Pitkin County announces 2014 volunteer service awards | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County announces 2014 volunteer service awards

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

2014 Pitkin County Cares volunteer service awards

Greg Mace Award: Willard Clapper

Helen K. Klanderud Award: Marsha Goshorn

Children/Youth Award: Diane Anderson

Seniors Award: Kent “Captain” Bigalow

Health Award: Connie Taddune

Community Pride Award: Dick Merritt

Education Award: Terry Rigney

Arts Award: Mariann Altfeld

Good Samaritan Award: Amy Throm

Environment Award: Susan Cross

Rising Stars Award: Isabel Wolfer

Exceptional One-Time Event: Paul Pariser

Pitkin County will honor 12 Roaring Fork Valley residents with Pitkin County Cares Volunteer Service Awards for their volunteer work at noon Wednesday during a county commissioners meeting.

The commissioners will recognize the recipients at a special ceremony in the Plaza One meeting room in the Courthouse Plaza.

There’s also a reception for the honorees at 10:45 a.m. at the Aspen Fire House. The formal presentation in the Courthouse Plaza will be televised live on CGTV Channel 11 and can be accessed live at http://www.aspenpitkin.com. The public is invited to attend the event.

“I’m amazed at how many people that I know and see almost every day, parents that I know who’ve grown up here, that are doing phenomenal things in this community,” said Pat Bingham, the community relations specialist for Pitkin County. “Everything from delivering meals to cancer patients and hanging out to visit with them, to the kids we see volunteer that go to school here. It’s not just knocking off credits to get into a good college; we have kids going out into our community and doing amazing things that really rise above what the average teenager does.”

The award categories include the Greg Mace Award in memory of lifelong volunteer Greg Mace and a new community-service category for civic involvement, established in memory of Helen Klanderud.

There are award categories for education, health, senior citizens, community pride, art, the environment, a rising stars award, a Good Samaritan award and a one-time event award.

The Greg Mace Award carries a lot of weight in Aspen. Mace was a longtime volunteer member of Mountain Rescue Aspen and died from a fall during a training climb on the Maroon Bells in 1986.

“Greg’s sister, Lynn, started the Greg Mace Award in the early 1980s,” Bingham said. “All the recipients of the Greg Mace Award are on the wall of the courthouse in Aspen. There was a point where Lynn became very busy with her family life and couldn’t manage the award, so the county agreed to take it on. Lynn is still involved in helping choose the winner.”

This year’s Greg Mace Award honoree is Willard Clapper, a longtime Aspen resident. Clapper was a volunteer with the Aspen Fire Department for 35 years and was also an elementary and middle school teacher for 29 years.

“Willard is well-known and loved in this community,” Bingham said. “Ask any local about Willard, and they’ll smile when they hear his name. He just so happens to be battling lymphoma right now and is in a hospital in Denver. He called, and although he’s weak from his treatment, he’s going to try and make the ceremony. If he can’t make it, we’ll Skype him here.”

Aspen resident Marcia Goshorn is the first Helen K. Klanderud award winner from her 11-year commitment to the Housing Authority Board as well as her work on the Senior Services Board and the Komen Aspen Foundation.

“Volunteerism has been an awesome fabric of our community for a long time,” Bingham said. “That’s how we roll here.”