Casino night on the town

Horizons to host fundraiser Saturday

— Bill Mason sat up straight in the barber chair and looked into the mirror.

"Is this going to make my hail lighter?" he asked Lisa Davis, owner of the Hair Shak in Craig. "I want to see what lighter will do for me."

Mason is 47 years old and has a disability.

His trip downtown for a haircut is made easier by the help he receives through Horizons Specialized Services, which operates the group home he shares with four other clients.

Park Place is one of three group homes in Craig that Horizons supports.

Mason and 27 other Moffat County residents with developmental disabilities depend on the organization for housing, vocational and social opportunities and basic life skills.

Group home residents receive assistance with shopping, cooking and budgeting from councilors like David Ferrari.

"We work in 40-hour shifts," he said. "I spend the night at the house and also spend off hours with the clients. That works well because I love to cook."

Mason is diabetic and Ferrari attends to his special dietary needs at Park Place.

Horizons raises money each year in Moffat County through a "Little Points of Light" mailing campaign. The organization will host a Casino Night event for the first time Saturday.

"We've got a roulette wheel coming up from Denver," Horizons volunteer coordinator Bette Carlson said. "The Holiday Inn is serving a 'heavy buffet' and there's a silent auction."

Silent auction items include a weekend for two at Trappers Lake Lodge and an airplane ride for three people. Fly-fishing trips and a large tapestry chair will also be available during the auction.

Money collected at the auction and casino will help clients like Mason live a semi-independent lifestyle.

He remembers becoming a client of Horizons, and said they took care of him, "right there and then."

On Thursday, he was covering the town.

"I walk everywhere, sometimes on that side of town, sometimes on this side," Mason said. "I like shopping. If something's my style, I'll get it."

Mason calls Horizons a "great organization, one of the best."

"They are very responsible for the person they are caring for," he said. "They'll help you anyway they can."

Mason said he enjoys working two days a week at the Thunder Rolls Bowling Alley doing general cleaning.

For his meals, he can eat in town if he wishes, but he would rather be at Park Place.

"I enjoy my dinners with the guys," Mason said. "We sit and eat and I ask about what they did that day."

It was a good bet the topic of conversation at the dinner table turned to Mason's new look Friday.

"I heard blonds have more fun," he said smiling into the mirror.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com

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