Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Without our volunteers Nederland wouldn’t be the vital town it is. It is the willingness to help, the eagerness to be involved and the love of our community that make Nederland welcoming and sustainable.
Volunteers keep the ice rink, tennis courts and skate park open, enabling local kids and parents to have access to healthy outdoor activities; volunteers keep the Carousel menagerie prancing round and round bringing happiness to all who ride; they keep the food pantry full, and the community clothes closet open, offering a boost to families in need; they sponsor holiday sales and dinners; volunteers work hard to bring music and art festivals to town, Fourth of July fireworks and parade; they are behind the scenes of every fun event, every community party and fundraiser.
Volunteers keep the Backdoor Theater open, offering the best of recent movies; they put on a huge community Thanksgiving dinner and join forces to honor our firefighters and law enforcement officers. It is a matter of supporting those who support the community.
Without volunteers, Nederland would not be as sustainable as it is, would not be particularly fun or interesting. It is people working together for the better good of the community that makes our community good, and caring, and a great place to live.
Last Thursday night, December 8, 2016, the Town of Nederland and the Nederland Community Center honored the volunteers who keep the community center a viable part of town events and resources for its residents.
Nederland town employees and non-profit directors welcomed the volunteers with gourmet appetizers, wine and a bag of Tungsten Toffee popcorn as they left; a special treat appreciated by all.
During the reception ceremony, Nederland Town Administrator Alisha Reis thanked all the volunteers and then gave out the Volunteer of the Year Award.
She said, “Few people in the community give more time to the betterment of Nederland than Randy Lee. In the 30-odd years he has lived here, he has contributed in numerous ways. He was the driving force behind the development of the skate park.
“He wrote grants that resulted in a master plan for recreational facilities in the community, as well as new playground equipment at Chipeta Park.
He helped encourage the establishment of a forest health program for the Town, including partnering with Saws & Slaws on grassroots efforts for defensible space and working toward Nederland’s designation as a Firewise community.
“For years, he provided leadership to the Parks, Recreation, Open Space Advisory Board — or PROSAB — and for several years as part of the Board of Trustees, stepping down just this past April.”
When Lee left his post, he said he really needed to get back to work and wouldn’t have time to volunteer just now, but he continued the work on a long-awaited egress easement for Big Springs and continued to assist in plans to keep the community safer and more prepared in the event of another wildfire like the Cold Springs Fire this summer.
“We are incredibly thankful for Randy’s work in support of our community. We now recognize him as 2016 Town Volunteer of the Year.”
Each year, the volunteer award party is a reminder to everyone about how rewarding serving one’s community can be.