Summit County: 22nd annual Philanthropy Awards honors community members
Ryan Summerlin November 19, 2012
The 22nd annual Philanthropy Awards on Friday was an evening of heart-warming celebration as friends, colleagues, community and family members gathered at Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center to honor this year’s recipients. Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, Climax Molybdenum Company and The Summit Foundation, the event recognized and honored individuals and organizations for their commitment to the community through varying entities.The 2012 awards were presented to Jennifer Cawley as Outstanding Board Member, the FIRC Bag Ladies as Outstanding Volunteers, Joshua Blanchard as Outstanding Nonprofit Professional, Laura Pless as Outstanding Educator, Dr. Don Parsons as Outstanding Citizen, Sara Metzger as Outstanding Youth, High Country Conservation Center as Outstanding Nonprofit Organization, Kimberly Kissmann as the David Olbright Otustanding Youth Mentor, and Summit County Cares was presented the Community Collaboration Award. Including this year’s recipients, 220 individuals, families, community organizations and businesses have been recognized for their generosity and support to our community over the past 22 years.Cawley’s recognition comes from her tremendous involvement as operations director of the Breckenridge Local Organizing Committee for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Cawley also volunteers her time on the board of High Country Conservation Center, with Maverick Sports Promotion mountain bike and running events, and the Breckenridge Restaurant Association. Cawley’s award was kept a surprise and she was shocked as her name was called in front of a large crowd of friends, colleagues and family that had come specifically to support her. The FIRC Bag Ladies are a tremendous group that has raised more than $35,000 for the FIRC Food Bank and emergency assistance programming. The Bag Ladies use donated fabric and materials to create reusable bags. More than 30 women comprise this dedicated group of volunteers that was started by Kay Bullington and Becky Morgan and is now run by Shona Osborne. Blanchard is the executive director of Lake Dillon Theatre Company and was noted for his extreme dedication to his position, the theater, the community and the school district. Blanchard collaborated to establish the Theatre’s Gives Back program which increases awareness for not only the theater, but provides funds to worthy organizations throughout the county. Pless serves as the developmental education professor at Colorado Mountain College. Known for her commitment to help students obtain their GEDs, Pless tirelessly serves as a motivator to students who might not have a support base elsewhere. Parsons defines citizenship. He feels a great sense of responsibility to his community and works hard in the areas of health and human services. He serves on the board at St. Anthony Medical Center and is the current board president of Summit Community Care Clinic. He is often seen serving at the weekly community dinners sponsored by the Rotary Club, as a mentor to high school students and advocating for the underserved members of our community.Metzger is a very dedicated teenager in the areas of academics, leadership, athletics and community service, with thousands of volunteer hours with organizations throughout the community. She is very involved with the Summit in Honduras project and travels internationally to help those in need. At Summit High School, she is a leader in the classroom, in the halls and on the volleyball court.High Country Conservation Center has positively impacted our community for nearly 35 years. Known locally as HC3, it has a strong focus on educating the community, including K-12 students, college students and adults in efforts to improve sustainability, reduce waste and increase energy efficiency around the county.Kissmann is the founder of the Far View Horse Rescue, where she provides an environment for children to learn about horses. A former elementary school teacher, she was able to mix her passion for horses, education and children through rehabilitating horses while teaching children life lessons. Many children and students came to support Kissmann and spoke about how she impacted their lives. Summit County Cares is the largest emergency assistance fund in Summit County. Through a unique collaboration of local media, the campaign supports clients of Family & Intercultural Resource Center, Summit County Department of Social Services, Summit Community Care Clinic and Advocates of Victims of Assault. Roman Moore of Krystal 93 Radio accepted the award on behalf of the local media who provide awareness of the campaign each November and December. The selection committee consisted of Gini Bradley, Judge Ed Casias, Kathy Grotemeyer, Peggy Hiller, Marilyn Hogan, Felice Huntley, Phyllis Martinez, Kelly Renoux and Colleen Richmond. The Summit Foundation thanks the community for all of its heartfelt nominations and support for these wonderful individuals and organizations.