Community Center honors volunteer efforts
Glenwood Springs Community Center staff took the opportunity at the center’s 16th anniversary members party Saturday night to honor its top volunteer for the year, along with a community partner that played a big role during the recent Grand Avenue bridge detour.
Receiving the Community Partner of the Year Award was the Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club. Volunteer of the Year is Laurie Taylor, who coaches and teaches fitness classes for the Recreation Department.
“Kiwanis has been a great partner for the city on biking initiatives during this past year,” said Brian Smith, parks and recreation director for the city.
“They actively sought us out to discuss promoting biking during the detour, and provided suggestions for things we should consider doing and offered to help carry them out,” he said. “Their dialogue ensured city- and community-led efforts were complementary, rather than duplicative, and helped us make better use of our collective resources.”
During the three-month bridge construction detour when bicycling and other alternative modes for getting around town were strongly encouraged, Kiwanis donated both time and money to bike promotion efforts. The club purchased and distributed at least 100 sets of bike lights to elementary, middle and high school students, and assisted with mounting them on the bikes.
In addition, the club purchased and installed bike racks at several Glenwood schools, a roughly $15,000 investment; paid for several of the city’s new downtown bike racks; staffed the Two Rivers Park giveaway station during the city’s bike/walk/transit rider appreciation days during the detour; and provided volunteers to Glenwood Bicycle Advocates for its bike patrol and various promotions.
Taylor is an avid participant in Glenwood Springs as a volunteer, Smith said.
“She is frequently found painting soccer lines on fields, working at the school store at Sopris Elementary, aiding teachers in the classroom, feeding the destitute at the Methodist church, volunteering as a soccer or basketball coach, and heading up community humanitarian efforts,” he said. “In the words of her husband, Josh, ‘Laurie is truly a great person.’”
Taylor grew up on a small farm in Northern Utah, frequently working at her grandfather’s dairy, according to a mini biography presented at the Saturday celebration.
“As the seventh child in a family with nine other siblings, she learned the importance of traditional family values including hard work, frugality and the ability to find lasting happiness in the simple things of life,” Smith said. “Growing up between brothers, she gained a competitive athletic spirit that remains with her today.”
He called particular attention to Taylor’s “innate rhythm and knack for choreography” in her aerobics, Zumba and yoga classes.
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The Glenwood Springs event invites impacted individuals, their family members and local community leaders to advocate for DACA to continue, and to seek permanent protections for DACA-eligible immigrants.