Humanitarian Service Awards ring true to heart |

Humanitarian Service Awards ring true to heart

The groundhog saw his shadow Feb. 2 and winter has hit again, but hearts were warmed Monday evening by the annual Garfield County Humanitarian Service Awards banquet.

The evening was a love fest in honor of 35 fine county residents who, in their own unique ways, work to make life better for others.

The 35 humanitarians and those who took time to nominate them for recognition gathered at the Hotel Colorado for an evening of stories, praise, laughter and a few tears.

As the descriptions continued for one outstanding community contributor after another, it became clear that Garfield County is blessed with a wealth of people whose mission is to care for and about others.

Eight individuals were singled out for Humanitarian Service Awards in acknowledgment of the breadth and depth of their community service.

Virginia Erickson of New Castle, a lifelong volunteer, civic leader and person who sees a need and steps forward to meet it, was named the 2003 Countywide Humanitarian of the Year.

But all 35 of the nominees are worthy of honor and respect.

From a Girl Scout troop leader to a hospital chaplain, a library custodian to a bus driver, each nominee was a source of inspiration for those in the audience. (The program was also taped for broadcast on cable Channel 12.)

One person writing a nomination letter, Jennifer Witt of Battlement Mesa, summed up the concept of humanitarian service in a beautiful way. She wrote:

“I know there are humanitarians out there in the world who deserve recognition for generous contributions to worthy causes, for magnificent and amazing technological advances in our world, and for solving mathematical and scientific puzzles that open doors to other galaxies.

“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.”

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