Telluride 2010 Outstanding Citizen: Benda & Garners

Telluride 2010 Outstanding Citizen: Benda & Garners

by Katie Singer

Due to their extraordinary community service through the years, Andrea Benda and  Dan & Green Garner have been selected as 2010 Outstanding Citizen.  The Telluride Foundation created its Outstanding Citizen award in 2003 to honor San Miguel County residents who make remarkable and unselfish contributions to the region.

“Andrea and Dan & Greer are exemplary citizens.  We simply could not choose between them," said Joanne Corzine-Brown, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Telluride Foundation. “Their years of great service to Telluride and Mountain Village have impacted so many lives.  We are proud to name them Outstanding Citizens."

Andrea Benda has lived in Telluride for more than 20 years and has devoted a great deal of her time to the Telluride community.  She worked tirelessly to make the Telluride Library a reality.  Andrea was involved in the project from the very beginning, help raising the funds, spearheading the ballot issue, acquiring the land, building the building and structuring the organization.  She also served for several years as the Executive Director of the Telluride Historical Museum at a challenging time in its history.  She devoted countless unpaid hours to the organization, helping to make the finished product that we see today a reality.  Andrea also served with distinction on the Telluride Town Council starting in 2003 to present, for which one receives a small salary.  However, she spent many unpaid hours working for those issues in which she believed, helping to better our community for all. 

In addition, Andrea is a founding board member and singer with the Telluride Choral Society, a founding board member of Telluride Chamber Resort Association and of SRO Theatre Troupe.  She serves on the board of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival and has volunteered for numerous Telluride Festivals.

Greer and Dan Garner are an excellent example of a couple that works quietly but diligently to improve our community.  They do so not for recognition, but because they are compelled to contribute and are a superb example of community and public service.  Furthermore, the Garners are social and engaging by nature and have helped build social bridges between part-time and full-time residents

Greer is a Board Member and President of the San Miguel Resource Center.  Greer's professional training and degree as a Clinical Psychologist are invaluable to SMRC.  She is also a Board Member and Chairperson of the Mountain Village Design Review Board.  Dan serves on the Boards of the Telluride Historical Museum, Telluride Medical Center and the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization.  He was elected to serve on Mountain Village’s Metropolitan District Board and was elected to two four-year terms on Mountain Village Town Council, and has served for 7 years.  On Town Council, Dan's contributions are extraordinary including his involvement with the Joffrey Ballet in Telluride and

The Telluride Foundation’s Outstanding Citizen award is given in recognition of someone who has unselfishly contributed to our community’s quality of life. Andrea and the Garners will receive a commemorative plaque and a grant of $2,500 to be given in their  name to the local non-profit of their choice. Andrea, Greer & Dan share the honor with Marilyn Branch, Kathy Green, Jane Hickcox and John Pryor, Bill Carstens, John Micetic, Lissa Margetts, and Terry Tice as Outstanding Citizens of the Year in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 respectively.  Annually nominations are solicited from the entire community and elected by the Telluride Foundation Board of Directors.

A community celebration in honor of Andrea Benda and the Garners is being planned for late summer.  The celebration will include a short presentation profiling our winners and their contributions to the community.

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a non-profit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, the Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit

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