George and Amal. Beyonce and Jay-Z. Penelope and Javier. Sam and Tanisha. The Bartletts are in excellent company when it comes to power couples who transform the world around us. Ok, maybe they’re haven’t won the most Grammys in history (so far), but they have made a difference in our community on par with the biggest power couples in the world these days. Sam and Tanisha Bartlett are the 2022 Mountain Recreation Volunteer of the Year Award Winners, and it was clear why.
All of Mountain Recreation’s volunteers are important. Without the volunteers working at all hours of the day and night, the Edwards Ice Rink wouldn’t have been a reality for the past two winters. Without the belay volunteers, we wouldn’t have been able to host as many Community Climbing Nights. And without volunteer coaches, not only are we unable to offer so many teams, but we couldn’t keep our sports registration fees as low as they are. So every volunteer makes a difference. Not just for the community as a whole, but for each person that is coached or skates on the ice. Every volunteer makes a difference.
Sam and Tanisha make a big difference. They coach volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, and baseball. Considering that soccer has two seasons, we’re looking at coaching four nights a week for more than six months a year. With an average of fifteen players on each team, that’s a minimum of 75 kids that they impact—and likely much more each year, now in their fifth year of coaching for Mountain Rec. “We coach because we love the time with our kids and their friends,” Sam said. “We coach because we want to give back to this incredibly community, and when we see the skills click for the kids, it’s the most satisfying feeling,” Sam continued. “I believe that sports play such a big role in molding us who we are, and watching these kids grow and better themselves, is such a blessing to me and I love it. I think more than winning or losing, helping these kids to believe in themselves, learning how to be a good teammate, and seeing the reward of working hard, is why I love to coach,” Tanisha said.
All the volunteers nominated this year were exceptional—although all the volunteers Mountain Rec relies on are exceptional. It simply takes an exceptional person to give up their personal time—whether that personal time is with a pet, a loved one, or just by themselves—to commit to hours a week and weeks at a time to teach children how to play a game or to clean up a free ice rink. “Sports were so important to me growing up,” says Anna Englehart, a 2022 Mountain Rec Volunteer of the Year Nominee. “I learned important life skills and what it means to be part of something bigger than myself—something I reflect on even now as an adult and want to share with my children and their friends and teammates.”
The 2022 Volunteers of the Year and all the nominees will be celebrated at Mountain Rec’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner sponsored by ANB Bank on Thursday, March 23 at Brush Creek Pavilion. The nominees were: Tom Boyd, Katie Davies, Kyle Denton, Anna Englehart, Ryan Fountain, Cary Green, Paul Gorbold, Jeff Kostka, Michelle Stolzfus, and Mark Wurzer. Mountain Recreation is deeply grateful to them and to all the volunteers who make Mountain Recreation so successful.