Garfield County Senior Volunteer Appreciation Awards
The annual Garfield County Senior Awards honors the contributions of citizens who dedicate their time, effort, and love to help seniors in the community. Mildred Meeker was named Senior of the Year; Nancy Heiliger earned Friend of the Seniors honors; and John and June Zacharias took home the Senior Couple of the Year award. A stellar time was had by all, as the theme was “May the Fourth Be With You,” based on the banquet’s date and subsequent Star Wars theme.
2019 Senior Citizen of the Year
Mildred Meeker (right) and his wife Helen moved to Battlement Mesa in 1995, and began volunteering at his church, Kiwanis, Mesa Vista Assisted Living, Valley Senior Center, the Area Agency on Aging Regional Advisory Council and the Garfield County Council on Aging (GCCOA). Dick took the lead in several projects, helping GCCOA to remain a valid organization, in which he has been the agency’s secretary/treasurer. He spends hours preparing the agency minutes and financial report, and filing the necessary documents with the state; he often doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves, when in fact he performs one of the most important jobs. It is volunteers like Dick that makes it possible for the rest of us to be effective as we advocate for the seniors.
2019 Friend of the Seniors
Nancy Heiliger is one of the Rifle Senior Center volunteers. She works the registration desk for lunches to make sure the books are balanced, and that everyone feels welcomed. She knows almost every senior by name, and makes sure they have a place to sit. She and her sisters are always making sure holiday lunches are special by providing treats, cake, and table decorations; our dining room always feels special and their holiday hats are amazing. Nancy is a dedicated and very kind-hearted person. She takes care of the seniors and makes everyone feel happy.
2019 Couple of the Year
John and June Zacharias have been members of Valley Senior Center for umpteen years, and both have served as crew chiefs for our Wednesday meals twice each year. John has been the vice president of the board for many years, and his direction and guidance has been immeasurable. His eye for detail helps the center stay well-maintained and in safe working order. June volunteers at the lunch weekly and greets folks with welcoming smile and hug. They support the center in so many ways and generous, kind, and always willing to help in any situation.
Robert “Bob” Campbell has served on the board of directors of Valley Senior Center for many years in the capacity of an officer and committee chairperson. He was instrumental in forming a streamlined medical equipment leasing program. He maintains a complete inventory of medical equipment, as well as monitoring its use for residents from Debeque to Vail and Carbondale for temporary use, and he also serves on the committee to oversee renting the facility to local residents. He is extremely active in the community serving in the Kiwanis, and Veterans of Foreign Wars; supervised many golf tournaments in the years past; and is a valued member of his church. Bob is dedicated to the improvement of the Valley Senior Center, and is an asset to the senior community. He always has a hug for everyone he sees.
Yanina and Bill Hahn have been volunteering for the last six years at the New Castle meal site, where both handle many tasks in a kind and caring manner. Yanina and her husband, Bill, are kind, good-natured, and funny. Although they work full-time jobs, they are consistent volunteers on Mondays. They are truly friends of the seniors in so many way, making us feel welcomed and a part of the community.
Cheryl Pickett joined the Parachute Valley Senior Board in 2011, and became secretary in 2013. She also chairs the Ways and Means Committee, and had been responsible for securing grants to provide new insulation, ceiling tiles, handicapped toilets, flooring and replacement of the doors. She has provided so much support to the center while being an amazing caregiver to her husband, Allen, during his illness. A highlight of the year for many center participants was the renewal of their vows last year.
Mildred Meeker - Senior of the Year
Nancy Heiliger - Friend of the Seniors
John and June Zacharias - Senior Couple of the Year
Richard "Dick" Smith - Senior Citizen of the Year
Dennis Sykes - Friend of the Seniors
Laura Goodwin - Teacher of the Year
Carl and Kathy Vogt - Couple of the Year
Sunny Dunn Linn - Senior Citizen of the Year
Sharon Harper - Friend of the Seniors award
Chelsea Carnoali Parkison - Friend of the Seniors Under Duress
Socorro Flores - Friend of the Seniors award
Debra Newland - Senior of the Year