Recognizing the sacrifice

Volunteers to be honored

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— In the aftermath of National Volunteer Week, which fell during Steamboat Springs' spring break, May 1 has been dedicated this year to recognize and celebrate the volunteers of the community with a reception.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 1 at Emerald City, agencies, organizations, programs, and all Routt County residents and children who have benefited from and depend on volunteers, are welcome to attend the special reception in its first year.

Although registration has passed, each organization or agency has chosen between one and six volunteers that they will recognize for their hard work and dedication.

Amy Goodwin, executive director of Partners, said she's squeaked seven outstanding volunteers into the presentation because of a team effort.

"I think the general consensus was that people who volunteer their time, in this day and age, are going above and beyond the expected," Goodwin said.

Although many communities no longer require or expect people to volunteer their time and energy, Goodwin said these people need to be recognized.

"People can get so tied up, it's easy to forget; and that segregates us spiritually," Goodwin said.

United Way has provided a token, possibly a plaque, a flower or a ribbon, to identify the recognized volunteers. Organizations will give a short presentation and present the token during the reception.

The reception is limited to the number of recognizable outstanding volunteers because of the size of the venue.

However, Goodwin said Partners hopes to help coordinate the event for years to come.

Partners is a Big Brother/Big Sister-like agency that mentors children and helps build relationships in the community.

"We've got the cream of the crop of mentors. The Green Berets of volunteer clubs," Goodwin said of Partners. "It's incredibly rewarding. It's hard to find people to make that courageous step to be a mentor."

The event is hosted by Routt County United Way, Assets of Routt County, Partners of Routt County and Steamboat Springs Recreations Programs.

"Being a mentor is the most scientifically proven way to help kids make positive choices," Goodwin said.

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