Press release written by Tom Boyd, Vail Valley Foundation
Avon, Colo., Dec. 2, 2021 — In every aspect of life in this community there are people behind the scenes, volunteering their time and expertise, quietly lifting up the quality of life for everyone around them.
For more than 20 years, two extraordinary champions of this beautiful community, with a tireless volunteer spirit, have been Jack and Greer Gardner.
In honor of their exceptional commitment to a wide range of programs, nonprofits, and events in the valley, the Vail Valley Foundation today announced that Greer and Jack Gardner are the recipients of the 2021 Vail Valley Volunteers of the Year award. The award is given out annually to deserving people who have, for many years, contributed volunteer time, effort, vision, and passion to the entire community.
“At nearly any event, concert, or program in this valley, you are likely to turn a corner and see the welcoming faces of Greer and Jack Gardener,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation, which administers the award each year on behalf of the community. “Greer and Jack are ubiquitous, always behind the scenes helping get essential work done. They are visionaries whose contributions help lift up critical programs. They are interwoven into our organization and to our community in a vital way, and we are exceptionally grateful of the positive impact their selfless service has had for 20 years. They are truly deserving of the Vail Valley Volunteers of the Year honor.”
Greer and Jack volunteer for the Vail Valley Foundation’s Xfinity Birds of Prey and GoPro Mountain Games. They also are strong supporters of the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365 education work and are regulars at concerts at the organization’s Vilar Performing Arts Center theater.
For nearly 10 years they served as Community Hosts for the Town of Vail, welcoming visitors both winter and summer. Jack was also a member of the Shaw Outreach Team for eight years, supporting the programs of Vail Health and the Shaw Cancer Center and Jack’s Place.
They are also veteran members of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival’s Guild. They can be seen on most nights of the Festival volunteering to help make the experience enjoyable to all who attend, and adding their camaraderie and friendship to the Bravo! experience.
“Everyone looks forward to seeing Greer and Jack at our events. They have a real enjoyment and passion for the music, and I think that emanates from them. They have become an integral part of our Bravo! Vail family and we are very grateful for their incredible spirit of volunteerism and giving,” said Caitlin Murray, Executive Director of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.
Rounding up compassion
Their contributions to VVF and Bravo! Vail are just the beginning. Greer and Jack have volunteered throughout their lives in every community they have lived in, from Philadelphia, to Denver, and then in 2000, to the Vail Valley. In Denver, Jack was Chair of the Denver Chamber Orchestra Board of Directors. Greer worked at The Children’s Hospital, where her lifelong compassion for youth blossomed.
“I’ve always been kid-oriented,” said Greer, who started her career as a teacher. “I worked in the Oncology Hematology Clinic and began to get more involved on the medical side. I learned so much.”
Greer’s connections with The Children’s Hospital eventually led her to become very involved in what was then a new program in Eagle County: Roundup River Ranch. Greer and Jack have been highly involved in Roundup River Ranch, giving time as volunteers as well as providing guidance to the organization through their roles as Directors on the Board.
During the pandemic, when nothing was clear, one thing remained certain: Greer and Jack would be there to help. The pair has given more than 500 hours to help pack thousands of boxes that allow children around the country take part in the uplifting and life-changing activities of Roundup River Ranch remotely. It made a critical difference for the organization in a time of need.
“Their attention to detail and their sincere passion for giving every camper 110 percent is felt in every gesture and every hour volunteered. They have always been there for us, always been willing to step in to help our organization in any and every way they can,” said Ruth Johnson, JD, President and CEO of Roundup River Ranch. “We are exceptionally grateful to have them as part of our Roundup River Ranch community and congratulate them on receiving this very deserving honor.”
“It is truly an honor to receive the Vail Valley Volunteers of the Year award,” Greer and Jack said. “We salute Vail Valley Foundation for their recognizing the importance of volunteers to the events and causes that bring vitality to our mountain valley. When we look at the list of people who have received this award, and to think of the incredible work they all have done, we are just very grateful and have a tremendous amount of respect for all of these wonderful people. There is so much uplifting work being done in this community, and we are very proud to support as much of it as we possibly can.”
The Gardners have one son, Anj, and three grandchildren, Zachary, 26, Emily, 24, and Abby, 19, who live in Minnesota.
Greer and Jack join a group of distinguished members of the community who have received the award since 2000:
PAST VAIL VALLEY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
2000: Kim Bender
2001: David Ozawa
2002: Barb Treat
2003: Dick Pownall
2004: Bill Douglas III
2005: Tenie Chicoine
2006: Fred Hassle & Jim Sanders
2007: Susan Frampton
2008: Kathryn Benysh
2009: Cheryl Jensen
2010: Doris Dewton
2012: Cookie Flaum
2013: Debby Jasper
2015: Brad Ghent
2016: Nancy & Mauri Nottingham
2017: Jan Hiland
2018: Tenie Chicoine
2019: Tom Russo
2020: Joanna Kerwin
About the Vail Valley Foundation
The Vail Valley Foundation is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley and showcase our community to a global audience through arts, athletics and education.
The organization’s work in education is through YouthPower365, a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to provide year-round extended learning opportunities that empower and educate the youth and families of Eagle County from cradle-to-career readiness. The Vail Valley Foundation also provides the Vail Valley with several of its most treasured annual events, such as the GoPro Mountain Games, the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup races, the Vail Dance Festival, and the Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town free concert series. The Vail Valley Foundation also manages and operates two performing arts centers, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, providing more than 100 Broadway, dance, comedy, classical, rock, pop, jazz, community and family events per year.
Vail Valley Foundation activities and events are in part made possible by cornerstone partners: the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company, GMC, and TIAA Bank.
To learn more about the Vail Valley Foundation visit www.vvf.org.