Benysh chosen as Vail Valley volunteer of year |

Benysh chosen as Vail Valley volunteer of year

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyKathryn Benysh is a 23-year veteran of the Vail Valley Foundation's World Cup and World Championships volunteer corps

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Valley, Colorado resident Kathryn Benysh has been named 2008 Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year by the Vail Valley Foundation.

Benysh will receive the award Friday at the annual Black Diamond Ball.

A 23-year veteran of the Vail Valley Foundation’s World Cup and World Championships volunteer corps, Benysh has headed up the event awards presentations for numerous international ski races, handing over trophies, flowers and prize money to some of the world’s best known competitors.

The Volunteer of the Yearaward, now in its ninth year, will be presented in conjunction with the Audi Birds of Prey Men’s World Cup Week festivities. The award is named for the dedicated longtime race crew volunteer who passed away in the summer of 2000.

“Volunteers are truly the backbone of the Vail Valley Foundation, and we are incredibly fortunate to have such committed and selfless people like Kathryn as an integral part of all of our events,” said Foundation Vice President of Operations and Sales Michael Imhof. “In addition to the time and expertise that she brings to our programs, she is incredibly vested in the well being of this community through her work with our school children, as well as through all of her volunteer activities.”

A graduate of Northwestern University with master’s degrees from Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Denver, Benysh has given her time to the foundation since 1985, working with the organization’s World Cup children’s activities and social events, in addition to her awards responsibilities, along with her contributions as a committee member for the Vail International Dance Festival.

In addition to her volunteer efforts for the Foundation, Benysh is a member of the board of directors for the Northwestern University Alumni Association, a founding member of the Vail Valley Friendship Circle, food service volunteer and bell ringer for the Salvation Army and a former guild president and board of trustees member of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

As an educator, Benysh taught Spanish and French at Battle Mountain High School from 1975 until her retirement in 2006. She also served as coordinator of the Eagle County School District’s Foreign Language Curriculum Development Team in addition to her duties as the Huskies’ head ski racing coach.

Other honors include being named a Rockefeller Foreign Language Fellow and Fulbright Scholar as well as being a five-time nominee for Colorado Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. She was named Battle Mountain’s Outstanding Educator in 2006.

Benysh will join previous Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year Award winners that include the Bender Family (2000), Dave Ozawa (2001), Barbara Treat (2002), Dick Pownall (2003), Bill Douglas (2004), Tenie Chicoine (2005), Fred Haslee and Jim Sanders (2006) and Susan Frampton (2007).

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