Bill Muldoon remembered in 1st Diamonds & Spurs banquet following his death

The Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion was decked out in advance of the annual Diamonds & Spurs event Saturday.
Courtesy photo / Randy Looper

It was the 25th iteration of the Craig Rotary Club’s annual Diamonds & Spurs banquet Saturday, but, to its organizers at least, it was more than that.

It was also the 10th year that the Bill and Nancy Muldoon Humanitarian Award was given out at the event. Saturday was the first such event honoring Bill and Nancy, the Craig Rotarians and their honored humanitarian awardees since Bill Muldoon died last year.

“It was kind of cool,” said Randy Looper, who helps organize the event for the Club, and who was a longtime friend of the Muldoons. “Bill passed away last year, and it was neat to present the award to two people instead of just one.”

This year’s Muldoon Award was presented to locals Beth Newkirk and Pat Jones. Newkirk, who helps operate the Community Kitchen at St. Michael’s, and Jones, who runs the local Love INC chapter, were the first co-awardees since the inception of the honor.

“It was just too tough to pick,” Looper said. “We always have various nominations, and usually one sticks out. Between those two, no way we could choose.”

For Looper, it was a special night to be able to remember his longtime friend, Muldoon, in the presence of many others.

“They’d been in Rotary since the 50s,” Looper said of the Muldoons. “He was a big-game hunter, and he traveled the world. He was the publisher of the Craig Press and of other papers, and he was always finding projects while he was out hunting and he’d bring them back to us. Whether it was Nicaragua, a school in Russia, helping women in South America, every year there was a different project he’d bring back to us — plus all the things he was involved in in Craig.”

Muldoon died early 2021 and his wife sold the house — to the Loopers, incidentally — and moved in with their children in Texas.

“Nancy responded when we announced (the awardees), and she followed it in the paper,” Looper said. “We emailed back and forth, and they think it’s amazing it’s still going on with their names behind it.”

For the event itself, Looper reported another absolute success.

“Great event — food was great, people danced until midnight,” he said. “We were kicking people out at midnight — like normal. It’s a really special event in Craig.”

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