Erickson named 2003 Humanitarian |

Erickson named 2003 Humanitarian

Carrie ClickPost Independent Staff Writer
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS Heres a sure-fire antidote for the next time you feel cynical about the overall goodness of people: Attend a Garfield County Humanitarian Service Awards dinner.Monday night, a capacity crowd of 200 was uplifted and inspired when 35 Garfield County residents received recognition at the 15th annual Humanitarian Service Awards presentation at the Hotel Colorados Devereux Room. (For a complete list of nominees, see related article.)Accepting her award as Staff Humanitarian of the Year, a weeping Linda Leatherman said, I am more blessed to give than to receive. When Ive given, I always gotten more back.Leatherman is the former secretary at Bea Underwood Elementary School, and is now the secretary for the District 16 teen parent program.Certificates and plaques were presented to nominees and award winners by Post Independent publisher Michael Bennett and Garfield County Commissioner Trsi Houpt. The newspaper and the county commissioners co-sponsored the event. Nominees were described by Post Independent columnist Kay Vasilakis and editor Heather McGregor.Its so humbling to see so many give so much to make western Colorado the wonderful place it is, said Bruce Christensen, 2002s Countywide Humanitarian of the Year, in welcoming the crowd. These are people that dont seek attention. Indeed, as each recipient went to the stage and stood while their accomplishments were announced, they gazed down, smiling genuinely or standing even a bit uncomfortably, as their good deeds were made public. Humility goes hand in hand with good, kind actions. In fact, when New Castles Virginia Erickson took the stage to receive the evenings top award the 2003 Countrywide Humanitarian of the Year Award she took her plaque while wiping tears away.I have tears in my eyes, she said simply. Ive enjoyed every minute of everything Ive done. Ericksons list of accomplishments is vast, serving as an emergency medical technician for the New Castle Volunteer Ambulance Service, New Castle Councilwoman, an active advocate for New Castle seniors and serving as a member of New Castle Historical Museum.She was one of eight top recipients of humanitarian service awards, chosen from a field of 35 outstanding nominees from throughout the county.

Robin Tolan, winner of the Adult Volunteer Award, shook her head and was teary-eyed as she took the stage.Im overwhelmed, Im so thankful and appreciative and so honored, she said. To be among this cast of characters some of whom I know personally thank you very, very much.Senior Volunteer winner Bob Campbell looked at the ceiling, holding his wooden plaque, and said, I found that being retired, theres two things that help you stay young. Keep busy, and help your community. Im absolutely overwhelmed.

McGregor ended the evening by quoting Jennifer Witt of Battlement Mesa, whose nomination letter for award recipient Linda Leatherman summed up the meaning of humane actions.I know there are humanitarians out there in the world who deserve recognition for generous contributions to worth causes, for magnificent and amazing technological advances to our world, and for solving mathematical and scientific puzzles that open doors to other galaxies, McGregor read from Witts letter. But there are thousands and thousands of humanitarians out there living quiet but extraordinary lives of concern and care for others with no recognition, awards, trophies or monetary compensation. They do it because they are simply, wonderfully human.Thank you, Jennifer, McGregor said. I dont think any of us could have said it any better. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext.

2003 Humanitarian service award recipients Youth Volunteer: Rachel A. Zancanella Senior Volunteer: Bob Campbell Adult Volunteer: Robin Tolan Staff: Linda Leatherman Lifetime of Service: Cheryl Hurst Page Visionary: Mike Blair Above & Beyond: Martha Fredendall Countywide: Virginia Erickson

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