Eugene is a lovely 74-year-old-gentleman living in Grand Junction, Colorado who has always wanted to go to Alaska. When he was a young boy, Eugene lived at St. Clarice’s orphanage in Denver, Colorado. While he was there, he made friends with someone who went to Alaska frequently and always shared his stories and photos with Eugene. This friend was one of the few people that Eugene ever really bonded with as a young man and though they often talked about taking a trip there one day, time passed and eventually Eugene lost track of him putting his dream trip on hold indefinitely.
Despite having some developmental delays, Eugene has worked very hard to get to the point where he was able to live an independent life. Eugene worked for several years a custodian and helping in the kitchen at Children’s Hospital as well as a few other odd jobs. Throughout his life, Eugene has felt very strongly that it is important to help other people before doing things for himself. These days Eugene volunteers several days each week at the Catholic Outreach where he helps to put together and deliver meals to the homeless in his community. He is also sure to be at all of the events that his older adult community puts on because he insists on helping to set everything up and then do the cleaning when the event is over. Eugene’s helpful nature and friendly attitude endear him to everyone he meets. When the staff at Eugene’s older adult community, his friends at the Catholic outreach, and his case managers at Strive learned about his wish to see Alaska and how his hard earned savings fell short, they took it upon themselves to make sure that his wish came true. They knew firsthand what a kind and generous person Eugene is and they wanted him to be able to get something back that he could enjoy just for himself. With lots of hard work they helped to fundraise and plan Eugene’s dream trip.
June 22, 2013, Wish of a Lifetime sent Eugene on a cruise in Alaska. Eugene had an amazing time meeting new friends on the cruise and seeing the beautiful sights of Alaska with them. They saw whales, dolphins, seals, and otters but Eugene says that his favorite part was looking out from the deck of the ship and seeing the gorgeous glaciers.