The recipients of the 2021 Pitkin County Cares Volunteer Service and Greg Mace Awards will be honored by the Pitkin County Commissioners on Tuesday, October 12th at 11 am. Sixteen outstanding Roaring Fork Valley residents were chosen from nominations received from a cross-section of community organizations and nonprofits throughout the summer.
Now in its 21st year, the purpose of the program is to honor individuals and groups for their outstanding service, leadership, and civic involvement.
Among the award categories is the Greg Mace Award established in 1986 in memory of Greg Mace, a dedicated Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer, who died in a climbing accident on North Maroon in July of the same year. He was President of Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) at the time and had volunteered for MRA for 15 years.
Roy Holloway has spent nearly 30 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department where he also serves as chaplain and grill chef for fire department 4th of July picnics. He volunteers 24-hours-a-day/seven-days-a-week for the local suicide hotline and helps disabled veterans during their annual winter trip to Aspen and Snowmass.
Exceptional One-Time-Event Award: Rick Stevens
Rick Stevens was the brainchild behind the Basalt Area Gives effort which succeeded in raising more than $415,000 for local non profits after the Trustees of the Town of Basalt made the decision to return more than two million dollars in property taxes to property owners because of a Tabor Amendment oversight.
Children and Youth Award - Jeanne Walker and Sylvia Wendrow
Jeanne Walker is a retired teacher who has been a Big Buddy to a young Latino girl in the Aspen Buddy Program for several years and doubled down on her commitment after the loss of her own daughter in an accident.
Sylvia Wendrow is the most active storyteller in the local Spellbinders program and also serves as the Spellbinders scribe and historian who makes a special effort in her storytelling to appeal to Spanish-speaking students.
Rising Star Award - Ava Kaplan and Devin Thomas
Ava Kaplan and Devin Thomas are Seniors at Aspen High School and the leaders of the Aspen High School Pathfinder Angels volunteer program. They unite and organize high schoolers to make meals and deliver them to people in the community struggling with cancer and other terminal illnesses.
Seniors Award - Debbie Overeynder
Debbie Overeynder has been a volunteer for Pitkin County Senior services for most of the 25-years she has lived in Aspen. She is a member of the Senior Council, leads the Senior Book Club, teaches classes to local seniors and volunteers in every capacity needed at the Pitkin County Senior Center.
Health Award - Bari Ramburg and Macey Morris
Bari Ramburg is a registered nurse who has dedicated her time and expertise to the Covid-19 response by working with the Aspen School District to help organize, implement and administer Covid-19 tests at Aspen schools. She also stepped-up to help during the community’s mass vaccination clinics as a volunteer vaccinator helping to administer over 20,000 vaccinations.
Macey Morris is a gourmet chef who uses her skills to make homemade meals for Pathfinder clients who are often homebound and coping with illness. She recently spent an extended amount of time with an elderly man during his end of life transition.
Community Pride - Paul Schultz
Paul Schultz volunteers regularly in the community for the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, the Wheeler Opera House, skiing events and the annual Trash Crush. During his weekly hikes into the backcountry he pulls thistles and picks up trash.
Good Samaritan - Charlie Vresiolvic
Charlie Vresilovic has been an invaluable participant and leader in the Aspen and El Jebel Mobile Food Bank efforts throughout the pandemic. He recently helped unload nearly 500 pounds of donated food that was leftover from the JAS Aspen events.
Environment Award - Howie Mallory and Carolyn Moore and Linda Ukraine
Howie Mallory is a dedicated steward of local open spaces and public lands, who has spent the last 40-plus years volunteering for organizations and causes that advocate for and protect our natural resources and community character. He most recently helped found the Hunter Creek Historical Foundation, an organization committed to restoring and preserving the historic cabins of Hunter Creek.
Carolyn Moore and Linda Ukraine have been volunteer rangers at the Maroon Bells Visitors Information Center for the past 17 summers where they greet passengers from RFTA busses, give directions as assist with various needs including loaning walking sticks to hikers, offering water bottles, and helping to manage a visitor’s message board they helped create at the Maroon Bells.
Education Award - Nancy Lovendahl and Jill Sheeley
Nancy Lovendahl is a world-renowned sculptor who more than a decade ago founded the Claudette Carter ARTMentors Program in Basalt designed for high school students seeking to explore careers in the creative arts and trades through a four-month mentorship program with a professional artist.
Jill Sheeley was the founder of the Fraser writing contest in Aspen in 2001 for Aspen’s 3rd and 4th graders. She has also spent many years as a volunteer storyteller and President of the local Spellbinders program and established the Aspen High School Student Health Careers Club in addition to her longtime involvement with the Aspen Sister Cities program.
Full descriptions of the recipients’ accomplishments are available in proclamations that will be made a part of Pitkin County’s permanent historical record that can be found at www.pitkincounty.com/pitkincountycares.
Pitkin County Commissioners will honor the recipients at a special during their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 12th at 11a.m.. The public is invited to watch the ceremony online at www.pitkincounty.com/watchmeetings. The ceremony will also be televised on CGTV Channel 11. Call 970-920-5210 for more information