Cheryl Jensen is the Vail Valley Foundation’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ |

Cheryl Jensen is the Vail Valley Foundation’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado
Daily file photoCheryl Jensen is the Vail Valley Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year" for 2009. She'll receive her award at the Dec. 4 Black Diamond Ball, part of the Birds of Prey World Cup festivities.

VAIL, Colorado – Longtime local Cheryl Jensen, who has been instrumental in many local charities and other good causes, has been named “Volunteer of the Year” by the Vail Valley Foundation.

Jensen will be honored with the 2009 Ernie Bender award Dec. 4 at the Foundation’s annual Black Diamond ball, held in conjunction with the 2009 Birds of Prey World Cup race week festivities.

“Volunteers are truly the backbone of this valley,” Vail Valley Foundation Vice President of Operations and Sales Michael Imhof said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such committed and selfless people like Cheryl as an integral part of our community.”

Jensen’s Sharing the Warmth Around the World” program, which annually ships unused uniform ski parkas to those in need, has now expanded to the majority of ski areas around the nation, shipping out more than 30,000 coats around the globe.

Jensen was one of the first to venture into Indonesia with money and assistance when a tsunami struck region, taking donations, many collected by the Vail Fire Department, putting the money in the hands of those who needed it most.

As founder of the “Shaw Outreach Team”, Jensen helped raise $4.5 million to build the 12-room “Jack’s Place” that now serves many people who come to the Shaw Cancer Center to receive their treatments.

Jensen also helped created the Vail Valley Veteran’s Program. Begun in 2004 after Jensen met a disabled veteran at a party in Vail, the program has grown from a winter adaptive skiing opportunity for disabled veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to now include a summer program of horseback riding, skeet shooting and river rafting.

Jensen will join previous Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year Award winners 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), Susan Frampton (2007) and Kathryn Benysh (2008).

To learn more, call 970-949-1999 or go to

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