Telluride Foundation: Your Candidate for 2017 Citizen of the Year

Telluride Foundation: Your Candidate for 2017 Citizen of the Year

The Telluride Foundation’s annual Citizen of the Year Award recognizes exceptional community members, who give unselfishly for the greater good of the region. The Foundation is now soliciting nominations from the general public for the 2017 honoree. Nomination form is posted here. Nominations are due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 6. The 2017 recipient is announced after the Telluride Foundation’s summer board meeting. Contact Katie Singer at 970-728-8717 or email to with any questions.

Former mayor, county commissioner, music lover, and artist was posthumously awarded Citizen of the Year 2016.

Gary Freedman, who has given his time, including on weekends and holidays, to the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department for over nine years, serving as Captain and HazMat Technician, is known in the community as “the definition of a volunteer.” 

Gary is one of 16  Citizen of the Year award recipients who help make Telluride great and are often among the region’s unsung heroes.

“The Citizen of the Year Award is a celebration of people and their impact on our community. In celebration of past and future recipients, the Telluride Foundation has modified the process of selecting the Citizen of the Year,” said Telluride Foundation President and CEO, Paul Major. “The goal is to engage the past recipients in the process to further enhance the meaning of the award and to increase community engagement “

The Foundation gathered the 2002-2016 Citizen of the Year recipients in March and asked them to help nominate future recipients, narrow down the finalists, and participate with 50% of the vote for the winner. The Telluride Foundation board retains the balance of the vote.

“I’m excited to be included in this new process to name our next Citizen of the Year. The idea of former recipients helping to determine the next amazing local who will walk in our shoes makes our own awards all the more meaningful and also keeps us involved!” said Marilyn Branch, Citizen of the Year 2009.

The Telluride Foundation’s Citizen of the Year Award is in recognition of someone who has unselfishly contributed to the Telluride regional community’s quality of life. The regional community is defined as San Miguel, Ouray, and West Montrose counties, as well as Rico. The recipient will receive a commemorative plaque and a grant of $5,000 to be given in their name to a local nonprofit of their choice.

The 2017 Citizen of the Year will share the honor with Terry Tice (2003), Lissa Margetts (2004), John Micetic (2005), Bill Carstens (2006), John Pryor and Jane Hickcox (2007), Kathy Green (2008), Marilyn Branch (2009), Dan and Greer Garner and Andrea Benda (2010), Billy “Senior” Mahoney (2011), Ann Brady (2012), Dean Rolley (2013), Kristin Holbrook (2014), Gary Freedman (2015), and Elaine Fischer (2016).

Nominators of the two finalists will be contacted by the Telluride Foundation to participate in short videos in June, produced by a professional videographer, which also showcases the previous Citizens of the Year and will be shown to the Board of Directors at its bi-annual meeting in July. The video clips help to enliven the nominee and bring their community contributions to a more vital life.
Nomination Guidelines:

• Nominee must be a community member from the region, which includes San Miguel, Ouray, West Montrose counties and Rico.
• Nominees will be selected based on unselfish and extraordinary contributions to the community that include volunteerism, collaboration, leadership, and compassion
• Nominees in paid positions that represents these traits, are eligible; however, the nomination must be based on their non-paid work.
• Telluride Foundation Board Members and staff are not eligible.
• The award is designed for a single individual, however, exceptions can be made.

More about the Telluride Foundation:

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through grant making, technical assistance and proactive initiatives.  It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, early childhood development, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-wide efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making.  The Foundation makes grant awards to qualified organizations and runs program initiatives to enhance the quality of life for people living and working in the Telluride region.

For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit

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