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Pitkin County Press Releases

Posted on: December 19, 2018

2018 Pitkin County Cares Awards Given to Deserving Locals


Nine outstanding Roaring Fork Valley Residents and one public agency were honored for their work in the community by Pitkin County Commissioners today. They were nominated by citizens to receive Pitkin County Cares Awards. Now in its 18th year, the goal of the county’s award program is to honor individuals and groups for their outstanding service, leadership and civic involvement. 

There were several award categories including the Greg Mace Award in memory of the late, Greg Mace, and awards recognizing Seniors, Outstanding Team, Conservationist of the Year, Good Samaritan, Hospitality, Environment, Children and Youth, Exceptional One-Time Event,  and a Rising Star award given to a youngster under the age of 18.  

2018 Recipients: 

Greg Mace Award: Charlie Hopton

Founding member of Mountain Rescue Aspen, Buddy Program mentor, Korean War vet, President of the Western Slope Veterans Coalition, and member of the Independence Pass Foundation and Wilderness Workshop. 

Conservationist of the Year Award:  George Stranahan

For his generosity and vision in protecting open space by donating significant conservation easements on his Flying Dog Ranch properties in Woody Creek and Prince Creek.

Outstanding Team Award: Pitkin County Public Safety Council

For its immediate response to and initial attack on the fast-moving Lake Christine fire in Basalt. 

Exceptional One-Time Event Award: Laura Riegel

For organizing the thank-you to firefighters event in Basalt that went viral with hundreds of thankful homeowners in attendance. 

Children/Youth Award: Susan Patterson

For being a mentor to a little buddy in the Aspen Buddy program for nearly 10 years and creating an invaluable relationship with her little buddy and her buddy’s entire family.

Seniors Award: Mimi Schlumberger

For her long-time participation and leadership on the Pitkin County Seniors Independent group which is a major fund-raising arm of Pitkin County Senior Services. 

Good Samaritan Award: Joe High

For his contribution to veterans, coaching high school athletes, volunteering and the Aspen Homeless Shelter and for all varieties of assistance to local senior citizens. 

Hospitality Award: Dr. Bernarr Johnson

For his gracious welcoming of noisy helicopters landing and taking off from his Crystal River property during the reconstruction of Pitkin County’s Elephant Mountain telecommunications site. 

Environment Award: Trey Barnes

For his hard work and enthusiasm as a Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteer leading volunteer trail work teams and assisting RFOV with marketing and publications. 

Rising Star Award: Catherine Vazquez

For her contributions to the Peace Garden at Basalt High School, being a member of the National Honor Society and her school volunteerism including president of the Student Council, and Vice President of the women’s chorus. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Pat Bingham - Community Relations Administrator - 970-319-6634

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