The Old Timers Newcomers Potluck every February in Crawford is a long-standing tradition. It's a time to visit with the neighbors, catch up on what everyone has been doing and to recognize some people who have made significant contributions to the town.
The dinner was held on Saturday, Feb. 7 up in the community room at Crawford Town Hall. The dinner is hosted by the Crawford Area Chamber of Commerce.
Debra French introduced Don Geddes, Volunteer of the Year. Geddes has lived in the area since 1975 and has been married to his wife, Kathy, for 37 years. As a surveyor, he worked on the Colorado Westmoreland Mine and had his own company, Valley Survey. He and his wife owned the Crystal Gardens Restaurant. As a certified FAA flight instructor, he has participated in the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Young Eagles Program. He substitute teaches at Delta High School.
As a volunteer, he was the past president of the local chamber of
commerce. He worked with Gideons International which is a religious organization. He and his wife served at an orphanage in Bolivia. He sold an airplane to buy Love in Action International, which operates the orphanage, a truck.
He is a musician at Crawford Friends Church and helped in building the original church. He serves on the Board of the Crawford Mesa Water Association where he has provided a comprehensive map of the entire water system. He's a board member for the North Fork Ambulance Association. He built their train which gives rides to kids at community events. He donated posters to advertise the Festival of Trees.
Geddes joked, "I wondered why I was so tired."
Gloria Crank shared the achievements of the Fruitland Mesa Club, which is the Non-profit of the Year. The club was founded more than 80 years ago. It was established as a social club for mothers who lived far from one another. Their children were always a part of the meetings. They had family nights, card games and potlucks.
The Fruitland Mesa Club has served the community by listing plots in the cemetery, keeping the locations of people who live on Fruitland Mesa, hosting the Memorial Day Dinners and doing the craft fair held after Thanksgiving. The dinner and craft fair proceeds are put back into the community. The organizations that have benefited include the cemetery, the Crawford Fire Department, the Crawford Library, CSI for the school library, the Crawford ambulance and EMTs, the Friends of Crawford Town Hall, the Fire Auxiliary, Pioneer Days and its fireworks display, and the North Fork Children's Christmas Party.
The Business of the Year is Vegetation Management West LLC owned by Jerry and Louise Neff. The company manages the safety of high-voltage transmission lines with their only customer, the U.S. Department of Energy. They have a five-year contract to manage vegetation under 5,500 miles of transmission lines in Colorado. Their safety record is excellent, logging 48,548 hours without an accident.
The company includes owner and CEO Jerry Neff and his wife Louise, office manager Cathy Cheatham, logistics and maintenance manager Andy Adams, mechanized treatment manager Mike Lumsden and hand crew manager Brian Bradac. The company has 16 employees from the Crawford/Montrose area.
Vegetation Management West has supported Pioneer Days and the Festival of Trees, helped with the new running track at Paonia High School, was a major fund raiser for Gilly Knot and has committed $25,000 to the transition of the Crawford School and the Montessori School.
Stephanie Neff, the daughter-in-law of Jerry and Louise, accepted the award on their behalf. Jerry was having shoulder surgery in Denver. "I just have to say that Jerry and Louise are two of the most incredible people I have ever known in my life. I am blessed because they are my in-laws," Stephanie said. The community is blessed to have them because "they just give and give."
After the potluck and the awards came a chance for everyone attending to share about themselves.
Susan Hansen gave an update on the renovation of Crawford Town Hall, a project that began five years ago. "I'm very pleased to tell you that this week the town received word that we received full funding from the State Historic Fund Grant," Hansen said. "This grant will provide the roof stabilization, rehabilitation of the upstairs level ... and a fair share of the electrical." The grant is "a significant match" for the Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Grant. Susan Hansen, Mayor Susie Steckel and Shirley Cotten will present their grant application to the DOLA board in mid-March. Also this month, the Friends of Crawford Town Hall will be filing for a state raffle license. "What has made those two applications so strong is the local support," Hansen said. "It's incredible the support we have received. It's $85,000 we've raised locally to show as a match."
Hansen concluded, "This project will be a case study in patience, persistence and partnership."
Cathy Cheatham said the chamber donated $1,800 from the Festival of Trees to the Crawford Town Hall project.
Dee and Rick Harold were the newest residents, having moved from Glade Park just eight days prior to the potluck. The Hitching Post, owned by Bonnie Hess, was the newest business.
Kathy Steckel shared that the North Fork Ambulance needs Crawford EMTs and drivers to sustain the service.
The Crawford Library is showing a St. Patrick's Day movie at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14. Everyone is invited.blog comments powered by Disqus