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A Coal Creek Family Connection

Dolores Silva, 2017

Dolores and Chuck Silva (her son) with friend Ellen Cook

The Silva Family have been connected to the Lafayette community well before and throughout the history of CCMOW. The Silvas, one of Lafayette’s original Latino families,

have lived locally since the early 1900s.

Over the years, two generations of the Silva Family have been linked to CCMOW as both volunteers and diners at the Coal Creek Café – CCMOW’s older adult social dining program at Josephine Commons in partnership with the City of Lafayette.

Most Mondays through Fridays, Chuck Silva picks up his 93-year old mother, Dolores, from her Lafayette home and drives down the road to Josephine Commons, where they meet their dear family friend, Ellen Cook, at 11:30 a.m. for lunch at the Coal Creek Café. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they stay after lunch to mingle with friends and help Dolores settle in for bingo, one of her favorite weekly activities.

“It’s good for mom [Dolores] to come here to eat and hang out with her friends, especially because she lives alone, and it can get lonely sometimes,” says her son, Chuck.

Dolores has lived in Lafayette for 77 years. Her father was from Pueblo, Colorado, and her mother was from Taos, New Mexico. Dolores was born and raised in Denver, but had a sister who lived in Lafayette, and would come to visit her often. During one of these visits, Dolores met her soon-to-be husband, Manuel “Manny” Silva, a Lafayette native who worked in the local coal mines. Dolores married Manny and moved to his family farm on Coal Creek in Lafayette where they raised their two children. “I grew up on my family’s farm on Coal Creek right over there,” says Chuck, pointing South from the entrance of Josephine Commons, the home of CCMOW. "This was my playground as a kid!”

Chuck’s parents first learned about CCMOW through the Lafayette Senior Center, where they would go each day for lunch. When CCMOW moved to Josephine Commons in 2015, they started attending CCMOW’s daily older adult congregate lunch program. “When my dad was alive, we had a routine – we would go to McDonald’s each morning for breakfast, no matter rain or shine, or snow, and then we would come here for lunch so they could eat

with their friends - they have lots of friends and know everybody.”

When Dolores walks into the café, you can tell that she is happy to be here as she exchanges hugs and kisses on the cheeks with her long-time friends. Her presence is an important piece of the CCMOW community. For neighbors like Dolores, CCMOW has offered a unique space for older adults in our community to thrive and experience the powerful benefits of interpersonal relationships and connectivity for half a century.

Over a decade ago, before they began bringing Dolores and Manny to CCMOW for lunch, Chuck and Ellen first met as volunteers through the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Mile High Post #1771. “The VFW was really good about connecting us with organizations that needed volunteers,” says Ellen. This is how Ellen first became connected with CCMOW as a kitchen volunteer when the organization was still located at the First United Methodist Church of Lafayette. Ellen and Chuck generously volunteered in the CCMOW kitchen for 10 years together and officially “retired” right before the pandemic.

This is why CCMOW delivers more than just a meal. We provide socialization and connections to individuals in our community who may be impacted by isolation and loneliness, leading to more independence and overall healthier lives.

To support Coal Creek Meals on Wheels, make a donation online or by mailing a check to:

Coal Creek Meals on Wheels

455 N Burlington Ave

Lafayette, CO 80026

Dolores celebrating her 94th birthday with friend, Sherman, who was celebrating his 84th birthday, at the Coal Creek Café in 2023.

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