For the other 300ish days of the calendar year leading up to Christmas, Santa’s plain clothes name is Chuck Wilson. He moved to Castle Rock in 1980’s with his wife Patricia when the population of the Town stood at a mere 2,000 people. Now at 85 (years-young), he spends a small part of the year as the Town’s ‘Starlight Santa,’ but most days can be found driving buses for Castle Country Assisted Living, fundraising for the Douglas County Senior Foundation and picking up ‘final-day’ donuts at Safeway to deliver to places like the Cantril House.
For three decades, Wilson says he has seen the immense growth in Castle Rock firsthand. Through his community involvement, he has also observed an increase in the needs of the booming aging adult population. “By 2015, one in four adults will fall into the senior population.” And statistics from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs agree. They predict that the population of adults 65 and older will eventually double in Douglas County by the year 2020.
Being an active adult himself, it has been put on his heart to use his knowledge and resources to help his aging neighbors any way he can. Wilson’s biggest contributions are made sitting on the board for DCSF, where he works with a team to raise and allocate funds to programs that serve seniors. “After going through an application process, we review them and then give grant money to various senior service organizations in Douglas County,” said Wilson. “Sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t.”
This year alone Wilson and the DCSF were able to raise around $23,000 in funds to benefit senior adult services. Given to places like Sky Cliff Center and Castle Rock Neighborhood Network; monies were collected through private donations, fundraising efforts and the Town’s Recycling Center, located at Prairie Hawk Drive. But while he continues to work on improvements for DC seniors, he would like to see better communication within the group and more involvement from the community. “Like many non-profits, we have a need for more volunteers,” notes Wilson. For success truly comes from the grass