Hundreds turnout for a night of inspiration and celebration.
The Summit County community gathered Thursday night, November 17, at Beaver Run for The Summit Foundation Philanthropy Awards, which this year marks their 30th anniversary. The ceremony honored businesses, nonprofits, and people in eight categories for their extraordinary commitment to our community. The goal of the award is to inspire and celebrate the Summit County culture of giving back by recognizing those who give of their time, talent, and treasure to make Summit County truly a special place to live.
The Summit Foundation would like to thank our 30th Annual Philanthropy Awardees for inspiring the community.
OUTSTANDING BUSINESS: Krystal Media
Nominated by: Lindsey Cotton
Giving back to Summit County is what Krystal Media has been about for nearly 35 years. This deep connection comes from being a locally owned company and having a dedicated team who lives in the community and cares about our mountain towns. The Krystal suite of radio stations consistently offers information and encouragement for people to roll up their sleeves and get involved, as well as supporting over 50 nonprofits with promotional opportunities and remote broadcasts. When the pandemic hit, Krystal proactively stepped up to promote local nonprofits, musicians, businesses, and other local heroes, who in turn used that recognition to help others. That’s the Summit County way, and Krystal Media is proudly leading the charge.
OUTSTANDING CITIZEN: Larry Crispell
Nominated by: Larissa O’Neil, Breckenridge History (formerly Breckenridge Heritage Alliance)
Often flying under the radar, Larry Crispell offers his expertise, support, and hands-on assistance in a quiet and meaningful manner. For over 50 years, he has made a lasting and noticeable impact in historic preservation, philanthropic support, and civic endeavors. Larry spearheaded the preservation and stabilization of several historical projects for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance (now Breckenridge History), including the Sallie Barber Mine and Wellington Ore Bin, among others. He is known for looking for ways to engineer projects differently, offering construction advice, hands-on assistance, and recruiting others to help with on-site work. His philanthropic spirit extends to the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Building Hope, Summit in Honduras, Summit Huts, and others. Larry previously served several terms on the Breckenridge Town Council and is a quiet, strong advocate for the many causes he believes in.
OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR: Jim Smith
Nominated by: Paul Finkel and Karen-Jo Dolamore
Jim Smith changes lives. As the Principal of Snowy Peaks Junior and Senior High School, he puts his experience, hard work, depth of knowledge, and compassion for his students into everything he does. Formerly the Assistant Principal of Summit High School, Mr. Smith is a pioneer in blended learning and has transformed Snowy Peaks into a successful magnet school that serves a diverse population of students. This student-focused environment creates a highly personalized educational experience.
A former student said, “Mr. Smith accepted me for who I am. He believes in his students, and more importantly, he teaches them to believe in themselves.”
Mr. Smith is a role model for students and other educators, creating camaraderie and pride in line with Snowy Peak’s motto - Be a Yeti, Be Legendary.
DR. OLIVER STONINGTON OUTSTANDING PHILANTHROPISTS: Anna and Mike Dudick
Nominated by: Building Hope, BreckCreate, and FIRC
Anna and Mike Dudick shape the fabric of our community in a humble and meaningful way. The Dudicks give selflessly and often encourage others to get involved at any level of giving. Their recent million-dollar personal donation to the new Sol Center in Breckenridge launched the capital campaign to create a future one-stop shop for resources through collaboration with FIRC, Building Hope, and others. The Dudicks also recognize the importance of the arts to our quality of life and have provided meaningful support to BreckCreate’s mobile stage and other arts organizations. Anna and Mike give personally of their time and assist with fundraising, including serving on the Board of Directors of Building Hope and The Summit Foundation, among others. This commitment extends to Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV), and Mike was instrumental in creating BGV Gives, the BGV employee giving program, and BGV owner support of the community.
OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL IN A NONPROFIT: Karen Meza
Nominated by: Helen Royal, Summit Community Care Clinic
Summit Care Clinic employees say the word that best describes Karen Meza is “genuine.” During her 15-year career at the Care Clinic, Karen has worked her way from a Front Desk Clerk to Administrative Assistant, then Office Manager, Clinic Manager, and now is the Director of Clinical Operations. Karen is a good listener and tireless patient advocate, often getting personally involved on behalf of patients. She has an ability to see services through the patients’ eyes, likely coming from years of interpreting for her mother after coming to the United States at age 8. Karen brings a sense of humor to the Care Clinic, is adept at building consensus and motivating her team, and she never wavers in her ongoing commitment to the Care Clinic patients.
OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEERS: Sue and Bob Peterson
Nominated by: Deborah Hage
The Rotary Community Dinner happens without fail every Tuesday in collaboration with the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne and kitchen manager/cook Bob Knorr. The event serves almost 9,500 people annually in a warm atmosphere of community and caring. The backbone of the community dinner is volunteers, managed each week seamlessly by Sue and Bob Peterson. They have been faithful volunteers for over 10 years and took over the operations from Deb Hage in 2017. Every week Sue and Bob plan meals, arrange food orders and delivery, manage food rescue operations, organize different groups of volunteer cooks and servers, and oversee operations at every dinner. Never known to miss a Tuesday, they even schedule their vacations around this critical community service. Their dedication and organizational skills are motivational to all who serve with them.
OUTSTANDING YOUTH: Nataly Alderete Avila
Nominated by: Danelle Hicks, Pre-Collegiate
As a dedicated first-generation student, Nataly Alderete Avila is a high-level scholar, bilingual individual, an athlete, and a strong leader. But among all of that, the thing that she cares most about is her community service and giving back. This year alone Nataly has volunteered over 120 hours to the community, including making sandwiches for Smart Bellies, translating for families at school events, fundraising for club activities, mentoring younger students through the High Trails Outdoor Education Center, and serving as a leader in the pre-Collegiate program. Through her volunteer work, Nataly has learned the importance of giving back to her community and helping others. She hopes to continue this passion through college and in future career of helping others.
DAVID OLBRIGHT OUTSTANDING YOUTH MENTOR: Geoff Palmer
Nominated by: Margaret Carlson
Geoff Palmer, fondly known as “Coach” in local circles, has trained all ages and abilities for Summit Youth Hockey for over 20 years. As is the case with all great youth coaches, his life lessons transcend the sport. Called “Geoff-isms,” there are many lessons that the players take with them long after they’ve left the team, such as “skate all the way through the lines” (don’t cut corners), “pack your bag, unpack your bag, repack your bag” (be sure you are prepared), and so on. Geoff is a mentor to youth on and off the ice, and his impact is felt by all ages. Many of his former players are now his fellow coaches, and they learn from watching his steady demeanor with young players and parents. Geoff is a fixture in local hockey circles, but he is also engaged in the broader community, often buying a table at fundraising events or donating items for auctions. Geoff has deeply impacted those who have been fortunate to call him “Coach.”
In addition, we would like to thank Brad Williamson and SCTV for their support in developing the nomination videos that eloquently told the story of our winners' impact on the community. Our sponsors, FirstBank, Climax Molybdenum Mine, and Vail Health helped make the evening a huge success.
Previous Philanthropy Awardees
Thank you for your commitment to our community!
If you need more information about our events, contact our Events Manager, Ashley