door and see what you can do to help. Anyone with an interest is invited to tour Secor and see what it’s all about. Meet and speak to Shannon, SECOR’s Program Director, to see just what it takes and how it all works. Tours are twice a month, the second Wednesday from 12:30pm-1:30pm and the fourth Thursday from 5:30pm-6:30pm. To sign up for a tour, contact Heather at or call Barbara at 720-842-5621. If your organization or church would like to learn how you can partner with SECOR or adopt a school for the Food for Thought program, contact Mike Dworak at or call 720-842-5621.

The holidays are a time that most find themselves asking what they can do for others. SECOR and their volunteers make that pledge every day of the year and they want to continue to serve those in need. With your help, they can.

To find out more, go to


Parents’ Night Out with Parker Rec
The one thing most every grown-up has on their wish list during the holidays is a bit of a breather in the midst of all the holiday mayhem. On Saturday, December 17th, you can cross that off your list because the Parker Recreation Center is giving you the gift of time! You can grab a quiet bite to eat, get a little holiday shopping done or just enjoy a relaxing night in wrapping gifts while you catch “Elf” or “Christmas Vacation” on TV again this year. The Recreation Center provides games, activities, crafts, movies, climbing and skating (children must provide their own skates) to keep your little elves busy. If they need a little down time during their fun night out, kids can catch a family-friendly film and mini-films in the activity rooms at the Rec Center. Concessions will be available for purchase and the movie title will be posted at check-in that evening. To ensure your child has a spot at this event, pre-registration is highly encouraged. As staffing is determined by the number of children pre-registered participants so there is a chance walk-ins may be turned away that evening. The cost is $20/first child, $15/sibling. Fee increases by $5 day of the event.

Call 303.805.6304 or go to to register your little ones for a fun night in and gift yourself a quiet night out!

The Chicken Shack
Sometimes, you just need comfort food. Maybe it’s been an exceptionally long week or a cold and blustery day. Maybe you’re about to watch the Broncos or getting together for the holidays. Whatever the reason or occasion, there’s a spot in Parker that makes sure that delicious food is just a click away. The Chicken Shack offers the very comforting selection of wings, chicken fingers, burgers and chili and getting those scrumptious selections from their kitchen to your door couldn’t be any easier. Of course, you could pop in and order but, even better, you can go online to or download their app, which offers Apple pay to make check out as simple as possible. Online and on the app, you’ll find full menu access and restaurant information, order ahead capability, the ability to note any special instructions and you can even save your account information to make future orders even faster. Choose from their burgers, chili, chicken fingers or wings. Pair those with one of the many varieties of sauces and sides and you’ve got a Tailgate party that can’t be beat! Next time you are figuring out your family’s dinner or planning a bigger get together, be the hero of the party and let Chicken Shack take care of the menu!

Chicken Shack is located at 11211 S. Dransfeldt Rd. Suite 134
Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm & Sun 10am-8pm
Call 720.504.5044 – – Find them on Facebook

The DuRay House: A Piece of Parker’s Past
By: The Town of Parker Historic Preservation Commission

Nestled back just off Mainstreet in Old Town Parker sits the William DuRay house. Built by William DuRay and his wife Elizabeth in 1911, this simple, two-story home with the wood gabled roof is typical to turn-of-the-century homes in this area. This modest home doesn’t necessarily make a strong architectural statement; but it speaks a rich narrative for Parker. The DuRay’s were prominent business and civic contributors who once owned the Parker Creamery. The house was sold and bought at several times between 1922 and 1963 and was visited by the DuRay sisters in 1965 when they came back to visit their childhood home. In 1973, the home was sold to the Episcopal Diocese and was then used as St. Matthew’s vestry office, sitting adjacent to the church building. Additions and improvements, like the small back porch and the bathroom, were made to the home over the years, but the heart of its history remained intact. It was named a Parker Landmark Parker Town Council on August 20th, 2007.