Archive for the ‘Past Winners’ Category:

2016 – Maurice “Maury” Brown

Maurice ‘Maury’ Brown, a lifelong philanthropist and business owner in Cheyenne, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s Community Spirit Award.

Brown, 83, was born outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and spent his first few years in Iowa. His family moved to Cheyenne when he was 9, following his uncle, who started a grocery store here. Growing up, Brown worked selling newspapers, shining shoes and later at his family’s businesses. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1951.

Brown said he told his mother he wasn’t going to college while his parents worked long hours at their store. ‘I said, ‘Mom and Dad, I’m not going to school for three or four hours a day, four or five days a week, while you’re sitting here working 10 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m just not going to do it,’ he said.

‘None of us can even comprehend the amount of charity that he’s provided to this community and this state because he’s not in it for the credit, and it’s even hard to find out how much he has done.’ Governor Matt Mead said.

But Brown doesn’t flaunt how much he’s donated, and it’s difficult to try to add it up.

Some of Brown’s philanthropy includes: buying city licenses for children who want to sell snacks at Frontier Days; buying animals each year at the 4-H Livestock Sale and gifting them to local charities; buying thousands of dollars worth of bus tokens to provide to riders on the Cheyenne Transit city bus service; donating money to high school athletics programs; and donating to countless organizations.

Brown cares deeply for Cheyenne and Wyoming, and credits the region for helping him be successful.

‘We have quality people in Wyoming, and I’m proud to be one of them,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else.’

1998 – Nick Nickel

The inaugural winner of the Community Spirit Award, Nick Nickel, was honored for his participation in a wide variety of volunteer activities. Since moving to Cheyenne in 1975, Mr. Nickel has dedicated his time and efforts to causes as diverse as the Future Farmers of America, the DePaul Hospital Foundation Board, Meals on Wheels and Laramie County economic development groups. His efforts on behalf of Cheyenne schools resulted in a $25,000 grant for one school. In addition, his auto sales company provided Ford vehicles for use at Frontier Days for 24 years. In addition, the former owner of Fassett-Nickel Ford has served as a member of the St. Mary’s Foundation Board and on the math advisory council for McCormick Junior High School.

1999 – William “Bill” Dubois

Mr. Dubois, the great-grandson of Col. E.A. Slack, was fittingly honored for his more than 30 years of volunteer efforts on behalf of the event created by his ancestor, Cheyenne Frontier Days. The teacher and historian first volunteered at Frontier Days as a boy helping his father. Since then, he has served on a number of the event’s committees. In fact, the rodeo couldn’t start without him — he has opened each performance for more than 30 years by singing the National Anthem. In addition to his years of service with Frontier Days, Mr. Dubois was the founding chairman of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum and has been actively involved in the Laramie County and Wyoming historical societies. “I think it’s important that if we’re here and we’re in good health, we need to earn it, and that involves getting away from one’s self and doing for others,” he said upon receiving the award.

2000 – Paul Smith

Well known as the owner of the Hitching Post Inn, Mr. Smith was honored for his dedication to organizations such as the STRIDE Learning Center and his work for the needy. Mr. Smith has been involved in the STRIDE Learning Center for more than a decade, serving on its board of directors, assisting with fundraising efforts and hosting an annual party for the school’s students. He also launched the “Cheyenne Basket Brigade,” which each year provides about 150 needy families with meals, toys and other goods for the holidays. Mr. Smith has also served as a board member for a number of charitable groups and helped organize Wyoming’s first “Race for the Cure” as a board member for the Komen Foundation “Saving animals, making kids happy,” Mr. Smith said when explaining what he enjoys about his volunteer activities. “Having the opportunity to work with people on these events. I find most people who give of their time are also giving of their hearts.”

2001 – Fred T. Baggs

Mr. Baggs was honored for his many accomplishments, not the least of which was making sure Cheyenne had enough water to thrive and grow. The owner of a custom clothing shop for men since 1991, Mr. Baggs, as president of the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, helped shepherd the “Cheyenne Stage II” water project through the regulatory process, guaranteeing the city a stable supply of water. He also helped Laramie County Memorial Hospital obtain its first “CAT” scanner, helped establish Cheyenne’s City Center Parking Lot and raised money to put an elevator in the Cheyenne Civic Center. “Simply stated, Fred Baggs consistently and continually gets things done,” Dana Metzke said in her letter nominating him for the Community Spirit Award. “I think people should do something for their community in whatever arena they find satisfying,” Mr. Baggs said.

2002 – John C. Cole

Mr. Cole is well known for almost 50 years of service to Cheyenne Frontier Days, but his dedication to community service doesn’t stop there. The former Wyoming Department of Transportation official has donated his time, efforts and voice to many activities. In the 1950s, Mr. Cole started driving carriages in the Frontier Days parade. He went on to serve on many rodeo committees and for more than 26 years, he has announced morning events. His voice can also be heard at 4-H, FFA and Laramie County Fair events. He has also been active in youth baseball leagues and has served on the Laramie County Community College board of directors. As president of the Jaycees, Mr. Cole oversaw the project to reclaim the swampland of Lake Minnehaha, creating the area where the “Big Boy” locomotive is now located. He is also known for his 32 years of service in the Kiwanis Club. “You’ve got to be active if you want to see things done in the community,” he said.

2003 – Roslyne W. Kaufman

Mrs. Kaufman is known as a strong-willed woman who gets things done. She has frequently been called on to work on special projects, solicit and organize volunteers and raise money for many worthwhile civic projects, and has a particular interest in human services.

She is very proud of her involvement in the establishment of the Cheyenne Community Clinic, which provides primary healthcare to low-income Laramie County residents who have no medical insurance.

She was also instrumental in the creation of what is now Stride Learning Center for developmentally delayed children, Needs Inc., Laramie County Attention Home and the Cancer Assistance Association.

Mrs. Kaufman has also helped United Medical Center raise money to purchase new equipment and broaden its medical services. She helped start the hospital’s Pink Boutique gift shop and the Christmas gift-wrapping program, two important fundraisers.

“I can’t repair the world,” Mrs. Kaufman says, “but I can make my space a better place to live.”

2004 – Carol Farthing

Mrs. Farthing is described as an inspirational leader by those she has worked with on a wide variety of civic organizations and projects.

She has been active with many organizations including the Old West Museum, Cheyenne Civic League, Cheyenne Frontier Days, the United Medical Center Foundation and Laramie County Cowbelles. Her long-time love of sewing has resulted in her making more than 100 costumes for CFD parades.

“There are events in your life that define your future and I had one of those about twenty years ago,” Mrs. Farthing said.

“I became critically ill and when I recovered, I decided I had to live each day to the fullest. There were three things that I decided I would do, and one was to let my family know every day how important they were to me. The second was to be the kind of friend that my friends had been to me and the third, to leave my community better for my having been a part of it.”

2005 – Jerry Jessen

Vowing to “volunteer until I drop,” Jerry Jessen accepted the 2005 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle Community Spirit Award in a ceremony Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Old West Museum.

A professional engineer, Jessen has donated his time and expertise to the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, the building of the Junior League Baseball Complex and the planning of the Sherard Water Treatment Plant. He’s served on the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce board of directors and contributed for many years to Cheyenne Frontier Days, serving as security chairman and general chairman of the CFD General Committee, as well as president of the CFD board of directors. He has also chaired the Western Spirit Art Show and Sale and served on the board of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, where he continues to volunteer.

He has also been active in the Cheyenne Jaycees, Cheyenne Rotary Club and Boy Scouts.

In nominating him for the award, Cheyenne resident Roger Lawrence wrote that Jessen has “given tirelessly to the community’ and is one of those individuals “responsible for making Cheyenne what it is today and what it will become in the future.”

2006 – Dana Bates Mezke

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle’s 2006 Community Spirit Award recipient Dana Bates Metzke is known for getting things done.

Active in the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, the Cheyenne Rotary, the Laramie County Library Foundation and the Wells Fargo Community Bank community advisory board.  Metzke has also served as the president of the Cheyenne Symphony Foundation board.  She is credited with raising the endowment from $130,000 in 1997 to its current $1.5 million.

Metzke has also worked on the boards of the Wyoming Transportation Museum and Learning Center and the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, as well as the publicity committee for Denim ‘N Diamonds, an annual fundraiser for the United Medical Center Foundation.  She’s also a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels.

Previous Community Spirit Award Winner Fred Baggs commended Metzke not only for her efficiency but also for her upbeat attitude toward community service.

“Community service is one thing anyone can do,” Metzke said, echoing the words of the late Martin Luther King, Jr.  “All you have to have is a desire to make the community better.”