by Mary Pat Haddock
At their Dec. 18 Christmas program, the Woman’s Club of Ouray County named Mary Ellen (M-E) Spirek 2012 Woman of the Year. Nancy Rule wrote the poem which was read to introduce Spirek. Early stanzas described Spirek’s character:
“What we know of this female powerhouse will fill many lines from here,
The passion and perseverance she shows, to make her ever so dear.”
Spirek’s contributions to Second Chance, the Elks Club, Christmas Eve Santa visits and bathroom remodels were highlighted next. The final stanza described Spirek’s current community endeavors.
“A regular at Polar Bears, she now serves on the committee
To explore prospective remodeling of the pool in this same city.
In her spare time she sings with the chorus and at times presents her rhymes.
You might find her at the ski swap or at the Ridgway Chamber sometimes.
She has done it all and then some in this astounding life she lives,
And now it’s time for her to stand as we her tributes give.”
Spirek said she was “overwhelmed and completely speechless” upon receiving the award. When asked why she invested so much energy into this community, she responded, “My father told me years ago, ‘the more you give, the more you receive.’ You don’t get it back financially, but you receive in friendships and achievements.”
Spirek is often joined in her community efforts by her husband of 50 years, Dick Spirek. Of her man, Spirek said, “He is so wonderful, he is just the best. I love him more all the time.” Of their willingness to help others, Spirek said, “It’s just when there’s somebody that needs something and we can physically do it, we do it.”