Every spring we honor some of our outstanding volunteers at our annual “State of the Scotchmans” and subsequent summer events. Volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization. We depend on them to lead hikes, put on events, meet and greet folks at information tables and contribute in many other ways.
Among the ways we recognize the efforts of our outstanding volunteers is to identify a handful each year who exemplify the spirit, drive and passion we thrive upon. This last week we handed out certificates of appreciation to these outstanding Friends and want to share with you a little bit about them.
Brian Baxter – for sharing his wildlife and tracking expertise as well as his enthusiasm for preserving special places.
Judy Hutchins – for opening up her house, leading hikes and providing good advice and great historical context on many matters.
Ron Mamajek and Denise Zembryki – for being eager volunteers. New to the area and ready to jump right into any challenge.
Jake Ostman – for being a quiet, steady volunteer who has worked behind the scenes, from picking up trash to leading hikes to tracking mustalids in the extreme backcountry.
Mary Franzel – for being a not so quiet volunteer – Mary is always cheering from the frontlines to facebook, wearing her love of wilderness on her sleeve and sweaty brow.
Each year we choose one person to be honored as our “volunteer of the year”. We affectionately call this award our “Old Goat of the Year”, recognizing the perseverance it takes to be a mountain goat in winter is the same perseverence it takes to be a top volunteer.
This year’s old goat award goes to Todd Dunfield! Todd has been an enthusiastic booster of the Scotchman for over five years. From the conservation committee of the Spokane Mountaineers, to his role at Gonzaga University, Todd has helped create care for the Scotchmans among faculty, students, and residents of Eastern Washington. Todd has told the Scotchmans story, led hikes, tabled at events in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane and provided some great photos and stories too!
For all these reasons, and more, please join us in congratulating all our outstanding volunteers!