Patty Arnold, a letter carrier who works out of the Cedaredge Post Office, has been presented with a statewide award from the letter carriers' union -- the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.
The annual Outstanding Member of the Year honor for top-notch work with colleagues and customers is given to only one of the union's members every year in each state, and in Puerto Rico.
Patty attended the union's annual meeting in Reno, Nev., recently to accept the award. There she was among rural letter carriers from 49 other states and Puerto Rico who also received the honor for their states.
She was nominated for the honor by Holly Jones of the Eckert Post Office.
Patty said that she was not aware that she had been nominated for the honor by co-workers. She was similarly unaware that former co-workers, supervisors and postmasters she had worked with were submitting written testimonials about her and her work for the union judges who decided on the winners from each state.
"I had no idea at all. It was a real surprise," she told the DCI.
The big surprise went even further. As donuts arrived at the Cedaredge Post Office on a recent day accompanied by workers from other offices in the county and a union official, Patty said she was still clueless that something was up involving herself.
When the surprise party was finally sprung, and Patty learned that she had earned the outstanding member award, she admits to having teared up a bit with the overwhelming feelings.
"I had no clue, no idea, no anything. They did a real good job on me. This is quite an honor," she said.
Patty said she has carried the mail in Surface Creek Valley for 20 years. She worked for 10 years out of the Austin office and has worked another 10 years from the 81413 location. She has served 450 customers in town and Upper Surface Creek on a regular route for two years. Her years of service also include work on an auxiliary route and as a substitute carrier.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.