Three Moab residents receive statewide honors for their ‘commitment to the common good’
by Laura Haley
Contributing Writer
Jun 26, 2014 | 506 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Every year since 2010, the Community Foundation of Utah has selected 50 people from around the state who are going out of their way to make life better for others. This year, three people from Moab made the list.

Colin Fryer, the owner of Red Cliffs Lodge, Delite Primus, the executive director of the Youth Garden Project, and Jennifer Speers, a community advocate, will join the ranks of 218 other citizens from across the state who have been named to the list since it began.

According to Fraser Nelson, the foundation’s executive director, the goal of the list, known as the “Enlightened 50,” or E-50, is to identify and recognize people around the state who give back to their communities but might not otherwise receive public recognition for their efforts.

“We send out a nomination survey to journalists, non-profits, and other groups,” Nelson said.

This year the foundation received around two hundred nominations. The nominees were then asked to vote for their top five choices.

“The top 50 people who receive the most votes become the E-50,” she said. “We add 50 people each year. We’re building a community of people who are committed to the common good.”

Nelson said that Primus was nominated, in part, due to her efforts to make locally grown, organic vegetables available to the students of Grand County High School through the Youth Garden Project.

Primus said she was surprised and honored by the nomination.

“When I have the opportunity to be involved in something I believe will make the community better, it seems like that’s the best way I can use my time and energy,” she said.

Primus said there are many people in the community who give back in a lot of ways, and she is inspired by them.

“I think of a good citizen as someone who gives back to their community in big or small ways,” she said. “Someone that is willing to put energy and resources into something that is for the common good, and someone who is a good example for others in the community.”

Speers was recognized for her role as a community advocate, according to Nelson. Over the years, Speers has purchased several parcels of property in the Moab area including the Butch Cassidy water park on the north end of town, for the purpose protecting it from further development.

Several years ago, Speers bought the Proudfoot Bend Ranch (now Cottonwood Bend Ranch) about 30 miles east of Moab. She also bought the nearby Dewey Bridge subdivision, which had been purchased by a developer who had put in the infrastructure for the subdivision and built a large house. Speers tore down the expensive home that was sitting unoccupied on the property, recycled as many of the materials as she could, and let the land revert back to the way it had been prior to the development.

“She gives, gives, gives,” Nelson said, noting that Speers has undertaken none of the projects for the attention — in fact she has shied away from the public limelight — “but because her giant heart tells her to.”

“I do what I do because I can,” Speers said. “I am glad to be able to help where I can make a difference.”

Fryer was recognized for his efforts, through his businesses, to champion tourism and nonprofit organizations in the Moab community. Over the past few years, he has worked closely with Fred Solheim, who organizes the Warriors on Cataract raft trips for injured and disabled military veterans, among many other endeavors.

Fryer said he tries to help out in a lot of different ways.

“I see those things in need, and if I have the ability to help, I do,” he said.

Of his selection to the E-50 list, Fryer said, “I feel pretty humble. It’s an honor to be listed in the same list as a lot of those people.”

Fryer said he recognized many of the names on the list.

“They’re tireless advocates,” he said. “We’re just little guys down here doing our own thing, so to be included with the big dogs was a real honor.”

Of the three Moab inductees, Primus was the only one who was able to attend the ceremony in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 18.

“It was a truly inspiring night to be surrounded by so many people making tremendous change for the betterment of our state,” said Moab resident Ann Perri, who accompanied Primus to the event.

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