Delta County's first "Making Democracy Work Award" ceremony was held Sept. 27 at the Mountain Harvest Festival. Members of the community nominated nine individuals, all of whom were honored for their part in working to keep our communities strong, vibrant places to live.
Winner of the award for 2013 is Pam Bliss. Bliss is the founder of North Fork Valley's High Country Shopper and of Jamaica Outreach, which serves orphans in Jamaica. She is the volunteer coordinator for Prevention and Recovery of Drug-Free Delta County, works with Habitat for Humanity, and is director of the North Fork Children's Christmas Party. Additionally, Bliss is a liaison with the court and serves on the boards of Paonia State Bank, Families Plus, Delta County Memorial Hospital Foundation and Rotary.
The league would like to congratulate Pam Bliss and to recognize the contributions of the other outstanding citizens who were nominated for the award:
Sarah Bishop is an involved organizer and worker for the North Fork Valley community and is president of Mountain Harvest Festival. She is the past president of her local Rotary and has been a district level officer. She is a strong supporter of Blue Sage Arts Center and Cherry Days.
Linda Bull, a physical therapist with Delta County Memorial Hospital, founded and has led the "Move It or Lose It" exercise program for six years. Participants range in age from 40 to 90 and include post-surgical patients and people with chronic diseases. The classes are offered by donation only.
Pam Cocker is the founder and executive director of the Cocker Kids Foundation, which supports youth-related programs and children of the North Fork Valley, including those under the care of Delta County Health and Human Services. She started the North Fork Teacher of the Year Award. She is a strong supporter of the library and an active member of Rotary Club.
Philip Ellsworth is a member of the Surface Creek Valley Historical Society where he, a World War II veteran himself, has been involved in a national project interviewing local World War II veterans and sending the documentation to the Library of Congress. He also was instrumental in organizing historical documents and photos for archives at Pioneer Town. Phil has been active in the Rotary Club, both the Friends and the Foundation of Cedaredge Public Library, and a philosophical discussion group that welcomes all viewpoints.
Juan Gallegos serves the Delta community as a probation officer, chair of the board of Drug-Free Delta County developing unique programs for prevention of and intervention in drug use. He has been a role model for youth through coaching, umpiring and mentoring, and is an advocate for equal opportunities for success of vulnerable community citizens.
Jim Munson was nominated posthumously. He served on the Cedaredge town council, was chamber of commerce president, head of Cedaredge Centennial committee that established a time capsule, and the downtown improvement committee for three years, the results of which are now being seen in Cedaredge.
Cheryl Oeltjenbruns is the founder and president of the Abraham Connection, Delta's homeless shelter, which has been successfully serving the community for three years because of her ability to bring together and work with a diverse network of people.
Monica Wiitanen has served on both the Paonia and Delta County planning commissions for 10 years, while also serving on the boards of local conservation organizations. She is an organic farmer and home food producer who worked tirelessly to gain passage in March of the Colorado Cottage Foods Act (SB-48) supporting local food economies and individual enterprise.blog comments powered by Disqus