Steamboat Springs Linda Haltom said recognizing philanthropists in Steamboat Springs is a difficult task because of the large number of selfless people in the area.
"Philanthropy is such a big part of things that are happening here," she said. "We wouldn't have a lot of the resources and community activities in this town if we didn't have people who were givers."
Five community volunteers - Rick and Donna Garth, Pam Vantatta, Cam Boyd and Nicholas Labor - were honored Sunday at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation's annual Celebration of Philanthropy awards.
"We try to recognize a variety of reasons why people are valuable in our community," Haltom said. "People's time really makes a lot of organizations effective."
Rick and Donna Garth were honored as Individual Philanthropists for their support of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, United Way, Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley Medical Center.
"I think it all stems from our kids," Donna Garth said. "We have three kids who have been involved with the schools, and state money can't cover everything. It's nice in Steamboat to volunteer your time because you can see tangible evidence of what you do."
Haltom noted Rick Garth's efforts in helping raise funds for the new artificial turf field at Steamboat Springs High School.
"He was the main impetus in getting the football turf installed," she said. "It was a huge benefit to the sports organizations and has impacted hundreds of students."
Donna Garth joked their turf efforts were more of a "selfish mode" because two of their daughters were involved in Steamboat Springs High School soccer, while a third is currently on the team.
"We spent years as parents with daughters on teams with no home games," she said.
Haltom described Prudential Steamboat Realty owners Vanatta and Boyd, who were honored as Business Philanthropists of the Year, as tireless givers who are a constant presence at fundraising events.
"They help contribute to the healthy and vital community through the power of philanthropy," Haltom said.
Vanatta credited all of the brokers at Prudential Steamboat Realty with contributing to causes throughout the area.
"Our agents try to excel in both their professional and civic lives," she said. "We are fortunate to be in a lucrative industry in the Yampa Valley and have the ability to give back to the community that has helped us."
Nicholas Labor, 18, was presented the Youth Philanthropist Award for his work with the El Pomar Youth in Community Service program as well as his work with Bud Werner Memorial Library, Partners in Routt County and LIFT-UP of Routt County.
"He's the neatest kid, he really is," Haltom said. "His enthusiasm for making a difference is really wonderful. High school students are always busy with their activities, and to make time for others is really astonishing."
Labor said he is just following the lead of his own mentors in giving back to the community.
"Through athletics, a lot of older people helped me with their time," he said. "Coaches put forth an extra effort, and people in the community giving time to me, so I thought it would be cool to give back."
- To reach Mike McCollum, call 871-4208
or e-mail email@example.com