The Teller County Cares 12th Annual Volunteer Service Awards were presented on January 28th, 2013
at the Heritage Center in Cripple Creek Colorado.
Dave Paul, Chairperson, Teller County Board of Commissioners, served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Karen Casey-Svetich with pottery.
This year, instead of plaques, recipients received beautiful pottery pieces, hand-crafted by Frank Gray of Woodland Park. The majority of the awards were pitchers. The Centennial award was a vase, and the Rising Star kids’ awards were soup bowls. Audrey Gray did the lettering at the bottom of each piece. Frank and his wife, Sue, own the Woodland Inn just outside of the city limits. He has more info on their website: http://www.woodlandinn.com/pottery.html.
Following are the award recipients and the nomination letters which brought the organizations or individuals to the attention of Teller County Cares.
Teller County Sheriff’s Posse with Bud Bright
Teller County Sheriff’s Posse, nominated by Bud Bright, Operations Commander of the Teller County Sheriff’s Office for Civic Organization.
“I would like to nominate the Teller County Sheriff’s Office Posse for the Teller County Volunteer Service Award for Civic Organization. The Teller County Sheriff’s Office Posse was created in 2007 to primarily provide support to the Sheriff’s Office. The average membership is approximately 20 members with the most being 38 and the fewest being 8. The Posse members volunteered nearly 2000 hours in the first six months of 2013. The majority of their time is with events, which averages over 85 hours per month. They also provide direct support to the Agency by assisting during major incidents, helping in dispatch, monitoring the front window at the office or assisting with various duties, such as vacation checks on residences and about 13 hours a month changing batteries on our life-trak bracelets.
In addition to the assistance the Posse provides to the Sheriff’s Office, they assist other municipalities and organizations with events. Some of these events include: the annual Veterans Motorcycle rally for Woodland Park and in Cripple Creek, Donkey Derby Days in Cripple Creek, Heritage Days in Florissant, the Woodland Park Christmas parade, the Food Pantry in Divide (every two weeks), collecting toy donations at Wal-Mart for Christmas, Touch-a-Truck, the bike rodeo and safety fair, Victor Gold Bowl and Teller County Fair, Pikes Peak Hill climb and the Health Fair are some of the events supported by the Posse. Many of these events are ongoing annual events that the Posse has supported for several years.
In 2012, they contributed a total of 5,552 hours in support of the Sheriff’s Office and Teller County. Since 2009, the Sheriff’s Posse has dedicated 19,000 hours of service to the Sheriff’s Office and Teller County. They are a dedicated group of individuals that have a tremendous sense of community spirit and pride and are truly deserving of this award. It has been my pleasure to be associated with these individuals.”
Wildwood Casino, nominated by Lisa Noble of Build A Generation, for the Business category.
“Build A Generation would like to nominate the Wildwood Casino for the 2013 Teller County Cares Volunteer Award in the Business category. The Wildwood has a legacy for giving in our County, as well as throughout the nation. Even while the casino was being built, before they opened their doors, they helped 4-H, by buying an animal, and then donating the meat to the senior club. They have a continuous charitable giving program. The recipients that this writer knows of are: Build A Generation, Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation, Salute to American Veterans, Pioneer Pride, Heart of Colorado Philanthropy Days, Community Partnership of Teller County, The Teller County Cares Volunteer Service Awards, Cripple Creek-Victor School District, CASA, TESSA, CSU Extension, 4-H, Gold Camp Christmas, Toys for Tots, Community of Caring/the Aspen Mine Center, the CC-V Senior Club and other sponsorships.
One day I saw Kevin Werner, the GM of Wildwood, and I thank him for all they do. He said, “We don’t do it for the recognition, we do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Sandy Bridgewater with Angela Komar
Sandy Bridgewater, nominated by Angela Komar of CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, for the Children and Youth category.
“I met Sandy Bridgewater when I presented to the Kiwanis Club. Even as a new Teller resident, Sandy had already found a way to begin to grace the community with her knowledge and talents through her involvement in Kiwanis Club. Following my presentation, Sandy came over to sign-up to become a volunteer. After speaking to Sandy, one of her fellow Kiwanians came over and discreetly exclaimed, “She’s a good one! She’s looking to be more involved.” And she was right.
Sandy diligently filled out the CASA volunteer application and joined the SEPT Training class just weeks after hearing about CASA. During the 18-hour intensive training, I learned from Sandy that she was also a reading tutor through the Children’s Literacy Club in Teller County. She enjoyed working with the youth as they read together Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at the Rampart Library. I also learned that Sandy had worked as a teacher for many years prior to moving to Teller County and through those experiences she was very well equipped to bring a valued perspective to the work CASA does with children of the Teller County community. Sandy was always first to sign-up to facilitate supervised visits, a very much needed service for a specific population of Teller County residents.
Just months after completing her SEPT Training, she took a 40-hour Domestic Violence (DV) training in order to best protect the children and victims of DV in our community. She uses these skills daily in order to assess safety and risk. Next, she became a Court Appointed Special Advocate, representing children’s needs in the court system when they have been victimized in their home, while maintaining all her other volunteer activities. Sandy advocates for the needs of four young children who have been exposed to severe domestic violence, three children with special needs. Sandy attends all the court hearings and staffings. She is in constant communication with the schools, the guardians, and the children. She is quick to stand-up for the family and praises them for their achievements and equally as quick to advocate for services to meet their unmet needs. Sandy’s commitment to the children of Teller County that I have witnessed in 2013 is admirable. She has leaped in whole-heartedly in a variety of areas, which meet many needs of our community. Her passion has touched the lives of numerous children of Teller.”
Shawn Kuhns with Veldean Petri
Shawn Kuhns, nominated by Community of Caring, for the Seniors category.
“It is Community of Caring’s honor to nominate Shawn Khuns for the 2013 Teller County Cares Senior Award. Shawn assists our community Senior population through our Golden Circle Meal program. Shawn is responsible for the daily operation of the meal site. This includes cook support for meals and supplies, dining reservations, serving meals, cleaning up, maintaining appropriate records, and serving as a hostess. Shawn volunteered over 2 years ago in this capacity. She has been a mainstay and great asset to this program. She has improved the quality of service delivery, enhanced and enriched the social connections with the Seniors. Shawn’s giftedness is caring, attention to detail, and joy in her work. When needed, she has been an advocate, a problem solver, a compassionate listener, and a doer. Her organizational skills, above and beyond the call of duty, approach and steadfastness has garnered her much respect and admiration. In addition, Shawn is a board member of the Senior Club. Again, she has shared her time, talent, and treasure to build participation, engagement, and communication. She has brought new life to the pot lucks. She puts out a monthly newsletter. She actively promotes inclusivity and solicits for more volunteerism. Over the months, it is clear that Shawn’s dedication and commitment are motivated for her love for the Seniors in our community. God has blessed us mightily through her volunteerism. She has elevated all of us in the quality of her service. Please consider this Senior Award for Shawn Kuhns.”
Phyllis Delaney (Center) with Jacque Davis and Steve Steed
Phyllis Delaney, nominated by Jacqueline Davis of Teller County Public Health, for the Health category.
“Phyllis Delaney has been volunteering for Teller County Public Health since 2010 and a member of County-wide emergency preparedness committees for many years before that. She generously shares her time, her energy, and her intelligence.
In December of 2010, Phyllis attended 4 day training in Denver to become certified as a Chronic Disease Self Management class facilitator. Since then, she has lead several self-management workshops for Teller County Public Health. This past year, she attended an additional 2-day training to become a facilitator for our Diabetes self-management workshop. This is especially relevant for Teller County Diabetics since there are no other diabetes education resources available in Teller County.
Phyllis is also a volunteer member of our Local Citizen Corps and is an active participant in the newly formed Community Emergency Support Volunteers, a county-wide volunteer management group that was organized to help coordinate volunteer efforts during emergency events in Teller County.
Phyllis works full time for the Rampart Library District. The district recognizes the value of community service and has supported Phyllis in her willingness to share her knowledge and skills with Teller County. For this we recognize the Rampart Library District as a partner in service. Phyllis “gets” community. She “gets” the idea of the “whole being more than the sum of its parts.” Phyllis “gets” the value of giving more than you receive. She generously shares her time, her knowledge, her skills, and her compassion. Without Phyllis’ volunteerism, the small staff of public health would not be able to continue offering our workshops, and local emergency preparedness would not be as strong. We, at Teller County Public Health, are proud to know Phyllis, to work with Phyllis, and to nominate Phyllis for this award. Teller County is better for having Phyllis Delaney as one of its citizens.”
Bill Martin with Krystal Brown
Bill Martin, nominated by Krystal Brown, for the Community Pride category.
“I would like to nominate Bill Martin for the 2013 Teller County Cares Volunteers Service Award. He is a kind and generous man that goes above and beyond what is asked. He is more than happy to do whatever the job or task he is assigned. He is the first to lend a hand to a co-worker, volunteer event staff or even a perfect stranger. Bill and his lovely wife moved to Teller County in 2007. When they moved into the area he began to drive a bus for the Cripple Creek-Victor School District. He retired this past year. He was always there for the kids and teachers. Like in everything he does, he would always go above and beyond to help the kids. Whether giving them advice or just being a friend, “Bus Driver Bill” is and will always be a mentor to us all!
Bill works part time for the City of Cripple Creek. He’s a wonderful, employee/volunteer. From the Ice Fest, when it is bitter cold and he’s walking down Bennett Avenue with a big smile frozen on his face to Donkey Derby Days running up the street with sweat pouring down his cheek, he always has a smile and greets you with a sincere Hello. And don’t forget the Salute to Armed Forces, when he has worked long and late hours for days and still makes it to the Memorial Service on Sunday, dressed in his uniform, holding his head high while still helping with the event. As a retired Air Force Veteran who served our country for 26 years, he is proud to participate in this event.
Now that he has retired, he has a bit more free time and is volunteering time to restoring his church. It is a lot of hard work and lots of man-hours. Once again, he is doing it with pride and a big smile. I know I am not doing Bill justice, because words cannot describe how wonderful he is. He is the perfect role model from a wonderful husband and father to a great mentor to our community. He is the man that always goes above and beyond whatever he is asked or not asked to do. He is always there to support and cheer on the community. I feel Bill is a great asset to Teller County and I believe he is well deserving of this award. Please consider Bill Martin for this award.
Mike McDonald with Mary Bielz
Franklin Ferguson Memorial Library, nominated by Community of Caring, for the Education category.
“Community of Caring wishes to nominate the Franklin Ferguson Memorial Library for the 2013 Teller County Cares Volunteer Education Award for the category of civic/service organization. The Franklin Ferguson Memorial Library is a hidden jewel in our community. Established by the Cripple Creek Women’s Club on Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek, the library is a proud witness of the legacy and character of Franklin Ferguson, a beloved, honored mayor, and civic business leader of our community. In 1975, the library became a partnership and collaboration with the RE-1 School District and the Southern Teller County Library District. In 1976, the library was housed in the new K through 12 school facility in Cripple Creek. Since that time, the library has continued to grow and flourish. The partnership, the stewardship of the library’s board of directors, and the dedicated direction of Mike McDonald and his staff has built the library into an outstanding, wonderful asset of our community. Please consider recognizing this jewel, nominate the Franklin Ferguson Memorial Library for the 2013 Teller County Cares Volunteer Education Award for the category of civic/service organization.”
Doug Zurek with Palisade and Principal Waddell
Doug Zurek, nominated by Kay Lynn Waddell, Principal of Gateway Elementary School, for the Education category.
“It is an honor to submit the name of Mr. Doug Zurek for nomination for the Education Volunteer Award for Teller County. As Principal of Gateway elementary School, I have yet to meet a male volunteer who has given so much time, resources and positively changed a school community. Doug Zurek started coming to Gateway Elementary School in Woodland Park in Aug. of 2010 when his daughter, Palisade, started preschool. Doug immediately started volunteering in the classroom and on field trips. The teachers in the classroom raved about Doug’s support saying that he was always reliable, friendly and intuitive to the needs of the students and staff. Doug spent two years helping the preschool classroom, always working around his schedule in law enforcement.
When Palisade started Kindergarten, Doug immediately started helping out in the Kindergarten classroom. Since Palisade was now in school full day, he found a project in the library, helping label all the Accelerated Reading books with reading levels so the students could identify appropriate reading material. With Doug’s organizational skills and attention to details, this large project was completed far earlier than anticipated.
In May of 2013, Doug became aware of a national school program call Watch DOGS. DOGS stands for Dads of Great Students. Each day of school, a father, grandfather, husband of staff member or male community member is on school grounds for the day. The Watch DOGS of the day come in contact with all students either at recess or in the lunchroom. Watch DOGS also help out in the classrooms with their family members. More information about Watch DOGS can be found at fathers.com. Under the videos section, you will find a news segment about Watch DOGS at Gateway Elementary School. Doug single handedly organized the entire program at Gateway Elementary School. He created spreadsheets for ordering supplies, calendars, facilitated a pizza kick-off night and contacted local media for publicity. Doug has personally trained each Watch DOG and regularly emails the Watch DOGS with schedule changes, upcoming events and school protocol. Doug’s positive, energetic personality is a natural magnet to men in our school community. His proactive and visionary leadership has changed the lives of the students at Gateway. When people say, “One person can make a difference,” they are talking about Doug Zurek. (Doug Zurek/Watch DOGS Gazette Article & KRDO Watch DOGS video.)
The Soaring Without Limitations Group, nominated by Lisa Patton, Coalition for the Upper South Platte, for the Environment category.
“Over the past three years the dedication of the Soaring Without Limitations Group has made them part of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) family. These young adults are passionate to learn about habitats, ecosystems and the connection between our amazing backyard and people. This year, 40 middle school volunteers from the Soaring Group volunteered over 200 hours. Projects included: forest fuels mitigation to prevent catastrophic fire and increase forest health; clean up of riparian areas; noxious weed mitigation, and erosion control projects.. Their work improved water quality, forest health, fish and wildlife habitats, while creating safer and healthier environments for themselves and their neighbors. Their volunteer efforts extended beyond the county boundaries to help neighboring communities by re-seeding burn areas and filling sandbags to protect homes and lives. As the group knows very well – tragedies like fire and floods do not stop at the county line-and that just like nature, our communities are inter-connected. While many volunteer groups focus on one specific task, the Soaring group is always willing to go where there is the greatest need, serving a variety of unmet needs in these communities. The focus of the group is to use innovative 21st Century Learning Skills. With the leadership of Debbie Morrill and the Soaring staff, they promote positive learning environments and support systems in connection with outcomes such as critical thinking, collaboration, and life and career skills. The students have been an inspiration to others, sharing their culture of mountain living while working alongside other groups, including youth from around the country.” Click here for more information on the Soaring program.
Teri McDonald with Veldean Petri
Teri McDonald, nominated by Community of Caring for the Good Samaritan category.
“It is an honor and a privilege for Community of Caring to nominate Teri McDonald for the 2013 Teller County Cares Good Samaritan Award. Teri is a volunteer who has significantly impacted the welfare of socially and economically challenged individuals. Teri’s volunteer life had its beginning in the RE-1 School District. Through her husband Mike’s classroom, Teri found a role as listener for beginning readers, a helper in many hands-on projects, a substitute room mother, and a compassionate supportive presence for at-risk children. Ten years ago, Teri volunteered at the Aspen Mine Center for the monthly Commodities Food Distribution program. In addition to this program, 3 years ago she volunteered to maintain, sort, and organize our Clothes Closet. She performs this volunteer duty 3 to 4 days a week, 4 hours a day. Teri is known far and wide with our clients and staff as a conscientious, can-do personal shopper. She takes requests and also anticipates others needs for clothing, shoes and personal household items. She has befriended many with her goodwill, compassion, and advocacy. Teri has a great love for the little ones that visit the Closet and many call her Grandma. Please consider our nomination. She truly is an asset and our Good Samaritan.”
Gold Camp Christmas Committee, nominated by Community of Caring for the Civic/Service Organization category.
“It is Community of Caring’s great pleasure and honor to nominate the Gold Camp Christmas Committee for the 2013 Teller County Cares Civic/Service Organization award. This community Christmas effort was born of the vision of Laura Jeffery in 2003. The committee…”A diverse dedicated group of Worker Bees representing the district community, idealizing compassion for others, goodwill toward men, peace on Earth, and trust in God, encouraging a sense of community through community involvement by connecting the community at large to help organize and coordinate the annual Gold Camp Christmas event, creating within the event a sense of comfort and place, of community spirit, and immersing His true spirit of Christmas in the event with the additional benefits of adding value to our own Christmas holiday, fun-raising, fundraising and raising awareness of community resources.”
In 2007, the committee reorganized and restructured itself, expanding and enriching the event, and extending the collaboration. This committee meets all year round and its backbone is the dedication and commitment of its members. Today, this event starts in early November with a Christmas Tea fundraiser and includes thereafter the lighting of the mine head-frames, a Winter Wonderland Reception, Soup for the Soul and Greatest Gold Camp Cookie Contest, a tree decorating contest, a gift shop, a Christmas Bazaar, a parade of lights in Victor, Elf Emporium, Gingerbread Ornament decorating, Colorado Springs Chorale performance, Volunteer luncheon, and a host of activities. Every year this event continues to get better and attract more and more people inside the community as well as outside visitors. The fun, the joy, the delight, the wonder, the enthusiasm, the goodwill this event generates is amazing and greatly cherished! “Wow” is the word that echoes from everyone’s heart who participates! Great gladness in belonging to this community! Please award the Gold Camp Christmas Committee with the 2013 Civic/Service category.”
Richie, Sophie, Gia Warrino, Katrina and Chloe Richards, Rick Warrino
Kids Helping Kids, nominated by Community of Caring for the Children/Youth category.
“It is Community of Caring’s great honor to nominate the “Kids Helping Kids” program for the 2013 Teller County Cares Children/Youth category. In March of 2013, the Cripple Creek “Kids Helping Kids” soup kitchen initiative was born in our community. This program provides a free soup lunch targeting children of the Cripple Creek-Victor area. Our school is closed on Friday, so the program’s intent is to provide a hot meal during the long weekends for children in the community, especially when so many single parents are required to work and kids are home alone. The local Cripple Creek Park & Rec graciously allows the use of their facility for this program.
The goal of the program is to meld adults and children together into relationships over great soup and homemade bread. Typically they have 40-70 attendees, including both children and adults. This program has resulted in great outreach, enriched personal connections, expanded communication, and an appreciated sense of belonging in this community. It has built attachment through appetizing satisfaction. The program’s culinary perfection, attention to visual presentation, the glowing openhearted hospitality, and welcomed inclusion of everyone has set a benchmark in our community. The delicious homemade loaves of bread that everyone takes home on Friday are the tangible sign of the efficacy of the “Kids Helping Kids” program! We are so blessed. Please consider the “Kids Helping Kids” program for the 2013 Teller County Cares Children/Youth award. This program is an overwhelming success and a great positive in improving the life in our community.”
Craig Chellis with Det. Dennis Sherman
Craig Chellis, nominated by Detective Dennis Sherman, TCSO, for the Special Service category.
“Craig Chelllis has not only performed his duties as a member of the Teller County Sheriff’s Posse but for the past year has voluntarily been a part of a high profile case within Teller County. Due to his past profession, he has been able to provide an expertise that was not available within the current ranks of the TCSO. Craig has been working closely with detectives from the Investigations Unit and has already spent nearly 300 hours of his personal time in this investigation. Without his hard work, dedication and expertise, this case would not be as thorough and complete that would enable the case to be presented for consideration for prosecution. As a volunteer, Craig has gone above and beyond what is expected and it was my privilege and fortune to be able to reach out and utilize a valuable resource that he provides.”
Jon DeVaux (center), Jon’s wife Lois (left), Sally Riley (right)
Jon DeVaux, nominated by Sally Riley, Planning Director, City of Woodland Park, for the Les Mellott, Jr. Award.
“The City of Woodland Park Planning Department is honored to nominate Planning Commissioner Jon DeVaux for the Les Mellott, Jr. Award. Jon relocated his family from Illinois to Woodland Park in 1996. After a long career in finance and banking industry, he used his entrepreneurial skills to establish a used car dealership in the region. Alpine Auto and Jon DeVaux quickly became the “go to guy” for a good deal on a used car. He also became known for his clever and witty message board on Hwy 24 promoting events and people in the community.
When the Woodland Park Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was approved by the voters, Jon saw an opportunity to become involved and help stimulate downtown business growth. In December 2001, Jon was appointed to the DDA Board of Directors and actively served until mid-2012. During his eleven-year tenure as a board member, Jon was involved with many important decisions to support Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreements between the DDA and the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Center, Big O Tires, Woodland Hardware, Family Dollar, and O’Reilly Auto Parts. To help businesses survive the recent economic downturn, the DDA also sponsored the Main Street makeover in a partnership with Park State Bank. In 2007, the purchase of the former Saddle club property set the stage to expand the downtown core in a walkable “Village” style development pattern and Jon was instrumental to develop Design Standards for Woodland Station. Woodland Stations’ first project will soon celebrate Woodland Hardware’s ribbon cutting in February.
In July 2003, Jon was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Woodland Park City Council. Soon after, he ran for his Council seat and won a four-year term. In 2008, Jon was elected for another four-year term and served as Mayor Pro-temp with Mayor Randolph. During Jon’s nine years of service on City Council, Jon was involved with several commercial developments, including Wal-Mart’s 19 hours of public hearings. Jon was also involved in important legislative initiatives to include the rewrite of the Sign Code. To ensure that a long-range vision is in place to guide the community’s future, Jon also supported the 2010 Woodland Park Comprehensive Plan.
After Jon’s City Council terms ended, he volunteered to serve on the Woodland Park Planning Commission and was appointed on May 3, 2012. Because of Jon’s strong interest in land use issues and leadership experience, he was soon elected Chairperson of the Planning commission. Jon’s recent application to renew his 3-year term with the Planning Commission states that he believes the three most pressing issues facing Woodland Park are: design standards, retail growth and traffic. As evidenced with Commissioner DeVaux’s continued dedication, service and leadership to the community, Jon is uniquely qualified to join the distinguished group of Les Mallott, Jr. Awardees. Thank you for your consideration.
Bonnie Mackin and Mary Bielz
Bonnie Mackin, nominated by Community of Caring, for the Centeninial Award.
“It is with great pleasure that Community of Caring nominates Bonnie Mackin for the Teller County Centennial Award. Bonnie has made a significant and life-long contribution to the county through service and volunteerism. Her marriage into the Mackin family has blessed Cripple Creek, the Gold Camp District, and Teller County mightily for over 40 years. There is hardly a sector in the community that has not been touched by her volunteerism. The arts, the school, the fire department, the churches, the Wellness Center, the museum, tourism, the hospitality industry, politics, and many philanthropic endeavors have benefited from her vision, generosity, and good-will.
In this community, Bonnie has been defined by action. She has been an enthusiastic doer, a recognized leader, and an appreciated team player. We have never known her to waiver in her dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in this community. Her back-bone is a spiritual calling to serve others through her time, talent, and treasure. Her kindness, approachability, good humor, inclusivity and grace have elevated all of us who have had the pleasure to work with her. Please consider honoring Bonnie Mackin as the 2013 Teller County Cares Centennial Award.
It is wonderful and amazing to see how many people are working behind the scenes making things happen. Be sure to congratulate the award recipients if you see them.
Teller County Cares Committee Members: Karen Casey-Svetich, Marc Dettenrieder, Suzanne Leclercq, Veldean Petri, Cindy Morse, Lisa Noble and Dave Paul.