Brewery, volunteers, eco-minded students honored at HC3 benefit | SummitDaily.com

Brewery, volunteers, eco-minded students honored at HC3 benefit

A heartfelt, surprise guest took the mic Friday night, raised his glass and proposed a toast to his late brother at the 28th Tim McClure Benefit.

It was Kirby McClure's first time attending the annual fundraiser that supports the High County Conservation Center's many programs and initiatives and pays homage to environmental activist Tim McClure, who died in an avalanche outside Breckenridge in 1985. He is credited with helping shape local recycling and environmental initiatives in Summit County.

Snapping numerous pictures before and after his remarks from the seated position of his wheelchair, Tim's younger brother, Kirby, held his outdated, silver point-and-shoot camera high above his head as he snapped away, smiled big and told everybody he was taking pictures.

"This is the best thing I've been to," he said shortly after his arrival at the DoubleTree in Breckenridge. "It's better than Disney."

After Kirby relayed a couple short stories and applauded the group's continuation of his brother's conservation efforts, HC3 officials announced this year's Green Scene award winners.

They included Nora Gilbertson, Paul Weller, Ryan Burr, Rhaelyn Haddix and Broken Compass Brewing. An honorable mention went out to Sarah Lorch, Emily Wallace and Elle Lyne-Schiffer.

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Taking home the Julia Butterfly Hill Award was Gilbertson, who works for the town of Frisco.

"Nora is the project champion for all the town of Frisco, and she leads efforts for sustainability and the green team constantly," HC3 executive director Jennifer Schenk said, adding that Gilbertson also heads up the Frisco barbecue, in which last year alone they diverted 75 percent of all waste from the landfill.

For the Organic Fertilizer Award, Weller was honored for his volunteer efforts at HC3, which Schenk said have been a real life-saver for the environmental organization.

Among other things, Haddix won the Lisa Simpson Youth Award for a composting program she does with children — the Junior Worm Herders Program — and honorable mention honors were given to high schoolers Lorch, Wallace and Lyne-Shciffer.

Meanwhile, Burr serves as a fourth-grade teacher at Dillon Elementary, and he was honored with the Earthy Educator Award for "always inspiring his students to protect our environment," Schenk said, in addition to being "a really big advocate of our Energy Explorers Program."

No one seemed to celebrate their award more, however, than Broken Compass Brewing co-owner Jason Ford, who pumped his fist in the air as soon his brewery's name was called for the Greener Summit Business Award. He continued doing so all the way to the front of the room.

"Not only do they make green beer, most people don't know they are one of the greenest breweries in the state," Schenk said. "One small example is they have a bunch of beetle kill furniture … They do a million things."