Monday, November 23rd, 2015
The 25th Annual Philanthropy Awards on November 20th celebrated the vital contributions nonprofit organizations and individuals make to our mountain community. Friends, colleagues, community and family members gathered at Beaver Run Resort & 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, and organizations for their commitment to the community through varying entities.
The evening was dedicated in memory of Rob Millisor. Rob served as a Trustee to The Summit Foundation for 11 years and embodied philanthropy in his own life each and every day. Rob tragically passed away in October while on a philanthropic humanitarian trip to Nepal.
The 2015 awards were presented to Andy Lewis as Outstanding Board Member, Phyllis Martinez as Outstanding Citizen, Education Foundation of the Summit as the Outstanding Community Organization, John Spierling as Outstanding Educator, Molly Lee as Outstanding Professional in a Nonprofit Organization, Nancy and Tom Keltner as the Dr. Oliver Stonington Outstanding Philanthropists, Dr. Wilson Strong as Outstanding Volunteer, Cait McCluskie as Outstanding Youth, Judge Ed Casias as the David Olbright Outstanding Youth Mentor, and Burke & Riley’s Irish Pub as the Outstanding Business. Including this year’s recipients, 254 individuals, families, community organizations and businesses have been recognized for their generosity and support to our community over the past 25 years.
Honored as the 2015 Outstanding Board Member was Andy Lewis of Breckenridge. Over the past decade, Andy has served in leadership roles on local nonprofit boards including Breckenridge Music Festival, CASA, and The Summit Foundation as well as Father Dyer Methodist Church.
Outstanding Citizen Phyllis Martinez has been an extraordinary volunteer throughout her 40 years in Summit County and has held fund-raising positions with several nonprofits including The Keystone Center and Colorado Mountain College Foundation. Notably, over the past few years, Phyllis has successfully reinvigorated the Breckenridge Film Festival while volunteering extensively with them.
Education Foundation of the Summit has already had a significant impact in its short five year history and for that was selected as the Outstanding Community Organization. Education Foundation of the Summit supports innovation and creativity in Summit School District and is widely known for their “Eileen Finkel Innovative Teaching Awards”.
John Spierling is this year’s Outstanding Educator. Nominated by the parent of a former student, John has taught history and humanities at Summit Middle School for nearly 20 years. He also coaches the middle school Alpine Ski Team and organizes a National History Day event.
Honored as Outstanding Professional in a Nonprofit Organization, Molly Lee serves as the Chief Nursing Officer at Summit Community Care Clinic where she was worked for over a decade. Molly has been a true champion for women and adolescent health in this community.
This year’s Dr. Oliver Stonington Outstanding Philanthropist Award recognized Nancy and Tom Keltner of Silverthorne. The Keltners have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local community over the past seven years. Their philanthropic focus has been with Family and Intercultural Resource Center, Summit School District’s Pre-Collegiate Program, Lake Dillon Theatre Company and The Summit Foundation. The Keltners are instrumental in developing strategic plans to best facilitate their funding in our community.
Retired surgeon Dr. Wilson Strong was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer. Wilson has served on the boards of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and Summit Community Care Clinic. Under his leadership, the Care Clinic is now designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center. He is a tireless advocate for the medically underserved in Summit County and spends most of his volunteer time ensuring that health care is available for all Summit County residents.
Summit High School Senior Cait McCluskie was recognized as the Outstanding Youth. Cait serves as President of the Speech and Debate team and Captain of the Theater Department. Her already impressive resume includes many leadership roles both at the high school and throughout the community. She attends a 6:40 am Calculus II class while pursuing her full International Baccalaureate diploma at Summit High School.
The David Olbright Outstanding Youth Mentor Award was given to Judge Ed Casias. Ed not only spends his free time coaching various sports for youth in Summit County, he became a mentor in the local Mountain Mentors program in 2006. In addition, Ed organizes many youth events from sports to chess and spends time with young people teaching them necessary skills to succeed.
Outstanding Business was awarded to Burke & Riley’s Irish Pub in Breckenridge. Established in 2004, the restaurant has been a mainstay to locals and can always be counted on to lend a helping hand for various nonprofit fundraisers. For over a decade, Burke & Riley’s has hosted a local golf tournament to help fund sports at Summit High School. The 2015 tournament raised over $34,000 for youth sports in Summit County.
The Summit Foundation thanks the community for all of their heartfelt nominations and support for these wonderful individuals and organizations.