Hope Alliance led by ‘outstanding volunteer’
January 17, 2015
For Glenn Artist, every Hope Alliance trip has a "moment."
In July, Artist took over as chairman of the non-profit’s volunteer board of trustees, stepping into the position formerly held by one of the organization’s cofounders, Dr. John Hanrahan.
Fifteen years after a medical trip to Guatemala first inspired Hanrahan and Joe Mitchell to establish the Park City-based Hope Alliance to bring better medical care to developing countries, Hanrahan decided it was time to step down from his most recent two-year stint as chairman.
"We have a rotating policy for chairmen, so it’s a natural progression," explained Hanrahan, who also serves on the board of directors for the National Ability Center, helped create the People’s Health Clinic, and volunteers through the Rotary Club of Park City. "(Artist) has just been an outstanding volunteer for many, many years and knows the Hope Alliance inside and out."
Artist has been a member of the board since 2009. He was offered a spot after his first Hope Alliance trip to Rio Dolce in Northern Guatemala and has volunteered with the organization ever since. This February will bring his fifth trip with the organization.
While discussing his experiences leading Hope Alliance trips, Artist recalled finding glasses for an elderly woman who couldn’t see well enough to go shopping.
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"In February last year we were right outside of Guatemala City and there was a lady in her 80s with her granddaughter," said Artist.
"We found a pair of glasses for (the lady) and she stood up with tears in her eyes. She hugged her granddaughter and said something to her in Spanish. Her granddaughter looked at me and said, ‘My grandmother would like to give you a hug.’ I told her I love hugs so she hugged me and said, ‘Thank you very much. Now my granddaughter doesn’t have to take care of me so she can finish her school.’ It doesn’t sound like a lot but it changes two people’s lives right there."
In addition to his work with The Hope Alliance, Artist is the liaison to the Interact Club at South Summit High School, a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters advisory board for Summit County, and was the voice of PCMR on KPCW for past five years. Although Artist was originally supposed to begin serving as Chairman in 2013, he found himself occupied with a position as the Sunrise Rotary Club President and was forced to wait a year.
"(Artist) has been part of the Park City community for years and has spent countless hours as a volunteer for the 2002 Olympics, as a PCMR Ski Host, President of the Sunrise Rotary Club, Trip Leader and, now, Board Chair of The Hope Alliance and has volunteered at the Park City Medical Center since it opened. People don’t get that involved without compensation unless they have a huge and generous heart," commented board member Derick Loyola.
Once a firefighter and paramedic in Fresno, California, Artist moved to Park City in 1980 and bought the corner store at Park City Mountain Resort. In 1982 he took over the Snow Hut, and by 1983 he owned the Summit House. He left for New York in 1990 where he married before returning to serve Park City.
"I went on a blind date and met my beautiful wife. I was scared to death but we’ve been together ever since."
Artist and his wife decided to return to Park City after visiting in 1992 to ski.
"We were walking through the grocery store that’s now Fresh Market and we just picked up a few things. It took a few hours to get through because old friends kept saying ‘hi.’ After, my wife said ‘we can move here.’ We put a down payment on a house the next Sunday when we were going to the airport."
It’s fortunate for Parkites and people around the world that they did as Artist continues to volunteer at home and abroad.