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Holladay Journal

Holladay honors residents with Helping Hands Award

May 02, 2019 01:47PM ● By Justin Adams

Recipients of the 2019 Helping Hands of Holladay award pose with their nominators and the Holladay City Council. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

For the second year in a row, the Holladay City Council took time out of one of its meetings to recognize residents who have made a positive impact in their community. The recognition comes with an award in the form of a small crystal plaque, dubbed the Helping Hands of Holladay award. 

Before the presentation of the awards, Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle explained the impetus behind the new tradition.

“Much of what we see in the press is just negative, but what we see in our community is exactly the opposite. Those of us who are fortunate to work with our community and be out in our schools and churches and volunteer organizations, you’ll see everyday people doing incredible things across the community,” he said. 

“We wanted an opportunity for members of our community to be recognized by other members of our community who are doing good work.”

Julie Knight

The first honoree of the night was Julie Knight. She was nominated by Paulette McMillan, the principal at Cottonwood Elementary, for all the work she has done putting together the school’s musical theater program.

“Over the years Ms. Knight has worked tirelessly and has put in hundreds of volunteer hours as Cottonwood Elementary’s musical theater producer and director. Her tenacious zeal and love of the theater has given our students the opportunity to excel in music, dance and acting,” said McMillan.

Knight said it was a privilege to be able to work with the kids of Holladay.

“At the end of every show as they sing their last number I always stand next to Paulette and we cry because of the pride that these kids have in it and the confidence and the joy they find,” she said.

Kathy Murphy

Continuing with the theme of music, the next honoree was Kathy Murphy, who has been an integral part of organizing Holladay’s summer concert series for the last few years.

She was nominated by Sheryl Gillian, the executive director of the Holladay Arts Council, who spoke briefly about how much the concert series has grown. She noted that in 2016 (its first year), the first concert drew only 100 attendees, but by the last concert of that year, that figure had grown to 500. Then last year, the concerts drew over 5,500 people. 

Murphy said it has been a privilege to be on the arts council and encouraged everyone to come to the concert series this summer.

“We have a great lineup this year,” she said. 

Kim Kimball

The final recipient of the award was Kim Kimball, a member of the Holladay Tree Committee. 

Kimball became involved with the committee after there was a major loss of tree canopy in his neighborhood, according to his nominator, Dennis Roach, the chair of the Holladay Tree Committee. His desire to get involved in protecting Holladay’s trees led him to formally becoming a member of the committee last year. Since that time, he helped draft the city’s new Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance.

“Because of his passion, his dedication and his ability to draw in like-minded supporters, the city now has this unique ordinance which is going to protect trees for generations to come in our community,” said Roach. 

In accepting the award, Kimball said he was just one small part of a great community program. 

“It was the community that got together like never before and made this all possible, so I’ll definitely share this award for everyone that made this possible,” he said.