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Two local volunteers honored

Two local volunteers – one who works with the Vail Police Department and another who educates local youth about AIDS prevention – received special recognition Tuesday night as part of the Colorado Cares program.

Gilda Kaplan, who volunteers for the Vail Police Department’s VIPS program, was honored with a “Homeland Security Award.” Paula Palmateer of Minturn was given the “Education Award” for volunteering with the Red Ribbon Project, which educates youth on AIDS prevention.

Both women are also members of a local organization called the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP.



“These women are gifted and unique and freely share their skills for others without compensation,” said Gail Cameron-Britt, project director for Rural Resort RSVP

The Vail Police Department’s top brass nominated Kaplan for her award.



“As an example of Gilda’s dedication, when she first joined she had just had a hip replacement. Hobbling around on crutches, she worked hundreds of hours to help put on a benefit auction for the infant daughter of a Vail police officer killed in the line of duty,” said the department’s nominating letter. –

Beth Riley, director of the Eagle River Youth Coalition, called Palmateer her “heroine” in her nominating letter.

“She makes a difference in the lives of children and youth,” Riley wrote. “Paula would humbly tell you that she is the treasurer of the board of directors of the Red Ribbon Project. But, she is much more. She is the cornerstone of the organization.



“The Red Ribbon Project does not have a paid staff,” Riley added. “The Red Ribbon Project has Paula.”-


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