Penrose’s VFW Post 2788 hands out awards during special ceremony

1 month ago Canon City Daily Record

PENROSE — Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ralph  F. Janousek Post 2788 met Sunday morning at the club in Penrose, alongside many community members, to honor several law enforcement officers, a firefighter, and a teacher during a special ceremony.

This is the second year that the VFW Post 2788 has hosted a special awards ceremony to honor the first responders and others that make up the backbone of the community and the turnout had the club packed.

“We have some great people out there that are working the ground while we are sitting at home asleep,” said Post Commander Jim Sheridan. “They put their lives on the line every day and that’s one thing I appreciate myself.”

New to the awards this year was the VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, which spotlights an exemplary teacher in his or her efforts to make the children of Fremont County flourish.

The recipient of the first-ever Teacher of the Year Award was Margaret Dickenson, nominated by Florence-Penrose School District Superintendent Brenda Krage.

“Margaret is a lifelong learner,” Krage wrote in her nomination. “She is always open to learning and actively seeks ways to learn and grow her craft as a teacher.”

Dickenson currently works as a Significant Support Needs Teacher at Fremont Elementary School in Florence, where she provides vital services to children who need an extra boost in their everyday lives. She possesses many special certifications to advance her craft and has worked closely with special education children for many years.

Next, per Florence Fire Chief Bill Ritter’s suggestion, was Nick Cooper for the Oustanding EMT Award.

“Nick’s hard work and care for his community are why he was selected as an outstanding EMT,” Ritter wrote in his nomination letter.

Cooper started with the Florence Fire Protection District as an EMT and requested to be stationed in Penrose. He is also a member of the FFPD at Station 2 in Penrose. He regularly takes on the responsibilities of being a Field Training Officer for the EMS Division of the FFPD EMS and is currently enrolled in a paramedic program to improve the care Penrose residents receive.

The Firefighter Award went to Aaron Boyer of Penrose.

“He has skills in not only putting out fires but helping in vehicle accidents, as well as medical treatment,” read his nomination form. “His ability to quickly assess situations and come up with logical modes of action have earned him a reputation of being a lieutenant at Penrose fire, as well as a very admired member of the community.”

Boyer lives in Penrose with his wife, Christine, and they have two sons. Boyer was the Firefighter of the Year in 2022 for the Penrose Fire Department and ran the most fire calls for that year.

Recommended by Sheriff Allen Cooper, Deputy Sheriff William Sanders was awarded one of two Law Enforcement of the Year Awards.

Sanders has been with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office since 2013 and, in 2022, was assigned part-time to the Colorado State Patrol Battle Group to combat vehicle theft. During his time on the team, he has encountered much activity in Fremont County, including but not limited to:

the recovery of 13 stolen vehicles 8 assists on stolen vehicle and equipment investigations 3 additional auto theft arrest warrants from cold cases approximately 50g of suspected fentanyl compound and over 100 marijuana plants recovered identification of 3 vehicles for other deputies and the CSP in which the VIN had been removed

“(He) is still assigned as a Traffic Enforcement Deputy. He continues to perform regular traffic enforcement details and attends community events to educate the community on traffic safety,” Fremont Sheriff’s Captain Jeremy Green wrote.

Lastly, per Colorado State Patrol Sergeant Eric Zachareas, State Trooper Michael Wolford was awarded the second Law Enforcement of the Year Award.

“Aside from being a competent law enforcement officer, Trooper Wolford is one of the most honorable men it is my pleasure to know,” writes Zachareas in his nomination form. “He is a man of unimpeachable character and integrity…(he) treats every person he meets in a respectful, professional, yet friendly and jovial manner, instantly making friends wherever he goes.”

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