Locals enlist in Salt Lake Army

Residents team with Utah churches to aid security personnel

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— Among the numerous athletes and volunteers Steamboat Springs sent to the 2002 Olympics were 14 residents who represented Ski Town USA by manning Salvation Army tents in Utah.

Volunteers from Anchor Way Baptist Church spent a week distributing coffee, hot chocolate and food to the police, National Guardsmen, federal agents and security screeners at Snowbasin.

The volunteer effort was a partnership including the Southern Baptist Convention, Alpine Resort Ministries and the Salvation Army.

"We were tickled pink that we were able to be there and help," said Glenda Wiggins, who attends Anchor Way.

The group worked from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and everyone paid their own way, sleeping at a church nearby.

The volunteers arrived three days prior to the opening ceremonies to assist at torch run sites as well.

Anchor Way pastor Kevin King, a former Atlanta police officer, said the group distributed pizza, hamburgers and eight dozen doughnuts to the policemen, whom he said outnumbered the athletes six to one.

"We had a lot of fun," King said.

Pin trading was a high priority for those who attended, but the group also got involved in more serious pursuits.

"We were there showing people God's love through service," King said.

The group's motto, More Than Gold, emphasized their belief in "something more valuable than gold."

The Anchor Way members also used pin trading as a means to promote faith.

While athletes at Salt Lake dreamed of gold medals to culminate their achievements, gold represented something different to the local volunteers.

They gave their own More Than Gold pins to the fans they met in Utah, explaining the significance of each of the colors in the snowflake design, with gold symbolizing eternal life.

Glenda Wiggins said she and her husband also did their best to promote Ski Town USA, trading Steamboat pins with others and telling them about the community.

Meredith Geldmeier is a senior at Christian Heritage School. She is conducting an internship with the Pilot & Today.

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