A physician couple, businessman, river trip guide, ambassador for accessible outdoor activities, charitable foundation and woman known for her bright smile have all received local recognition for their contributions to recreation in Cody.
Members of the Shoshone Recreation District board announced the 2016 Excellence in Recreation Community and Volunteer Award recipients at a May 4 breakfast at the Rec Center.
Frank and Caety Schmidt, Mike Nelson, Andy Quick, Ashlee Lundvall, the Cody Elks Club and the late Teri Patton were honored for supporting the City of Cody’s Parks and Recreation Department mission and for improving recreation in Cody.
The awards date back to 1999. Nominations came from SRD board members, City of Cody parks and recreation staff and the public.
Award categories and recipients are listed.
Outstanding Sponsor, Cody Elks Club
Under the club’s sponsorship, which includes funding thousands of eggs, advertising and donated books, the annual Eggstravaganza and Aquatic Easter Egg Hunt at the Rec Center has grown from 220 participants to 500 over six years. Club members also provide and serve hot dogs for lunch that day.
“Their enthusiasm, generosity and thoroughness are what makes this event successful every year,” wrote Kym Quinn, Rec Center youth coordinator, in an email.
In addition, the Elks sponsor the annual youth soccer shootout and a basketball shoot.
Outstanding Youth Coach, Andy Quick
Describing Quick as a “year-round water guy,” Rick Stonehouse, SRD board member and Alpine ski coach, said the safety-conscious youth coach established the Wild West Paddle Club to introduce 10-18 year olds to whitewater kayaking and to improve their skills.
Quick has helped build a solid Cody High School Nordic ski team, said Stonehouse. And through his participation with the Nordic Ski Association, he maintains ski trails for others to enjoy.
Sportsmanship Award, Mike Nelson
Nelson is the Sleeping Giant Absaroka Ski Association volunteer youth coach.
Sarah Mikesell Growney, SRD chair, described Nelson’s enthusiasm and encouragement of children as contagious.
“He’s nurturing the children and growing the sport,” she said.
In all, 48 participated in the youth racing program this winter.
Bill McCormick Outstanding Volunteer Award, Frank and Catherine “Caety” Schimdt
“Catherine and Frank Schmidt have been some of the strongest supporters of the Cody community since moving here in 1988,” said Jake Ivanoff, SRD board member.
The couple have coached and supported many Cody youth sports teams and have lent their Double Doc facility for the annual Cody baseball fundraiser. The physicians have founded and supported multiple equine therapy clinics at the Double Doc, including Rainhorse therapy.
In addition to recruiting doctors to Cody, the Schmidts have invested in multiple community centers and improvements, including the Rec Center, and are avid supporters of western arts and artists in Cody.
“They’ve managed to turn a 24-hour day into 30,” Ivanoff said. “For them to fit volunteering into a busy life is incredible.”
Bill McCormick Outstanding Volunteer Award, Ashlee Lundvall
Several years ago the former Ms. Wheelchair USA approached city parks and rec director Rick Manchester with the idea of installing a playground designed for use by people of all abilities. She then proceeded to round up support and spearhead fundraising through grants and donations.
Manchester has dubbed Lundvall the “community quarterback” of the new Mentock Park Inclusive Park. Thanks to Lundvall’s vision and efforts, Cody’s park has the first playground of its kind in the state.
“It’ll be the coolest park in Wyoming, and hopefully will draw families from around the state and regionally,” Mikesell Growney said.
Special Recognition Award for Excellence in Recreation (posthumous), Teri Jean Patton (May 1958-February 2017)
Describing Patton as an “amazing” woman, Mikesell Growney said she was an exercise instructor who started teaching step aerobics in the 1980s and taught fitness classes at the Senior Center.
“She had an electric smile,” Mikesell Growney said. “She was really a lovely woman. She will be very missed.”
(Rhonda Schulte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)