23rd annual Philanthropy Awards recognize Summit’s outstanding community members | SummitDaily.com

23rd annual Philanthropy Awards recognize Summit’s outstanding community members

Daily News staff report
Recipients of the 2013 Philanthropy Awards: Top row from left: Jack Thomas, Pat Thomas, Marge Gavenda, Kerry Buhler, Margaret Carlson, Chris Willard, Davis Gidney, and Phil Gallagher. Bottom row from left: Erin Jones (Avalanche PT), Teri Day (Avalanche PT), Molly Griffith (Pre-Colleigate Program), Brad Dickerson, Bruce Fitch (BOEC).
Joe Kusumoto |

The 23rd annual Philanthropy Awards, held at the Copper Conference Center on Nov. 22, celebrated the vital contributions of nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals to the mountain community. Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, Climax Molybdenum Co. and The Summit Foundation, the event recognized and honored donors, volunteers, nonprofit leaders, businesses and organizations for their commitment to the community through various entities.

The 2013 awards were presented to Avalanche Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation as Outstanding Business, Margaret Carlson as Outstanding Board Member, Brad Dickerson as Outstanding Citizen, Kerry Buhler as Outstanding Educator, BOEC as the Outstanding Community Organization, Christopher Willard as Outstanding Nonprofit Professional, Pat and Jack Thomas as the Dr. Oliver Stonington Outstanding Philanthropists, Marge Gavenda as Outstanding Volunteer, Davis Gidney as Outstanding Youth, Phil Gallagher as the David Olbright Outstanding Youth Mentor, and the Pre-Collegiate Program was presented the Community Collaboration Award. Including this year’s recipients, 231 individuals, families, community organizations and businesses have been recognized for their generosity and support to the community over the past 23 years.

Avalanche Physical Therapy was recognized for its development and funding of the Athletic Training Program at Summit High School, sports physicals for youth in Summit School District, support for community events and its major partnership in the annual Bob Guthrie Memorial Circle the Summit Bike Ride.

Honored as Outstanding Board Member, Margaret Carlson serves as president of the Summit School District Board of Education and vice president of the Summit Youth Hockey Foundation. She has a deep commitment to youth in Summit County and serves as a board member to continue to have an impact in bettering the lives of those living here.

Outstanding Citizen Brad Dickerson is known for his tireless work in the local hockey community and as an advocate for children with special needs. Dickerson personifies putting others first and going above and beyond for the greater good.

Kerry Buhler, principal at Upper Blue Elementary School in Breckenridge, was honored as this year’s Outstanding Educator. Buhler was recognized for her commitment and exceptional leadership in education, all while putting children first.

Recognized as Outstanding Community Organization was the 37-year-old Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. Serving nearly 2,000 participants from 41 states and eight countries, the BOEC is known for its collaborations with other nonprofits and agencies. Success for the BOEC comes from its unique internship program.

Honored as Outstanding Nonprofit Professional, Christopher Willard is the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s artistic director, a position he’s had for eight years. Willard is dedicated to the success of theater and the arts in Summit County. He has doubled the size of the organization’s board and has increased ticket sales by 29 percent over the last two years.

This year’s Dr. Oliver Stonington Outstanding Philanthropist Award went to Pat and Jack Thomas of Breckenridge. The Thomases are known for their extensive generosity to the Breckenridge Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra, as well as the donor-advised fund they established with The Summit Foundation. They support many organizations not only with their monetary gifts, but also with their time.

Outstanding Volunteer was Marge Gavenda, of Breckenridge. Gavenda is known as the “worker bee” of many organizations, but especially for her dedication to Summit Community Care Clinic. She organizes an annual golf tournament, Rally for the Cure, in support of breast cancer awareness and assists with fundraising for FIRC and St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center.

Summit High School senior Davis Gidney was recognized as the Outstanding Youth. Davis serves as co-captain of the volleyball team and as class president. She is involved in many clubs at Summit High School, all while maintaining a GPA of 4.16 in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. Davis is known for her remarkable maturity, caring nature and ability to make significant contributions to her school and community.

The David Olbright Outstanding Youth Mentor Award was given to Phil Gallagher. For the last 12 years, Phil has served as director of Summit County Youth. Youth in Summit County have enthusiastic praise for Gallagher and how encouraging he is to them. He is known for his inspiring stories and his development of the GOODness Epidemic, a week focused on spreading goodness and paying it forward.

The Pre-Collegiate Program received the Community Collaboration Award. More than 200 first-generation college students have received support from the program in their quest to graduate high school and successfully continue with post-graduate education. The Pre-Collegiate Program would not be possible without the many nonprofits, schools and agencies that contribute to its success.

The Summit Foundation thanks the community for its heartfelt nominations and its support of these wonderful individuals and organizations.


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