Citizen of the year

From left, Telluride food bank volunteers Tom Schroedl, Barb Gross and Elaine Schroedl. Gross was named the Telluride Foundation’s 2019 Citizen of the Year. The foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2020 award. (Planet file photo)

As the end of 2020 nears, we reflect on a year of unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these challenges also created a strong sense of community, as neighbors helped each other overcome a myriad of obstacles, including health, financial and child care. This year, more than ever, the Telluride Foundation wants to recognize those heroes and angels among us who stepped up to unselfishly contribute to the community during this particularly difficult year. The foundation is looking for nominations for its 2020 Citizen of the Year award, recognizing a superstar who made a difference through volunteerism.

Because 2020 is a year like no other, the foundation postponed announcing its Citizen of the Year Award to allow for more community heroes to be nominated as a result of their impact on the community, according to a news release. 

“We want to encourage community and nonprofit leaders, as well as all residents to think about the people who are making a difference in your life and your community,” said Telluride Foundation President and CEO Paul Major. “We know there are many working overtime to lead the community, but this award is to recognize someone for their work in an unpaid capacity. I hope you will consider nominating them and helping to give them the recognition they deserve.”

After all nominations are in, past recipients of the award are responsible for evaluating the nominations and deciding on two finalists. Past recipients also help the Telluride Foundation Board select the ultimate 2020 winner.

Telluride Foundation’s Citizen of the Year Award is in recognition of someone who has unselfishly contributed to the Telluride regional community’s quality of life. The regional community is defined as San Miguel, Ouray and West Montrose counties, as well as Rico. The recipient will receive a commemorative plaque and a grant of $5,000 to be given in their name to a local nonprofit of their choice. The 2020 Citizen of the Year will share this honor with Terry Tice (2003), Lissa Margetts (2004), John Micetic (2005), Bill Carstens (2006), John Pryor and Jane Hickcox (2007), Kathy Green (2008), Marilyn Branch (2009), Dan and Greer Garner and Andrea Benda (2010), Billy “Senior” Mahoney (2011), Ann Brady (2012), Dean Rolley (2013), Kristin Holbrook (2014), Gary Freedman (2015), Elaine Fischer (2016), Wendy Brooks (2017), Susan Rice (2018) and Barb Gross (2019).

The nomination form is posted and must be submitted on the Telluride Foundation’s website at telluridefoundation.org/citizen-of-the-year. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 4, and anyone is invited to nominate a fellow community member. Nominators of the top two finalists will be asked to participate in a short video as part of the final selection process. The video clips will be used by the selection committee to learn more about the nominees and bring to life their community contributions. The 2020 recipient will be announced after the Telluride Foundation’s winter board meeting in December, and a virtual award ceremony will follow. The foundation hopes the community will join an in-person celebration next fall to celebrate both the 2020 and 2021 recipients. Contact Katie Singer at 970-728-8717 or email katie@telluridefoundation.org with any questions. 

NOMINATION GUIDELINES        

Nominee must be a community member from the region, which includes San Miguel, Ouray and west Montrose counties, and Rico.

Nominees will be selected based on unselfish and extraordinary contributions to the community that include volunteerism, collaboration, leadership and compassion.

Nominees in paid positions that represents these traits are eligible, however, the nomination must be based on their non-paid work.

Telluride Foundation board members and staff are not eligible.

The award is designed for a single individual, however, exceptions can be made.

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride and regional community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. 2020 marks 20 years of making more possible through the Telluride Foundation’s commitment to enrich the quality of life of the residents, visitors and workforce of the Telluride region. The Telluride Foundation is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants to nonprofits, owns and operates programs that meet emerging and unmet community needs, and makes investments. The foundation approaches this work through the lens of its core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Its work is funded through the generous support of individual donors as well as grants from state and national foundations. The foundation hopes the community will join it in celebrating its 20th anniversary as it honors the nonprofits, donors and community members who have all partnered together to achieve a significant positive impact on the region. For more information, visit telluridefoundation.org.