Bookmark and Share

Citizen and Volunteer nominations due Jan. 8

Following are just a few of the many people and organizations who have been awarded Citizen of the Year.

J.R. Ford — Western Heritage, Colorado Excellence in Riparian Award; Critical Access Hospital, Citizen’s Advisory Task Force; David and Carol Brown — Music in the Mountains and Community Vision Council. Numerous philanthropic organizations. Terri House and Shari Pierce — Operation Helping Hand, Mary Ann and Bill Sayre — San Juan Outdoor Club, Humane Society. Ross Aragon, community center, Town Pride projects.

What they all have in common is the basis for the criteria set forth for the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year award. The people or organizations nominated must have made an impact in at least one of the following areas: economic, philanthropic, cultural, and lifestyle.

Several of our previous award-winning candidates have started organizations which are now mainstream in Pagosa life. All recipients have been involved in a philanthropic venture. The recipients make a difference in Pagosa — not for self-gain, but for love of the community.

Take a look at an organization, a person or a group and see if they fit within the Citizen of the Year guidelines. The nominee must also have been a resident of Pagosa Country, or a member of an organization effective in Pagosa, for three years. The nominee must be active in the community in civic events not related to the individual’s work or business; they must contribute in a special way to the community with measurable results. A person or organization can be nominated more than one time; however, only additional information about the nominee will be considered, not the number of nomination forms submitted for that person.

Road to Recovery: Cancer Treatment Transport; Joanne Irons, Dick Babillis and Bonnie Masters; Barbara Rosner, Lisa Scott are some of the recipients of past Volunteer of the Year awards. This award is similar to Citizen of the Year, but with less stringent requirements. The Volunteer of the Year has unselfishly volunteered time outside the workplace for community events and has given time, money, or both with great humility, expecting nothing in return.

Pagosa has a sense of community because of the tremendous volunteer efforts by individuals and organizations. Many volunteers give their time, talent and financial support to a variety of causes. Volunteer organizations have changed the quality of life in our community, for the better.

Again, take a look at the people around you — at those with whom you work , those with whom you volunteer, or go to church with. We so often take advantage of the services provided to us without thinking about the work involved in making an organization successful.

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude” — Cynthia Osick.

Please take the time to nominate people and groups you believe meet our award criteria. Just to be nominated is a thank you to a person or organization. Nomination forms are available at the Chamber, in your last newsletter, or we can fax you a copy. Forms are due at the chamber Friday, Jan. 8.

Another lesson on

Pagosa Perks

We would like to thank the individuals or businesses that have purchased Pagosa Perks as bonus dollars or gifts.

Pagosa Perks are dollars that are spent in Pagosa, keeping money circulating in our community. Pagosa Perks are legal tender, just like a check. They have a bank account number assigned to them, are guaranteed, and spend just like cash. They can be used to purchase goods or services, deposited into a bank account or cashed.

If you turn away a Pagosa Perk, you are turning away business!

Pagosa Perks have been around Pagosa for almost 10 years, and yet it is shocking how many people or businesses are not familiar with the program. Every year, we send out reminders and posters to the businesses, print articles such as this one (numerous times), and speak about the program constantly. Yet, businesses are still unfamiliar with the Perks.

Last year, we issued Pagosa Perks to some visitors as an award. The point was for them to spend their money in Pagosa instead of taking it home and using it in their community. They tried to spend the dollars here, but were turned away repeatedly, told “We don’t accept those,” “We don’t know what those are.” Luckily, a business owner who was also on the Chamber board was approached with the dollars and gladly accepted the Perks and apologized on behalf of the business community.

Recipients become frustrated when they have difficulty spending the dollars. We are trying to keep dollars here in our community: Pagosa Perks are one way to accomplish this.

If you have any questions about a Pagosa Perk when you receive the tender, call the Chamber and we will walk you through the easy process — to deposit the check(s) as you would a regular check. If your establishment doesn’t take checks, these Perks should be treated as cash, since there is no risk involved in the Perk clearing and you receiving payment.

Pagosa Perks allow the recipient to determine what they want their gift to be: groceries, a restaurant purchase, movies, a spa excursion, a soak in one of the hot springs, payment of a local physician bill or a retail purchase. In any case, these Pagosa dollars are a gift and the gift to Pagosa businesses is that trade stays here in Pagosa and the business receives income. If a recipient or business owner has questions, they can call the Chamber at 264-2360 for more information. We keep trying to offer ways to Shop Pagosa First. Help us in this effort.

Membership news

A rush of renewals hits the Chamber before the end of the year. Our renewals this week include: Kip’s Grill and Cantina; Old Town Gifts/Christmas in Pagosa; Black Swan Antiques and Collectibles; Re-Sport; Carl Nevitt with Big Sky Studio; Foam Insulation Specialists; The Decorating Lady, with Kim Hamilton; Pagosa Springs Arts Council; Community Connections; and The San Juan Symphony. Closing out the renewals are “Friends of the Chamber” Mamie Lynch, Joanne Irons and Andy Donlon.

We wish everyone a very special Christmas season, a prosperous business holiday season, and lots of time to spend with family and friends. The Chamber is continuously appreciative of the community’s support. We would not have the strength we do without business involvement and interaction. Enjoy this special time of year. Merry Christmas!