2021 Summit County Library Volunteer Appreciation Awards
Each year, library staff and the Summit County Library Board acknowledge the hard work of the library volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to making the Summit County Library a welcoming and enriching environment for both residents and visitors.
For 2021, we are pleased to present the Van Woodford Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award to two deserving recipients; Leah Arnold and Judy Regis. Plaques with their names will hang in the Main Library in Frisco.
Volunteer of the Year
Moving from New York City to Breckenridge 17 years ago, Leah replaced Broadway shows with an ongoing wildlife show of moose, foxes, beavers and marmots outside her Summit County home.
It was also our lucky day when Leah came to town with her extensive fundraising experience, just in time to be recruited to help with the 2013 building campaign in Breckenridge. Leah worked as the Capital Campaign Coordinator for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Library Foundation to raise money to remodel the old Summit County High School House & Gymnasium in Breckenridge to what would become the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and South Branch Library. Leah’s invaluable experience allowed them to raise over $2 million dollars for that project, working tirelessly to envison the Founders' Circle bags, collect donations, maintain the donor database, and ensure not a single thank you note to any level of donor was overlooked.
Leah also assisted the Steering Committee on marketing, fundraisers, grants and events including planning an unforgettable Grand Opening for the new Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and South Branch Library in January 2015. Her special touches included a memory wall for those who had attended high school or taken classes in the old school house, and designing tour guide t-shirts and commemorative wine tumblers, complete with champagne, for a special toast at the event. Over 1,000 people enjoyed music and hors d’oeuvres, including the children who stayed entertained coloring their own library cards in the new children’s room. This community event in Breckenridge was made extra special as Klieg lights shined onto the building and into the sky that night that were even seen from the top of Keystone during night skiing. Leah made sure the many community donors were recognized on a donor board, on plaques throughout the building, as well as a beautiful photo album to preserve the history of the campaign and the restoration.
Soon after the Grand Opening, Leah joined the Summit County Library Foundation and took over the thankless task of bookkeeper. Leah’s technology skills and attention to detail have been imperative to maintain an accurate donor database and financials for the Foundation. She refreshes the Foundation’s Colorado Gives website and fall fundraising letter annually, allowing the Foundation to raise approximately $20,000 each year for the library.
Now that the Library Foundation launched a 2021-2022 $1 million Capital Campaign for the remodel of the Main Library in Frisco and the North Branch Library in Silverthorne, Leah’s expertise in fundraising has continued to serve us well on the Fundraising, Events, Grants and Marketing committees. In the last year, Leah gave over 300 hours of her time to help the Library Foundation, while still working her full-time job.
Not only is Leah a wonderful asset to the Foundation and dedicated in her efforts to improve our Library system, but she will be greatly missed as a dedicated library patron. We will miss her sense of humor, hearing her infectious laugh in the library and her extensive book recommendations from all her Kindle reads. She has also been a great library program attendee, coming to adult programs at the South Branch, such as flower arranging or adult coloring.
The Summit County Library would like to thank Leah for her dedication to the Summit Foundation and honor her with this award.
Past Volunteer of the Year recipients include Barbara Parry, Jaime Bailey, Andrew Armour, Gini Bartley, Joyce Timpson, Kathleen Martynowicz, Barbara & Gary Weis, Brian Edney, Shirley Beaty, Eileen Finkle, Mary Kidd, Kristina Nethaway, Sue Paluska, Becky Morgan, Bretty Teatre, Richard Hale, Kay Bullington and Beverly McArthur.
Van Woodford Award
The Van Woodford Award was started after branch manager Van Woodford dedicated 37 years to Summit County Library, including 2 library moves, countless story times, programs, and lives enhanced. The Van Woodford Achievement Award was her farewell and our standard for the kind of public servants we aspire to be.
Our 2021 winner of the Van Woodford Award is Judy Regis. Judy began volunteering at the Summit County Libraries in the early 2000’s and quickly was convinced she would be much better suited to becoming a library substitute. Judy went on to become one of Summit County Libraries most reliable subs. In the many years that Judy has been a sub she has put in what feels like over 40 hour workweeks to help out staff and patrons.
Her commitment to SCL and its patrons is unwavering. She comes in every day with a smile and a ‘what can I do to help’ attitude. She is always happy to be here; but we are the ones who are truly thankful to see her. She didn’t let the COVID pandemic stop her and as soon as she could, she was signing up for a shift to come back and help out.
She ensures all patrons receive personal customer service, but not only is she committed to our patrons, but to the library team as well. Judy is a dedicated worker and tirelessly supports our libraries; going above and beyond to cover staff vacations and helping out with library programming preparations. She personally gets to know everyone she meets, from our faithful UPS drivers, to our local families and patrons of all ages.
As a retired school teacher, Judy was the perfect fit to work in the library and with our Summit County Community. You often catch her teaching EVERYBODY who comes through the doors, any chance she can get. There is no excuse not to learn how to do something if Judy can do it. Our favorite example is the implementation of the self-check. Those patrons hesitant to the change were no match for Judy patiently walking them through it. Judy didn’t just teach patrons, she also made an impression on our staff. Over the years, she has seen many staff come and go, and taught us library and life lessons. We appreciate her patience and willingness to listen.
It’s hard to believe that Judy had a life outside of the library, because it seemed like she was working at both the Main Library in Frisco and the South Branch in Breckenridge 24/7. However, Judy would be found almost every summer morning at the marina in a kayak enjoying the weather, spotting wildlife or teaching others how to stay dry while kayaking. Judy is also a very talented knitter and created beautiful clothing items for all the newborns of Summit County and beyond.
We cannot imagine a library without Judy and are grateful for her hard work at the library.
The Summit County Library would like to thank Judy for her dedication to Summit County Library and honor her with this award.
Van Woodford Award recipients from previous years include Mary Gessner, Karen Musolf, Janet Good, Susan Donaldson, Maggie Cox, Carolyn Wiseman, Cass Dombrowski, Joyce Dierauer, Ron & Kathy Schuman, Randall McKinnon, Dan Taylor, Ken Gray, Mary Lynne Kneller, Helen Barker, Paul Olson and Kristina Nethaway.
To learn more about the Summit County Library, visit our Volunteer page ; follow the library on Facebook, Instagram; or come by visit us at any of the three locations, in Frisco, Breckenridge and Silverthorne.