Tom Kelly Honored With Spirit Of Hospitality Award
30 years ago, United States Ski Team spokesman Tom Kelly began introducing the Park City community to the names and stories of athletes who competed in the Winter Olympics. On Monday, his name was added to the growing list of those who have been honored with the Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitatlity Award. Leslie Thatcher has more.
The award – first handed out by the Park City Chamber Bureau went to Myles Rademan 16 years ago. Rademan first came to Park City 32 years ago to serve as the city’s planning director. He later became the town’s public affairs director and visioning guru. He now serves as founder and director of the Park City Leadership program. At Monday’s award presentation, Rademan recalled first hearing Tom Kelly’s voice on KPCW and said he was spellbound by Kelly’s voice and knowledge.
“I couldn’t believe someone existed who could so skillfully pronounce all of those tongue twisting foreign athelete names and describe the mystical venues with such a throw away facility. It just blew me away. He brought the world to Park City as spokesman for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association for over 30 years and he did so with consummate knowledge, passion and a flare for the human stories involved with each athlete. What a gift and a treasure for Park City.”
Trisha Worthington first started working with Kelly at the US Ski and Snowboard Association in 1997 when she served as chief fundraiser for the US Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. She was amazed at his abundant knowledge of the athletes.
“As I’m sure many of you have witnessed, I was amazed at how Tom could stand in front of any group at any given without research or notes. He was so passionate about his work that details such as where the athletes grew up and where and when they won their first competition and random facts like what their favorite food was and their favo9iret ski resort would roll off his tongue. As a new employee of the organization, I felt the need to get up to speed after hearing him speak a few times about the Olympic movement, so I decide to enroll in and adult extension at the University of Utah extension and guess who my instructor was…”
She added that Kelly has developed a community of fans and helped influence support for the athletes.
For listeners of KPCW, Kelly’s voice is a familiar one, providing what he has estimated to be more than a thousand on-air reports, whether it was through his Monday morning winter updates or live call-ins from around globe during the Olympics or World Championships.
I (Leslie Thatcher) was honored to be asked to make a few remarks about Kelly as well.
“Tom is a dream come true for a journalist – he’s organized and prepared, flexible and accommodating…and most of all for radio listeners– he’s animated -- and you can hear that in his reporting. For all of the years he’s been on air – Tom never lost his enthusiasm. He was excited to share the news every single week. And while he kept listeners abreast of the teams news- he also provided a valuable service to his collegagues at U-S Ski and Snowboard. He may not be aware of this. I’ve heard from some of them tell me that they tuned in – or sat in their cars in the parking lot until his report was over -– so they knew what was going on!”
When learning that he would be honored with the award, he said the question that came to him was what did he did to deserve it? He says he looked at the list of 15 past recipients to put it into perspective for him…
“The spirit of hospitality award, really to me, it broadly defines what our community is about. It’s not just hospitality, it’s the fabric of who we are here in Park City. So, with that I looked at that list and of course there’s Myles Rademan who really was the visionary of how this community could use the opportunity of the Olympics and create a legacy. Here we are 16 years later and we’re still gaining value from our experience at the Olympics in 2002.”
Park City has an amazing its culture he added – one that values open space and the work of the many nonprofit organizations.
One of the reasons Park City is such a great place to live he said is because is a place people have chosen to be. Kelly joins the likes of Nick Badami and Stein Eriksen who have also been honored with the award.