"Service above self," is the motto of Rotary International and Park City's Rotarians take it to heart. The Park City Rotary Club honored Bruce Erickson and Michael Luers at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon for their longtime service in the community.
Erickson was awarded the Jack Green Volunteer Citizen of the Year award, named after a former mayor of Park City, which goes to "an individual or a group who has made an exemplary contribution to the Park City and Summit County community through their non-paid volunteerism," according to longtime Rotary member Bob Richer, who sits on the committee that recommends the award winners.
Luers was awarded the Linda Singer-Berrett Professional Citizen of the Year award, named after Park City Rotary's first female president, which "recognizes an individual's contributions [to the community] in their professional capacity," Richer said.
The annual awards don't necessarily honor individuals' achievements in the year they're given, but more closely resemble "lifetime achievement awards" for service to the town and the community.
"With Bruce, first of all, he served for four terms on the Park City Planning Commission, and he was chair of the Planning Commission numerous times. He is the president of the historic Glenwood Cemetery in Park City. He is on the board of Recycle Utah, and he's on the board of Ski Utah.
"That guy has done virtually everything," Myles Rademan said. "He's a community person."
Erickson was nominated for the award by Rotarian Insa Riepen, executive director at Recycle Utah, where he volunteers. "He is our most glorious and colorful dumpster man," Riepen said. "He is in charge of the Saturday shift on our Dumpster Days [to haul garbage to the landfill in Wanship]. Getting rid of large pieces of garbage is difficult and Bruce is the one that "man's up" on Saturdays to take care of helping people. He stays there for the entire day."
"And when we have other events, such as the hazmat event, which requires a lot of organization, he's sort of the hazmat man on the ground and he helps with many duties, from directing traffic, which is a necessary evil when you have 300 cars coming in over three hours," she said.
"He knows everybody in town and very often when we need extra help over the weekend we just call Bruce to say 'can you come in for an hour' and there he is. Steadfast, just a great guy and very friendly with people, even though he calls himself the 'curmudgeon on duty,'" Riepen added with a laugh.
Luers is the general manager for the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District and a former president of Sunrise Rotary Club.
"He's just a really upstanding guy,' said Rademan. "He's just really integrated himself into the community."
"I got to meet him when we built these warming fires for the Olympics -- and there's still a few of them around, they're not working anymore -- but they were essentially like barbecues and they had [propane] tanks in them which we had to re-fill every day," Rademan said. "We ended up with about 30 out. And [Luers] had to replace them every day, and that was going to be a great idea until 9/11 happened, and these things were actually like bombs, you know, so getting them through security every day was quite a trick and Mike was still new to the community and it was sort of his baptism by fire. He worked his butt off to make it work and I just thought that was so great, for someone new to the community, just starting out here. He jumped right into it."
"He's a consummate professional," Richer, a director for the Water Reclamation District, said of Luers. "He does a quality job in whatever he undertakes and since he's joined the district the district's been recognized locally, state-wide and nationally as one of the best in its field and this is really due to Mike's leadership."
"If you look at the plaques that we have for these two awards, which hang in the Park City room of the library [when it's not under construction], it's truly a who's-who of the last, about 35 years of Park City history," he said.
Past recipients of Park City Rotary's Volunteer Citizen of the Year award include Bea Kummer, Tina Lewis, Nan McPolin, Bob Wells and Dr. Jack Dozier. Previous winners of the Professional Citizen of the Year award include Stein Eriksen, Nick Badami, Bob Wheaton, Bonnie Park, and Candy Erickson, Bruce's late wife.