Biz Buzz:
Coat Drive lasting till Nov. 15

       Harris Group Realty, Inc. is teaming up with Catholic Charities and Lighthouse Ministries Pantry to promote its seventh annual Coats & Cans Community Drive.
       Scheduled until Nov. 15, the event's goal is to collect “new or gently used clothing, coats, mittens, sweaters, scarves, snowsuits, hats and non-perishable food items,” a press release states. “Please help us assist needy families throughout Colorado Springs.”
       Items can be dropped during working hours Monday to Friday at the Harris office, 2950 Professional Place, Suite 205 in the Kissing Camels Office Park off West Fillmore Street.
       For more information, call 227-9900.
       OCCA supports toy run
       The Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group is supporting a motorcycle toy run Sunday, Oct. 2, which will leave the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum, 5867 N. Nevada Ave., at 11 a.m.
       Those wishing to join must bring a new toy.
       The event, to aid needy children in El Paso and Teller County, is being organized by Pro- Promotions, which also contracts with OCCA to put on its annual Territory Days street festival.
       For more information, call 487-8005.
       Animal hospital owners
       The long-time Aspenwood Veterinary Hospital, 1030 S. 21st St., is under new ownership.
       Cody Laas has worked six years as a veterinarian and two years as a radiologist; and Kelly McCarty has been a general practitioner for 2 ½ years.
       They have also been upgrading the property, including new floors inside and landscaping outside.
       Open Monday through Friday (Saturday by appointment), the hospital cares for small animals, offering medicine, surgery, dentistry, routine wellness exams and a pharmacy.
       Laas and McCarty decided on the location because of family in the area and, McCarty said, “we were really taken by the personality and charm of the Westside.”
       For more information, call 578-1030 or go to
       New quilt retail shop
       Audrey Anderson, founder and publisher of the nationally distributed book, Quilters Travel Companion, has opened a retail shop in her building at 2506 Robinson St.
       Open Monday to Friday and by appointment, the shop offers more than 2,000 quilt-related items in its 600-square-foot area, including the Jim Shore and Donna Sharp lines.
       Anderson hopes the shop (located south of Highway 24, facing onto 25th Street) can become a sales outlet for “thousands of active quilters in this area,” she said. “We feel that we have unique items that no other store has in the state and can tap into a market that has been underserved.”
       She started publishing the Companion 20 years ago, and it is now in its 12th printing. The book provides detailed information about quilt stores and shows in the United States and Canada.
       A long-time area resident, Anderson bought the 13,800-square-foot property with its 4,200-square-foot, two-story building in 2004, initially just for production offices and storage.
       For more information, call 685-5041 or go to
       Medical-issues assistance
       A service to help seniors or others facing difficult medical issues is being offered by Westsiders Anne Bakken, a registered nurse (RN); and Cindy Holdt, a certified patient advocate.
       They are co-owners of Appointment Advocates. The business offers transportation to and from medical appointments; in addition, an RN is available to “facilitate check-in and be present during the encounter with the healthcare provider,” Bakken said. “We also provide medical insurance review for claims and benefits and help communicate with out-of-town family members if needed.”
       She and Holdt have lived on the Westside for more than 20 years. Bakken has been an RN for 30 years in all, with “experience in the hospital setting with adult critical care, nurse consultant for a 50+ program and over 15 years in cardiology,” she said. “Cindy has spent the last 15 years working in a medical office. She has extensive experience in insurance billing, claims and benefits.”
       For more information, call 592-1154 or go to

Editor's note: If you know any Westside locations not listed here, or you find that any of this information has changed, please let us know at 471-6776.

Westside Pioneer/press release