Wait for it!
Before we jump right into the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (yes, I’m a storyteller)… Here’s some background on the genesis of the event. For the past 3 years, we have hosted our Breakfast of Champions fall fundraiser at Boundary Bay. We were able to boast about our program work, celebrate our events and highlight some of our Parkscriptions Providers.
The room was consistently filled with OUTDOOR RECREATION CHAMPIONS, representing the breadth and depth of our industry and community. We wanted the opportunity to shine the light on YOU and your colleagues who work and play in the outdoors.
The Great Outdoor Awards on Saturday evening, October 12th at Bellingham Technical College from 5 -9 pm will be your chance to recognize and celebrate colleagues, organizations and businesses who inspire and enable people to enjoy, preserve and improve the places we play in Washington State. Celebrate our Champions in style at our awards dinner, ceremony & fundraiser for Recreation Northwest’s programs.
2019 Great Outdoors Awards Categories
Community Collaboration, Engaging Youth, Experience Catalyst, GTFO, Manufacturer, Media, New Business, and Outdoor Events
Community Collaboration = Galbraith Access Preserved Forever!
City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation, Leslie Bryson
Galbraith Tree Farm, LLC, Rob Janicki
Whatcom Land Trust, Rich Bowers
Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, Eric Brown
Y.E.T.I. – Youth Experiential Training Institute
John Nelson and Talia Hirsch
Radical Roots MTB
Prime Sports Institute
Kerry Gustafson and Erica Quam
Laurie Benson, Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Brian Morrison, Fleet Feet Sports Seattle
Kip Zwolinski, Incite! Cycles
Kristi Kucera, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures
Heather Saulsbury, PNW Bushcraft
Nadine Van Niekerk, Shifting Gears
Tim Wahl, Retired, City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation
Who was eligible? We didn’t list specific categories – we let you drive, this first time around. To give you a nudge in the right direction, we asked you to consider the breadth of the OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY as it relates to the following categories and the people and companies making it happen: Gear & Equipment • Retailers • Guides & Tours • Health & Fitness • Outdoor Activity & Clubs • Stewardship & Education • Government / Land Managers • Events • Media • Professional Athletes.
Nominations were due August 15th. We expressly thank the nominators for bringing all these superstars of the outdoor industry to our attention.
With the nominations we received, our volunteer committee* had the challenging task of narrowing it down to 8 out of the impressive list, many receiving multiple nominations. After we chose the winners, we assigned titles to the categories that we felt best represented the work they have accomplished.
*Our Awards Selection Committee consisted of Recreation Northwest Board Members Andrew Olive, Coastal Insurance; Kristi Kucera, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures; Linda Balfour, Superfeet; Niki Moltumyr, Backcountry Essentials; Jack Pflueger, Stones Throw Brewery; and myself- Todd Elsworth, Recreation Northwest.
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.