"Every year, this is our worst decision to make," said Corrie Scott, director of the Moffat County United Way. "We always ask, 'Why do we do this to ourselves?'"
Each year, the United Way honors a Volunteer of the Year, a troublesome decision, Scott said.
This year, the United Way received nominations for four people deserving of recognition.
"These are all wonderful recipients. It was a very difficult decision for the committee," Scott said.
The nominees, followed by who nominated them, were: Moffat County High School student Melissa Nicoletto, Key Club; Helen Moore, Senior Center; Tom Gilchrist, Craig Parks and Recreation Department; Gail Severson, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.
Elaine Sullivan, chairperson of the Volunteer of the Year Committee and a member of the United Way Board of Directors, presentation awards to the nominees during a ceremony Wednesday night. For each nominee, Sullivan read the letter about each volunteer that accompanied the nomination form, praising their dedication and generosity, and outlining what groups, events and activities the person had volunteered with.
Nicoletto was honored as the Youth Volunteer of the Year, while Moore and Severson were recognized as Outstanding Volunteers for 2000.
City Councilor Tom Gilchrist earned top honors as the United Way Volunteer of the Year for 2000.
Gilchrist was recognized for his participation in the Bear's Ears Sportsman Club, organizing and working at shooting events, biannual gun shows and hunter sight-ins; helping to start the 4-H shooting club, and acquiring grants for rifles and a covered concrete shooting pad; planning, setting-up and cleaning up at Craig Sea Shark meets; volunteering as a guest speaker for Project Citizen; driving the Trailbuster's bus; assisting in the city skate park project; and for sharing his expertise, time, generosity, kindness and "remarkable ability to get things done."
"It was a no-brainer choice for the staff of Parks and Rec," said Dave Pike, director of the Craig Parks and Recreation Department. "It was a unanimous decision, even without us knowing about all he does for the community outside of what he has done for us. Tom stays involved with our programs, and is very supportive of new ones. I can't say enough about all he's done for the kids, and our community."
Gilchrist was very thankful and amazed that he had been chosen.
"When that letter [telling of his nomination] first arrived, I was surprised," Gilchrist said. "My first reaction was 'there were a lot of people who do a lot of work in our community.' I didn't feel like I measured up.
"My second reaction was, I've always envied people who manage to turn their hobbies into their jobs you really get to do what you like for a living. [Volunteering] is that for me."