YVCF names Philanthropists of the Year

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— Steve and Poogie Dawes joined the ranks of such revered residents as Gloria Gossard, Don Lufkin, Denny and Joy Swanson and Bob and Audrey Enever recently when they were named Philanthropists of the Year by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Each year, the YVCF gives three philanthropy awards -- one each to an individual, a business and a youth or youth group.

Sheraton Steamboat Resort and General Manager Chuck Porter received the Business Philanthropist Award.

No youth were nominated for the award this year.

This is the fifth year for the awards. Recipients are nominated by the community in May, and the nominations are reviewed by the Celebration of Philanthropy Committee.

Recipients must not only have made ongoing financial contributions to the community, but must also have given of their time as volunteers.

Steve and Poogie Dawes were chosen for the 2003 Ed and Jayne Hill Individual Philanthropist of the Year award because of their continued community service since their arrival in Steamboat in 1979.

Steve Dawes started what is now Steamboat Resorts with two partners. One of his early projects was supporting the rodeo, serving as financial advisor for a time. He continues to serve on the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series board of directors.

He was an early supporter of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and a strong force behind the building of Haymaker Golf Course.

Steve Dawes was instrumental in raising $500,000 for renovations at Howelsen Ice Arena. He continues to volunteer as head of the Ice Rink Advisory Committee. The Dawes family makes financial contributions to hospice and Steve Dawes currently serves on the Yampa Valley Medical Center hospital board.

The Business Philanthropist of the Year award was given to Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Porter.

The Sheraton contributes more than $30,000 in direct and in-kind donations to the United Way, Yampa Valley Medical Center, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Winter Sports Club, the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Strings in the Mountains.

Porter has been a member of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's board and on the lodging committee since 1990.

He served in the YVMC ethics committee and volunteered for Strings in the Mountains, the Vintage Auto Race and Hospital Gala.

The Business Philanthropist of the Year has previously been awarded to Steamboat Motors, Wells Fargo Bank, American Skiing Co., TIC and the Steamboat Pilot & Today newspaper.

The awards were presented at a ceremony July 27 at Catamount Ranch and Club. Chris Diamond, a Community Foundation board member, presented the awards.

Keri Rusthoi of Emerald City Opera and guitarist Brent Rowan donated their talents to entertain those in attendance.

"It's our pleasure and privilege to give this award to people who demonstrate their love of the community through their philanthropy," said Dianna Sutton, president and CEO of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. "Each year, we will continue to reward more people who have a good heart."

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