Park City Rotary Club names its Citizens of the Year
Park City Rotary Club added two more Parkites to its 40-year history of honoring service in the community during a Tuesday afternoon ceremony at Rotary Park.
Summit County Health Director Rich Bullough received the organization’s Linda Singer-Berrett Professional Citizen of the Year award, which is named after Park City Rotary’s first female president, and Karen Marriott was named the Jack C. Green Volunteer Citizen of the Year, which is named after a former Park City mayor.
Marriott, a co-founder of the Marriott Daughters Foundation, has volunteered and fundraised for the U.S. Ski Team, the PC Teen Foundation and the Women’s Giving Fund. She is currently pulling together names and stories of women who helped shape Peace House, an anti-domestic violence nonprofit, over the past 25 years.
“I have to say I was blown away when (Rotarian) Bob (Richer) called me, because I was doing all of this research about the (Peace House) women,” Marriott said.
In a serendipitous moment, Marriott had just located a picture of Evelyn Richards riding as grand marshall in the Miners Day Parade in 1993, the year Richards received the Rotary club’s Volunteer Citizen of the Year award. Richards, who died in 2017, was instrumental in the formation of the Peace House.
“I thought how amazing that honor was, so it was fresh in my mind when Bob called to tell me that I was to receive the award,” Marriott said. “I was like, ‘Are you sure? These women who were honored in the past are legends, and I don’t know if I was deserving.’”
Bullough, the county’s top health official, who has led the community’s response to COVID-19, was also humbled to hear he was chosen for the Professional Citizen of the Year Award.
“I heard I was nominated, and I took that as a great honor,” Bullough said. “Then I was actually quite surprised that I was selected.”
While Bullough accepted the honor, he said the award isn’t about him, but rather his staff and community members who have stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve issued some orders and made decisions, but it’s ultimately how the community — residents, visitors, business owners and all the elected officials in the city and county — have responded to those orders,” he said. “Yes. I was up there receiving a plaque, but it’s about the team.”
Marriott’s road to volunteerism started with her family. Her parents, Dick and Nancy Peery Marriott, dedicated themselves to service.
“I grew up in a family where our motto was pretty much ‘Where much is given, much is expected,’” she said. “My mom has served on the Red Cross board for many years, and my father started an organization called the Bridges Foundation, which supports people with disabilities getting jobs.”
Her grandmother, Alice Sheets Marriott, co-founded the Marriott Corporation, and was a founding member of the Kennedy Center.
Through them, Marriott learned how to serve.
“If you see a need, you find a way to meet it through your time, talent or resources,” she said. “Sometimes it’s all three.”
Bullough’s ability to lead during COVID-19 actually started 30 years ago when he attended trainings that would prepare him for the pandemic.
“It gave me a background related to what we needed to do today,” he said.
Several weeks before the novel coronavirus hit Utah, Bullough was already looking at what other countries and states were doing to prepare themselves.
“I holed myself up for a few days in front of the computer pretty much nonstop, and I came to understand, as much as I could, what was heading our way,” he said. “So I pulled together a core group at the Health Department and started to assess what we needed, how we could communicate and what our plan was.”
While Marriott and Bullough will not ride as grand marshals of this year’s Miners Day Parade, an honor typically bestowed upon the Citizens of the Year, due to its cancellation, they will be honored during a virtual Running of the Balls television feature airing on Park City Television at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, Richer said.
“They will also have the chance to ride in next year’s parade alongside the other two people we choose for Citizens of the Year in 2021,” he said.
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In the closing scenes of the about-to-be released documentary “Public Trust,” environmental journalist Hal Herring says this of the battle over public lands: “You only have a right to what you are willing to fight for.”