The Jim Calaway Honor Series at CMC |

The Jim Calaway Honor Series at CMC

Calaway Series honorees from left, Bill Hornaday of Denver is president of the Weitz Company, Donna Norris and Mark Norris who is vice-president of the Weitz Company.

Hired Hands was the perfect band to play at the Jim Calaway Honor Series.

They performed on Wednesday, Jan., 21 at the New Space Theater in the Calaway Building at the Spring Valley campus of Colorado Mountain College.

“Helping Hands” would have even been a more appropriate name, especially if those hands belonged to Jim Calaway. Calaway created scholarships that serve the working people and help them do what they cannot do – like get an education and better themselves. He then created the Jim Calaway Honor Series, which is an evening of artistic performance that acknowledges the individuals in the community who have given generously to the scholarship fund.

Mark and Donna Norris and Bill Hornaday of the Weitz Company were the special honorees this time. Their $25,000 scholarship gift helped three students attend college. Two of the scholarship recipients, Jennifer Stroder and Cassandra Ricotta joined more than 130 others who attended the honor series performance, which featured the band Hired Hands.

The band, based in Taos, New Mexico played a diverse blend of country, rock, blue grass and folk. “It’s south western acoustic, a nice ambiguous term that makes people curious,” said fiddle player Gordon Burt. The band was a big hit as they engaged in playful onstage brotherly banter between some serious picking and strumming on guitars, banjos and fiddles along with soulful lyrics which spoke of everything from first love to the everyman’s song called, “Stuff that Works.”

The biggest surprise of the evening was when Glenwood Springs Middle School choir teacher Kelly Jerles-Blackwelder joined the Hired Hands on stage and belted out an impromptu performance of Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” “Something tells me those kids hear her in the back of the room!” said Hired Hands vocalist Don Richmond

Alice Beauchamp, director of CMC’s Center for Excellence and organizer of the series, could not have made a better choice in picking Hired Hands to honor Mark and Donna Norris for their helping hands.

Kelly Jerles-Blackwelder is the choir, speech and drama teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School; her husband, Tom works for the Weitz Company.

Calaway Scholarship recipients from left, Jennifer Stroder, who is majoring in business and Cassandra Ricotta who is majoring in wilderness studies.

Alice Beauchamp, left of Silt, is director of Colorado Mountain College Center for Excellence in the Arts and Nancy Genova of Glenwood is the dean at the Spring Valley campus at Colorado Mountain College.

From left, Harlie Loesby of Carbondale, Virginia Minetree and her husband, Dr. Tom Minetree, also of Carbondale.

From left, City Councilman Joe O’Donnell, his wife Judy and Phyllis and Bill Coleman of Glenwood.

From left, Skip Bell of Carbondale owns the Pour House, Kay Lemire of Redstone is a teacher at Glenwood Springs High School and Art and Carolyn Ackerman of Carbondale.

From left, Bob Howard of Aspen is a real estate developer, Jim Calaway of Carbondale, Bob Young, also of Carbondale, chairman of the board of directors on the Colorado Mountain College Foundation and Chairman of Alpine Bank and Jim’s wife, Connie.

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