Lifelong volunteer Sandy Mortensen honored with Frisco’s Finest Award |

Lifelong volunteer Sandy Mortensen honored with Frisco’s Finest Award

Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinson, right, presents Sandy Mortensen with the Frisco's Finest Award on Feb. 11, 2020, at the Frisco Town Hall.
Sawyer D’Argonne /

FRISCO — Dozens of community members gathered Tuesday inside the council chambers at Frisco Town Hall to give their support to longtime local Sandy Mortensen.

During the Town Council meeting, Mortensen was honored with the Frisco’s Finest Award, an accolade established to thank and honor residents who have made a significant difference in the Frisco community by making it a better place to work, live and play.

“As you may or may not know, (Sandy) has had an outstanding presence in Frisco over the years and made significant contributions,” Mayor Gary Wilkinson said to the crowd during the award ceremony. “… On behalf of council and Frisco, thank you for all you do. With this Frisco’s Finest Award, I wanted to make sure to recognize you before I leave and turn it over to somebody else and to thank you personally for all you’ve done.”

During the ceremony, Wilkinson walked community members through all of Mortensen’s noteworthy accomplishments during her time in Frisco. She moved to Summit County in 1977 and to Frisco in 1983. Within two weeks of the move, she got a knock on the door and agreed to co-chair the Halloween Carnival at Silverthorne Elementary School, marking the start of her volunteer life in Summit County. She continued her volunteer work for the school along with helping to raise funds for the then newly constructed Dillon Valley Elementary School to buy new books and install playground equipment, among other projects.

Her work in the community has gone far beyond volunteering with the schools. Mortensen owned and managed four physical therapy practices in the area from 1985-2001. In addition to being a small-business owner, she also spent time instructing skiing, working as a ski patroller, teaching childbirth classes and serving on nonprofit boards across the county.

Mortensen served on the board of the Summit County Preschool from 1978-1981 and as a member of the Summit County Accountability Committee from 1980-1982. She joined the Rotary Club of Summit County in 1991, and went on to serve as the group’s president, working with other Rotary organizations throughout the country. Mortensen went on to serve on the board of the National Repertory Orchestra from 1997-2006, and she still serves as the chair of the NRO Sustainers, a group dedicated to supporting and raising awareness for the orchestra.

In 1998, the Women of the Summit recognized Mortensen with their first Athena Award, a national honor meant to recognize women who open doors for others through their professional accomplishments and community involvement.

One of Mortensen’s biggest accomplishments was raising four children as a single parent in Summit County. Three of her children now live outside the area in Boulder, New York City and abroad in Denmark. Her other son, Hunter, serves as a council member for Frisco as well as a member of the Summit County Rescue Group.

Frisco Town Council member Hunter Mortensen speaks about his mother, Sandy Mortensen, as she received the Frisco’s Finest Award on Feb. 11, 2020.
Sawyer D’Argonne /

“Why I’m here this evening, and why all of you are here, is because of the passion she’s instilled in all of us for this town,” Hunter said about his mother. “She taught what it means to be not only a member and citizen of Frisco, but a caretaker, and to share that passion with everyone who lives here and passes through here. … Thank you, and you’re an amazing woman.”

After Wilkinson and Hunter spoke, others from the crowd also stood to share their appreciation for the work Mortensen has done over the years, including representatives with the National Repertory Orchestra and the Rotary Club of Summit County.

Finally, Mortensen addressed the crowd herself, saying only that she’s not quite done with one of her favorite hobbies.

“I quit heli-skiing two year ago, and I have all these people that are going, ‘Are you sure we can’t go one more time?’” Mortensen said. “So the next trip is the second week in December next year in British Columbia.”

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