Holiday Cheer Campaign: Finalist Families

We are extremely thankful to our sponsor, Colorado Springs Utilities, as it is their generosity and support that helps us provide this special opportunity to our community.

This is it! The highly anticipated announcement we’ve been so excited to share! Below are details for each of the families who are our 2020 FINALISTS to win a special holiday cheer experience (including a home visit from Santa himself) on December 5th! This experience is made possible by our partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities!

The winners of the Holiday Cheer Campaign will each be receiving a special experience that we hope truly blesses them with some much needed extra cheer this holiday season. The 2020 Holiday Cheer Experience includes a 30-minute private visit from Santa, who will be accompanied by a professional photographer [Moments by Kati] to capture all the special moments on film for the family! Santa will also bring a few sweet treats with him for the family, too – goodies from a few of our favorite local businesses including Pikes Peak Lemonade, Ten Thousand Cookies, and Bonbon Bombardier!

We received 30 family nominations from you, the COS community! Our Executive Team narrowed down the list of Finalists, and we now need YOU to vote and deterimine the 4 lucky winners! Voting opens Wednesday, Nov. 25th at 8 PM and closes Sunday, Nov. 29th at 8 PM. Winners will be notified on December 1st, and have 24 hours to claim their prize. Winners will be announced to the public by December 3rd.

We truly wish we could give all the nominated families a special holiday experience this year. Every one of them deserves it. We at Co Springs Moms Collective appreciates this community more than we can even express and we were touched by the outpouring of love and support mentioned in each of the nominations. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination!

So, without further ado, here are the finalist families. Please take time to read through each of the descriptions, and follow the link below to cast your votes! Happy Holidays to you and yours from the Co Springs Mom Collective team.

The Bies Family

Michelle and Michael Bies and their two children (ages 8 months old & 3 years old).

Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? Michelle recently suffered an AVM/Stroke at the age of 34. The doctors told her she should not be alive, but she is a true fighter! She now goes to therapies multiple times a week, and is unable to go back to work at this time – so her husband is currently caring for both children and working. W

A few words from the friend who nominated the Bies Family – “Michelle is a woman who gives beyond measures. She is the friend we all dream of having and I am so glad she’s one of mine. After suffering a stroke in early October she’s fighting every day to recover. Michelle is a walking miracle and a testimony of pure momma fight. She never gives up and laughs and smiles through the hardest days. She is constantly giving to those around her and this experience would be such a blessing and cheer for her and her family this season.”

The Dickson Family

Wendy and Jeff Dickson and their six children (ages 4, 7, 8, 11, 14 & 20) + two  (their children’s friends who have become like family) and two foster children.

Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? The Dickson’s youngest child has Angelman Sydrome, a genetic disorder that causes developmental and neurological disabilities. He is non-verbal and struggles from seizures, but is such a strong boy with determination and a smile that can light up any room. His older siblings help him everything they can and are always looking for ways to give back. At the beginning of COVID, their 14 year old son started making and selling birdhouses, donating half of his proceeds to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation(ASF). Inspired by their brother’s (and son’s) efforts, Jeff (Dad) made squirrel/chicken tables, their 12 year old daughter made homemade dog treats; their 9 year old daughter made arrow art and their 8 year old son made crosses – – ALL to donate back to ASF, raising over $5000 in donations! They truly love others with an open heart.

A few words from Wendy (Mom) herself – “Our kids always give back and have given so much of themselves this year. They love others with an open heart.”

The Gordon Family

Justyce Gordon and her two children (ages 5 & 14).

Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? Justyce recently lost her husband very unexpectedly. She and her children were set to move closer to family, however an unfortunate circumstance with the moving company and a car accident (ruining their only family vehicle) has set them back. Earlier this year, Justyce was diagnosed with COV19 and spent a few weeks in the hospital helping her breathe better on her own. She’s been in and out of the hospital for months fighting very hard for her life. Their days have been overwhelmed by grief, hospital bills, appointments and online learning, and they could use a pick-me-up this holiday season. 

A few words from the friend that Gordon Family– “They have had some of the worst things happen to them over the past few years. It would be truly amazing for them to receive much needed and overdue help from our community and to finally see them break a smile and renew their hope and prayer! They have always helped out those who needed help so it would be phenomenal if they now receive all of the love and affection they have continuously given over the past 20 years. It would mean so much to finally see a smile on their faces once again, thank you very much!”

The Norris Family

Moriah Norris and her two children (ages 6 & 8).

Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? In addition to all the hard that 2020 has brought, the Norris children have had an extra challenging year following their parent’s divorce and father’s lack of communication and presence in their lives. They have lived through some traumatic and physically damaging experiences, and could use a boost of love and cheer that a special visit from Santa could bring.

A few words from Moriah herself – “I know that there are so many people and children in the world suffering right now, but I also know that a visit from Santa would brighten my children’s lives and year like nothing else. Both of my children have already been writing letters to Santa and asking if they will get to see him this year. I am a struggling single mom and would love to be able to see their eyes light up at this experience if given the opportunity to be selected. I know that seeing Santa could truly inspire some extra magic for all of us right now!”

The Riley Family

Rachel and Mark Riley and their five kids (ages 3-17). 
Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? Two and a half years ago Rachel was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Then, after completing breast cancer treatment, she was diagnosed with leukemia and has spent this year battling it, but with COVID restrictions causing her to do so much of it alone in the hospital. She recently completed this second round of treatments. Just a few weeks ago, Rachel was diagnosed with a THIRD type of cancer, metastatic breast cancer in her pelvis, and will now have to begin additional chemotherapy treatment despite a worn out body that hasn’t recovered from the last 30 months. 
A few words from the friend who nominated the Riley Family – “Sweet Rachel just got the news no one wants to hear, cancer. But this is the 3rd time she’s heard this word in 3 years. She lives each day with a huge smile on her face while battling the unknown. Her faith and determination to beat cancer once again amazes me. She has 5 beautiful children at home and a hard working husband. A little extra Christmas cheer is exactly what they all need this year!”

The Sanchez Family

Regina Sanchez and her four children (ages 7, 10, 12, & 15).

Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? The Sanchez children haven’t been able to see their active duty father all year because of COVID. Regina (mom) has had to over extend herself by picking up extra work for services like Go Puff, Doordash and Postmates (so she may bring her children with her) to make ends meet. This year their sweet family wanted a real tree and to decorate the inside of their apartment, but it has left little room in the budget for gifts or extra experiences. The two littlest children still believe in Santa and every year leave milk and cookies for him, as well as snacks for the reindeer.

A few words from Regina (Mom) herself – “My children are so deserving and loving, knowing I make very little they’re simply grateful for what we have and that’s family. My oldest daughter’s birthday is Dec 6th (a day after Santa would visit if we won) and this would be an amazing birthday gift! She’s a bright student and is caring not only to her family, but always there for her friends. She made sure during this whole pandemic to call and support her friends emotionally and mentally. This surprise will bring my whole family Christmas spirit and cheer making this year go out with a bang!!””

The Schwinn Family

Valerie and Robert Schwinn and their son (8 years old). 

Why could they use some extra cheer this holiday season? Valerie was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer this year, and she is looking to make as many special memories with her son while she can. Winning a special, private visit with Santa could add some much needed cheer & magic to the season!

A few words from Robert (Dad) himself – “We are honored to be nominated this year!  Not only have we dealt with the pandemic, but in May 2020 we were given the diagnosis that Val’s cancer has returned and she now has incurable Stage 4 MBC. As an only child (and adopted) our son has struggled this year and being able to believe in Santa is what is holding him together this year.” 

From Nov. 13th through Nov. 20th, the public had a chance to nominate a deserving Colorado Springs family by completing the provided online submission form. Families were also encouraged to nominate themselves! To be eligible, families must be based in Colorado Springs, have at least one child living at home and have availability on Dec. 5th for Santa’s visit.

This promotion is for immediate family members only, including spouse and/or partner, children and Fido. Co Springs Mom Collective Exec Team selected finalists and has now opened it up to a public vote on starting on Nov. 25, 2020. Votes must be posted by 8:00 PM on Nov. 29, 2020 to qualify, and 4 winners will be notified on Dec. 1, 2020 (and have 24 hours to claim). Winners we be announced to the public by Dec. 3, 2020.

Be sure to follow Co Springs Mom Collective on Facebook & Instagram and subscribe to our Email Newsletter to stay up to date on all the announcements regarding this campaign.

  • Co Springs Mom Collective reserves the right to alter this contest or the prize package at any time.
  • Co Springs Mom Collective is not held liable for providing any prize packages.
  • Winners must confirm their availability and acceptance of the Holiday Cheer Package by December 3, 2020.
  • By participating, all entrants acknowledge and agree that they have entered the contest of their own free will, that the full rules and details of the contest have been made available to them in writing above and they therefore understand and agree that neither Co Springs Mom Collective or Colorado Springs Utilities, their representatives or employees have any liability with respect to any damages out of acceptance and use of a prize. By entering this promotion, participants agree to be bound by these rules.
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Laura is the Instagram Director for Co Springs Mom Collective. She has a heart for local businesses and exploring (and introducing people to) new fun spots around COS. Laura was born and raised in Minnesota, but headed for the mountains for college at the University of Denver, and has stayed in Colorado since 2009. She currently lives in a 1920’s home downtown with her husband, daughter (2016), and massive Labradoodle. When she isn’t hanging out with family or friends, she can be found in her art studio downtown, managing the COS Moms Blog Instagram account, or walking to a neighborhood coffee shop. Laura is passionate about seeing Colorado Springs thrive, and loves the opportunity her team has to create connections and experiences that truly promote the growth of community in our city.