COURTESY OF GAIL ROMBERG SIGMAN
Jim Stanko, right, presents the 2009 Leckenby Pioneer Award to Jane and Bud Romberg, Monday night at the United Methodist Church. The annual award recognizes those who enrich the quality of life in the Yampa Valley.
Updated October 27, 2009 at 11:44 a.m.
Steamboat Springs Longtime Steamboat Springs residents Bud and Jane Romberg and the late Chuck Fulton, of Hayden, were honored Monday night with annual awards given to those who enrich the quality of life in the Yampa Valley.
The Rombergs received the 2009 Leckenby Pioneer Award and Fulton received the 2009 Stanley L. Larson Award, both presented by the Tread of Pioneers Museum, during a dinner event in Fellowship Hall at the United Methodist Church.
In 1966, Bud Romberg was hired at Steamboat Springs High School to teach science. In 1969, Jane Romberg began working with the Steamboat Springs School District as an elementary school media specialist. What followed were lengthy careers not only in local education, but also in numerous civic and community groups, activities and boards.
The Rombergs for decades have been "interested not only in education, but also in making the town better," said Jim Stanko, a member of the Leckenby and Larson Awards Committee.
Bud Romberg served on the board of directors for what is now Old Town Hot Springs for 40 years, Steamboat Springs School Board for more than 10 years, Steamboat Springs City Council, Kiwanis Club, Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee and more.
Jane Romberg served on the Steamboat Springs Arts Council board from 1989 to 1992, LIFT-UP of Routt County, the League of Women Voters, Yampa Valley Medical Center Auxiliary, American Association of University Women, the former Community Concert Association, the local Jewish congregation Har Mishpacha, which Bud Romberg also is active with, and more.
Bud Romberg called the Leckenby Pioneer award "very humbling."
"I'm sure there's a lot of other people around here who have done a lot more than we have," he said.
Stanko said Chuck Fulton "typified the greatest generation," referring to his service with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and his service to the community upon returning to his native Hayden.
Fulton was born in 1918 in the Elkhead area and moved to Hayden with his family as a youth. He was a glider pilot in World War II and carried the love of flight throughout his life, Stanko said, including flying as a member of the Steamboat Civil Air Patrol. Chuck Fulton's son, Vance Fulton, of Hayden, said his father "flew as long as his health would allow him."
Chuck Fulton served one term as a Routt County commissioner in the 1950s and was a longtime member of the Hayden School Board. In nominating Fulton for the Larson Award, Hayden Heritage Center staff said he "is remembered best by the Routt (County) community for his talent with his draft horses, giving sleigh rides to the church groups and Girl Scouts, as well as competing in the Routt County Fair until he was well into his 80s."
Stanko said Chuck Fulton was a rancher who "quietly went about his business" and never sought recognition.
"Well, he deserves some recognition," Stanko said Monday night.
Family members accepted the award in Chuck Fulton's honor.
"I think the lesson today is that one person can make a difference," said Fulton's daughter, Rebecca Wattles. "And I see that today with my family."
Vance Fulton said his father passed away in May 2008 at the age of 89.
The Leckenby Pioneer Award has been given since 1980 to a living person or persons in Routt County, and the Stanley L. Larson Award began in 1992 as a posthumous honor. Both awards reflect lifetime contributions to local communities and the quality of life in the valley.