Pitkin County to honor volunteers at Tuesday work session

A record 21 Roaring Fork Valley residents will receive Pitkin County Cares Volunteer Service and Greg Mace Awards

Aspen Times staff report

The recipients of the 2022 Pitkin County Cares Volunteer Service and Greg Mace Awards will be honored by the Pitkin County commissioners during a televised work session on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. 

A record 21 Roaring Fork Valley residents were chosen from nominations received from a cross-section of community organizations and nonprofits throughout the summer.

Now in its 22nd year, the purpose of the program is to honor individuals and groups for their outstanding service, leadership and civic involvement. 

Among the award categories is the Greg Mace Award established in 1986 in memory of Greg Mace, a Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer who died in a climbing accident on North Maroon peak in July of the same year. He was president of Mountain Rescue Aspen at the time and had been a volunteer for 15 years. 

Greg Mace Award: Lynda MacCarthy

Lynda MacCarthy is a former teacher who created summer camps and programs for children. She has been a long-time advocate for the arts, a Forest Conservancy board member and 40-year volunteer at the Aspen Thrift Shop.

Exceptional One-Time-Event Award: George Newman, Graeme Means, Dale Will, Howie Mallory and Tim McFlynn

This group of longtime environmental activists created the Hunter Creek Historical Foundation to stabilize and preserve historic resources in the Hunter Creek Valley, including the historic W.E. Koch homestead and the Adelaide Ranch dating back to 1893.

Children and Youth Award: Wheeler Clancy 

Wheeler Clancy volunteers with The Buddy Program and is a Big Buddy for an Aspen youth.

Good Samaritan Award: Jerry Herships, Susie Krabacher

Jerry Herships is pastor at Aspen Community Church who, in his free time, participates on the Housing Stability Coalition and serves on the Recovery Resources Board of Directors. 

Susie Krabacher founded HaitiChildren, a charity that provides care, food, and education to abandoned, orphaned, and disabled children in Haiti. The organization has been helping children for almost 30 years.

Seniors Award: Joan Tidwell

Joan Tidwell is a volunteer at the Pitkin County Senior Center and Whitcomb Terrace. She delivers meals on wheels to the homebound, drives older adults to doctors appointments, takes seniors shopping and for long rides in the mountains. 

Health Award: Allison Daily

Through her affiliation with Pathfinders Angels, Allison Daily supports individuals and the community during times of loss and grief and offers assistance to cancer patients and the chronically ill. 

Mental Health Award: Don Bird

Retired longtime Pitkin County Jail Administrator Don Bird helps community members who struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues get help through the local non-profit A Way Out. 

Community Pride Award: Kent Blackmer and Erik Skarvan, Elliot Norquist

Kent Blackmer is the creator of the Pristine Riders, which works to inspire local cyclists to pick up trash along roadways when they go for a ride. 

Erik Skarvan is a Pristine Rider who elevated the Pristine Riders organization to non-profit status. He regularly promotes it on his GrassRoots television show. 

Elliot Norquist has been a key figure in the local Nordic community for almost 50 years. He is a 20-year member of the Mount Sopris Nordic Council Board and serves as volunteer trails manager.

Environment and Education Award: Nanci Limbach, John Armstrong, Bill Jochems

Nanci Limbach is the founder of the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation. She rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife to release them back into the wild.

John Armstrong is chair of the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association and leads projects including the proposed Crystal Valley Bike and Pedestrian Trail; management of the Lead King Loop; Wild and Scenic Designation for the Crystal River; and is a whistleblower about the destruction of Yule Creek at the Marble Quarry.

Bill Jochems is a long-time member of the Redstone Historic Preservation Committee. He has helped preserve the history of Redstone for 51 years through research, protection and education about the mining era, the Osgood history, the Mid Continent Era, and tourist town impacts.

Rising Star Award: Sophie Genshaft, Oceane Jones, Fatima Flores

Sophie Genshaft teaches Hebrew to elementary schoolchildren and helps students prepare for their bar/bat mitzvahs. She is a member of the Student Integrity Team and the Aspen High School Pathfinders Club, providing meals for those struggling with illness or loss.

Oceane Jones is co-editor of the Skier Scribbler, the Aspen High School newspaper, and has used her platform to educate and advocate for many issues. She has published several articles on sex education.

Fatima Flores has experienced racism first-hand in the Aspen community and that inspired her to conduct a survey of students and staff at Aspen High School focusing on microaggression and racism. She is using the results to raise awareness and provide resources to teachers and students so they can better recognize and deal with the issue. 

Full descriptions of the recipients’ accomplishments are available in proclamations that will be made a part of Pitkin County’s permanent historical record. They can be found at

The public is invited to watch the ceremony online at or the county’s YouTube channel. The ceremony will also be televised on CGTV Channel 11. Call 970-920-5210 for more information. 


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