2021 Inspire Impact Winners

Living Legacy Award Winner

The Giving Club

The Giving Club is a group of women who get together 4 times a year to pool their money, drink wine, and support nonprofits. At each meeting, members nominate a nonprofit by simply writing the name on a piece of paper; three pieces of paper are randomly chosen from a hat; the nominators have 3 minutes to say why the rest of the group should vote for that nonprofit; the group votes and every member writes a $100 check to that nonprofit. Simple! Easy, fun and IMPACTFUL.

The Giving Club was the brainchild of a few local rabble rousers who like to take chances and do good things:  Illene Roggensack, Deb Horwitz, Jacqueline Chappel-Reid, Michaelle Smith, Cindy Rhodes, Mary Beth Luedtke and Judy Vanderleest. They held their first meeting in August of 2014 with 64 members presumably, because they gave away $6,400 to the Western Slope Center for Children; by the second meeting three months later they met their goal of 100 members. And they were off: 

  • Have had a total of 310 different women as members over a 7 year period.

  • Currently have 185 members.

  • 34 of the original 64 are still members today, so have been giving since 2014

  • Highest amount awarded was $21,500 to Meals on Wheels

  • And in total, the Giving Club has donated slightly over $470,000 to 27 nonprofits serving Mesa County Residents. VISIT their website for a complete list of the nonprofits who have benefited.

  • And almost as important is the fact that this group inspired the formation of two others: in Montrose, the women created their own club and right here in Mesa County, the men were motivated to create their own giving club, too.

Volunteer of the Year

Nile Leach, Eureka! McConnell Science Center

  • Nile is a dedicated and talented volunteer

  • Willing to help with the most mundane tasks 

  • Sorts Lego sets and builds complicated new exhibits

  • Keeps an eye on the budget

  • Noted for his initiative, craftsmanship and enthusiasm “It is volunteers like Nile that have helped EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum grow into the place it is today.

Staff Member of the Year

Dr. Tom Lavery, MarillacHealth

  • Tom determined what was needed to remain open when the pandemic hit 

  • Provided full time, urgent/emergency dental care to the community 

  • “With his values-based focus on what’s best for the community, especially during a public health emergency, Dr. Lavery’s work shines brightly.”

Board Member of the Year

Cathlin Craver, Roice-Hurst Humane Society

  • Has a national reputation as an animal welfare advocate 

  • An expert in shelter medicine

  • Shares her time and talents with the Roice-Hurst Humane Society as an advisor and champion 

  • Is one of the most engaged members of the board.

   Business Social Impact 

Denis Thibodeau, Your Best Friends Boarding Kennel and Grooming House

   Business Social Impact 

Rick Hensley, Patton's Printing


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