Vicki Caldwell was named Woman of the Year by the Woman's Club of Ouray County. Caldwell served as president for three years and has been a member of the club for 10 years.
Plaindealer photo by Beecher Threatt
by Beecher Threatt
In an emotional celebration Tuesday the Woman's Club of Ouray County named Vicki Caldwell the 2013 Woman of the Year. M.-E. Spirek kept the audience in suspense, describing the honoree to slowly reveal clues as to her identity, and tears welled in Caldwell's eyes as she realized what was happening. The tears spilled as Spirek named Caldwell, who came forward to hugs from equally teary Spirek and Penny Hanshaw.
Caldwell recently stepped down as president of the club, having served for three years. Medical issues have slowed her down just a bit, but Spirek called Caldwell "one of the hardest working and most efficient workers I've ever met."
As an officer of the club for nine of the 10 years she has been a member, Caldwell is the face of WCOC. Her tireless devotion to the many projects taken on by the club and her strong leadership were acknowledged in Spirek's introduction and in a poem written and read by Nancy Rule. Caldwell knows how to inspire members, gather a team and bring men in (for the heavy lifting part) to the woman's club, Rule said.
"The biggest thing I did was reach out and bring in new, younger members who work energetically in the community," Caldwell said. "I feel I made the club more inclusive."
Spirek echoed the comments, noting that Caldwell greets potential new members as if they are old friends.
Both Spirek and Rule mentioned the seamless way that Caldwell and her husband, Steve, work as a team, tackling many projects "joined at the hip" and "hand in hand."
In addition to spearheading the many projects taken on by the club annually, Caldwell started the club's hospice room at Valley Manor Care Center and a medical loan closet that offers use of medical devices and equipment free of charge to county residents.
Spirek ended her description with the simple but powerful statement, "She really does care."
The announcement came at the beginning of the WCOC's annual Christmas meeting, enlivened by a chorus of second, third and fourth graders from Ouray School. Club members brought toys for the Elks' Santa Delivers program and cookies to be delivered to shut-ins.
To read Rule's poem in its entirety, click here.