Three Summit County residents honored at annual Senior Awards Ceremony
Three Summit County citizens were honored Wednesday at the 27th annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Longtime residents Judy Anderson and Becky Hopkins were awarded the Senior Citizen of the Year award for their contributions to the community, and Jim Stillwell was awarded the Friend of the Seniors award for his actions to aid many of the county’s elderly.
“It’s so continually important that each of you continue to do what you’re doing in these communities,” said Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon. “It is through that kind of work that you set an example for youth.”
Anderson, who had actively worked with the Bill’s Ranch Homeowners Association, was honored for her efforts to preserve both habitats and history within the county. During her time in the county, Anderson gave tours of the historic cabins surrounding Bill’s Ranch — one of which belonged to her family — and volunteered with the Frisco Historic Park for 25 years.
“Judy has been committed to the preservation of Bill’s Ranch and the town of Frisco’s unique history, and she led numerous tours to share her impressive knowledge with others,” said Laura Rossetter of the Bill’s Ranch Neighborhood Association. “I learned from her the importance of getting involved in preserving what you love and getting others involved in the process.”
For her work with the Summit County Wildlife Council, Anderson helped maintain the Fiester Preserve, a part of the county’s open space located adjacent to Bill’s Ranch.
“Don’t hesitate to get involved. There are so many avenues where you can get acquainted with people,” Anderson advised Summit residents. “You have to take the first step forward — but you’ll have more than enough.”
Hopkins, a board member of the Summit County Senior Center, has lived in the county for 10 years. She is recognized for her involvement in numerous volunteer activities, including serving on trail patrol for Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness and helping provide books through Friends of the Library.
For her work with the Senior Center, Hopkins leads several activities, including bike rides, hikes, book discussions, and the annual Winter Games and Rummage Sale.
“We’re fortunate to have such active and dedicated seniors who want to give back,” said Erin Fisher, program specialist for the Alpine Area Agency on Aging. “These are just older adults who have volunteered and gone above and beyond in their community.”
Summit Stage paratransit driver Stillwell was given the final award for providing transportation to individuals with additional mobility needs. He stepped up to become a full-time mobility manager when the Stage realized the growing need for these services.
“We see that in a lot of our communities. So much of the work is unpaid, and they show up day in and day out and they help in the kitchen, or help with driving,” Fisher said. “We’re really lucky to have such a vibrant community.”
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