The Summit Foundation strives to inspire donors, build partnerships and mobilize resources to support community organizations in Summit County (and the surrounding communities) that foster health & human service, education, art & culture, sports & recreation and environmental stewardship.


Archive for November, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Philanthropy Award Recipients

The 23rd Annual Philanthropy Awards on November 22nd celebrated the vital contributions nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals make to our mountain community.  Friends, colleagues, community and family members gathered at Copper Conference Center to honor this year’s Philanthropy Award recipients.  The event, sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, Climax Molybdenum Company and The Summit Foundation, recognized and honored donors, volunteers, nonprofit leaders, businesses and organizations for their commitment to the community through varying entities.

The 2013 awards were presented to Avalanche Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation as Outstanding Business, Margaret Carlson as Outstanding Board Member, Brad Dickerson as Outstanding Citizen, Kerry Buhler as Outstanding Educator, BOEC as the Outstanding Community Organization, Christopher Willard as Outstanding Nonprofit Professional, Pat and Jack Thomas as the Dr. Oliver Stonington Outstanding Philanthropists, Marge Gavenda as Outstanding Volunteer, Davis Gidney as Outstanding Youth, Phil Gallagher as  the David Olbright Outstanding Youth Mentor, and the Pre-Collegiate Program was presented the Community Collaboration Award.  Including this year’s recipients, 231 individuals, families, community organizations and businesses have been recognized for their generosity and support to our community over the past 23 years.

Avalanche Physical Therapy was recognized for their development and funding of the Athletic Training Program at Summit High School, sports physicals for youth in Summit School District, various sponsorship and support for community events, and major partnership in the Annual Bob Guthrie Memorial Circle the Summit Bike Ride.

Honored as Outstanding Board Member, Margaret Carlson serves as President of the Summit School District Board of Education and Vice President of the Summit Youth Hockey Foundation.  She has a deep commitment to youth in Summit County and serves as a board member to continue to have an impact in bettering the lives of those living here.

Outstanding Citizen Brad Dickerson is known for his tireless work in the local hockey community and as an advocate for special needs children. Brad personifies putting others first and going above and beyond for the greater good.

Kerry Buhler, Principal at Upper Blue Elementary in Breckenridge, was honored as this year’s Outstanding Educator.  Kerry is recognized for her relentless commitment and exceptional leadership in education, all while putting children first.

Recognized as Outstanding Community Organization was the 37-year old Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC).  Serving nearly 2,000 participants from 41 states and 8 countries, BOEC is known for its collaboration with other nonprofits and agencies.  Success for the BOEC comes from its unique internship program.

Honored as Outstanding Nonprofit Professional, Christopher Willard serves as the Artistic Director of the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre.  In his position for the past eight years, Chris is dedicated to the success of the theatre and arts in Summit County.  He has doubled the size of the organization’s Board and has increased ticket sales by 29 percent over the last two years.

This year’s Dr. Oliver Stonington Outstanding Philanthropist Award was given to Pat and Jack Thomas of Breckenridge.  The Thomas’ are known for their extensive generosity to the Breckenridge Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra, as well as the donor advised fund they established with The Summit Foundation.  They not only support many organizations with their monetary gifts, but also with their time.

Outstanding Volunteer was Marge Gavenda, of Breckenridge.  Marge is known as the “worker-bee” of many organizations, but especially for her dedication to Summit Community Care Clinic.  She also organizes an annual golf tournament, Rally for the Cure, in support of breast cancer awareness.  Her time is also spent assisting with fund-raising for FIRC and St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center.

Summit High School Senior Davis Gidney was recognized as the Outstanding Youth.  Davis serves as co-captain of the volleyball team, along with class president, and is  involved in many clubs at Summit High School, all while maintaining a GPA of 4.16 in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.  Davis is known for her remarkable maturity, caring nature, and ability to make significant contributions to her school and community.

The David Olbright Outstanding Youth Mentor Award was given to Phil Gallagher.  For the last 12 years, Phil has served as director of Summit County Youth.  Youth in Summit County have enthusiastic praise for Phil and how encouraging he is to them.  He is known for his inspiring stories and his development of the GOODness Epidemic, that is a week focused on spreading goodness and paying it forward.

The Community Collaboration Award was presented to the Pre-Collegiate Program.  This program has supported over 200 first generation college students in their quest to graduate high school and successfully continue with post-graduate education.  The Pre-Collegiate Program would not be possible without the many nonprofits, school, and agencies that contribute to its success.

The Summit Foundation thanks the community for all of their heartfelt nominations and support for these wonderful individuals and organizations.



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