Five local volunteers were recognized for their exceptional service at the Methow Conservancy’s annual holiday social and awards program on Tuesday (Dec. 5).
Rachelle Weymuller and Val Stouffer share this year’s Susie Stephens Award for their volunteer service to the Conservancy’s Methow Grown project. Over the summer and fall, they contributed nearly 100 combined volunteer hours, helping create the Conservancy’s ongoing series of “virtual farm tours” (www.methowgrown.org/stories). Weymuller and Stouffer gathered the visual and audio content for the project.
The award has been given annually for 13 years in memory of the late Susie Stephens, who served as the Methow Conservancy’s Development Director in the early 2000s. The award recognizes individuals “who carry on Stephens’ endless energy for helping others, and her strong belief that education about conservation can make a difference,” according to a Conservancy press release.
Kelli and Neil Rotstan were honored with the You Inspire Us Award for their commitment to creating and sustaining the Volunteer Methow website (www.volunteermethow.org). Early in 2017, after learning that many people in the community wanted to be more involved, but lacked a central place to find out about nonprofits and their volunteer opportunities, the Rotstans created a one-stop shop website to connect people to causes they care about.
“Volunteering hundreds of hours of their own technological expertise to launch the website, train and meet with organizations, and keep it all running smoothly, they have helped inspire more than 1,700 volunteer hours since late April through the Volunteer Methow website,” according to the Conservancy release.
The Conservancy initiated the You Inspire Us Award in 2014 “to recognize people or organizations who have been inspirational to the staff and Board of the Conservancy organization, and who have, through their good work, inspired action and positive change in the whole community.”
Dawn Woodruff was named this year’s Ken White Award winner. The award recognizes individuals or organizations with a long-standing history of inspiring conservation efforts in the Methow Valley. Ken White, long known as the Methow’s naturalist, shared his deep passion for appreciating this special valley with anyone interested.
The award recognizes Woodruff’s 18-year commitment to conservation in the Methow Valley as the longest-tenured employee of the Conservancy. She will retire from the Conservancy at the end of 2017, but continue her work as the Twisp librarian.
Woodruff has played a critical role in the development of 106 conservation easements developed in partnership with willing private landowners in the Methow Valley, according to the release.
Conservancy Executive Director Jason Paulsen said, “This organization owes much of its success to the role that Dawn has played as the ‘glue’ in our office over 18 years.”
For more information on the organization’s awards and to see past recipients, visit methowconservancy.org/awards.html.