Life moves pretty fast, as they say. So Mountain Recreation decided it was time to stop and look around. On Wednesday, March 16 the District took an evening off and hosted its “first-in-a-while” volunteer celebration dinner in Edwards. Inviting volunteers, their families, and the community at large to celebrate the extraordinary volunteer efforts across the District this past year – and honor our 2021 volunteer of the year, Tom Boyd!
“It goes without saying that we wouldn’t be where we are and have the impact we have on our valley without our volunteers,” offers Lizzy Owens, Community Engagement Manager at Mountain Recreation. “We were thrilled to see such a great turnout and connect with over 50 volunteers and their families. These volunteers provide more than recreation, they create community. We look forward to making next year’s dinner even better and connect with our 2022 volunteers,” continued Owens.
During the celebration dinner many stories were shared, and one stood out above the rest. Mountain Rec’s board president Liz Jones took a moment to share about Boyd’s impact in 2021, presenting him with the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award.
“From the beginning Tom took on a lead role to get the Edwards outdoor ice rink built. He wore many hats and was fully committed to ensuring the success of this great community asset,” said Liz Jones. “Tom oversaw the organizing and training of all volunteers and provided steady communication and scheduling to maintain the rink throughout the winter. He easily spent hundreds of hours on this large project, touched hundreds of lives, and we couldn’t think of a better deserving individual,” said Jones.
Boyd’s efforts moved mountains and the community and Mountain Rec staff saw it first-hand.
“Any weekend during the winter was a busy one at the Edwards Ice Rink. From first-time skaters to hockey drop-ins, the ice rink provided a free space for our community to connect and stay active. We can’t thank Tom enough for his work to bring the community together. He always has a huge smile and positive outlook within the Edwards community,” said Brad Johnson, Edwards Field House Supervisor at Mountain Rec.
Reflecting on 2021 and his work with the Edwards Ice Rink, Boyd had the following to say:
“The late great Ben Krueger made the rink for us when I was a kid on the Vail Golf Course, and I wanted to do for this generation’s kids what Ben and guys like Paul Golden and Andy Clark have done with other outdoor rinks throughout the valley,” Boyd said. “It takes a huge team of volunteers to build and maintain this rink and they put in hundreds of hours on cold nights and mornings. Thank you to them and to Mountain Recreation for creating the essential institutional support that a project like this requires. I am very honored to receive this award. Importantly, I’m fortunate that I work for the Vail Valley Foundation, which not only accommodates, but encourages volunteer activity so I couldn’t have led this volunteer effort without their amazing support.”
Thanks to the Vail Valley Foundation, Singletree and Vail Honeywagon; Mountain Recreation received essential financial support to make the Edwards Outdoor Ice Rink possible.
Thank you, Tom Boyd, and thank you to all volunteers that got involved this past year for making such a positive impact in the community. In 2021 Mountain Rec saw a massive increase in participation across its youth programs in Edwards, Eagle, and Gypsum. Thanks to more than 180 volunteer coaches, the District was able to help 2,495 kids across its five sports league sessions throughout the year. Additionally, the District received over 20 volunteers to set up the Edwards Ice Rink for the second year in a row and seven volunteers allowing the District to offer belay clinics in Edwards and Gypsum.
Time and time again, we see community members go above and beyond while volunteering at Mountain Rec. We plan to take a moment to stop and celebrate our volunteers each year through the celebration dinner, and if you couldn’t make it this year, we encourage you to join us next year.
To volunteer please reach out at info@MountainRec.org. We have many opportunities across the District’s various programs and facilities.