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Beano Solomon named as Park City Rotary Club Volunteer Citizen of the Year

(L- R) Rotary Club President Diane Bernhardt, Beano Solomon, Bob Richer
Leslie Thatcher
(L- R) Rotary Club President Diane Bernhardt, Beano Solomon, Bob Richer

The Park City Rotary Club on Tuesday honored local activist and philanthropist Beano Solomon, naming her as their Volunteer Citizen of the Year.

The Volunteer Citizen Award is named for the late John C. Green, who served as Park City's mayor from 1978 to 1986.

Beano Solomon came to Park City 25 years ago. She's perhaps best known for the Solomon Fund, which partnered with the Park City Community Foundation in 2016 to increase access to sports and recreation for Latino youth. In its first six years, the program has given out about $800,000 in grants and scholarships.

Beano also helped to establish the Children's Justice Center, and supported the People's Health Center and the Hope Alliance.

The Rotarians heard from Diego Zagarra, vice-president of equity and impact for the Community Foundation.

"Since I've known Beano, she's always been a champion for historically-marginalized folks--immigrants, queer communities, the uninsured and others on the socio-economic margins of our town,” Zagarra said. “She has demonstrated this support with meaningful financial contributions, yes, but more importantly, by getting deeply involved with the organizations doing the work closing these inequities. I say this with love. A week doesn't go by when I don't hear from Beano."

Terri Moffitt, Solomon's friend and a long-time writer for the Park City Follies, paid tribute with a poem, which said in part:

"This is a woman who sued the state/ to have 'Gays Rock' on her license plate./ She's a Pride Center favorite and the light of her life/ is her child Virginia and Jen their wife./Ask if she's an activist, she'll shake her head./ But she'll always speak up, when something ought to be said./To her it's not the money, it's not what's in fashion./ It's having the vision, the will and the passion./Writing checks isn't hard, she'll say with a smile./It's easy to support what you think is worthwhile./What's hard is the foresight, the commitment and the drive./It's where she shines, improving so many lives./What she's done for Park City is truly off the charts/ but what I admire most is the compassion in her heart."

Solomon told Rotary she doesn't like being in the limelight and had little to say. But she noted she was guided by her parents' example, and a decision she made in her youth.

"What I realized at some point in my life was--maybe it was my freshman year in college--that I didn't want to be president, but I could get a hospital built in my town,” Solomon said. “So, I try to do, to improve my local town."

Solomon, and Rotary's Professional Citizen of the Year, youth ski coach Dar Hendrickson, will appear as grand marshals in the Miner's Day Parade set for September 5 on Main Street.