15th Annual Garfield County Humanitarian Service Awards | PostIndependent.com

15th Annual Garfield County Humanitarian Service Awards

They are faithful, committed givers and dream makers who inspire others and strive to make our community a better place ” and one of them is only 10 years old.

Those are some of the traits of the 35 nominees who were recognized on Monday, Feb. 2, at the 15th Annual Garfield County Humanitarian Service Awards banquet at the Hotel Colorado.

The event recognized each nominee and focused on their incredible stories of service, which were excerpted from nomination letters written by friends and colleagues who took the time to honor the contribution of someone they found deserving. After hearing each story, it was evident how different our community would be without the generosity and personal sacrifice of each one of these extraordinary people who choose to use their gifts and talents for the betterment of others.

It was also apparent that as times have changed, so have the needs of our community. Martha Fredendall, the 2003 Above and Beyond Award winner, exemplifies that idea beautifully. Fredendall, who is executive director of Literacy Outreach, has worked diligently to be the answer to one of the biggest challenges the valley has faced ” the arrival of Latino immigrants to our community. Fredendall has made it her life’s calling to be a part of the answer by providing an avenue that seeks to bring Latinos and Anglos to a better understanding of each other and the two cultures. It’s a seemingly humane ordinary task that takes an extraordinary person like Fredendall to make it work.

Speaking of those ordinary, human things, the most poignant behind-the-scenes moment of the evening occurred between Don Kaufman and his mother, Jan, who were both nominees. When they were having their photo taken for this page, Don kept pulling his mother close to his side. Jan, in anticipation of the picture, said to him, “Would you stop moving?” But he couldn’t, and he told her why. “Mom, I’m just so proud of you.”

The ladies from Garfield County Health Nursing Service, from left, Laurel Little, of Glenwood, nominee Wanda Berryman, of Glenwood, Susie Lockard of Glenwood, Christine Singleton of Silt and Mary Meisner of Rifle.

Glenwood ladies from left, Debbie Cerri and Linda English work at Colorado Mountain College; nominee Sharon Andersen is a “full time jack of all trades,” Bernadette Julich is a grant writer for Colorado Mountain College and Maureen Richardson is volunteer coordinator for Literacy Outreach.

From left, Jenny Peed of Rifle is the assistant executive director of the Girl Scouts, nominee Julie Myers of New Castle is a route carrier for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and Girl Scouts leader; Jerel Myers is a welder and Sue Zortmon of New Castle works for Glenwood Springs Ford and is also a volunteer firefighter for the Burning Mountain Fire Protection District.

Bridges High School teachers from left, Lara Jackson of Basalt, Terri Pratt of New Castle, 2003 visionary award winner Mike Blair of New Castle, George Austin-Martin of Glenwood and Ronnda Kuhr of Carbondale.

Nicole Chartier, left, of Rifle is a 2003 graduate of Bridges High School and is currently studying physics at Colorado Mountain College; Trevor Nystrom, 17, of Glenwood plans to study directing at the New York Film Academy next year.

From left, Jay Swan of Carbondale, Maxine Harris, 10, who attends Basalt Middle School and was the youngest nominee, and nominee Claudia Griesser of Carbondale, who works for Sopris Therapy.

Dennis Webb, of Silt, left, is news editor at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and Martha Fredendall is executive director of Literacy Outreach.

From left, Garfield County Commissioner Tresi Houpt handed awards to humanitarians along with Post Independent publisher Michael Bennett, not pictured; Kay Vasilakis of New Castle, a GSPI columnist, and GSPI managing editor Heather McGregor were awards announcers; and McGregor’s husband, Steve Smith, is an environmental consultant.

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