Town Of Estes Park Celebrates National Volunteer Week April 27-May 3, 2008
“Volunteers Warm Hearts and Build Communities”
For the 10th year the Town of Estes Park has chosen to formally recognize the efforts and success of its volunteers. Volunteer Recognition Week, April 27 through May 3, 2008 is officially designated by former Mayor John Baudek and Mayor Bill Pinkham via proclamation. This special week offers opportunities to thank some of America’s most valuable assets — our volunteers — and to recognize the myriad of ways they improve communities. National Volunteer Week reflects the power that volunteers have to “inspire by example” — volunteers both encourage those they help and motivate others to serve.
The Town of Estes Park is celebrating local volunteers this year with the theme “Volunteers Warm Hearts and Build Communities.” The theme supports and recognizes Estes Park’s strong sense of community and the commitment of caring volunteers through the donation of thousands of hours yearly. The simple act of donating time creates a heartfelt sense of caring through helping others.
Local celebrations provide the opportunity to acknowledge individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. In recognition of Estes Park’s volunteer spirit, Estes Park Mayor Bill Pinkham and Town of Estes Park Trustees and staff will recognize Town volunteers at the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on April 22, 2008.
For the Town of Estes Park, volunteerism is a way to reduce the cost of running our municipality. In 2007, over 550 volunteers donated approximately 42,572 hours to Town departments and related Town activities. These hours reflect a cost savings to taxpayers of nearly $830,579 which is a $21,000 increase in total value from 2006. The Independent Sector.org recently announced the national average of the dollar value of a volunteer hour for 2007 is approximately $19.51. Such an estimate can be used to help organizations quantify the enormous value volunteers provide. The 2007 estimate increased from $18.77 per hour in 2006.
Some aspects of local government lend themselves more readily to volunteer involvement. The Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department (6,163 hours), the Estes Park Senior Center (6,472 hours), the Convention and Visitors Bureau Ambassadors (5,951 hours), the Museum (5,293 hours), the Special Events Department (6,740 hours), the Police Auxiliary (2,749 hours), the Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority (2,080 hours) and Restorative Justice (2048) had the largest number of hours in 2007. Also serving the Town of Estes Park are other dynamic organizations or boards such as the Estes Park Housing Authority, the Mayor and Trustees, the Board of Adjustment and the Planning Commission, Sister Cities, the Library District Board, the Marketing Policy Committee, the Tree Board, the CVB Policy Advisory Committee, the Estes Park Film Commission and the Economic Advisory Council and Building Authority.
For the Town of Estes Park, volunteering remains vital because it promotes citizen involvement in government. Volunteerism is the essence of real community action and requires a commitment and sense of service to fellow citizens. These attributes alone are the basis or foundation for long-term success and development of a balanced community.
According to Town of Estes Park Trustee Chuck Levine, the Estes Park Pride Awards will be again a featured program at this year’s luncheon. “These awards were developed to honor contributions made by outstanding volunteers in the Estes Park community. Even though they are presented by the Town, one of the key aspects of these awards is that they are not geographically limited. Anybody who works for the betterment of Estes Park can be nominated (and win), regardless of whether they actually reside within the Town’s boundaries.
This year we will present three awards; the Volunteer of the Year, Business Person of the Year and Teacher of the Year. In all of the awards community service is the primary criteria that the judges evaluated. Past winners were represented on all evaluation teams.”
Volunteer Recognition Week is also a national event, begun in 1974 when Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Nationally, over 44 percent of adults volunteer reflecting 83.9 million American adults who volunteered last year representing the equivalent of over nine million full-time employees at a value of $239 billion.
The value of volunteer time and National Volunteer Week provide the opportunity to acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
Estes Park can be proud of the efforts of all community groups and citizens with the volunteer efforts and programs. For more information on volunteering for the Town of Estes Park, contact any Town department or local organization for details.