Pandemic brings out the best in Aspen Elks Lodge award-winners
Aspen Elks Lodge #224 presented awards to members of the community at a dinner held at the lodge May 11.
Ann Mullins received the Citizen of the Year award for her volunteer work with Aspen Family Connections. The nonprofit group set up a weekly drive-through food distribution program at numerous locations in Aspen during the pandemic to help needy families.
Katherine Sands, the director of Aspen Family Connections, said Ann “shows selfless dedication to the food distribution program and exemplifies the best in our community.” Ann’s second and final term on Aspen City Council ends in June. Aspen Family Connections has reached 11,000 households through 70 weeks (to date) of food distribution and has donated $400,000 in emergency assistance to families in need.
Tom Moore, a 52-year member of the Aspen Elks, received the Grand Lodge Outstanding Service Commendation for his many contributions to the community and the Aspen Elks. Given by the Elks’ national grand ruler, the award recognizes the Aspen native and second-generation Aspen Elks leader’s lifetime of outstanding service.
Tom and his wife Carolyn are inductees in the Aspen Hall of Fame; he is a past president of the Aspen Valley Ski Club and president of the Salvation Ditch Co., responsible for irrigation in the valley. The Moore family has donated land for Aspen High School, the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club clubhouse and part of the Nordic system, and he was instrumental in getting the chairlift built from the AVSC clubhouse to the Highlands race training area. His contributions to the Aspen Elks have been equally generous, including playing a major role in the restoration of the lodge and negotiating leases with businesses housed in the building.
The Aspen Elks also recognized lodge manager Barry Bromka’s work to keep the lodge open and safe for members while following ever-changing pandemic rules with its Elk of the Year award. Barry, a 40-year member of the Elks, organized the lodge’s giving away of 1,200 meals to the community during the early months of the pandemic and has gone “above and beyond in service to the lodge,” noted PER Gary Quist at the ceremony.
Rich Head, a 30-year Elks member who served as exalted ruler in 2009 and has been a trustee of the lodge since 2016, received the Officer of the Year award for his tireless work on strategic planning and the restoration of the historic Elks Lodge building, which dates back to 1891.
Mark Murphy, who served as exalted ruler in 2020, received the Grand Ruler Outstanding Service Commendation for his leadership during the pandemic.
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Former Aspen Skiing Co. executive and Aspen city councilman Derek Johnson has been released from state prison and is currently residing at a halfway house.