What really matters | PostIndependent.com

What really matters

Mike Bennett
Staff Photo |

Celebrations honoring the greatness in our community occurred twice over the last week. The Post Independent makes an effort to find a way to celebrate greatness in our pages every day.

Sometimes we take for granted what we have here. Living in other areas of the country, I know how fortunate we are to have so many great people doing such great work throughout Garfield County. The strong sense of community within the county and each of its towns is part of what makes living here so precious.

On Monday, April 7, the Garfield County Humanitarian Awards were presented at the Grand River Health Ballroom in Rifle. Anika Neal, Lauren Martin, Peyton and Jess Armstrong, Debbie Ann Moeller, Judy Martin, Amelia Shelly and Alice Jones were among the winners. If you missed the story that ran on Tuesday, April 8, you can read all of the details online at http://www.postindependent.com.

These folks were all recognized for giving back to their community, although for me one young person stood out: Peyton Armstrong, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia at the age of 10 in 2010. Kelly McGregor, national director of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, nominated Peyton, telling us about the nearly $5,000 he raised, the parade he organizes and more.

What gives an individual the strength to fight a disease like cancer at a young age and at the same time have the determination to work hard to raise attention in the community about the disease to help find a cure so others don’t suffer?

Too often we feel sorry for ourselves over such piddling things, and then a story like young Peyton’s brings you to your senses.

Saturday night was the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s 95th annual shindig honoring business people in our community. I had the good fortune to enjoy this event, which was held at Aspen Glen.

We learned about the origin and purpose of the Athena Awards from Tillie Fischer. Not just awarded to women, the award is presented for “professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills,” according to the official website. Tillie’s version was far more colorful, although I didn’t take notes and my memory isn’t that good.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with this year’s winner, Mary Jean Carnevale, when she was with YouthZone. It is easy to see why she was chosen.

Mark and Mary Gould were honored as Citizens of the Year. The video featuring interviews with their family was quite moving. It made you tired just seeing all of the Gould’s community involvement. And they have full-time jobs!

The full story ran in Monday’s PI and can also be found online. Kudos to John Stroud for his good coverage of the event. I was glad John and his wife Tami were able to enjoy dinner at the PI table after the awards. He usually has to cover the event and run.

Speaking for the Post Independent, we applaud those that give of themselves to build a better community for all. We encourage others to join.

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