"POSITIVE EXPOSURE," THE RESOURCE EXCHANGE
The smiles in these photos made your heart soar. "Positive Exposure: The Spirit of Difference" celebrated the inner beauty of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. A section of Chapel Hills Mall became a professional photo gallery, delighting visitors. Kudos to international photographer Rick Guidotti, whose high-fashion photo skills created portraits teaching how to "Change How You See, See How You Change." Kudos as well to local photographer Jeff Kearney's portraits and presenting nonprofit TRE's coordinator Garry Butcher. Unforgettable, and now in book form.
SPIRIT OF DOWNTOWN
SUSAN EDMONDSON, DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP PRESIDENT/CEO
Her awards are many, and even a surprise to her was Mayor John Suthers' Spirit of the Springs Award for Inspirational Leadership. Under Edmondson's direction, a longtime Imagine Downtown plan has been tweaked and revitalized. Sure, there's work to be done, but there are new downtown restaurants and shops as well as innovative events. Coffee shops have proliferated, and folks fill outdoor seating. Public art is everywhere. Urbanites live here. Bike-friendly lanes are planned. And guiding it is the vivacious cheerleader Edmondson, who is here, there and everywhere.
BEST FUR BABIES CHRISTMAS GIFT
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE PIKES PEAK REGION
They were Bringing Them Home for the Holidays at the shelter, and animal lovers nationwide were delighted with a photo that went viral. During December, donations covered adoption fees for the cats and dogs 5 and older. That helped send 185 dogs to forever homes and emptied the kennels at HSPPR for the first time. Empty kennels, so workers and volunteers jumped in instead, waving a holiday salute out open doors. The special donations helped 193 cats find homes as well. And the year's adoption rate was pushed to an exciting 10,500.
HAPPY RETIREMENT DANCE
FORMER DEPUTY TONY SCHERB
He wanted to do something goofy for his 2016 retirement day, so Tony Scherb got some office buddies to jump into the elevator with him, just waiting for Sheriff Bill Elder to walk by. Then Scherb busted his moves, and they danced along to "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silentó. The "dancing elevator deputy" whipped it on the internet where it went viral and is still going strong after several million views. And, of course, it was Nae Nae time at his daughter's wedding, too.
VALET PARKING TEAM
RED NOLAND DEALERSHIPS
They're the friendly, efficient group shuttling vehicles to and from at dressy benefit and fundraiser sites in out-of-the-ordinary locations with lots of guests and limited parking. This Cinderella's carriage service has been called out to gated mountainside areas with tiny streets and near-downtown spots where parking's blocks away. Thanks to them, no difficult hikes up the hill from Monument Valley Park for black-tie guests at the Fine Arts Center. The valet team is the dealerships' donation/sponsorship for these top-notch nonprofit evenings.
THRIFT STORE AUCTION ACTION
SHOP GOODWILL ONLINE
It's always fun to rummage through the racks and shelves at thrift stores, but Discover Goodwill has added a popular online bidding opportunity for some of the most special donations. Antiques, collector's music, one-of-a-kind items, coins and video games are just some of the finders' gems set aside for the online sale. Find the sales at pickgoodwill.com.