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June 30, 2014
This blog post is a continuation of our State of the Community overview. If you missed the first part, check out this blog post.
Following Bill, Jerri and Maranda's messages to the 2014 State of the Community attendees, United Way of Larimer County Outgoing Board Chair, Nick Christensen presented the 2014 Community Hero Awards in the areas of Education, Income and Health, as well as the 2014 LIVE UNITED Community Collaboration Award.
Education Hero Award
Kathy Phifer started School is Cool in 1999 after seeing the need while volunteering at her sons' school. School is Cool is a community outreach effort managed and organized by CSU employees that provides backpacks and school supplies to K-12 students in Fort Collins, Wellington, Timnath, LaPorte, and outlying mountain schools. In the last 22 years, more than 32,000 students have been helped.
Kathy is described as going the extra mile to make sure that students receive the school supplies they need, often driving all around the city to pick up items. Over the years, Kathy has rallied supporters from friends, family, colleagues, and CSU employees to organizations like the Bohemian Foundation, Hewlett Packard, and the CSU Bookstore - all in the name of education and helping children succeed.
Kathy is always the first to give all the credit for the program's success to the many volunteers and donors, but her generosity, kindness and compassion make her a true Community Hero. Hear from Kathy why education is important to our community!
Income Hero Award
Patrick Brady supports many organizations in Larimer County including United Way of Larimer County, Catholic Charities, Fort Collins Housing Authority, Food Bank for Larimer County, Respite Care, Inc., and Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. He and his wife, Robyn, are also extremely generous, giving to many local organizations. It is noted that they often attend local fundraisers that they are sincerely passionate about, and they are members of United Way's Alexis de Tocqueville Society.
Patrick is known as a man who makes people his number one priority, no matter what his schedule may be, including visiting with residents at Collinwood Assisted Living each week. Patrick also worked with Community Foundation to create NoCoGives in partner with Colorado Gives Day, raising over $700,000 in 2013 and benefitting 92 nonprofits in Larimer County. Without Patrick's support, ideas, and effort, NoCoGives would not have happened.
Patrick is a thoughtful, intelligent, passionate and professional leader and mentor. His generosity and initiative make him an excellent example of a Community Hero. Hear from Patrick on why giving back to the community is necessary.
Health Hero Award
Cheryl Olson is an advocate for behavioral health across Larimer County. Through her tenure as County Commissioner and many years as a board member for Larimer Center for Mental Health (now Touchstone Health Partners), Cheryl has learned a lot about the health issues facing Larimer County residents.
Cheryl has many accomplishments under her belt, including developing the Connections Mental Health & Substance Abuse Resources program in partnership with Touchstone Health Partners, developing the Crisis Assessment Center (CAC) at the Poudre Valley Hospital Emergency Room, facilitating training for over 3,000 people, including “Helping Clients Connect,” and Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement, and creating sustainable transportation from Larimer County to the Detox facility located in Weld County.
Cheryl's long list of accomplishments isn't the main reason she was nominated for the Health Hero Award; rather, it is her heart for community behavioral health that makes her stand out as a Community Hero. She is a great advocate, strong voice, and tireless champion for the cause.
LIVE UNITED Collaboration Award
Dr. Good earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance at Northern Arizona University, and an MBA and Ph.D. at Oregon State University. He has over 35 years of management, teaching, and consulting experience, including employment as an executive officer at a commercial bank, a consultant on international development projects in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, a university professor in Oregon, Mexico, and Colorado, and an instructional dean at Front Range Community College. From 2009 to January of 2014, Dr. Good served as the Regional Director for Catholic Charities in Larimer County. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of CARE Housing, Inc.
During Dr. Good's tenure with Catholic Charities, he was active in numerous collaborative efforts that provided needed services to Larimer County residents, including serving in a leadership role on the following:
• Day Shelter Committee: A committee of individuals and representatives of for-profit, not-for-profit, and faith-based organizations fulfilled the vision of Sister Mary Alice Murphy to provide year-round day services and safe haven for people near to or experiencing homelessness. Morning services are offered at the Murphy Center and afternoon services are provided at Catholic Charities. Additional benefits to this project were enhanced collaboration of agencies at the Murphy Center, a community lunch served at Catholic Charities, and increased shelter beds at Catholic Charities.
• Emergency Winter Shelter: Organizations including Catholic Charities, Fort Collins Rescue Mission, United Way of Larimer County, City of Fort Collins, and others came together to plan, fundraise, and successfully implement emergency winter night shelters, with the shared goal of providing a safe, warm place to sleep for anyone in need on a cold night.
• High Park Fire Long-Term Recovery Group: In response to the Larimer County High Park Fire in 2012, a long-term recovery group was formed to serve survivors on their road to recovery. Over 200 people were organized into committees, fire-related needs were assessed, and over $600,000 has been disbursed for uninsured needs.
Dr. Good also participated in collaborative projects with Homeless Gear, Hand Up Cooperative, Homelessness Prevention Initiative, Fort Collins Housing Authority, Larimer County Office on Aging, Housing Authority of the City of Loveland, Neighbor to Neighbor, House of Neighborly Service, Matthews House, Faith Family Hospitality, and other Larimer County nonprofits.
Thanks to Kathy, Patrick, Cheryl and Glenn and many like them our community is making strides towards reducing poverty and increasing prosperity for all in Larimer County.
All photos courtesy of Zebra Jellyfish Photography
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County