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LIFE IN EVERGREEN: Thank you to the people who make this a community

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .

In November, JustAroundHere.com celebrated its 5th anniversary of online publishing of good things happening in the Evergreen area – 265 weekly editions. It continues to be a “labor of love,” as many know, not a money-maker. Advertisers invest in the community when they have their logos flash in front of you; I hope a few of you will give them your business or at least thank them for their support.

There may be about 45,000 people who live in Evergreen – about 12,500 homes in the 80439 ZIP code – but it’s less than 5% who make this the community it is by being supportive of the many good things that occur here. They respond when there’s a need and give when asked, over and over again.

Actually, it’s really more like 50 or 60 – one-tenth of one percent – who are the doers who make things happen, the organizers, the ones with a true DEVOTION to Evergreen. Many love the place they call home, but few are truly DEVOTED to keeping it a community. I like to think of them – I guess I should say "us" – as the make-it-happen minority.

We’re fortunate to have people who exude creativity and appreciation and a desire to share what they have to offer. They convey a real concern for the community that goes beyond talk. Those are the people I admire most, and telling you about them from week to week is what I enjoy doing.

Some time ago, I realized that a feeling of community doesn’t just continue because it once was there. It needs to be cultivated, nurtured. It takes people like Warren Rose, Peggy Eggers, John Erlandson, Jim Sherwood, and others who see the broader picture and who encourage and stimulate others to participate and give and be grateful. They are the role models who inspire others.

I look at people like Warren and Betsy Rose or Linda and Sam Smith, relative newcomers to the community, and think what blessings they are to Evergreen. They wasted no time getting involved, and they’ve touched so many individuals in the short time they’ve been here.

Over the years, many of you have asked when I was going to publish a writeup about myself. After publishing profiles on more than 300 individuals, I slipped one in without drawing attention to it, simply for the sake of being in the archives with my peers. I’m proud of having had nearly 35 years of meaningful involvement with my community and look forward to finding new ways to make it special. If you’re reading this, you can view it (if you wish) by clicking here.

In 2015 Leadership Evergreen celebrated 20 years. Andy Petrick and I, co-founders of the effort, reunited to celebrate with graduates and current board members of the program. Earlier in the year, it was the same group that honored me with a Lifetime Leadership Award, a tribute that makes me feel like I’ve been around awhile, as does talk of scraping the ambulance facility on Hwy. 73 to build a new firehouse.  

As 2015 draws to a close, I’d like to thank each and every one of you who’s chosen to be supportive of this publication and of Evergreen.