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Craig Cooper And Charlie Sturgis To Be Honored At Miner's Day Parade

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The special guests in next week’s Miner’s Day Parade will be the two people just honored by Park City Rotary—the Volunteer Citizen of the Year, Craig Cooper, and the Professional Citizen of the Year, Mountain Trails Foundation director Charlie Sturgis.

Both men dropped by KPCW’s studio last week to talk about what motivates them.

Craig Cooper, who said there’s a real joy in helping people is involved with not just one, but two fraternal organizations, the Elks and the Lions. He is also involved in helping out the Peace House, the Christian Center and many other groups. For a couple of decades, he’s been a volunteer KPCW D.J. a traditional voice on the air Thursday mornings.

He said he learned about the ideals of serving others from his family.

“Both my grandfathers, on my mothers’ side my grandfather was a member of the Elks for many years as were her brothers. My fathers’ side my grandfather was a member of the Shriners and the Lions club and then my father was also a member of the Shriners and the Lions club in the little town I grew up in.”

Cooper said he became involved here soon after moving to Park City and setting up a business on Main Street.

“I wanted to find a way to get involved with the community and give back to the community. I went down to the Elks lodge and visited with a guy named Al Stark there. He gave me an application and I signed up and then it was maybe only two weeks later when some fellas came from the Lions club of Utah and asked me if I’d be interested in starting a Lions club. Well I was a one-man show at that point and I really didn’t know if I’d have the time and I didn’t know that I could do both. They insisted that I could both. They were just seeing if I would be interested and I said well I suppose I would be interested. It was about a week later that I started getting calls from a lot of people that wanted to join a Lions club and so it kind of took off from there.”

Charlie Sturgis is the third director of the Mountain trails Foundation which is 26-years-old.

We asked him what’s the best part of his job.

“You know sometimes I sort of joke that the best part of my job is actually tricking the public into doing the right thing. The messaging that we put out there, trying to engage the public in a positive fashion to be respectful to other users. Things like the poop fairy video that we just did, ten seconds of kindness. All of those things are kind of fun and zany, they’re kind of those weird little ideas that come to you in the middle of the night and you put them out there and watch people kind of engage with them and you go, ‘ok that’s pretty cool.’ Lots of people would sit there and maybe go ‘hey things aren’t improving in a big way.’ But I think even like Craig would say here with all his volunteer work, anywhere that we can make incremental improvements for the positive, someone’s life or someone’s experience, that’s worth pursuing. I think that’s what we try to do.”

Sturgis said the routine of meetings can be a challenge, or it’s frustrating when a project isn’t coming along as fast as you want it to. But it’s gratifying he said to make even a small difference in the community.

For the future, he said the Foundation will work on connecting to areas outside of Park City and the Basin.

“Interconnectivity between our county, Kamas. The growth spurt or the number of homes that can be built in the next five or ten years between Wasatch County and Summit County is huge. Accommodating and connecting the trail system for both transportation and recreation is going to be super important. So, I think our working in the outline areas is going to be a really big deal.”

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