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Sandy City honors volunteers with Appreciation Awards

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Noal Bateman Award Chairman Bruce Steadman (right) presents the award to John Kirkham (left) during the city's Appreciation Awards Banquet on Jan. 31.

Noal Bateman Award Chairman Bruce Steadman (right) presents the award to John Kirkham (left) during the city’s Appreciation Awards Banquet on Jan. 31.

Brenda Fisher

Sandy City showed many of its residents what they mean to the city during the annual Sandy Appreciation Awards Banquet, Jan. 31. That night residents and elected officials were honored for their contributions to the city.

“Sandy is prettier and nicer than we can afford it to be because of the volunteers,” Sandy Chief Administrative Officer Byron Jorgenson said.

The evening started off with an award for outgoing Sandy Pride Chairman Edwin Beus. Jorgenson praised Beus’ dedication to making 2011 Sandy Pride such a success.

Community Development Director Mike Coulam presented the next two awards to Jeff Smith for serving as the Community Development Block Grant Committee Chairman from 2001 to 2012 and to Monica Collard and Scott Sabey for their work as co-chairs of the planning commission.

Mayor Tom Dolan honored City Councilman Steve Fairbanks as the Outstanding Elected Official and Gov. Gary Herbert as the Outstanding Statewide Elected Official.

Fairbanks has been on Sandy’s city council since 2003 and was recently re-elected for his fourth term.

Herbert addressed the crowd of more than 200 people and talked about why Sandy is such a special place.

“I see a lot of great things happening in Sandy,” he said. “There is a uniqueness here you don’t find anywhere else in the country.”

2011 Senior Citizen of the Year winner Lola Thombs received a standing ovation during the ceremony. Dolan said as the Sandy Senior Center’s new advisory council president, Thombs wears a lot of hats and takes her duties very seriously.

Tricia Young was honored by City Councilman Chris McCandless as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for her dedicated service at the Sandy Amphitheater. Young has helped train many of the volunteers on the new scanning system. McCandless said Young always goes the extra mile in her duties.

Other award winners include Jennifer Lee with the Outstanding Service Award; Charlie Cressall of Mountain West Ballet with the Outstanding Organization of the Year; Lonny Jacobs as the Volunteer of the Year for Parks and Recreation: and Diana Van Uitert with the Outstanding Citizen Contribution.

Karin Johnstone took home the Dick and Pat Adair Lifetime Achievement Award, for nearly 30 years of serving Sandy in various capacities. Every year she sews 30 pairs of pajamas for the children at the Sandy Boys and Girls Club and has been a part of the Sandy Arts Guild and the annual Fourth of July parade since 1998.

The Key to the City was presented to Pastor Matt Bagby. Pastor Matt, as he is known throughout the community, not only presides over Mountain Side Baptist Church, but also volunteers in the Chaplain Corps for the Sandy Police Department.

Dolan presented a special recognition award to Paul Swenson, Stan Watts and Todd Maurer for their work on the “Hope Rising” memorial in front of City Hall. Swenson is president of Colonial Flag and helped set up the annual Healing Fields monument. With the help of Maurer and renowned sculptor Watts, the nine-foot bronze statue was unveiled on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Jim Hofeling was honored for his service in the community and awarded the Humanitarian Award. As president of Jordan Credit Union and as a member of the board of directors for the Sandy Boys and Girls Club, Hofeling has helped provide shoes for children at the club for the last 12 years.

“We know that all we have to do is make a call and Jim will be there,” Club Director Linda Martinez –Saville said.

The evening wrapped up with the presentation of the Noal Bateman Long Time Service Award. Committee Chairman Bruce Steadman presented the award to John Kirkham while surrounded by past winners. Steadman said this year’s committee voted unanimously in favor of Kirkham, who was nominated by last year’s winner Don Milne.

Kirkham has been involved in his community since moving to Sandy 35 years ago. As chair of the Board of Trustees for the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City and Sandy, he has been a part of several water projects that have impacted Sandy. He also served on the Public Utilities Service Board as the vice chair. While there he worked on the new location of the Granite Tank, several key wells and storm drain projects.

A lawyer by profession, Kirkham has focused on energy and natural resources law. His experience in mining, public lands, water, geothermal, and environmental law are recognized across the state. He was recently named the 2011 Salt Lake City Energy Lawyer of the Year and has been recognized by the “Best Lawyers in America” publication for more than a decade.

“We are pleased to honor John for his dedication of service not only to Sandy but to society in general,” Steadman said. “His ambition and spirit of giving have made this world a better place for everyone.”

— Brenda Fisher