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The City Journals

Cottonwood Heights Honors Volunteers During Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Mar 09, 2016 11:42AM ● By Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Cottonwood - Holladay - Cottonwood Heights employees, government officials and residents recently honored various volunteers during a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Held at Market Street Grill, the eight volunteers were praised for their hard work and dedication to the city.

“We would not be able to accomplish the things we do without the help of our volunteers,” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said during his opening address. “We realize every volunteer puts in a lot of time and deserves recognition.”

After recognizing all the different branches of the city government, such as the arts council, historic committee and the planning commission, members of the city council took turns honoring the volunteers and presenting the awards.

Councilmember Mike Shelton began with honoring Rebecca Kitchen for excellence in cultural arts. Kitchen has been on the arts council since its inception 2009. 

“[Kitchen] has always been dedicated to fulfilling her duties on the arts council. She leads and interacts with others in such a kind and friendly manner and has made many friends along the way,” Shelton said. “Clearly her talents have blessed the lives of many.”

Shelton also honored Carlos Cardon for excellence in emergency preparedness. Cardon is a member of the emergency planning division in the city and leads a group of amateur radio volunteers and helps coordinates those volunteers during events such as Butlerville Days and the marathon.

 “We are fortunate to have Carlos in our community,” Shelton said. “Thanks to him, we are safer, better prepared and the envy of many cities in the valley when it comes to emergency communication.”

Councilmember Scott Bracken presented next with two awards for individuals who had helped make Butlerville Days a success. Tom Eatchel was the first to be recognized with the Butlerville Days Outstanding Volunteer award. Bracken explained in the first year of Butlerville Days, the city was in need of logistical and technical support, specifically someone who could provide electrical power vendors and other groups.

“[Eatchel] quickly volunteered to help Cottonwood Heights even though he isn’t one of our residents,” Bracken said. “[Eatchel] has spent hundreds of volunteer hours over the last 11 years helping out in numerous capacities, but most notably in facilitating our need for electricity.”

Bracken also honored Craig Taft with the Butlerville Days Outstanding Volunteer award. Bracken explained in 2011, the Canyon School District started construction of Butler Middle School. Because of the remodeling project, the electrical issues at the park next to the middle school had become obsolete. During the next three years, Taft was able to meet all of the electrical needs of Butlerville Days, and in 2014, he designed and built a permanent power station and electrical infrastructure. 

“Butlerville Days may have been cancelled without Craig’s knowledge, skills, hard work and dedication,” Bracken said. 

Councilmember Michael Peterson presented next with the community history award to Tom Shimizu, who was unable to attend the event. Shimizu has been the chair of the historic committee for the past four years. 

“His steady direction and influence during this period is shown in numerous exciting accomplishments,” Peterson said. 

These accomplishments include installing historic markers along the Cottonwood Heights Trail and throughout the city and most recently, hired a historian to research and write the history of the city. 

Peterson also recognized Jamie Jackson for volunteer excellence as the Butlerville Days chair.

 “[Jackson’s] talents, along with her focus on not only the present but the future, has made it a tremendous success,” Peterson said.

 Peterson explained over the past few years, Jackson has implemented new additions to Butlerville Days including a 5K race, a country music main stage act, food trucks, movie in the park and a carnival.

Councilmember Tee Tyler honored James Jones with the community development award. Jones, who is a member of the planning commission, was unable to attend the event. Tyler deferred his remarks to Paxton Guymon, the chairman of the planning commission. 

“One thing that stands out about James Jones -- he truly cares. He cares about what the citizens are afraid of, and he goes out of his way to make sure we always remember what the existing residents want,” Paxton said. “It’s a real tribute to [Jones]. He’s really deserving of this award.”

The last award was given to the Liljenquist family and was presented by Cullimore. Chad Liljenquist received the award on behalf of his family. The Liljenquist family received the community partner award for their continued development of specific areas of Cottonwood Heights into retail property that have provided an ample tax base for the city.

“Because of the Liljenquist dedication to making Cottonwood Heights a destination center, the city has experienced a renewed interest from across the Salt Lake Valley who are traveling to Cottonwood Heights to shop, eat and visit,” Cullimore said.