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Craig Cooper Honored As Volunteer Citizen Of The Year

The Park City Rotary Club presented its Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award to Craig Cooper on Tuesday. Speakers said that Cooper’s many acts of volunteerism and kindness, going back for decades, are one of the town’s best-kept secrets.

To the general public, Cooper is known as an agent for All State Insurance, with his office on Main Street.

But one of those who nominated him for the Jack Green Volunteer Citizen Award, Melissa Caffey, said he’s also known at the Park City Peace House, where he delivers everything from children’s toys to women’s hair care products.

“We’ve heard this humble, quiet man described as the most generous caring person ever and a true unsung hero. Craig has been faithfully delivering food at Peace House shelter every Friday for almost 25 years. He purchases, at his own expense, items the survivors need or want.” Caffey explained, “Things most of us take for granted like children’s toys, desserts, chocolate, even hair dye, things that Peace House is unable to provide. Purchasing specialty items that the residents need just because it will make their journeys a bit easier. Craig has also prepared home-cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and delivered them to the shelter many times.”

However, he’s also helped out at the Christian Center.

“One of our shelter advocates ran into Craig at the Christian Center one day bringing food for them.” Caffey said, “He actually looked guilty, like he had been cheating on Peace House. He gets around.”

As a member of the Elks Club, he has also organized the club’s annual First Responders Awards. He’s also organized charity work through the Lions Club, as well as volunteering with the Hope Alliance, Shriners Hospital, the Make a Wish Foundation, The National Ability Center, and many other organizations.

Myles Rademan and his wife Joy Barrett have been Cooper’s landlords on Main. They use the deck of his office to M.C. the summer parades down Main Street. Rademan said Cooper is the opposite of the “renter from Hell.”

“Not only does Craig pay us the rent every month, but he sends us a thank you note for having him there and usually some kind of gift certificate.” Rademan continued, “Now I’d like to say that was in the spirit of giving of course but he’s convinced Joy that we shouldn’t raise his rent over 20 years. Craig you have been just magnificent in everything you’ve done. I’m so proud to know you and have you as a friend.”

During his remarks, Rademan couldn’t help giving a brief lesson in “how to increase your word power”. But he said that basically Cooper sets an example for us all.

“I wish we could all be like that. I’m not, but I wish the rest of you could. Finally, just to show you that his largess goes far beyond his voluntary and eleemosynary pursuits.” Rademan explained when members of the crowd asked for a spelling, “It’s a great word you can check it on google, you’d never hear it on KPCW that’s for sure.”

By the way eleemosynary means “relating to or dependent on charity.”

Speaking of KPCW, our former General Manager, Larry Warren noted that Cooper has been a volunteer d.j. for decades, especially in the Thursday morning time slot.

“He’s not one who volunteers for a few months and then says, ‘forget about it, it’s too much work’. He’s been doing it for almost 26 years now as KPCW’s stalwart daytime, Thursday DJ. We play Rock n’ Roll and Craig is more of a smooth Jazz kind of DJ. He’s more a ‘let’s hear from Dave Brubeck now’.” Warren continued, “But it works, his voice is so calm and smoothing and just friendly. You can hear a smile coming through your radio speaker when Craig is on.”

Cooper, and the Professional Citizen of the Year honoree, Charley Sturgis, will be on the Local News Hour Friday at 8:15.

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