‘It’s a great honor’: Jim Ferree named Volunteer of the Year | CraigDailyPress.com

‘It’s a great honor’: Jim Ferree named Volunteer of the Year

Jim Ferree thought Moffat County United Way Executive Director Kristen Vigil invited him to attend Tuesday’s Moffat County commissioners’ meeting to discuss COVID-19 challenges and the 2020 United Way campaign.

Instead, Vigil surprised the long-time Moffat County resident and volunteer, naming him the 2020 Volunteer of the Year for Moffat County United Way, Moffat County, and the City of Craig Tuesday in front of a packed chamber inside the Moffat County Courthouse.

“I was really caught off guard,” Ferree said. “She told me that the commissioners wanted to meet with us to discuss the 2020 campaign and the COVID-19 challenges United Way is facing. I even thought the award she pulled out was to present to commissioners. I honestly had no clue.”

A long-time Moffat County community member, Ferree has volunteered his time through various groups, such as Kiwanis Club, Moffat County United Way, Parrotheads, the Chamber of Commerce, and many more over the years.

Vigil, who has worked with Ferree for five years dating back to when she became the Executive Director of Moffat County United Way, said she was excited to honor someone who exudes the excellent mixture of practical, wise, and funny, which sums up Ferree.

“I would describe Jim as the perfect mixture,” Vigil said. “He’s very, very thoughtful and business minded, but does everything with such a fantastic mindset. He takes his time to think about things and presents it so well. When you talk about volunteerism, you are talking about people that do heavy lifting; that’s what Jim does.”

The Moffat County community as a whole thrives on people who care, people who desire to help, people who give their time and energy to important causes. While some people are paid to do this work, it takes someone truly remarkable to volunteer their time and resources. Those that volunteer have compassion for the well-being and happiness of others, and when they see a need, they step up and respond.

Dave Pike, a member of the Parrotheads with Ferree, summed up his friend in fitting fashion.

“The thing about Jim is anytime you need help, whether it’s volunteering at an event or need an extra hand with a project, you can count on him,” Pike said. “It’s in his nature to help.”

During her speech honoring Ferree, Vigil cited his work in 2020 as the president of the Moffat County United Way board, which experienced significant challenges as a direct result of the pandemic.

“Jim was strong, supportive, and helpful,” Vigil said. “United Way helped to coordinate and back agencies while still raising more than $270,000 locally. The organization partnered with multiple businesses and agencies, to provide an additional $100,000 toward addressing housing and food challenges. It couldn’t have been done without Jim’s steadfast leadership.”

Caught off guard and a bit emotional, Ferree was very appreciative of the honor, receiving the award from Vigil in front of friends he’s made over the years through various volunteer and business opportunities.

“It’s a great honor,” Ferree said. “I really appreciate the recognition. But I enjoy the volunteering and I’ll still continue to do so. It’s who I am.

“It means a lot to have all those people there,” Ferree said. “They’re not only professional colleagues, they’re good friends as well. I enjoy working with Peter, Jennifer and Brittany and other organizations that I’m involved in. It’s personally very rewarding to volunteer, and I enjoy working for the community and working with people who have similar philosophies that want to help others.”

Managing Editor Joshua Carney can be reached at 970-875-1790 or jcarney@craigdailypress.com.

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